#7 Perspective

Getting PerspectiveThis is part of my series of posts counting down to and through the Thanksgiving holidays and expressing my thankfulness for something I’ve received, experienced or participated in.

Perspective.

For most of my life I’ve tried to put myself in someone else’s shoes to perhaps understand what motivates them, makes them happy or makes them sad. I’ve also tried to understand why I see things as I do, why I believe the things I do, what makes me happy or sad. When I was in high school, I began to do rigorous self-examinations of my thoughts to the point of excruciating mental pain and maybe some of that was because I was deficient in some areas. Whatever the case, there was and still is an insatiable need in me to know the truth, to know reality. It is such a quest in my life that I’m more than willing to throw away a thought that doesn’t square with truth.

The obstacle is that I don’t always know the truth. I don’t always know who I am or why I think what I do. Oh, sure, I know some, and I do think there is a definitive truth because to me, truth is a person. But I don’t believe any of us can know all of Him or know it all (whatever that means) — at least not in a reasonable amount of time. Then again, maybe I’m wrong and we can. But today, I’m not completely knowledgeable of God or fully conversant in my identity — not fully aware of all that being someone who believes in Christ is or can be. And that’s just fine. It has me on a journey to find out, and I love the adventure.

It was always my nature to go out exploring as a child, and the Bible hero I identified with most closely was David. I used to feel guilty about all of that as if somehow it was wrong to want to find out about other worlds, but I’ve long since gotten over any guilt. I’ve long since come to peace with the part of my identity that wants to go exploring. And God gets credit for that peace. The only time I ever really felt guilty about it was when I listened to the world. When I’ve listened to reasons from others who didn’t think it made sense for me to do it.

I don’t want to denigrate being sensible. It has its place, but sometimes it can kill a person. “If there is no vision, the people perish.” Taken out of context? Probably, but the fundamental truth is there. So called “sensible” talk can kill a dream. And if someone cannot dream or aspire to go beyond themselves, what do they have? Certainly, this takes many forms. Sometimes going beyond oneself is to never leave a place, and the exploring occurs in their interaction with others and/or in their mind only. Some of the greatest writers never went anywhere of note. But that is not to say someone has to produce something for others to consume before it’s considered great.

I’m thankful I realize all of these things about exploration, but mostly that I’m free. “When the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I’m glad I’m aware of that at times. I’m glad that bitching about life is not my way of life. Yes, venting has its place. People get frustrated and need to talk, but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the continual chatter in the world that’s about all which doesn’t go well. At some point there are diminishing returns on it. And then you have to move on and do something productive for yourself if no one else, or this too will kill you. When is the point to move on reached? I can’t answer that for anyone else. I only know when I’ve reached it and oftentimes, it took Someone not of this world, Someone beyond myself, Someone with a larger perspective than mine to show me that life is not nearly as small as I can sometimes make it.

The Reality of Richard Armitage Rephrased

Esquire-Dec2013-3Despite how my post of the other day sounded, I believe Richard Armitage is an introvert, and in my opinion, most rabid fans are introverts as well. We love his ability to use his solitude to create these characters who touch us so deeply, and who make many of us get alone with ourselves and ask ourselves questions about why we may or may not do certain things in our lives. For me it was the creative urge which I had squelched for a long time.

But sadly there is confusion about the definition of introvert, and the Internet doesn’t help. Here’s what you get when you Google the word:

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This one little slice of data has the ability to create so many misunderstandings and should be a lesson that when the Internet is wrong, it can be really wrong.

So what is an introvert?

A good definition and a little history of personality theories can be found here.

Obviously the most significant misconception is that introverts are shy. I am an introvert, and I’m married to an introvert, yet it’s been a long time since anyone accused us of being shy. SO and I are often in social settings due to his profession. and when we’re in that setting, we can almost look like the quintessential extraverts because we aren’t shy. However, we both desperately need alone time. and this can often be mistaken for selfishness. Whatever someone wants to think, I cannot always be in the presence of people or even mostly in the presence of people and neither can SO. Some of our closest friends have shaken their heads at how we are about getting alone, which means not only removing ourselves from the stimulation of other people but sometimes from each other. This allows each of us to process life. I call it stepping out of the fray. Frankly, if we had not both been introverts, I don’t think our marriage would have survived.

