This is something you've probably never known about me; it's not exactly something I'm comfortable talking about. But nonetheless, it needs to be said...
For as long as I can remember, I have carried the immense weight of performance. It sounds silly, like something you'd go watch in a theater, but I can't think of a better way to describe it.
And here is where it begins. My character was born sometime in 1999, where I was assigned the role of middle child. Not the best position, middle children have a tendency to be easily forgotten and sometimes under appreciated, but nonetheless, I was excited to have a role in the play about your children. I did everything my role required of me, performing to the best of my abilities in every task I was assigned. But my performance never seemed to impress the audience nearly as much as the other characters' did. It didn't matter whether I was more studious, or whether I played three different sports, nothing I did really seemed to captivate your attention. I did not realize going into this that the character I was designated to...was the outcast.
Where my oldest sister was assigned to play the role of the softball pitcher, I was assigned to be the soccer, track, and cross country runner. I thought that the combination of three different sports would impress you, but you always preferred to watch my sister's performances over mine because she was following in your footsteps. I can't even begin to tell you how many nights the immense weight of this burden kept me up, wishing I could have been assigned a different character, one that you could relate to better and that wasn't so stubborn in her ways and didn't constantly have an opinion that challenged yours. But I think what I really wanted was to stop acting.
I want to be real with you, not be an assigned role, and you, the audience. Just a mother and her daughter. It hurt whenever I noticed your presence was absent from the stadium seats because all I've ever wanted to do is impress you. It was irritating when we argued, having differing opinions, because I wanted to show you that I was maturing and developing a mind of my own. It was irksome when you tried to change me because I wanted to show you that I was independent and could figure things out for myself.
Now, I recognize that some of my actions were done to smite you, and I'm sorry for that. But, it was only because I was in pain from all the years I felt ignored. I want to make amends, and I hope you can learn to appreciate my performance.
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OMH Writer's Workshop participants.