I am attempting some time in The Land of the Living. Thank you for the kind comments left on my previous post, the shortest post I will likely ever write. Unlike this one.
Some new terms irritate me but I rather like this one. It is, at least, rather fun to say. Try it: humblebrag. It is both a noun and a verb and was apparently coined by a writer of an American sitcom called Parks and Recreation, which I do not watch. I do not watch it because I do not watch television, which is not a humblebrag because I must add that I spend what could be my television watching time on the internet. Perhaps commenting on blogs is more satisfying than talking to the television. Anyhow, my time on the internet has meant I eventually stumbled across this new term. It's probably old now, but it's new to me.
We all know at least one person who humblebrags and perhaps do it ourselves sometimes. If we spend any time on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook we have experienced the humblebrag. Essentially, for those of you even less in the know than I am, to humblebrag is to brag but add something self deprecating or negative in order to attempt to hide or downplay the bragging. There are worse things to do in this world than toot your own horn but anyone who does it constantly is a boring companion and interestingly I think, it may be more tolerable to be around someone whose bragging is a bit more overt. It's natural to want to share your exciting news, your happy moments or the things you are proud of with your friends and family. With the rise of social media, sharing it with the world is the new normal and celebrities seem to be quite prone to it as well as the rest of earth's mere mortals.
I have spent a good deal of my life learning to graciously accept a compliment, to find the right combination of modesty and confidence and along the way learned that much of my instinctive self deprecation, my tendency to say 'oh no, I'm really not that good,' can look like fishing for compliments and attention. I am sufficiently self aware (bragging here) to know that it may indeed hold some of that to some degree. I am less than proud to say I was always someone who needed a great deal of validation though I didn't seek it or ask for it. If it came, I probably wanted just a little bit more, please. At the same time, I had been raised to value modesty. Bragging was a sin greater than sex before marriage and akin to vanity. To be thought immodest would be devastating. I am pleased to say (another small brag) that I have grown somewhat though I still struggle with these tendencies to self deprecate. At what line does modesty become lack of self confidence? Where does seeking encouragement become an over reliance on compliments? And conversely, Where does self confidence become vanity or bragging? The line is a bit wavy.
For most of my life I have dabbled in art and writing but never until very recently dared to actually call myself a writer or an artist. Hooray for some personal growth there too and thanks to a reworking of the definitions I now do, though still a bit hesitantly, call myself both. What I desire is to be good, really good, to please people with what I create and what I create is by nature meant to be shared. But I do not actually expect greatness (whether or not I should is a whole other psychology text book) and everything I create is ultimately done for myself first. That sort of selfishness was another thing I would once have shunned. But back to this sharing idea. I am taking steps to put myself and my work out there, as they say. Even when it is raw, unfinished or experimental. I am indeed scared at times. To be told my work pleases someone is the greatest thrill but it will not please everyone. Learning to be comfortable with that is a lifelong lesson for me, I think, though I like to think I am now more in the practice stage. In the end what pleases me is the doing of the work, the creating. Some final results I like better than others. Although I am a very solitary person for an artist or writer, I am taking my first steps towards being less so. I loathe the idea of groups but the internet is less scary. How is that? Likely through total deception.
If you have actually read all of this I love you! If not here is what all that babbling and blethering is getting at: I am working on a novel and am going to start publishing a chapter at a time on this blog. Even if it is crap I will persevere but I am certainly hoping it is not or has the potential not to be. I hope some people will read it and give me honest but gentle feedback. You will find it under Scribblings and Other Words on the top right margin of my blog.
The Ultimate Guide to Relaxation, a new books soon to be released by Sophie.
* That's my leg on the left.