Wednesday, June 25, 2014

15 Minutes

Recently I received my quota of 15 minutes of fame.  Or maybe it was actually 20-30 minutes.

I checked my Statcounter around the time I was supposed to be on the telly, and my blog visitations shot up. Usually I get about 50-100 visits a day.  That day I got 677. It was a big deal for me. I know. For some people, that's a very slow day. But for me, it was huge. Naively I kind of hoped I'd stay that popular. But no such luck. I think I've had a teeny tiny increase in visitors these past few weeks, but that's about it.

It's fine.

In a way, it's more than fine. I didn't get any hate emails. I had a lot of fun at the Dallas studio. For the most part, it was a positive experience, and I think it has even inspired me to want to blog more.

What's not been a good experience is the way most of my family has disappointed me. I have always struggled with feeling ignored and unappreciated. I tell myself I don't NEED their attention. I don't need kudos from them. But still I desire it. I strive for it.

At first I didn't even want to tell them about it. The main reason is...well, I think I didn't want to be disappointed by their reactions. But Tim wanted to tell them and he did. I was actually pleasantly surprised that he wanted to help me get attention from my family.  It's not often I do something that's impressive enough to Tim that he wants to tell other people about it. So that gave me a few smiles.


Don't get me wrong. My family congratulated me with proper enthusiasm when Tim sent the email.

They didn't complete ignore me.

And my older sister and her husband were wonderful about it.  My sister wanted to hear all about it. The next day at the lake house, she asked questions. She listened. She even pushed me to tell my parents, Tim, and my brother-in-law the about it later.  I tried and maybe sort of succeeded. But it's hard with my parents. Their attention span for listening to me is extremely short. They interrupt, change the subject, ask questions about something else, share their own experiences, etc.

My younger sister never brought up the subject again after the day they were told I was being interviewed. She wasn't there at the lake house, when the rest of us were together, so she didn't hear any of the story. But there's been no email from her asking more about it. She hasn't asked if it's possible to see the video. Nothing. Her husband never said one word about it. And I've often sent him emails of encouragement and support.

Back to my older sister and her husband. Two days after the TV thing, my brother-in-law spent a chunk of time searching the internet for the video. Then after failing, he took the time to email me to ask for the link.  I gave it to him.  He and my sister watched it. They both wrote back and were very supportive. They acted proud of me...impressed. That was very nice.

Now my dad asked to see the video when we were in the pool together. But then he said, if I watched it and didn't like it, I don't need to send it. What would have been nice is if he had instead conveyed the idea that he expected me to be brilliant, and that he definitely wanted to see matter what.

I told him I didn't plan on watching it, meaning don't depend on my liking of the video if you want to see it.

I don't want to watch it. I don't think I'll ever want to watch it.

But that doesn't mean I don't want my family to watch it.

It certainly doesn't mean I don't want my family to be excited about it.

I wanted my family to watch it, but I don't want to email them the link out of the blue.  It makes me feel like I'm saying, Look at me! Look at me!  PLEASE look at me!  I feel pathetic doing that, and it's horrible when they don't look at me. Or they give me a quick glance and them move onto something else.

What I want is for them to be interested in it enough (like my older sister and brother-in-law)that they actively seek it out.  I've vented about this to Tim, and he'll say, Oh, you have the video! Send it to me. 

But in my mind, it doesn't count because he's saying it when I bring up the subject. It's like there's a difference between being told you're beautiful when you complain you're ugly, and someone out of the blue saying you're beautiful.

I know some of this makes no sense to people. Why would I expect my family to care? Lots of families don't pay attention to each other's exciting news.  And I actually think that's sad for all families. But I feel it's extra annoying for a family like mine, because we keep up this facade of being SuperFamily—super close and always there to support each other.

My cousin has a blog and I used to envy her...not just because she moved to Australia, but because her sister and Mom would read the blog on a regular basis and comment. They were active participants. I thought that was lovely.

My family barely reads my blog. Every so often, I'll see something on my Statcounter from them.  It's rare and it doesn't feel good because they don't comment or email. It feels more like they're spying. Oh, and if I do get a rare email about my blog, it's to bitch me out about something.

Their excuse for not being interested in my blog? They're not interested in Australia. Well, give me a break. Australia is a whole damn country, and the subject of Australia covers a huge array of areas—politics, music, film, television, religion, celebrities, food, travel, etc.

It's not like I have a whole blog about earthworms or a whole blog about fingernail polish. That might get old after awhile.

And it's not like I expect them to read every single post. I would be happy if they read once a week...or even once a month.  And commented.  Participated! Let me know they read it.  Let me feel loved and adored for a few minutes, once in awhile.

So, here's another thing. Over the Dina-on-Telly weekend, my dad brought up the fact that he's commissioning my aunt to do a painting for them. He said she's the one artist we have in the family. And I didn't think anything of it, because I assumed he was talking about fine art.

But then I guess he remembered how we recently had a fight,and I had complained how he's never nice about my singing. While other people in the family seem to think it's wonderful, he seems almost afraid of it.  It's like he hates when I sing. Of course when I confronted him on it, he denied it.  I sing great, blah, blah, blah.

He sees me as sensitive about it though. So after bringing up my aunt's painting talent, he quickly added that I sing good and clarified that he was talking about painting type art.  I reminded him that there are other people with talents in the family. My nieces were in the room. Or one niece. I brought up her clarinet playing.

Okay, all that is besides the point. What made me mad is he only brought up singing because I bitched about it in the past. If his heart was really in the right place, I think he would have maybe brought up my other talent?  Uh...writing?   Yeah, I know. For the most part I was put on Aussie TV as a freak show. I understand that.  But I'd like to think that a small part of why I was on TV is I have an entertaining blog. And I like to think I have some writing talent.

I think it's sad that after writing tons of novels, screenplays, years of blogging, family forgets that I'm a writer. I would hope that after being on TV for my blog, they might remember it. At least temporarily. But nope. That wasn't the case.

It's all so insane. Sometimes I feel such a desperate need to do something that will bring me fans, whether it's singing, videography, writing, etc. Then I ask myself, do I want fans to replace the hole that's not being filled by family?  Would it be enough? If I had 677 visits to my blog everyday, thousands of Twitter followers, and millions of hits on my videos; but my family had no idea about it, would I be satisfied? Or deep inside do I want fame because I imagine then I would finally get my family's attention?

I imagine some people will read this and say, Well, you have to learn to love yourself. You need to have have faith in you, and don't worry about what other people say.

I do have faith in myself. I like my singing. I like my writing. I like my videos. I like a lot of things about myself.  But since there wasn't a zombie apocalypse and I'm not living alone on earth as the sole survivor of the catastrophe.  Well, I think it's fairly reasonable to want some amount of external validation from my fellow living earthlings.  And I think it's very reasonable to expect validation from family members, especially when that family has a reputation of being super close, loving, and supportive.