As soon as I receive compliments for what I do differently than my Swedish friends, a distance is created between that person and me, for what I do and who I am in comparison to them. That distance also makes someone who could be my equal as a friend into a fan, sadly taking away the fun and play. And in this era of followers-culture with an even more pronounced need of fame for many, it has made me think of my own.
My Dad loved taking photos of me since the day I was born, some made into special portraits developed in his own temporary set up dark-room. And some soon became published whether I was horsebackriding or performing on stage with acting or dancing. I am even on the cover of his published dissertation.
At the age of 5, I was asked to give away flowers on stage when jazz-legends Stan Getz and Woody Herman both came to perform in the Swedish town of Lidköping we then lived in. I wore an orange dress with flowers on and a pretty bow in my hair. And I got to sit on a chair center-stage for his DaCapo. It felt so nice to feel the warmth of the spotlight and hear all the applause. I wanted that again.
After that as I grew up, I was often featured in the local newspapers and soon also got to publish my own columns and articles. I planned on becoming a newsreporter for TV, but was encouraged to become a copywriter in advertising instead to not have to make a profit on people’s traumas but rather be creative in a more positive and better paid way. So, I did.
And meanwhile I let dancing be my fuel, my secret passion and inspiration to write with flow. Until the mid 90’s when I stopped for 10 years. I shouldn’t have, just searched for another style or focused on showjazz.
I have been recognized by strangers on the bus several times over the years, more so after being on TV, so much it has become natural to be prepared to.
But with social media comes a certain secrecy, an unspoken assumption, that I don’t agree with. I am never only the person showing myself online, I’m a person posting things online that sometimes show parts of me.
Perhaps it’s a matter of different generations, or becoming too much stalked based on undiscussed assumptions. (The first time I became stalked by a Swedish man was when I was 17 for three years off and on, and now worse since 2009, besides by other women wannabes.) What always really matter is our literal lives, our live talks, not into a camera without answers, but always in meetings, a dialogue with mutual interest. And sadly this is what has become lost when the art of professional coaching has been put in the shade, while so called self-proclaimed, or simply by trend evolving, prophets aim to teach nothing and anything to receive applause.
Do I want to be followed? No! I do however want readers, comments, questions and discussions! Always feel free to share your opinion here. Am I someone’s fan? No, not at all. I simply neither have the interest, nor the money to.
How does someone then become my friend? By being reliable and showing respect for both me and yourself. The other day I asked someone here in Portugal about something and he simply answered that he doesn’t want to. What a relief to hear honesty! That was courageous by him. So, I can move on and ask someone else. Another person made me think about how a man “can’t” hug a woman unless they become friends first. It all depends on being clear about the purpose of meetings and getting to know someone.
We are all interdependent but nobody should have to always depend on another person. However, we need to be able to rely on others, especially authorities. And on our dancepartners. Can we?
Who do you follow, why and how?