Seriously?

An example of a time I wanted to be taken seriously

I am quite confident that I don’t take myself too seriously. As I go about my life I literally police myself about it. Recently though, I’ve worried that I try too hard not to take myself seriously. Perhaps I should start, because if I don’t, who will. It’s possibly a symptom of what we in Ireland consider a very Irish mentality. We don’t like to make it seem like we’re anything out of the ordinary. We would like to make it seem that what we do or what we have achieved is just a trifle, that it was nothing. And if anyone acts like they worked hard for what they have, we consider them to be snobs and tend to be suspicious of them.

“Ireland is a nation of begrudgers,” is a phrase that is tossed around quite freely here. And it’s true. And I often worry that if I were to just explode my sense of containment, to say the really arty, stupid things that come into my head, people would think that I’m assuming another personality and doing it for attention. The reason I’ve been thinking about it more recently is because I want to be an artist. There is, obviously, a type of artist that is very coy and cunning about everything that they say. I would at least enjoy a period of unpoliced freedom to say and create whatever I like.

I’m always drawn to song-writers who don’t follow the rules. Marina and the Diamonds, Regina Spektor, Elbow, Florence and the Machine, Lily Allen. In art class at school, I used to detest when I was making something I was excited about and my teacher would tell me how to fix it and what I shouldn’t do. It’s that age-old argument of “What is art?” At that point I just wanted the freedom to explore my abilities and what worked and what didn’t.

That’s what I want now. I’m writing all these slightly absurd lyrics. (One song is actually inspired by the Absurdest play “The Sandbox” by Albee.) And songs about the change that has happened, the way I understand my brain, the people I know and how I feel about what’s occurring (<—pop reference!) Even though the speed at which I’m turning out complete songs isn’t what I’d hoped, I’m still getting into the lyrics which I always found the hardest part.

In the end, if I start Tweeting or blogging completely teenage things and just seeming a bit pretentious, please don’t hate me. I probably won’t even get past my self-preservation reflex anyway, but I thought I’d just jot it down… in case.

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One thought on “Seriously?

  1. I really feel like I understand this dilemma. Up until I moved to Cork back in 2006, I totally policed everything I used to say and do, but with the new location I decided what the heck I'd be me in my raw, unsensored form. Of course there were issued that errupted from this but I am glad to say I am happier with myself and the people that I have around me accept/expect it, not just tolerate it or anything like that. Now I feel like I can say I am brilliant if I think I am or need to think I am to undertake a task.Sorry if that doesn't totally make sense, but I hope my point comes across: Be who you want to be, your the designer of your own life, ignore the critics, everyone knows they are talking out of their rear-ends.

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