one thing I have loved about this journey of mine is the way no one knows who I am anywhere I go.
I can sit and sip a coco loco or a joint, walk for miles along a dirt road or coastline, read a book for three hours straight, write 12 poems in a row or sing a new song over and over until I have it melody-memorized, and no one interrupts me.
it’s not like I’m Angelina Pitt-Jolie famous, or even Invincible famous, I’m not implying that at all. but much of the work I have done has created a familiarity imbalance where people I don’t know have a sense of knowing me, and people I barely know feel comfortable approaching me with an expectation of engagement, regardless of what I am doing or how I am feeling.
in the tiny little sphere of my life, I have experienced famousness, and how it pulls off the awesome private blanket of anonymity (I stayed in NYC for 10 years because of that marvelous blanket). I have been encouraged at various points to be known, primarily to raise attention or money for various pieces of work I was doing. even in our movement work there’s fame and competition and shallow recognition, stars and charismatic leaders.
I don’t see myself as a part of all that, which sometimes makes me wonder where my work fits in.
i will say people generally don’t recognize me in a negative way, there are rarely pictures of me posted publicly with headlines or tags implying scandal or disaster. in fact, I am usually presented so glowingly that I feel like a farcical caricature of a hopeful radical, like I am not doing a good enough job of showing people my humanity and struggle.
I feel like the good things I am able to do all come as conduit work, stuff that comes through me, shaping me on the way…not popping up in a patch of my brilliant brain, but flowing up from earth and community through my heart and hands and mouth. I love being a conduit, I love how it feels to let right action flow through me.
it’s not always there, im not always open, im definitely not always on point. sometimes im nursing a pain, needing a good cry, feeling spaced out or confused or just wanting to be alone in my own head and heart.
like anyone does.
and I have noticed how deeply good it feels, on this journey, to be able to do just that.
yesterday I sat in a hot tub and cried, and folks just respectfully let me be. the other day I sat and read a book for a few hours, undisturbed. I’ve had many meals now where I can just watch the sunset or read or get lost in my thoughts. this kind of time, being in the world but still in my own experience, rejuvenates me for loving myself and engaging with others.
I suspect lots of people are like this, but who knows. once you become a something (an activist, a singer, an executive director, a blogger, etc), people forget your wholeness.
I think celebrity, pedestals, familiarity imbalance…these things aren’t good for us. they give us false hierarchies to uphold, feelings of superiority and insecurity to over analyze, egomania and unhealthy appetites for the attention and approval of others.
I think when it goes too far, humans implode. I wonder if there’s a study on the shorter than average life spans of the rich and famous.
I also wonder which part of myself perpetuates my little fame, given how I feel about it. I write because I can’t not write…if I were anonymous would it be as powerful an experience for me, or for you? the majority of people who read and/or subscribe to my blog feel they know me, and with the way i write, you do. i love being felt that way.
we humans want so much to know each other. social media is equalizing some of this need which often plays out as fan-love, but it isn’t balancing fast enough for this slightly well-known sometimes-extroverted social recluse.
this thinking keeps me from doing certain things that I love. I am working on how to manage that, as I am being called so deeply to write more, sing more, expose more; even as I am basking in the spaciousness and freedom of being completely unfamous for the first time in a decade.
the opinions people are forming when they meet me in this journey are not because of any titles or accomplishments or blog posts or interviews of me, but just one-on-one personal authentic communication. and I am showing up fully in ways it’s hard to do when faced with people’s pre-conceived notions, rose-colored or not.
the work seems to be learning: how to constantly be personal and authentic and pedestal-smashing and boundary-setting no matter what others may expect from or project onto me; that I can’t control how people respond to my authenticity, I can only be myself as much and as fully as possible; that some part of me must be served by it or it wouldn’t keep manifesting.
when I’m not prancing around the house singing into my hairbrush, I think of how I could go underground in some way, sharing my thoughts and philosophies and doing my work as part of an ant hill, beehive or flock. not a queen, just a worker with good taste in clothes and art.
because it has been so liberating for my spirit and personality! my god it’s nice to go unrecognized, to be unfamous among amazing people, to be free again to attend to the ever present work of creating my next self and stepping into her.