#TuesdayTales – Through A Lens

Silence was deafening to a lonely mind. For the first time in what felt like years, I had a night to myself. I heard the fuzz of speechless air, the whirring of the refrigerator and even ambient noise to entertain me this evening. No rustling of bushes holding photographers, no screaming paparazzi behind velvet ropes asking me to look in every direction. Just myself, completely alone.

I always felt as if I craved my own time, to just be alone an free of work, being able to feel content with a glass of aromatic red, tucked under a blanket and watching re-runs of nineties sitcoms.

Truth be told, I continuously felt at my most vulnerable and at the summit of my loneliness in a room filled with people.

Those people were not my friends, they were employed to be in my company, employed to fulfil every request I may have no matter how inane or beneath them it may be. I loathed the thought of utilising that power. The reason why I had even met those people in the first place was due to them being assigned to me.

Security, hair, make-up, stylists –you name it, I’d had it. It felt as if I wasn’t allowed to do anything for myself anymore.

I didn’t want pity; I chose this life. However, the clause of ‘you will lose all privacy and sense of yourself’ was clearly part of the contract I’d skim-read. Being surrounded by ‘yes men’ all day hadn’t been doing me any favours, either. I simply didn’t know who to trust anymore, and as for relationships far from business-like, forget it. I’d rather the column inches were saved for someone else, thanks.

What I missed most of all was genuine interaction. My memory couldn’t recall a time in which I was called for my time or a conversation, not a favour or money. My time appeared worth only something in return. I was worth being photographed with, worth roping into a relationship and giving my heart only for a story to be sold to the press.

Looking out of the window made my heart ache; viewing normal human interaction struck a warped jealousy within me. Adoration was overrated – the fame I had accrued over the years was a facet I now looked at incredibly negatively.

As for fans, I felt ever grateful for their love and positivity, but I couldn’t help but feel guilty as they approached me excitedly, wanting a picture and to talk about my latest project or interviews with smiling eyes. I happily obliged as I didn’t want to let them down; they didn’t need to see how unhappy I truly was. As for five minutes out of their day upon that initial encounter, I felt required to be the ‘public’ version of myself, the critically acclaimed actress, the joker on a nightly talk show – I didn’t want to show them the weak, recluse-in-training I felt myself flowering into.

To have people know my name and to have them feel as if they truly knew me was something that I still struggled to wrap my head around. I loathed being put on a pedestal to others who felt that I was above them in some distorted sense of a modern world. I wanted the golden plinth kicked from underneath me, giving my public a premier ticket to watch my seemingly preened and untouchable exterior shatter.

Being up here and looking down on the streets of civilians wasn’t the life for me anymore; I wanted to be walking among others, being part of society where I could weave through crowds unknown. I craved to be normal, to be treated as just another person; I yearned to be me again.

 

(Image via Google.)

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