I had two good things happen to me yesterday, neither of which had to do with writing. One was an invitation to a focus group that resulted from a leadership class I took nine years ago, and one was a request to do moulage for the city of Albany, MO’s high school docudrama (think staged car wreck with all the resultant carnage). Both requests made me feel wanted and worthwhile, and I marveled at how much better I felt at the meeting I ran for the Human Services committee for my department at school.
Being in demand vs being lauded
All this time, I thought that what I wanted was recognition, what I called “cookies” in my mind. But I realize I feel ambivalent about cookies, because they too often result from the rewarder’s motives rather than intrinsic work. I received a National Merit Scholarship Award from AT&T in 1981, and I realized quickly the banquet was more about AT&T than about my award. Several more situations like that make me feel ambivalent about cookies.
Being in demand, however, says “We called you because you’re the local expert.” (Or perhaps the cheapest, but I know my reputation for doing moulage). I enjoy sharing my expertise and getting praise for it. I enjoy showing my talent off.
It feels especially good that I get this attention when I’m worried about mood swings coming up on the 10th anniversary of my hospitalization. It reminds me that there’s more to me than the depression.
It feels fantastic.