Given all of that, how am I surmising Richard Armitage is an introvert? He’s told us he is. Maybe he hasn’t said those words (or maybe he has and I missed it), but he’s made it plain that he spends copious amounts of time reading and more important, processing. Then there are his latent writer tendencies with the back stories for his characters. Add to that his own admission of sequestering himself at times from his cast mates. He’s also said he hates things like the red capret, and yet when you meet him one-on-one, he’s very at ease and charming. Introverts can much more easily handle an intimate meeting than a big crowd, which means it’s better to meet him one-on-one. I’ve observed him both ways and much prefer the latter. I’m not sure that can be said for most actors. Once the mask is off and no words are written for them, it seems most are a little dull.

It should be noted that someone’s degree of introversion is on a continuum, so that we’re not all the same.

For further information and a celebration of introverts, a great Ted Talk from Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

note: when I was younger and aggressively trying to make a mark in my profession, I was given the Myers-Briggs test. Actually, it was administered twice over the course of my tenure with a particular company, and I was an ENTJ both times. Years later I took the test again and was an INTJ, which I believe is closer to my true personality.

edit: I was actually an ENTJ and then an ENTP years ago. I think I knew at the time that I needed to be an extravert to get ahead where I was working, but I was NEVER comfortable with that. And yes, I’m curious about what personality Richard Armitage may be. I can speculate, but obviously I can’t fully know.

note: if you like the photo above of Richard Armitage, then buy the individual issue of Esquire UK that has the original, or better yet, subscribe to the magazine.

Asking

[note: I’m going to attempt another blogging scheme. This time around is the April A to Z Blog Challenge. Since there are 30 days in April, there is a break every Sunday. We’ll see how far I make it.]

I’ve asked many questions as part of running this blog and have learned some fascinating facts. It’s been no hardship since I have always loved asking questions and wish I had asked even more questions in my lifetime and much sooner. One of my greatest regrets is not asking my father questions so that I could have come to a better understanding of who he was. He’s gone now and that opportunity has been supremely missed and missed because I had the attitude he had said quite enough to me about his thoughts. That’s when I saw him merely as a parent and not as another human being. As I write this, I have tears running down my face at how grieved I am about the loss of the fantastic thoughts he could have shared, and more important, about the fantastic human being I missed out on knowing to a richer level. I am not making that mistake with my mother!

As to making so many queries, it’s borne out of an insatiable need to understand so many things. Unfortunately, I feel compelled to qualify how I’m going about it, to make it clear that I fight the tendency we all can have of looking for particular answers. This is what lawyers do to get the upper hand. That’s not what I’m about. Oh, I admit to having a dominate personality at times, but my real obsession — the one that obliterates all others — is wanting to understand reality, and it has been my obsession as far back as I can remember having a thought. May I never lose the drive to know it no matter the ugly things it may reveal by which I don’t mean sordid details of someone’s private business. I’m sure some of you (no, make that all of you) have something intensely fascinating in your private life, but I do not want to pry.

However, there is a person in RA Universe, whom I want to ask questions and have asked some. I want to ask more! I’m fairly certain the person knows I feel this way. If not, then I haven’t said it enough. And if the person isn’t reading this, one of you knows whom I’m talking about, so will you tell the person I’m more or less asking again to have a chat.

Oh, you thought I was talking about Richard Armitage? No, it’s not him although I would love to ask him some questions. I’ve already asked him for an interview, and he said yes. :D The only problem is I don’t think he realized he was talking to one of his crazy fans when he agreed, and I didn’t have the heart to take him up on his kindness to me. So when it came clutch time, I just couldn’t reveal my insanity. I’m not that insane yet. I would love to be that insane. Oh what fun that would be. But I am not that insane today.

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And if I ever do interview Richard Armitage, I might just call it a day on this blog, which I’m not ready to do. However, I do have some great questions for him. Nothing inappropriate or inane despite my appearance here. Let’s just say I won’t be asking the usual (I wouldn’t do that to you. LOL!), and hopefully not the predictable either.

