Recently, I saved all my poetry that I could find in PDF format.... I've accumulated, over the last 5 years, about 200 pages worth of poetry. Some of it is okay, some of it is crap, and others are just post worthy. I've never considered my poetry to be great; actually, I've held a very critical view towards it for a long time. But despite that, I always feel my poetry. Reason being is that I tend to write in one rush of thought with no edits (unless the grammar and spelling are incoherent) and filled with the emotions I felt at the moment. If I start a poem and don't finish it, it'll never finish; it doesn't matter how great the beginning was. But the last poem I wrote was... I think in April.... Well, my blog posts are much the same...
Anyway, someone recently told me that I am too reactive to people. Not reactive as in the moment per se, but constantly conscious about other people's opinions of me. Which I find to weird, telling, incorrect, but somehow accurate. Why? Well, everyone, at some point in their lives has done something in response to perceptions. I am a very proactive person, so it was odd hearing this. But, I guess, what most people don't realize is that being proactive is actually a reactive sentiment from potential/future threats that one may bypass by being proactive.... whattT?????
So... I was told that I will exhaust myself if I constantly react to people, rather than find motivation and inspiration within myself. At this point, I felt being pushed on the defensive, maybe my hackles started to rise, and my eyes started to water--- but I was getting frustrated. However, I said nothing. I let the conversation continue. They continued to articulate that I was confused and unsure about who I am, i.e. that my identity was one that was forged out of reactive tendencies rather than a self will. When they were done, I told them that their perception was interesting, someone correct, but misunderstood, misguided, and well frankly colored in lenses of a world view that was strikingly different than my own.
Well then, who am I? Well, I was someone who grew up under the microscope, as are most young people. I am one who believes that in society, there will always be a referent, a point of comparison when people interact, as Rousseau talks about in the early transformations of society. But, I know exactly who I am. I see my double-consciousness, my otherness, my departure from the norm/mainstream and accept it. I never do things to appease people or defy people per se, but accept the forces of society that exist. I accept my context and define myself accordingly and in spite of. Therefore, if I react to something, it is because I choose to react and will it (yes the Nietzschean in me) then so be it. I am a person who loves to hear other perspectives, ideas, understandings of the world, and learn from them. I am a patch-quilt maker... I learn from the world, I react to the world, I take from the world, and hopefully I give back to the world. If we think that self-will can be completely stripped from society/social bonds, language games, collectivity, all of these ideals then life is reduced to socratic logic of 'If A is B, and B is C then A is C', but even Socrates/Plato recognizes that life adjusts, shifts, and reacts as time progresses; as articulated in the Republic and the transformation of people and governments.
So, what does this mean for me... Life, definitions, language games/rules, paradigms, wills ---- all these things change. Whether in minute details or is huge transformations. But back to the point, this person who told me I was going to burn out constantly reacting to people... No I won't, because you react to the world and people around you, but you just pretend that you don't. Call it what you want, accuse me as you may, but simply put... I react, but it is out of acceptance that life is constantly in flux. According to Lyotard (in my own paraphrasing take), language games are subject to rules, life is a series of language games, and if there are no rules, there are no games. However, the worst possible ending is entropy, which in that case, even if actions/words seem to be 'worse' they are in avoidance of completely dying/disappearing - entropy.
Maybe I went off on a tangent.... But what I am trying to say is this: just because people are reactive, doesn't mean that they don't know who they are. Some people accept it, and use it to change the direction of thought, action, life, the world. You think all the great philosophers were suddenly inspired (well other than St. Augustine in the Confessions) out of nowhere? They were reacting to the status quo of their society, whether they were incorporated within it or not. Contemplation, the idea of thinking about something, is a reaction. Your body is a series of reactions. If every cell reacts, how can you not as a whole being? Nietzsche called these reactions will to power.... maybe they are. Who knows really.