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On the need for positive feedback and safe spaces. Things I wish I had understood better in my early years.

"A safe place is fantastic, but my real concern is what happens in real life. Does the butterfly soul understand that fannish validation is bound by fandom and that they may not be able to replicate that kind of feedback in real life......

Real self-esteem doesn't rely on expecting the universe to reflect our desires--that's comfort, perhaps, and at its worst, narcissism. You can tell because people with real self-esteem don't lash out when they're told they're wrong. As I've said, comfort's wonderful and perhaps an integral part of some fans rebuilding their self-esteem, but...

It might come down to hope versus expectation. I think it's great when assumptions are challenged with the hope of change occurring, but expecting fame, wealth, validation, etc., from the universe is bound to land people in trouble. This is especially true of any sort of media, since it is by definition transactional. Every artist has to make the choice whether they want to make what they want to make or receive the type of response they want to receive and often the latter isn't a choice at all. Very few people are lucky and talented enough to be able to express themselves and get the feedback they want. (And frankly, some people are just lucky. Really, sometimes it hurts less to acknowledge that the universe is unfair and do the best you can.)"


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