Sunday, 22 February 2009

Been thinking a bit this week about how different we all are, how differently we see things, and that ultimately it doesn't matter what you do, people will think what they choose to think about you and there's really not all that much you can do about it. I guess I'm beginning the return to my old self because that concept is one I can sit easier with the last few weeks. It's freaked me out over the last few years, when so much inner subconscious awful stuff has been blowin' free in the wind for everyone to see (or so it feels).

I think I'm sitting easier with that idea because I have felt for so long that the umbrella for my soul, the part of me that is confident and feisty, has sort of gone for a long nap. My old self contains this dualistic ultra-sensitive child who is scared of so much, and her much older and bigger confident persona, who shields her. It's been a difficult ride to start uncovering that shyer child. She is the one who creates. Especially difficult when the other part of my soul had it's umbrella bashed in and ripped up and out of action. How hard it is becoming myself :(

Yesterday, I weighed up the desire to go to the pub by myself to watch my team play its game on cable, versus the discomfort of doing such a thing. I'm happy to say that I went. I sat amongst a couple of groups of men, young and old. This was a little bit uncomfortable but nothing I couldn't ride, I guess. I read my book in between quarters (I figured I already looked like a social weirdo/really independent person/someone there to pick up a quick root/loser with no mates, depending on how you view such things; reading by myself in the pub was the logical next step. And anyway, it's not like I actually wanted to speak with anyone there. Must take these sorts of things slowly. Anyway, it is a misconception that watching football is a social activity for everybody :)

Worldviews. Funny how different we are, as people. I guess some sort of maturity is a willingness to muster understanding and compassion and as much grace for each other in how little we see, and how differently we see what we do. But sheesh, there's room enough in the middle of all those cracks for wars and divorces and hatreds and all sorts of evil.

I was beginning to get annoyed at the dude sitting near me in the pub. He was whingeing and complaining about how crap we were. And we were. But I wasn't all that worried by it, I guess. Maybe we were coming at this game in different ways. My take on it was this: it was a preseason competition game of very little consequence. It's not even the real thing. And even the real thing is of very little consequence in the final analysis, as enjoyable and wonderful as it all is. Winning is a good thing to aim for, obviously, but it's not the only thing or even the most important thing in a preseason game. Half the team that was out there yesterday were young blokes with not very many games under their belt. You could tell. We were at best rather a rabble. Messy, sloppy, fumbly.

The guy near me was drinking beers and droning in his deep monologic voice, complaining about the messes these young blokes were making. I suppose it depends on your standpoint. One man's social embarrassment is another man's necessary under-the-belt experience. If you're conscious of wanting to defend your own premiership honour, if your identity is tied up in the team who is on the television in front of you, then maybe you will be needing to win at all costs, at all times. That's an understandable view when you're a bloke sitting in a pub drinking beers wanting to be entertained. But I'm glad the coaching staff didn't see it quite that way.

As it turned out, we won by three points. I still don't quite know how we managed to do that because we were awful. I was thinking about how the view of the droning man complaining besides me was the sort of view that, had it translated itself to the players who were running around on the field, would have meant certain defeat. They would have been too self-conscious to believe that they could win. They would have been deflated by the criticism coming out of this dude's mouth about young blokes who have played a handful of games and are probably trying to overcome the voices in their heads of other dudes in their lives telling them, in one way or another, that they're shit and they're not good enough and don't try because it's all about being seen to be strong and not weak.

I guess we all have those voices battling, don't we. This dude was just droning his out into the air, that's all. The funny thing, in the jubilation of our win, when I turned to them and we exchanged a few words, he looked nothing like what I had imagined he would look like. I hadn't looked at him up to this point, and I imagined a dirgelike face to match the droning voice, but instead his face was lit up with smiles and he was rather a friendly looking chap, really.

I've been thinking about the saying, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." I like it. It brings me back down to myself again, to thinking about how it is that nobody would do anything if they were overly concerned about the opinions and misunderstandings of others. It's a sad sort of a thought, really. It makes you realise how alone in the world you are, in one sense. But on the other hand it is a freedom to walk into further, knowing that you will always be read wrong, that people will read you so differnetly than how you read yourself, that we see each other through the veil of our own strengths and weaknesses and desires and jealousies, etc. But it's a thought that sort of releases the brakes of inaction for me, thinking it through to its conclusion. Because really, what was brought home to me in the pub yesterday, in a small way, was how difficult it is to act at all in a country so full of the tall poppy syndrome and so willing to drag everybody back down to its own comfort zone. 'Cause I don't think you can get good at anything or really do anything without first looking like a total moron in some way to somebody. And unfortunately there's too many people in this country who see that as some sort of moral failure. It's so boring. I think this is one of the many differences between Australian culture and American culture. It's not one I like very much.

It feels good to be feeling a bit more self-esteem these days, the willingness to go my way and do what I want to do regardless of what other people will say. Because I'm going to be judging myself anyway, unfortunately, and it is hard for women to step out and do what is in their hearts and souls and guts to do. But WTF. I wanna do it anyway. The alternative is to not speak. And I will judge myself more harshly for not doing what is in my head or heart to do because of the opinions of other people, than I will judge myself for doing a crap job and making an idiot out of myself, yet again.

But the first option hurts so much at times, it's no wonder the second is the most oft-travelled.


  1. a post about my dog?
    (we called him Wysiwyg - in fact had the name picked out then went to find the dog that matched the name)

    no - a post about the willingness to have a go, be your best, whatever that is at that point in time, and be as gentle on others as we'd like them to be on us when we don't quite get it right

    or did I misinterpret that?

    btw - what's with the royal "we" that die-hard footy fans use
    this so not sports-fan just doesn't get it

  2. Wysiwyg :) Haha :) I picture a long haired dog, wavy sort of coat, maybe white or blonde. Was I close?

    Yeah, that's pretty much waht I was going on about.

    The royal "we" - well, it's the focus for me. I look out through eyes that are tinged brown and gold. I am a part of the club, a paid-up member, sweltering under the weight of the scarves that get sent out each year with my membership :) I love watching footy but my heart is with my club. My grandfather barracked for them, my mother and now me (my brother, stupidly, went the dumb route and barracks for Collingwood, haw haw :)


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