Today (and since it’s 11:31 pm as I write this, it is still today) I gave the first interview of my life.
There may have been a time when I considered myself a nobody. That time is past. I am certainly somebody. And I am certainly someone to be considered. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.
I was subjected to the kind of abuse that basically debases. The kind that makes a person feel less like a person, the kind that makes someone question their worth, the kind that makes someone (a child) feel as if they are worth nothing, and can never be anything but nothing.
Today, I granted an interview with a gentleman who has a fairly distinguished career in journalism. This interview came about out of my own need for self-promotion. I’ve written a book, a novel, my first. The world of publication, at least in my specific genre, lesbian fiction, means I am basically responsible for my own marketing, promotion, what have you. The reason for this decided need for self-promotion is that funding is limited, and my publisher cannot foot the bill for all that is involved for promoting my book as perhaps it should (or could) be.
I was never very good at self-promotion. Certainly not when I was younger. Never then. I knew only when I was younger that the less attention I drew to myself, the better. I was very good at blending in, at not drawing attention to myself. Yet, if memory serves, the more I tried to not draw attention to myself, the more I stood out. I cannot comment on this. I knew nothing about it. I was only trying to get by, because it was safer to stay quiet, to stay within the small world I knew was safe, and not step outside the lines, if you will.
Today, a part of my world collapsed.
Today, I was interviewed for the first time in my life. Today, for the first time in my life, I could have, had I chosen, spoken freely of many things. But today, I was only being interviewed because of my book. I wrote a book. A novel. I sought out the interviewer, and the questions that were asked, I chose to either answer, or not.
There is an astonishing amount of power in having the choice to answer questions as you choose.
I was asked questions today that I could have answered. Instead I chose not to, or deflected them.
I realized I owned the skill of deflection. That is rather heady.
I was asked questions that I had considered being asked prior to. I’m a thoughtful person, and I thought carefully before answering some of those questions. Some I answered, some I did not.
I was complimented with, “I wouldn’t think this is your first interview. You’re very thoughtful, and confident.” Ah, yes, that.
I don’t talk about myself easily. It’s taken a long time to get to know myself. Most of what most people know of me is not precisely what I am. I am very good at giving what I think you need to know, without giving you what you think you know. Most people think they know more of me than they do. Frankly, I’m proud of that.
Yet today, I felt I wanted to just…spill the beans. Just let it all out. Things I’ve kept to myself, that I should tell, and never have.
I didn’t. Obviously. You still don’t get to know what I refuse to let you know.
And I have no idea how the interview will read. What will be included. This drives me absolutely nuts. I am, admittedly, a bit of a control freak. Much less than I used to be. But still, I am what I am.
I loved today’s interview. I loved answering the questions. I’ve never refused to answer questions. If you ask me, I will answer. The thing is, most people don’t ask. And so, I don’t answer. But the not asking drives me nuts. People are such cowards, in their refusal to ask.
My sweetie has advised me, in this new world I find myself in, being a writer, promoting my work, that I must not knock myself down, that there will be enough people wanting to do that, I must not do it first. I get that, I do. But since I know myself, and I was knocked down from the time I was a child, I’ve got the hang of it, and you know what? Go ahead. Try it. See if you can knock me down any further than I already have been.
You know what? You can’t even come close.
So what I give you, you’re going to have to be happy with. If someone tells you something about me, you can believe them, or you can believe me. But I will give you what I can, and you can believe it, or not. And if I give you something of myself, you can bet I struggled with it, and so it’s precious.
It’s up to you how to deal with that. It’s certainly not up to me.
I’m still in the process of giving you something of myself.
And that could take years.