Ode to the Circus Clown

I sometimes look through older blog posts of mine – not so much from this blog, as it is still relatively young, but from my previous blogs. It’s funny to see how you thought and felt about a certain issue at a certain point in time and how your views have changed in the meantime. Quite often, I feel pretty embarrassed. I look at some of the claims I made in the past and cringe at the sloppy development of my argument or their sheer naivety.

At the same time, though, I realize it is a process. You go through certain phases to eventually arrive at your current set of convictions and beliefs, which in turn functions as a basis for further exploration. So naturally, some of the things I have recently written about will make me cringe again in the future, even though I can’t quite see that yet.

What adds to that feeling of embarrassment is that other people, people who know me, will occasionally feel embarrassed for me too; especially now that I am blogging under my real name. It might not even be the stuff I feel embarrassed about – e.g. many readers are most put off by my obsession with daily habits, something I completely stand by.

But since we are all the narcissistic center of our own universe, and since I am no different, I sometimes worry about this. What will people who believed I am smart think when they read my blog? Will they laugh? Probably. What will people who just met me and Google me think? Will they think I’m a weirdo? Also likely.

Like most people who in some way put themselves out there and risk ridicule, I have my strategies of dealing with that fear. I try to tell myself that it is better to try and fail than to just be a bystander. I look at how other people are crippled by social expectations and yet again decide this is not for me. I remind myself how the critic in his impotence to create is really not to be envied (bringing out the big guns now…).

All of these are good and true, but still, I sometimes feel like a circus clown who chose the wrong profession.

However, there is ONE strategy, one way of convincing myself to put on the clown shoes again, which never fails:

In about 50 years from now, none of this will matter.

In about 50 years from now, I will either be dead or soon to be. Most people who know me will also be dead or will soon be. Add another 10-20 years, and you will mostly be forgotten. I mean, even if you have children who still maintain your memory for a while, to most of the world it will be like you never existed. You came, you went, and in the grand scheme of things, hardly anyone even noticed.

What sounds so bleak and depressing at first contains a silver lining, though. If what I said is true, the only correct consequence is to completely dispose of social expectations – NOW. As we just saw, as heavy and oppressing as these expectations might seem, they don’t matter AT ALL in the long run. Not even a tiny bit.

So here’s to being a clown. Let’s compare notes in 50 years from now.

PS: I just reread this post and already feel embarrassed… In my defense, I had a pretty heavy meal before I wrote this and someone was tickling my ear.