Monday, January 31, 2005

Confession of a Fat, Selfish American

The following is my response to a friend's email. Scott Dvorak sent me some very insightful comments about my last blog posting and I thank him for it.


I'm honored that you have been reading my blog. Thanks. I think your analysis of my last post is very insightful. My immediate response to your final question is that, you're right, I threw myself into the Kerry campaign for very personal reasons that had little to do with the man or the platform. I don't know if you remember, but I started out with the Kucinich campaign and I did that out of simple boredom and desire to connect with others. After my boredom was gone and I felt connected to others, I stayed with the momentum under the guise of concerned left-wing citizen who cares deeply about her country and the world. But do I? I don't know.

I'm extremely self-absorbed. I inherited depression and low self-esteem. The things I'm most interested in are making music and having relationships with others (including friendships, alliances, etc.). I'm often very introverted and inwardly focused and my main response to life in general is to feel afraid. These conditions don't make for a very giving, altruistic person. I mostly notice what's in front of me (like most people, I guess) and have a hard time conceptualizing my connection to others in other parts of the world, country or city. I'm also easily overwhelmed and emotional, so I have a low tolerance for thinking about people suffering. I'd rather just focus on me and I believe it's appropriate to just focus on me since my life has been mostly unhappy, but I deserve to be happy. Happiness takes a lot of work for me.

In search of happiness, I threw fundraising parties and joined others in Wisconsin. I loved the social aspect of campaigning, that's what I was committed to. I was 100 per cent devoted to Kerry because working for Kerry meant having more people in my life. I like having more people in my life. The more the better.

Who are the truly altruistic people who give their energy and focus to causes that might never directly affect them? Who are the animal rights activists, the grassroots politicians, the bake sale leaders, the community mobilizers? What are they made of? Whatever it is, I don't think I have it. I want to keep my precious little flashes of contentment to myself. Oh, and the audience/readership.


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