Clockwork Girl Seeks the Definition of Intimacy

I don’t write much. I always want to write more – I feel like I SHOULD write more – but I’m not exactly sure where that pressure originates.

Part of the issue is that I tend to float in and out of touch with the internet. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing of value to add to the conversation – not because what I feel isn’t important, but because sharing it adds nothing to the situation.

The other part is that I struggle to define what I hope to get out of sharing things. I could write for weeks and weeks on what I think, how I feel, what’s going through my mind, and I’m sure I’d get some comments. Maybe I’d even say something profound!

What’s the motivation, though? Is it validation? Parading my words in front of a crowd to hear the cheers of support, the laugh at a witty turn of phrase – it rings hollow for me. I don’t mind sharing my thoughts and feelings with people who genuinely want to know, but I don’t want to wave my traumas like a flag for attention.

Then again, there’s the catharsis. Letting it boil up and out and not caring who hears or sees, how ragged I look or how broken I am at that moment in time. Baring myself like that burns, but the healing is sweeter for it. Sometimes it brings new perspective, and sometimes those cheers of support are actually a balm.

I’ve started commenting more on things of late. I was pointed to a conversation where I think I had something relevant and hopefully insightful to contribute. And then I saw another, and another. I find myself sharing more and more about my life, and I don’t mind it – but I have to wonder where the “too intimate” line is and what might qualify as TMI.

I don’t actually consider sharing my life stories all that intimate. Telling others about the traumas in my life tends to shift the way people view me, and sometimes I don’t like that change. My skin crawls to think about the faces people make when I tell them about some of the more…pivotal moments. I don’t share my stories for pity. I share it for context, to give nuance to the puzzle that I am.

So I learned cut out the middle man, make it all for everybody, always. Everybody can’t turn around and tell everybody, everybody already knows, I told them. But this means there isn’t a place in my life for you or someone like you. Is it sad? Sure. But it’s a sadness I chose. – Childish Gambino, That Power

Not entirely relevant, but this always strikes me. Part of me wants to rip away the covering and let everybody see my gears at work, because then it’s all out and up to the world. Abdicating responsibility by dumping my life into the public eye and “Do as thou wilt.”

But that feels so incredibly selfish and arrogant to me. It’s screaming at everyone around me, forcing knowledge upon them without their consent. Does everyone need to know all the things all the time? Who am I to push my story to the eyes and ears of those who have no vested interest in me?

I am not a tragic figure, nor a powerful heroine. I am a creation, an awkwardly constructed framework with a personality built over and over again to try and connect with the world in a way that’s meaningful, that’s powerful. The world can already see what I am, who I am – it’s all there for those who take the time to investigate. Nothing stays hidden for long because everything’s shifting, always ticking away. Talk to me long enough and you’ll know all my secrets.

It’s not the sharing of them that’s the intimate part, though. It’s only intimate if you listen.

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