In my non-writing life, I took a little step today, I put my first item in the Etsy shop I created months ago. I would like to say I opened a business bank account and linked it all together enthusiastically, but I would be lying and I don’t lie here.
The truth is I have been nervous all along. It is not an attempt to make a fortune, instead, it is a way of selling on things that will hopefully make people smile and give a little bit of happiness. In a way, just an extension of my poetry project and the therapy aims of blogging.
Being ill has given me plenty of excuses to delay making something for the shop and moving forward. The real reason was fear of being laughed at. Despite encouragement, I find it hard to shake the feeling that I am, and what I do is, a joke and that people are, behind my back laughing at me. I am not sure where I picked up this belief, there has been plenty of opportunity for sure, but regardless it is there.
So today I plucked up the courage not only to list the one small thing I feel I can do while ill, but also to announce it on my personal Facebook page. The comment came in “don’t give up the day job”. Of course this was intended as good humour, but in reality, I was crushed. I wouldn’t expect that person to be artistically inclined or into what I do in anyway, and that sort of banter is completely in character, but I wanted to cry. In fact, this few minutes later, right now, I am biting back.
It was in that moment a confirmation of all that I had told myself was not true, I am a laughing stock. I have lived with the “knowledge” in reality I am a joke to people but I have isolated and insulated myself from having to face that. Every so often, though, there it is, confirmed.
I deleted it, but I wanted to say I know, you don’t have to tell me, it is okay, I am aware that I what I do is hilarious, that I am a joke. Sadly, I am not “special” in the right way that I don’t see it or realise it, I am actually aware of how I look to the world. I have what I have because it has been given to me, I didn’t earn it, everything I worked for failed. I know. I know it all, I just wanted to pretend it wasn’t true.
It won’t change much, I will carry on making things to sell in the hope that people will buy them and smile, as gifts, they will bring a bit of happiness to someone because I have to. I will know that I am a joke, I always have, I always did
(Just after writing this post I went back and deleted the entire Facebook post)