Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seaching For Validation

Tonight we watched another episode of iCarly.

Okay. Here's the thing. We've been a naughty family, not eating together at the table. We spend all our meals in front of the TV. Why? Our cat threw up all over the kitchen table, and I'm still grossed out about it.

But that's not what this blog post is about, so I'll move on to less disgusting things.

In our most recent viewing of iCarly ,(spoiler alert) Carly tries to give her brother Spencer self-confidence in his artwork  by inviting his favorite artist to their apartment so he can see his work. Things don't work out the way she planned. The artist comes over and tells Spencer he doesn't like his work. It's not good. It's amateurish.

Spencer is crushed, and decides to stop being an artist.

Carly and her friends try to fix things by promoting his art work on their web show. I was very touched by this, and a bit envious. I thought of all the rejections I've gotten (for my novels and screenplays). I thought, how nice it would have been to have someone there to pick up my shattered ego.

Who cares what that editor thought, Dina. You're a great writer. Keep working on it! Don't give up.

No such luck for me....at least not from my family.

The iCarly plot reminded me of what happened to Ruth Park. She sent her writing to an editor she admired, and the editor heavily criticized her work. Not constructive criticism; but just pure cruel shit.

In iCarly, the celebrity artist later comes to Spencer and confesses. He says Spencer is a great artist. He likes his work. It's just he was jealous of Spencer's talent. Spencer is overjoyed, and we get a happy ending.

I'm guessing jealousy was also the motivation behind the editor that Park had admired.

Anyway, I shouldn't be envious of a fictional character. Maybe it's an ideal that no real people live up to. But I think it would be awesome to have family members behind you like that....ones who believed in your talent.

Well, I do know of a blogger, and her sister seems to read every blog post. She doesn't just read, but comments, and praises. She lets her sister (and everyone reading) know that she thinks her sister is a brilliant writer. She even nominated her sister for a writing award.

So, I'm jealous of that too, because my sisters never/rarely read my blog.

I'm just a nasty envious person tonight. Shame on me.

I want my sisters to read my blog and tell me I'm a good writer.

I get jealous when my husband sees a singer on TV and says, She has a really good voice. I want him to react to MY singing that way.

Why am I so petty?

Why am I so needy?

Is there something wrong with me?

Probably.

But from what I've read of artistic-type people, these feelings of inadequacy are common. And so is the need for validation.

After seeing the show, I thought these smug thoughts. Maybe family members, who don't show interest and enthusiasm in my work, are JEALOUS.

That's kind of a happy thought. I'm a great blogger, and a great singer....but I don't get a lot of praise from certain people, because they're all jealous and stuff.

But it could very likely be that they don't think I'm talented.

I was about to say it could mean that I'm a bad singer and an untalented writer. But I don't believe in that.

It's all subjective.

I'm a good writer to some people, and I sing good to SOME people's ears. But others think I'm crap or very mediocre.

I should have confidence in myself, and not care what others think.

Yeah. That probably ain't happening in this lifetime.

I could put some time and effort into this personality flaw of mine. But I'd rather spend my time doing other fun stuff, like....

writing.....

and

singing.

The good thing is I DO love writing and singing for it's own sake. But I like it MORE when I feel other people appreciate me doing it.

On another episode of iCarly, the kids try to attract more viewers to their web show. Spencer asks why they're doing this. WHY do they need more viewers?

Carly responds by asking him whether he'd prefer a few people seeing his sculptures, or a LOT of them?

Then he understands.

I liked seeing my feelings validated on this tween show. I pointed the dialogue out to Tim because he sometimes tries to remind me that I should be writing the blog for myself, and not worried how many people are reading, and whether or not I'm getting kudos.

I think he's right in a way. We should do creative/artistic things in a way that pleases us, and not strive to create stuff specifically to please others. But although it's quite pathetic usually, I think it's normal to want our work and effort liked by others.

Tim did a triathlon last week. After he finished, he sent out an email about it to my family, and some friends. I'm sure Tim enjoyed the running, swimming, and biking for it's own sake. He likes that kind of stuff. But I can't think why he'd send out information about it except to receive admiration.

So...you know what. It's NOT just a trait afflicting artsy people. Now that I think of it, there's lots of emails going back and forth between my family. I got a promotion. I'm forwarding this kind email (filled with praise) that my friend sent to me. I'm going to be interviewed on a local news program. My party was a huge success. Everyone said they loved it.
I don't send emails out like that anymore.

Once my dad sent an email to the family praising a novel I had written. I was all excited and grateful for the praise and attention. Plus, I anticipated getting even more praise and attention from other family members. This is what usually happens with these emails. People get responses...kudos...good wishes.

I got....

silence.

But I should look at the bright side. At least my dad said something in the first place. That was very nice of him.

Why didn't my sister, mom, husband, or brother-in-laws respond to the email? I don't know.

It can't really be that they disagreed that the novel was good. They never read any of it.

It could be jealousy. They didn't like seeing me praised. But that's kind of ridiculous. People get kudos all the time in my family. Why would it be a problem for it to be directed at me?

It could be that they simply....forgot to.

Once my sister wore this green outfit when we came over to babysit her daughters. I looked at her in it, and really liked how she looked. I thought she looked great.

Later when I got home, I realized that despite admiring her appearance, I had never said anything. I think simply because I forgot to. Or maybe in some stupid way, I expected her to just read my mind, or something. I felt kind of foolish doing this, but I sent her an email later saying I thought she had looked good. I wasn't sure how she'd respond to that, but I felt I needed to say it.

She wrote back, and was very appreciative. She cc'd her husband and said something like. It's nice to get compliments. Hint Hint.

I forgot my response....or if I responded.

But I probably should have said. Yes! I know.