January 20th, 2019


To be seen

There is no such thing as a universal human experience. There are common threads, and I suppose if you boil it down to the broadest possible strokes: "loss," "struggle," "pleasure", etc. then yes, there are.

Yet every individual truly is different.

For me one of my driving urges is the urge to be *seen*.

I wish to be noticed, understood, seen for who and what I am, and neither ignored nor mistaken for what I am not. It is a common urge, I suspect (it feels quite narcissistic, but narcissism in moderation is very common) but not universal. There are people who would rather not be seen, people who are genuinely shy and do not want attention.

I am an introvert, I find socializing exhausting, but the thing is that to me social interactions are a performance, so I might as well *perform*. I might as well be the star, be the center. Simply talking with somebody is as exhausting as being on stage is, both mean I am putting on the face, the front, the conscious and considered action. But in the case of say, singing, the rehearsal of the correct action for performance is actually miles simpler than for one on one or small group conversation.

So yes, I actually find performing in front of a large audience to be slightly easier and less stressful than being in a room with four or five people and needing to participate in the conversation there.

Weird, huh?

The thing I want *most*, though, isn't the kind of superficial "seeing" that somebody witnessing me sing or reading one of my stories gets. What I want is to be seen as the person I am, to have all the uniqueness, especially those parts that center around gender and personal identity, recognized, acknowledged, understood.

The latter is a tall order.

And this is why I maintain that there really is no universal human experience. Because I've watched countless people genuinely try to understand what it's like to be me, and fail completely at it. The few successes are generally those I cherish as my closest friends. I married one. That was reason number one why I stuck with him out of all the people I ever counted as partners of any kind, because he was the one of all of them that *understood.*

If human nature were really as homogeneous as some people insist it is, if people were really "all the same, deep down", then others would be able to comprehend who I am.

Mostly, they don't.

Mostly, I remain unseen.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1498248.html.