But back to who continually intrigues me. It’s a person who just when I think I’ve got them figured out, they do something that confounds me again. I will admit to being pretty average in my assessments, so maybe it doesn’t take much to confound me, but I don’t think this is just me. And I’m sitting here thinking about what they’ve done, chuckling to myself, and wondering when the next surprise is coming. Whatever happens, I want THE interview if there ever is an interview. Oh, it would be friendly, because you have to know I’m a fan of yours as well. Mostly, I wonder how people like you come to be and flourish. I am damn near dying to know this.

For the rest of you, please no guesses on who this is, because I’m never going to confirm it if you get lucky. :D

And a huge thank you to those of you who have submitted to questions. Some have been published, some have yet to be published or may never be — at your request. Whatever the case, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you.

That’s enough for now. More tomorrow when I of course come with the B word.

Robert Ascroft promo still courtesy of RichardArmitageNet’s gallery.

The Zeitgeist of Richard Armitage Universe

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We are not all the same and of course how Richard Armitage has affected each of us is not going to always be similar. So this series of posts “Why Richard?” is not designed to speak to every reaction but to perhaps capture some of the spirit of the RA Universe.

Some have been able to easily sum up the effect of the experience. They just nail it for themselves without seeming to meander around in their heads in an attempt to cover every little aspect. That’s not to say one way is better than another. I like meandering, and I’m going to keep at it. But I do marvel that it took another fan just a few months or less to conclude what took me from the beginning of 2008 and through most of 2009 to even come close to verbalizing (more on this later).

Remarks from the aptly named Armitage Besotted:


It’s been five months and counting since I first stumbled upon “North & South” and began my personal Armitage mania. (Definition of mania, per freedictionary.com: An excessively intense enthusiasm, interest, or desire; a craze.)

Why Richard?

Because in North & South he makes manifest the hopelessly romantic (by today’s cynical standards) notion that someone could notice you, “discover” you, choose you and decide to love you just for who you are, without you “going after him” at all. You just go about your business, and a gorgeous hunk finds you. In an age of “hooking up” and trying to divine if someone’s interested or “just not that into you,” who could resist this delicious fantasy?

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So it’s projection. Total projection.

And yet….

I find myself changing my behavior, thinking, “I could be a little more open, and maybe new, good things will come to me.” Or, “Instead of reading my book, I could strike up a conversation with the person next to me on the train about their book.” Or “Yessiree, I COULD post my thoughts on a blog, and see what kind of creative, funny new people I meet.”

Something that touches you enough to change your thoughts and behavior is called…art. And the person who creates art is…an artist. He’s an Artist, people. And he’s changing our lives.

I just love this write-up. It was like a breath of fresh air when I read it!

More coming up on people changing their thoughts and behaviors.

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet

I Really Did Have a Richard Armitage Dream

And now for something weird.

The other night I slept 16 hours when normally I sleep six at most. This may account for Richard showing up in my dreams for the first time.

I was sitting in the back of a large, black SUV and a man was sitting beside me. We were both dressed in black slacks and black turtle neck sweaters and talking about some project we were working on. No specifics on that; just that we were making preparations to continue with it. A few moments later someone walked up to my side of the vehicle, and I partially rolled down the window to see who it was. It was Richard Armitage, and he was also dressed all in black with some sort of black cap on his head. He peered into the window and said very slowly, “There you are.” Then he pulled a black ski mask over his face and just stared at me through the eye slits for an inordinately long time. Eventually I looked straight ahead and said, “You’re unnerving me.”

Then it was onto the next dream where I was a prisoner in a concentration camp and there was lice all around. I woke up with an itchy scalp.

Let the psychoanalysis begin. :D

Who Are You?

October 7, 2012

I was sitting here thinking I’m not quite sure where to put this post. Sometimes it seems this place is so full of snark that I’ve boxed myself into something and can’t get out of it. But that’s a lie. I’m not in a box and never have been. I’ve just believed at times I was. And I love snark. I love teasing. It’s stock and trade at my house, and I’m the least of the teasers there. But I can hold my own, and I’m glad. It’s made life so much more fun. Being able to laugh is a God send.

