Perception is Reality on the REAL WORLD
After a very short stint on Real World Skeletons as the “Boss from Hell” who was labeled a “liar,” going into hiding seemed like an appropriate response to what was deemed as my reality. But one can never escape reality, with or without cameras in your face.
I often am asked, “Was it real?” My response has always stayed the same, “Yes it is very real, but that doesn’t mean that editing is real.”
When one finds themselves in a situation where cameras are involved, two things will happen: people either embrace their personalities or they hide themselves. That is a very real human trait called vulnerability, and one that we get ourselves into every time we encounter daily activities in life.
Every person has the life and perception that they will allow others to see, and the reality that sometimes they don’t want people to see. I once dated a guy who had in giant letters “Everyone Dies Alone” tattooed on his back. Bubbly little 19 year old me thought that was so dark and brooding and I told him that was a terrible outlook. Interestingly enough, I find myself, 6 years later, thinking that it is the most real statement about the reality of life. As humans, we spend lots of time worrying about our perception of reality and how people view us, but this is sometimes so completely out of our control and pointless due to the fact that no matter who we are: prostitute, whore, liar, doctor, nun, lover, friend, or monster, we all die alone. Therefore, the only reality that matters is our reality.
Watching footage that was spliced and sliced to make me look weak, manipulative, and like a heartless bitch (pardon my French) who got caught in a lie was not an easy pill to swallow, but it was the pill I chose to take only looking at reality though my eyes. Even though I knew that this girl that was on the screen, who was getting hateful Twitter messages about my “monstrous forehead” or “fat ugly body” wasn’t whom MTV was making her out to be, it didn’t matter. That was the reality for anyone who watched, and they were going to perceive whatever it might be.
Reality was crashing down on my world due to my allowing MTV to film my “reality.” So why was I so upset?
I have asked myself this question many times. Along with, “Why do I care?” After much consideration to these questions, I have come up with the conclusion, because this is reality. My reality. This is my story, where I chose to allow cameras to invade my life without thinking of the consequences or what might happen, and then dealing with the reality of what happened after all of that was aired, including who they made me out to be. I held back certain emotions because I was on film. I didn’t say and do things that I normally would do in my own life. I allowed myself to be a certain way because I was uncomfortable in the situation. I am not that person and I know that. I am actually the opposite. I am a loving, caring, compassionate, outgoing, and strong woman.
My mother, very wise, gave me advice a long time ago that if someone says something and its not true that doesn’t mean you disregard it. Hold it with a grain of salt and see if you can gain anything from it, and then throw out the rest.
Watching this character created on the television made me realize I am too quick with my worlds and not vulnerable enough in the reality of what goes on in my life, because I care too much about what people think about me. Coming to this realization was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because it paradigm shifted my reality about how I allow people to see me.
I am fragile. Words hurt me. You can punch me in the face and I would take it, but if you find out my vulnerability and verbally accost me with it, my heart shatters. I love without ceasing, even when the person doesn’t deserve it. I love without expectation. I see in people the potential of who they are destined to be. I work very hard and I am brutally honest.
These traits are parts of my heart that make up who I am. I am nowhere near perfect. No one is. That is the reality of the fractured world we live in. I will fail and fall on my face but at the end of the day we all die alone and the only person I need to be happy with is the person staring back at me in the mirror.
So the next time you watch some silly reality TV show, go off on someone in a gas station, talk down to your employee, make your loved ones feel inferior, or just fail at life, realize that reality truly isn’t always what it seems and sometimes life just happens in unexpected ways. But perception, well that is reality.