Affective is a collection of fresh reads, perspectives, and thought pieces
The Second Person is a project exploring the various identities that converge into who we are, the hundreds of worlds we inhabit in a day, the roles we play that are always changing. Through second person prose pieces, we try to bring out various versions of ‘you’, virtual and real, internal and external, and create an archive of self by examining interactions, beliefs, experiences or moments.
You watch the video of them, going up on stage, collecting the award, smiles plastered on their faces. You don’t know why, but it feels like a betrayal.
The team you worked with for months, years, who you argued with, who you stayed late nights with, getting so much success. Why should it hurt you? You should be happy for them.
But you feel this permeating sense of falseness around their achievement. Not that they will care. You remember the times you discussed inspirations or they applauded your ideas, the times when you knew so much more, the times they solicited your reactions.
Even the specific time they thought of this concept, three of you discussing it and you immediately offering an opinion, a possibility. Sure, it changed drastically since then. Years have passed. Still, you know that it could have been you.
But it wasn’t, you would never have done it like that. You wouldn’t have agreed to the end, to the demands of producers or clients or whoever else. You would have wanted your own way. Sure, what they made was pretty decent. Movie, album, ad, it could have been anything. But it never really pushed any envelopes. It gave people what they wanted, it was simplistic, it was well packaged, it was perfectly marketed.
You didn’t want that, you wanted to make your own choices. You were the one who decided that it was too tedious for you, who decided to make your own way. You imagined that the recognition would come. That the audience would see your authenticity, your vision, your ego.
You were the one who believed that the content is all that matters, that quality is worth more than marketing and organisation. You were the one who chose to make it your own way, who would rather have a few fans than a million followers, who wanted to do it for the love of the craft, who valued authenticity over compromise, talent over process.
You think of your attempts to find a way into the system now, your e-mails forgotten, your phone calls unreturned, your future uncertain. You push them away. You realize that it could have been you, if you had just waited a little. It could still be of course, if you keep going, if you stay on your own path. Maybe it won’t, but you have to keep trying, instead of thinking it could have been you.