All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one (wo)man in (their) time plays many parts
Words of Shakespeare, from the play “As You Like It,” (wo) and (their) added by me. These words have never been more true today with the rise of video shorts on sites like TikTok. We are now compelled to perform for each other in yet another quest for approval and attention.
I admit, I’m part of that “we.” This is why I stopped blogging for a while. I was worried about putting my story out there for the sole purpose of seeking attention. I want to tell my story for anyone who wants to read it. But I also just wants to record what I see and what I think about what’s going on. I would like to be remembered as a thoughtful observer.
But, my own nature and my very predictable reaction to the internet leaves me checking how many likes I have, and how many people have read my posts. I’m so disappointing at times.
This need to perform reminds me of my kids when they were young. Any time we went into a store, they went into performance mode and became the silliest maniacs. Another performance I remember from my own youth, was going to the county fair. We wanted to look so cool and be that version of ourselves all the time, with the feather earrings, tight jeans and leather jacket.
At some point though, performance art gives way to reality. Maybe it’s the day to day struggle of living, and paying bills, washing dishes, and doing laundry. But I still engage in that art occasionally. From time to time I dress up and even put on makeup to show another side of the many versions of me.
Ultimately, I want to reflect the truest version of myself that I can. But this means opening up the depths of my soul, and sharing things I’d rather gloss over. So, here I am writing less than half the story, performing a version of who I am, hoping that honesty will win the day.