It's late, which means its time to get all philosophical and self-reflective.
Awhile ago I wiped my gallery. After the depression wore off and I rubbed my temples, wondering why the hell I did it, I decided that instead of re-upload everything I would wait and see what the reaction would be. A little bit of social experimentation in the wake of despair never hurt anyone, right?
At first, the results were disappointing. No one noticed or commented, wondering where my gallery went. It was as if I had suddenly vanished and no one perceived my passing, or perhaps they just didn't care. At the same time, the deafening silence was sobering. I began to wonder just exactly what I had expected the reaction to my sudden disappearance to be.
Of course, in your imagination you're the star of the metaphorical movie that is life. The passing of a main character isn't met with apathy, nor does it go unnoticed. At the very least it is accompanied by melancholy strings and a choir of grieving loved ones. If this were real life, I have no doubt that if I had suddenly vanished I'd leave behind some concerned friends and family. But this isn't "real life" we're talking about, it's the purge of my artistic presence from an online community. Suffice to say, I came to realize that I was treating this much too seriously.
When your beliefs are challenged, there is always a period of adjustment. Even something as seemingly trivial as how important one might be within his own perceived community causes a bit of discomfort as neurons slog about in the trenches to acclimate to this new data. I still don't know exactly what I expected, but I know I believed I was much more important than the results would suggest.
Shifts in perspective can be a bit uncomfortable, but also enlightening. After my ego was confined to the dungeon, I realized that I felt something else that I hadn't in awhile: relief. While it's true that I don't create art frequently, I felt guilty about it, as if I was expected to and that I was letting my imagined "fans" down by not posting more often. Delusional much? Worse still, I let my own impossible expectations weigh too heavily on my mental health. Over and over the cycle continued, until it came to a head.
As a result of a journal I had posted prior to purging my gallery, one of my friends decided to cut off contact with me. We exchanged a short round of PM's and then that was it. Blocked and presumably forgotten.
The conversation wasn't pretty. I've been called a lot of things, but I had never considered myself a drama-whore, or that what I did while under the duress of my damnable depression could be construed somehow as malicious. In a way, it was these accusations that caused me to leave my gallery blank. It was tempting to draw attention to this new development,l but I decided against it. I could never prove to him that his conclusions about my character were false, but I could prove it to myself.
The experience has been interesting. Though I am by no means a popufur, I could have at least expected a trickle of favorites and watches periodically, little doses of a secret drug that I didn't even know I craved. Without that white noise I felt unknown again, and the illusion that I was somehow important to people I had never met nor interacted with was torn and cast aside.
It is interesting to go unnoticed again. Without a gallery or contribution I have the sense that I have become just another spectator, a perspective that I haven't experienced in quite some time. It is liberating to remove an imagined expectation and just be for awhile. I highly recomend it.
7 years, 9 months ago
27 Sep 2011 13:26 CEST