There are times when I love being the centre of attention; times when I want everyone to look at, listen to and appreciate me! Other times, I want to be the little ghost hovering just out of sight behind the ancient wainscoting – and am content to listen in without imposing my personality too forcibly upon a gathering.
I can be very attention-seeking, demanding, difficult, insecure. I don’t like to feel I am disappearing, invisible, on the outer circle of things, away from the centre. I make no bones about this. These traits may not be especially laudable and are, I am sure, a sign of inner weakness – but I am not going to pretend to be mightier than thou or morally superior in any way. Such a claim would be dishonest, a lie.
I have noticed something very interesting in my six decades of life (so far): Those who claim that they are completely lacking in the Attention-Seeking Gene, who protest loudly that the centre of attention is precisely where they DON’T want to be, are often the worst and greediest when it comes to hogging that central pillar! They elbow their way in, using any and every technique to shove other poor buggers out of the way, while assuring everyone within earshot (which is, most commonly, everyone within a twenty mile radius) that they are the humblest, most centred, least neurotic people you will find! They insist that anyone who wants to be Centre is childish, selfish, immature and stuck in past programming – but will not tolerate any deviation from 100% attention focused upon themselves!
I can be selfish. I am more than capable of arrant self-centredness. I like to get my own way and do not like being told what to do! In many ways, I am the centre of my own universe – still, at the age of fifty-nine! In many ways, I have never grown up! I am not especially centred or calm or even nice!
But my basic core, my character’s centre, is fundamentally honest. I know I like attention. I know I can be a hypocrite, a coward, a bitch and an intolerant, rude moo.
There is a bedrock of self-knowledge at my centre, in other words. It is not morally superior. It does not pretend to Messianic Status. It knows the colours – both dreary and bright – which make up its multi-layered wheel of consciousness, and it accepts their place in the pattern.
Yes, I love being the centre of attention!