But that’s not all we’re going to discuss today, friends—there’s much more than just that to talk about, especially as I spent all of last night getting existential.
Now, first, I’m going to say that I’ve been running into writer’s block in the extreme since my last entry. Yes, it’s only been two days, but considering the blazing pace I’d been setting, it’s more distressing for me to suddenly find myself unable to like what I’m writing than you would expect. Honestly, I mean…I have all these ambitious idea, but I’m worried once more that when I bring them to fruition, they’ll suck, or be hated. But whatever. I suppose I’ll just have to do what I’ve always done. Stick with it.
Anyways. I’ve been busy as heck since last Friday, too, so maybe that has something to do with it. Either way, I’m worried about it. Been going to friends houses all the time lately—I’m starting to think that that might be a mistake. It takes time away from my writing and my practice, so…I hate to say it, but it may turn out to be a better idea to just stay home. Especially once school starts. But I guess we’ll see.
Now, the real topic of today’s discussion. Why do I like being the center of attention? The answer isn’t really that simple, to be honest. A lot of people think ‘attention whores’ are people who just hate sharing the spotlight and being selfish, because nobody else deserves to be in the spotlight besides them. Now, being an Aries, I’m naturally inclined towards that kind of behavior. But I’ll expand on all this.
I like to be recognized. Practically worshipped, even. It’s easy to say that I’m an asshole straight off of that sentiment. After all, what kind of person goes through life thinking that being second is never good enough? Me, that’s who. Now, it doesn’t apply to everything—if I don’t like the thing in question, I’m inclined to believe that second-best is fine enough, school being a perfect example of that. Games being a perfect example of the latter.
Maybe I have my ambitions screwed up. But in the end, school to me has never been a competition. The only people who see it that way, in my eyes, were try-hards unable to find joy in anything besides letters and numbers. Ironic, in retrospect, and pointless. Mostly I thought that way because they were better than me.
And that is my curse. I am an ambitious person. I want it all. Hell, I want more than ‘all’. Always have, probably always will. Even without putting any effort into something, I shot for first and expected it like it was my birthright. Not getting first in literally everything, no matter how much I’d practiced (or not) was devastating to me. And everyone above me was obviously just a try-hard without a life besides that particular event. Bad attitude? You betcha. How I was, couldn’t exactly change it? Yep. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that there’s always someone out there who is better. Always someone with more time, more commitment, a better understanding of characters, more fluid writing, faster thumbs, a sharper brain…anything. I never could accept it as reality.
And that is why my philosophy developed into something sort of twisted, but something I accept. When I see other people being praised for their abilities, whether it’s writing (professionally or otherwise), and especially if I’m close to or within-reach of that person, I gun for them. I don’t feel good for them—I don’t say “Awesome work, dude.” I stay silent and think to myself “I want that praise. I want that constructive criticism.” When people have nothing more to say to me, when I’ve plateaued, I get scared. I worry I’ll -never- get better than I am. I push myself harder, faster, and to do more. I bust ass until I can receive new praise. New criticism. Being perfect has never been my quest—it’s always been attention.
But why? Why do I crave it so much? Because my own self-assessments are completely biased, not subjective. I cannot trust myself to know how I am. Because I love constructive crit as much as praise. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that people want me to improve, and that they are willing to help me. Nothing makes me happier than people saying I am good. The best, even if I know it’s not true. Having eyes on me is what I love most.
I’ll give a few examples. When I was acting in high school, we’d get some advice, some critiques, etc, at the end of each practice session. I would eagerly await my turn, but usually receive little beyond “project more”. That was upsetting. And then, when my other actors would receive heaping praise -and- heaping criticism, I grew jealous. I doubled my work, tried to make every little thing about my performances perfect, sweating and straining onstage and burning out my brain memorizing both my lines and everyone else’s. I had to be the best. The one with the most praise, the one with all the eyes on them. Even when the others would get pissed at me for making them look silly by memorizing their lines, I was happy, because they knew that I knew them. Every inch of me was devoted to beating them, and when I didn’t, it was time to do even better than the best. And at One-Act, that didn’t end up mattering, because I wasn’t the one who got rewarded. And when we lost, we were all hit hard, but I spiraled.
Another example is Guitar Hero/Rock Band. I played that set of games into the ground, until they got shitty around RB3. When my sister was the first person to move up to Medium on GH2, I followed suit, even if I clearly wasn’t ready. Then I perfected that and moved to Hard, to much praise. But when the praise dried up, I continued on to Expert—I got a strained finger at one point because of that. When that praise finally dried up, I wanted more, and started playing the drums. Did the same thing there, ended up better at the drums than guitar. When that stopped being impressive, I sang. Never made it to Expert there, but you get the point. When outdoing myself in one aspect wasn’t good enough anymore, I moved on. I always stayed hungry.
And to this day, I’m hungry. But trying to be the best at everything I do is catching up with me, emotionally for the most part. I try to improve Strange Bedfellows, go super-ambitious with it, and it doesn’t turn out like I expected. I go online in Street Fighter, and I don’t do as well as I expected. Same with LoL. Without immediate perfection, the hunger only grows until I’m consumed by it, and I feel like I’m reaching a nexus point with it. It’s these points I wonder if doing well is worth the internal stress, but it’s not easy to change. I’ve always been ambitious, and I likely will be until I die. When I do well in something once, I want every single time after that to do be perfect. There’s a joke among me and my friends that I can’t hit a stationary target because, through playing shooters so much, I have a tendency to automatically compensate for movement, even if it’s not there.
This, of course, leads to nastiness. Like yelling at my friends when they beat me, even if it’s because I’m playing a garbage character or someone I’m not good with—I’m supposed to be the “good” one, and losing at all gets so deep under my skin it may as well run through my blood. But it also breeds optimism, and a burning drive to succeed. Calling myself hot-blooded seems wrong, but it’s right. I burn with forward-thinking desire, and will do anything (aside from cheating) to reach that point. Even if I’m notorious for abandoning projects that don’t yield immediate results.
And just so you don’t end this article thinking I’m an asshole, I’m also very loyal, the ‘problem-solver’ of the group, and generally an energetic and fun person to be around, not to mention challenging. There are plenty of positives about me! I would hate for anyone to get the wrong impression.
So there you have it! A deep exploration of my desire to win, my desire to be the best, something which is a core aspect of my personality, much to the chagrin of my less-competitive and praise-hungry friends. I have tried all my life to find someone like myself, but to no avail. No one else seems to think like I do or understand the why of my personality.
So, in a nutshell, since this was really long and I’m sure some of you will TL;DR your way through it, the point of this article was: I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me. Sort of. I want you to think I’m nice XD.