Friday, November 18, 2005

will the real Mary-Sue please stand up

Funny, I always come onto this page without any forethought or any clue as to what I'm going to write. Often I lay in bed and think about things I want to blog about, but then never actually write about those things. Weird.
But lately I have been thinking about public personas. And why it is that so many of us want the people we feel insecure around to think that our lives are perfect. Like me, for example. When I took my 2 to Australia in February, I desperately wanted it to be easy. I felt so frustrated with myself that it wasn't -- the flight was relatively easy, but it wasn't easy being on my own taking care of 2 day in and day out for 3.5 weeks. I felt let down, that somehow I must not be as natural of a mother as I want to be, or it would've been a piece of cake. I'd had visions of myself with Pedar on one hip, backpack on my back, Annika's little hand in mine, trekking anywhere and everywhere across the planet. Easypeasypuddingandpie. Nope. I came to grips with this on my own fairly quickly. But with the people I'm most threatened by, I found myself describing just how EASY it had been. I could hear my voice, feel the plastered grin on my face and almost convinced myself each time! WHY? Why do I need certain people to think I'm different/more/better/easier/fill-in-the-blank than I truly am? What is that?
And I hear it from other women too. One of my cousins, for example, loves to tell everyone how easy her life is. How she never has any troubles with her kids, doesn't mind when her husband leaves for weeks at a time, never has marital troubles, has no issues with her family or friends, blah blah blah. Is she for real? Is it possible? Or is it insecurity? Is it what she wants to believe about herself? Or is it lack of awareness on some level? Or is it just having a really positive attitude, or the whole fake-it-til-you-feel-it motto? I don't know. Personally, I don't think it does ANYone any favours, including ourselves. When I pretend that things are easier for me than they really are, the person I've just convinced may find herself feeling really disappointed about herself or her own life. And all for naught. If I had been real she might have walked away feeling validated somehow.
I find the people I continue to pretend to (against my good judgment and deep desire!) are the people I get really tired of hearing complain incessantly about how difficult EVERYthing in their lives are. So I compensate for them by having not a problem in the world. But it's stupid and meaningless and a waste of energy. The thing is, there's a BIG difference between being REAL, living with integrity, being honest about how things really are, all the while striving for better choices for better outcomes... and just plain out bitching. Isn't there???
and hey! isn't that constant "oh! my life is SO terrific! things-couldn't-be-better-thanks-for-asking" attitude what they're talking about with the Mary-Sue character? hmmmmmmmmmmm

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