Friday, October 16, 2015

an absolute nobody

There's a quote by J. D. Salinger that I *heart* and it goes like this:

I'm sick of not having the courage to be 
an absolute nobody.

At first glance, this might feel like a negative. The idea of being a nobody seems like a bad thing. Aren't we all more? A child. A parent. A loved one. A someone.

But for me, this quote speaks to that inane human need we all have to be somebody - not just to the ones we love but to the world at large. We want to seem bigger and better than our circumstances: to hang out with the popular people, to be apart of the in crowd, to put our mark on the world. All these desires persist throughout our lives. They drive us to want to be bigger and brighter and better. And that's not a bad thing. But what if ...

... I was just me?

Me: the girl with no connections. Me: the girl without an important last name. Me: the girl without the fancy degree. Me: the girl with pimples and dandruff and hairy legs. Me: plain and simple.

It's hard when we're surrounded by the importance of other people. The places they go. The things they get. The people they know. With social media, we are bombarded with how special they are and how unimportant we are in the grand scheme of things.

But what Salinger is suggesting is revolutionary. A complete departure from the social norm. The idea of being sick of trying to one up everyone else. The idea of accepting that we're just us and just us is pretty freaking swell. 

Just me with my no connections is good. Just me without a fancy degree is worthy. Just me - pimples and all - is just right. And I'm making my mark, but in smaller ways. Little ways you can't always see. Tiny ways that appear to mean nothing. Unknown ways that are irreplaceable. 

It's hard not to compare ourselves to others. It's hard not to want what we don't have. It's human to feel jealous and bitter and compare our lowly status ...

... which makes embracing it courageous.

To have the courage to say, I'm a nobody. To embrace the extraordinary in the ordinary and find peace and contentment. That's what Salinger is talking about.

And can you imagine 
all the things we could get done
 if we stopped trying to be somebody
 and focused on being the best nobody
 the world has ever known?

13 comments:

  1. You are the loveliest nobody I know, Sunshine!! Let us be nobodies together, wearing rainbow toe socks and eating Captain Crunch right out of the darn box!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I adore you SO SO much it hurts. Now, I'm gonna cry into my coffee cup and just feel so stinking blessed to have you as my friend. VIVA LOS RAINBOW TOE SOCKS & EATING OUT OF THE MUTHA SCOTCHIN BOX.

      Delete
  2. This is a great post my friend and something I think we need to remind ourselves of often! I am more confident and yet more self-conscious at 30-something than I ever was as a teen, and it's all because of social media. I know to say that sounds contradictory but I have finally grown into the person I am meant to be. I have accepted that there are certain things that I can't change, that I shouldn't need to change but in spite of that I worry way more than I should about what others will think of me; how I will be perceived.

    As much as I love being connected to the world, we expose ourselves so much more in doing so and that in turn leads to feeling unimpressive and feeling judged! So many people make their lives seem so much prettier, cooler, more glamorous online that it's easy to forget they're probably all just like us...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry when you hit the middle of 40-something and are facing 50, that self-conscious starts to wane as you think *bleep* I need to do all the things I haven't yet done!

      Delete
    2. Yes. Yes. And YES too all of this!

      Delete
    3. @Miranda -- Have I told you lately that I love you?

      Delete
    4. *blush* in fact you have, you lovely thing you! xxx

      Delete
  3. All the What Ifs! LOL

    Social media and all this 'connectedness' although it has it's pros, it has its cons too. One of them being is we all start looking at each others lives and think the grass is greener, but it is a persona, nothing else, a mask, the best bits of ourselves, if you will. I remind myself of this daily when I feel I have missed something online - and that is a daily event for me, as so many of my friends are in a different time zone (yes, I'm looking at you kid), and I see all these posts and everyone but me has seen it (a bit like just noticing your post on FB, which is 2hrs old and I feel like the last to see - but then I smile to myself cuz I saw it on twitter and you showed me personally *buffs fingers nails on top*) - I digress, it is a mirage, remember that, and remind yourself of that every day. Remind yourself of all you do have, and that actually what you have is pretty cool.

    A friend of mine used to call it Elephant's Tails. While you are looking at, and holding the tail of the one in front of you, someone is holding your tail behind you, and looking at you.

    *smooshes*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfect analogy is perfect! =)
      *HUGS*!

      Delete
  4. Sometimes you can't be a nobody, because...like, when your name came up on my feed for this post, I smiled. I smiled brightly, a broad smile that lit up my face...because that's what your name does, it brightens my day! You make me feel better! (Same reaction as Miranda, but you should know how you affect us! <3 )

    But, you're right, we see illusions of 'somebodies' everywhere, especially social media, when we're all lovely little nobodies, just trying to brighten someone's day.

    I hope that sounds right...I like being nobody, I like being invisible, but I love the people for whom I'm not a nobody <3 Let's just be ourselves, you and I, and everyone we love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make me smile too. And I love being nobodies together. This all makes perfect sense to me. =)

      Delete
  5. Are you nobody? I'm nobody, too! *smooches*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you nobody, too?
      Then there's a pair of us—don't tell! ;)

      Delete

Hey, you. Yeah, you. You know you've got something to say. I'd love to know what it is. So just type in the little white box and let's talk. Don't be shy. I swear I don't bite.