Saturday, January 23, 2010

Identity & Fame

I should be editing videos but I just got home from Border's and felt compelled to write. I am, and always have been, for some reason, someone who people just talk to randomly. They'll tell me their life stories or share with me what they're going through. True, at times I ask (like in some of my videos) because I am very interested in human beings, the mind, how it operates and individual experiences. But what I'm addressing are moreso completely random interactions whether at a bus stop, a store, a plane - wherever. The interactions always take place with complete strangers who will jsut start talking to me. Perhaps because I rarely have a real sense of time, and an interest in people, I always listen and engage the person.

I was looking for a new tiny notepad to carry with me and this woman asked if I had good eyesight, and could I help here determine the price of an item. I did and she responded by stating that it was so cute but not something she needed. I agreed and she helped to bring me back to the realization that I have 3 tiny notepads and don't need another. I commented that she was right and too many people fill their lives with "things". She told me to count my pennies because they add up. I again, agreed and shared that I was currently in the midst of cleansing process and in the past year had already gotten rid of at least 15 bags of clothes and "things" to goodwill.

She started telling me how goodwill is a horrible organization, extremely overpriced and is no good to people like her. I explained that to my knowledge, while she may view items as being overpriced, I was under the assumption that all "profit" made was used to help people - how could that be bad?

I won't continue the conversation but when I mentioned that when getting rid of old coats and such, my mom and I give them to people on the street rather than Goodwill. She then showed me her tattered and worn jacket beneath another thin jacket. It was only then that I noticed the laundry cart behind her filled to the brim with god knows what and covered with garbage bags to protect it from getting wet. I hadn't realized she was homeless. I engaged in conversation with her for nearly an hour but I mainly just listened. She expressed how oddly enough she used to be a very compassionate person but since becoming down on her luck, she had no sympathy for anyone anymore. She realized hot selfish people were, how those around her were addicted to drugs and took advantage of people (including her) regardless of her attempts to help them. She explained that the hospitals didn't help her, only "illegals", that there were all these programs to help drug addicts and help them get off the streets, but none for an old retired teacher. She told me story after story about how she had let one woman borrow her fleece because the woman had been freezing, yet the woman stole it from her. How another had praised her for actually caring about them, only to then later throw up on the bench that everyone knows she sleeps on. How she tried and tried to help people but always got the short end of the stick.

At some point I asked where she had taught. She looked uncomfortable and told me she had created a school for her son because he was extremely gifted. I asked how many students, what grades she taught etc and she became increasingly uncomfortable and I let it drop. Over the course of the conversation I made only a few remarks but at the end she thanked me for listening and for the food bank information I had given her and told me I was very insightful for my age.

I walked away from the conversation with this clear understanding of just how lost some people are. How out of touch they are with themselves and their inner light and how they cling to identities because of the lack of consciousness. I still have my moments of ego driven rage - don't get me wrong, it's a process. But this woman was clinging an identity of helping people. She created and was clinging to her identity of being a teacher. When I asked more questions about that, I mentioned she got uncomfortable. She did so because I don't believe she was really a "teacher" the way we think of them - in a school teaching students. So I shook her identity. She couldn't justify it because she wasn't confident in her perception of herself as a teacher. She helps people to get back appreciation for her deeds. She stated so herself. True, everyone wants validation and appreciation. Well, almost everyone. When you truly appreciate yourself, there is no need, no ego driven desire to be appreciated by any other being. You simply exist at peace with yourself.

This video kindddd of relates, though not really. But it's a really good video. It moreso relates to the contagiousness I talked about in an earlier post.

So then I get home. My mom asks what books I bought. One is a dictionary of all ingredients used in cosmetics - their purpose, where they come from etc. From there my mom tells me "I don't know why you feel the need to share so many personal details about your life. You blog about your sexuality and religion (she obviously saw my personal channel) and that's not going to help you get famous. If anything it will hurt you. Look at any actress or comedian - they don't share their sexuality or personal details about their life until after they're famous." I literally laughed. Why? Because I never said I wanted to be "famous" and I don't know where she got that idea. Yes, one day it'd be nice to have a cover of Vogue (me having done the makeup of course) but I hardly connect that with wanting fame. If anything I believe Youtube has allowed me to connect with a greater amount of people, but from what most people have told me, they like my videos because I'm not shoving products down peoples throats and I'm not concealing who I am, projecting this false persona. Again, my mom disagreed and stated that in order to try to "be someone" often times that's what you have to do. "But I'm not trying to be "someone". I'm just being myself." And I left it at that.

I had a conversation with Prasand awhile back about people who are in the "spotlight" and later read "The Winner Stands Alone" by Paulo Coelho. It is my belief and opinion that people who seek fame are driven by the ego, the need for attention and validation. Then there are those who in my opinion, though may be considered A list, supersede the list. These are people who seem to just stumble upon fame - they aren't seeking it out, it just kind of happens. Not all A list celebrities are included in what I'll call the A+ list for now. But those in the A+ list are, I believe, so much more in the spotlight because their presence and actions are meant to be a sort of example for others. Whether people love them or hate them, there's something to be said for these people.

