Someone at work informed me that he had been asked, “So, is Rusty just quiet? He never seems to talk.”
It reminded me of something I realized recently when I was strolling through old photos on Facebook… the incredible difference in my body language based on where I am standing.
This is me in most of my life…
Do you notice the body language? Shoulders dropped, slouching. Part of that comes from getting tall early… I was much taller than all my friends until I was 14 or 15. Part of it comes from a self-confidence deficit. Part of it from… well, you could probably do a full analysis of my life and discover why someone as physically large as I am would try to make himself physically small so often in his life.
Even in a group…
Group of people… I am on the outside. This is self-imposed. I try to stay out of the way. That is just my natural inclination.
At least it was.
Nine years ago, I discovered slam and spoken word. Now this is what I look like on stage…
On stage I am big. Larger than life and just as pretty. 🙂
On stage I feel like I am in control. I feel like I belong.
These are things that do not often come into play when I am off stage.
So, what should I learn from that? Should I learn that I can adopt this persona that allows me to command attention? That I can be the confident person that I ‘play on tv’?
Well, it COULD be the lesson I learn, but I prefer this one.
There is nothing wrong with that other person. There is nothing wrong with being someone who feels less comfortable in large groups and really values alone time. There is nothing wrong with being the person who goes back to his hotel room during CFSW in order to charge his own batteries.
And there is especially nothing wrong with a person who realizes that having an audience (whether on stage or, to a lesser extent, through these blogs etc.) is a privilege and stepping aside to avoid taking ALL the space can be a worthwhile cause.
Be who you are. Be who you want to be.
Don’t be who they want just because they want it… or because it is easier.