And if I had not been able to laugh for the last several years, I think I would have gone mad. Life can be rough and never turns out like we expect. I don’t know one person, not one, whose life has gone the way they planned. That sounds like a downer, but really, it’s not always a bad thing although it’s often an unnerving thing, and I’ve been unnerved plenty. Thankfully, I got early training in the unexpected, in being blindsided by what life can throw at us. Some of what I’ve been learning to write about has to do with all of the unexpected events that occurred to me as I was growing up. Trying to make sense of them and how they affected me.

One thing I’ve realized is how weird my childhood was by comparison to most others’. When I tell anyone even a little of what it was like, I can see their shock and sometimes pity at what they believe I endured, but I never really think of it that way. It’s taken me a long time to believe I endured anything, and I have never pitied myself and don’t relish anyone else’s pity. I just know I am what some people think of as damaged goods. But really we’re all damaged goods. My damage just seems more dramatic to some, and in a way, it’s a gift because it’s freed me. I’m not confined by nearly as much conventional wisdom as most people. My upbringing cut me loose almost from the beginning. The only real obstacle I had was in not realizing it. It used to really bother me that I wasn’t conventional and didn’t fit anywhere or with any group. I didn’t realize what a gift that is. To not fit in with a particular group leaves you free to fit in anywhere. But first you have to learn to live with being considered a weirdo. You have to embrace it. You have to embrace that gift. So anyone reading this who feels like you’re just out of step with the world, be glad. The world is often full of absurdity. You want to be in step with that?

And what brought this on? A video among other things. LOL! I can so relate to this:

What a little gem.

Should I bother with the proverbial Richard Armitage tie in or leave him alone for the evening? I think I’ll leave him be.

A Preface to My Comic-Con Experience

Before I tell you what happened at Comic-Con, I just want it clear that I was not planning on going. It was never a thought in my head. And when I’ve said I had no desire or plan to meet Richard Armitage, I have been serious. I love to make jokes about it certainly, and some of the pieces I’ve written, candidly, I’ve gone back to and laughed. Is it okay to admit I’ve laughed at some of my own stuff? I must sound arrogant, but oh well, I’m sure no matter what I do, someone is going to think poorly of me. The truth is that this blog started as a lark about an obscure English actor whom I never really thought would make it big, and therefore none but a very small number of fans would read it. (Sorry, Richard, I figured you were over the hill by Hollywood’s standards, but I was wrong, and I’m glad.)

My presence here was to have some laughs about this fangirl thing by casting myself as a nut, and to get out some thoughts about creativity and life. That more than a handful of people have read it was completely shocking to me, and my longtime readers know this is far from the first time I’ve said that. As for SO, he has given me good-natured hell about this place, and at first thought I was wasting my time when I “really should be writing! and not losing your story!” I understood that, but he didn’t understand that I had to get out of my comfort zone to reignite my creative thinking. And it’s been a blast. But never was it a real thought to communicate with Richard Armitage (the fake fan letters are a gag if some of you still don’t quite get it), send him gifts (never have) and certainly never to track him down (more on that later :D). Never going to stand at the stage door. Not happening, not part of who I am.

But I got invited to Comic-Con, and I really did want to go to help TORn and had no real expectation of meeting Richard Armitage at that madhouse let alone speaking to him. However, I am a person who likes to be prepared, so I figured if I went, I needed to be ready to talk to him or whomever if I got the chance. My friend, Heidi, who was a longtime AP reporter and now a freelance writer, explained how the process works with getting stories and asking interview questions. I loved listening to her, and thankfully, employed the techniques on the floor of the exhibit hall at Comic-Con with great success. The result of that will be coming up on TORn. And this was a labor of love. If I could do this sort of thing for a living, I would jump at the chance!

The only thing I will tell you today about my experience is I’ve learned a thing or two about being a Richard Armitage fangirl in public. I’m not sure when I’m going to post the experience, but it won’t be today as I’m traveling, and I doubt it’s going to be tomorrow since I’m whipped and need to do nothing for at least a day when I get back home. That won’t happen since I have a lot I normally do back home, but I’m going to try. Maybe I’ll get something up by Wednesday; just know I’ll try to get something up this week.

edit: I totally wimped out on this account. Not sure I’m ever going to tell it. Maybe a few years from now when it will be funnier to me.