For example...I'm sure anyone reading this is thinking "Oprah!" - yes, I personally include her in the A+ list She has helped millions of people and you can tell does so because she wants to, not to market herself as someone doing good for humanity. But she's too easy. Angelina Jolie is a perfect example. The world at large was in awe of her beauty yet shocked by vials of blood she and Billy Bob wore around their necks. They were disgusted by her affection towards her brother and people took sides and judged her in regards to the Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston ordeal. However, she is someone who has always lived her life doing as she wanted, saying what she wanted, being herself, despite critics. She carries with her this incredible almost mystifying energy. As a single woman, she adopted her first child and proceeded to do countless amounts of charity work in other countries. Because it was something she felt she needed to do and wanted to do. It wasn't a one time deal; "let's go entertain the troops in Iraq" and market this image of helping people while being pro-american. I'm not putting down people that have done that. Helping others is always a good thing, whether it's to boost your own image or not, the outcome is the same. But there's just something different about doing something purely from your
heart. Ashton Kutcher is another example IMO. I already touched on lady gaga, who I believe is another.

I could go on and on but fame is a funny thing. If you seek it out, and one only does so from an ego driven place, it will break you over and over again until you're honest with yourself. Which is definitely a good thing, but as a society we put celebrities in general on pedestals. And we become obsessed with their "scandals". People tend to apply this god(dess) like complex to them, when in reality they're simply human. And I believe if more were honest and open, whether in interviews, or simply in everyday life, there would be less "scandals" as more people would see them clearly for who they are and an example of "live your life openly and be true to your inner self" would be spread more readily. I somewhat lost my train of thought so I'll end this, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. :)


  1. So true. I don't understand people who run after fame because nothing good comes out of it in the end..

  2. well, I'm not sure agree with that statement @musicalhouses. I think that because of being in the spotlight and being "judged" by people on a larger scale and subjected to negative comments, their egos can be destroyed that much easier than an "average" person. I only say "can be", because it doesn't always happen. Many I'm sure get depressed from the constant judgement and continue to strive over and over to please the public, so they may be admired. But that's what I meant by they're doing it for the wrong reasons. When the ego is destroyed, a person doesnt seek fame, doesn't need admiration and validation from fans or the media. They of course will still be judged by the public - both Angelina and Oprah have had "scandals" associated with them. But I think they affect people on a grander scale because they are above the negativity. We live in an extremely unconcious world. Nearly everything is ego driven. That said, there will always (well hopefully not always but...) be people who thrive on negativity because a person who is not driven by their ego is seen as threat, because they are truly invincible. Without an ego, no one can truly "hurt" them.

    But I do believe it can be a good thing for the individual if they are at a point where they are ready to allow their ego to be destroyed. Because only then, can they truly live a peaceful life in conjunction with really affecting the masses in a "positive" way.

  3. What struck me the most about your conversation with that lady, was how she seems to link compassion with luck.. "she used to be a very compassionate person but since becoming down on her luck, she had no sympathy for anyone anymore". It is such an easy and "human" response to what we believe is fate or destiny, giving and receiving. If luck turns on me I am going to turn on life. It doesn't get more destructive than that. I know it is easy for me to say not knowing her or her circumstances, but I know me.. and how often I find myself on the verge of walking into that same tit for tat-trap.

  4. I love "Validation." You may also like "Rent-A-Person" by the same director. Also a great message.

  5. Have you read Eat Pray Love By Elizabeth Gilbert? I think you may enjoy it.

  6. Also love "Validation". Thanks for posting it. Really enjoy TJ Thyne as Hodgins on Bones. It's great to see him in such a superb short. I also enjoy watching you on Youtube. So far it's mostly been the makeup channel... but lately I've read some more personal stuff and I admire your perspective. I especially appreciate the time you take to render both your art and insights up for such public consumption=)

  7. I love this, because I was hanging out with an actor in Hollywood the other day, and we talked along just these lines. He was feelong pressured and frustrated. He's done a lot of movies and has a lot of talent, but then at some point his agent started telling him he needed classes. The classes are making him insecure in his natural ability, as he keeps second guessing his process. This made me so frustrated for him! So I encouraged him to be himself. Who cares what his agent thinks, and what the teacher thinks! It's HIS life. And twenty years down the road, NO ONE will care about this. But it will still be his life he's living. Don't chase fame for fame's sake, or money for money's sake. Pursue what you love for your OWN sake ... because it makes you happy, because you want to. If you chase something outside of yourself, then you may lose yourseslf in the process of trying to gain it. But it you pursue something INSIDE yourself, then you can carry that around with you wherever you go. It was a good talk. So I love that you're touching on that same thing here.I too, agree, that there is something truly admirable to people being true to themselves and not living or performing for anyone but their own audience of one. Because at the end of the day, if they're happy with themselves, than who cares if anyone else is? But people will most likely love that intrinsic happiness and gravitate toward them. That's the theory, anyway. We'll see if it works in my case. :)

  8. "fame is a funny thing. If you seek it out, and one only does so from an ego driven place, it will break you over and over again until you're honest with yourself."

    Anything worth doing will break you over and over. Chasing your dream, chasing your goal, even just staying still and looking for the light within. If life doesn't hurt, you're doing it wrong.