The Constant Struggle of Being Myself and a ‘Local Celebrity’
This isn't going to be a humblebrag.
This is a super weird blog to write but it's been weighing on my mind for a while and I'm hoping that writing this will maybe put into perspective why I may seem a little more reserved as of late.
First off, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to entertain you on a scale that most people won't ever attain. Yes, that might sound a bit bragadocious, but it's true. My voice gets transmitted across this city (and the surrounding) areas which is an insane thought. I'm just a guy with a little bit of talent who managed to get incredibly lucky. However, this opportunity to entertain comes at a price. Which is where most of my feelings are coming from.
I have no idea who I am anymore. There's the Gavin that you hear on the radio and then there's the Gavin who exists in real life. They're mostly the same (I don't say anything on-air that I wouldn't in real life) but they're also very different. On-air Gavin has managers he has to answer to directly while Real Life Gavin doesn't necessarily have that, but he does have to worry about what he says in Real Life coming back to bite him in the ass in his career. And that's how it should be, but it doesn't help the existential crisis I'm constantly facing. I want to be my truest self, but I also don't want to lose my job.
Most of what I'm feeling is based on an isolated incident. I've been trying to get back in the dating world and have spent time on Tinder. I decided to share a picture of one of the more "interesting" matches that came up. The picture featured someone holding a beer can while also holding up a dead deer. I blurred out the person's name and face, yet I still got a message from someone asking me to take it down because somehow, that person was somehow still identifiable. I wanted to fight it and just have my fun because A)It was my Facebook and I had done everything to conceal their identity and B) I don't like being told what to do.
I took the photo down because it wasn't worth the hassle. The next step probably would have been to threaten to contact my job. I know this was the next step because its happened before. And I get why people do it: they want me to be punished for whatever I've done and figure that using the "You're a public figure and shouldn't be allowed to do this" card is a quick way to get their way because I value my career. It was a "pick your battles" scenario and I chose the option of least resistance. And that's not who I am. I'm stubborn and I fight for what I believe in, but lately, I'm just too tired to fight back. And I know most people - including the person who messaged me - would consider that being mature yet I consider it giving up.
There's expectations put on me by the public; everyone expects me to be a certain way and I'm constantly trying to live up to these preconceived notions of who Gavin is. This is exhausting. I often leave work feeling that I'm doing a terrible job because I'm not hitting the right balance of who I want to be and who the audience wants me to be. I tip-toe around not upsetting people because, again, it's not worth the trouble. Everything offends everyone, so I often feel like I am being the most vanilla of all vanilla just to put out a product that appeals to everyone, when at the end of the day, I don't necessarily want that.
Ultimately, I need to find the right balance so that I can be proud of who I am and what I'm putting forth into the world. My friends often, in jest, refer to me as "Local Celebrity Gavin Eddings" and it is usually pretty funny. It's less funny when there are actual people who think of me that way. I want the world to see me as my friends do. As someone who cares deeply about the things I'm passionate and is opinionated. I appreciate those who have journeyed with me this far. Whenever someone says that I've helped bring attention to the real issues facing everyone (depression, anxiety, etc), it makes me feel like I'm doing good work. I just wish that feeling wasn't so fleeting. And maybe nobody really cares all that much and most of the pressure is all in my head. But even if it is, I'm going to continue to try to bring you the most true version of myself.