I need to tell you something..... something that most people would never say out loud.
I like attention.
Not the kind that Kim Kardashian covets. Sex tapes just aren't my thing.
The attention I crave comes in the form of approval and unfortunately, I've been chasing it for as long as I can remember.
I used to feel embarrassed by this. Ashamed to admit that I needed the validation, but I recently noticed something that has helped me to normalise my condition...
I was born this way!
All children are programmed very early to respond to recognition.
From our first smile, to our first steps, we look outwardly for approval. We look to our parents for reassurance that we are on the right track and generally, we receive it....over and over again!
My kids love to be reminded that they are doing well and actively seek to be told. My 7-year-old wonders if I am impressed with her drawings and story telling, and my 11-month-old claps enthusiastically, waiting to be greeted with laughter and snuggles!
So when does it change?
When do we stop being allowed to show off our skills?
When do we stop being cute, and start being attention-seekers?
The truth is, I'm not sure.
I remember the first time I was called a show off, and how deeply those words wounded.
'Nobody likes a show off!'
Our entire world revolves around succeeding, but don't brag about it, because Tall Poppies need a good trimming!
Social media exists and if you sign in on any given day, you will see the world asking for attention. Some do so with grace and style, others, not so much....
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat - platforms that celebrate a culture of 'Look at Me!' We invite friends and strangers into our worlds - our filtered, captioned worlds - and we wait for the likes to roll in.
We share our achievements and our children's achievements. We share our wins and our losses. We share our opinions and our frustrations.
Sometimes, we share too much...
I love social media and whilst I understand that there are certainly negative aspects to this new frontier, I enjoy the connectivity.
I prefer Insta to Facebook and I still have mixed feelings about Snapchat, but I'm definitely coming around.
I keep my personal stuff to myself really, preferring to keep 'Social Media Mel' pretty positive. I don't lie - I just don't post. My dirty laundry is soaking in a bucket - you only get my clean stuff!
My need for validation has become more obvious to me, since I began to share my writing.
I share my thoughts and feelings and I wait....
I wonder if anyone is reading this bloody blog and I wait....
I wait for your comments and I hope that you are mildly entertained by me.... I wait for your approval.
I wish I didn't need it, but apparently that's just who I am.... I want to do well and I want my gold star!
So here it is people! Another entry for your consideration. I hope that you read it, but mostly I hope that you like it, because I have a problem....
My name is Melissa Longo and I am waiting for your approval.