“I think you have the potential to be big. Your future lies in novels and short stories, not blogging.”
It felt comforting to hear this. Not for my perceived future fame, although when someone believes in you so wholeheartedly, it affects you in the best ways possible deep inside. No, what got me was that he understood me. He saw me.
As writers we are storytellers. We can’t help but always do that. Even in groups of friends with no writing around, I always caught myself telling a really juicy story. I set up the details, sometimes painstakingly. Get on with it my sister would say. But the payoff was always there. People would listen, laugh and sometimes be moved. I loved it. I lived for it. But mostly, it the was being seen.
I am a bit shy, I’d even go as far as saying reclusive, but I have a deep longing to be understood. Even the worst parts of me. To have someone see you and know you is why people believe in God. We like the idea of this holy figure who is all present and can hear our thoughts – even the private embarrassing moments, the shameful ones that come to you when you’re stirring the rice and make you twitch. You start blushing and looking around hoping no one else heard it. Those are the things your “maker” knows and still accepts. The idea is intoxicating. It’s not magic, it’s the simplicity of being understood and accepted.
We see ourselves through a mirror, and often times other people act as that mirror. In that moment I was heard. He read my stories and got it. He accepted my stupidity of trying to be a DIY queen when all I really wanted to do was write about feeling lost and uncomfortable in my world.
I didn’t have the awareness to distinguish those feelings before. When you’re younger and feel a hole inside you it’s like several strong longings screaming at you. It’s easy for them to blend together rendering their individuality all but indiscernible.
I thought I wanted to be a famous writer. I thought I wanted to be known. Turns out I’m just an average Joe desperately wanting to be understood.