Friday, October 25, 2013

A Public Letter to Tom Hiddleston

Dear Mr. Thomas Hiddleston,

Firstly, let me explain a thing: you aren't actually reading this. Not in a metaphysical, sort of Baudrillard "you aren't reading this because none of us are really real and there is no reality" kind of way, but more in the simplistic sense that you don't read my blog. There is about a .00000000000143% chance (or 1.43e-10, as Google tells me one divided by seven billion is) that you have discovered the weirdness of this website, so it's safe to say that my writing of this is not actually directed towards you, but to my blog readers, which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why I think anyone would actually care to see what I'd like to say to my favorite actor is a mystery and even more so is why I feel the need to say it at all. Why share my thoughts on your existence and your actions? And why publish it online instead of sending it in the mail like other fans? Why make it public instead of private?

Then answer is: I'm not really sure. While writing this is strangely terrifying, actually sending it in the mail would terrify me more. The thing is, I simultaneously border between this longing to communicate with you, while also fearing I have nothing worth sharing and believing it might be better for the universe and my fragile mind if I simply stay unknown and unacknowledged. However, I also am striving to be more honest with myself and I cannot argue myself out of writing this. I argue with myself about enough things as it is, and have decided that I should once and for all address this... whatever this is.

How do I explain my relation to you as a person as well as my perspective and outlook on the world? I could just say it's complicated and leave it at that but I believe it's important to acknowledge a few things. You seem familiar to me in some way, which sounds like an incredibly ludicrous thing to say when you are in a number of films and shows and all across the internet. I mean this in a very peculiar way, such as when I see certain photographs of you I feel I've met you before or when I hear about certain things you've done, think, "yeah, I know that guy." It's sort of like déjà vu, except about a person, not a situation. Your entire perspective of being as kind to people as possible is also incredibly amazing and perhaps the only thing that helps me through bad days in retail, school, and - well, the world in general. Every interview you give is full of wonderful, insightful commentary about your films and the universe, and every time you mention Shakespeare, the bibliophile in me freaks out. The thing is, sir, you're kind of amazing. But it's kind of becoming a problem.

I mean, it's a good kind of problem, I suppose. I'm generally happy about the fact that the internet is very intent on sharing your happy smiley face and general goodwill to human kind. It's just... I'm not the best at dealing with my emotions. I have a terribly difficult time putting into words what exactly I am feeling. All the things I know how to do with words and I struggle to say what's inside my mind and heart the most. Perhaps it's because I'm afraid to recognize it.

There's a great deal to admire about you. Anyone who reads the interview you did with the London Evening Standard is apt to see that. You're humble, kind, respectful, authentic, and the way you interact with your fans is incredible. Everything you do seems to be focused and intent in the moment no matter whom you're speaking with - a colleague, an interviewer, a fan - and your attention is on them and them alone. In a world of multitasking and distracted listening, I find this kind of amazing. You do everything with such purpose and, to someone who has reacted with fear rather than curiosity or anticipation too often in her life and hesitated instead of acted, I can't help but be impressed.

But of course this is only my perception from fan bloggers, interviews, and other various snippets to be found in the media. Outside the little fan-made sanctuary in my mind, I honestly know nothing about you. It's a strange balancing act between feeling like I know you, as the media broadcasts a great deal about you, and realizing I don't know a thing.That's what makes all of this so awkward and ungainly - I care a ridiculous amount about someone I've never met. I don't know it happened, but it happened. And now there's no going back.

It's not an overstatement to say that your existence has changed my life. You've proven that kind and transcendent people truly exist somewhere outside the realm of fiction and daydreams. You've helped me discover new friends and new things to explore through your work. Your generosity through UNICEF and positivity about the world has gotten me through some tough days. It embarrasses me to admit how much I refer to you for motivation or hope, but it's true. The only way to describe it is through some lofty metaphor of your perspective being like a lighthouse in rough seas. It's a light in a darkness and though I'll never tread the shores where that light is, it gives me hope that the possibility of it happening is still there and that I at least can be led to calmer waters because of it.

There was a six word story I saw online: "I look for you in everyone" that applies here. It sounds awkward, and maybe it is, but I mean it in the sense of looking for the best in people, of finding qualities that I admire and enjoy being around. I'm critical, rude, skeptical of everything, and likely not that great of a person. But for some reason, you help me think and act otherwise. Often I pretend that you are a customer in the retail store I work at in order to keep from reacting poorly to less friendly customers. I'm calmer, more forgiving, and kinder to myself and others knowing you exist.

All of this is based only on the idea of who you are that and the truth is I don't know you at all. But the idea I have is inspiring none the less and I suppose all of this is a complicated expression of gratitude for the reality this idea sprang from. I'm not the first to do this and certainly not the last and nothing I have said is new or unique or different from any of the other hundreds of wonderful, devoted fans who deserve the opportunity to have their voices heard. There are proper ways to do this sort of thing and I feel as if I am violating them in some way. But writing here allows me to float in this strange meta state of wondering why I'm writing this at all which would seem frivolous and inappropriate in a private letter, while playing Russian roulette with who is reading this. It's a mystery who my audience is, something I've grown used to through blogging and writing fiction, but now I wonder if I even know how to truly write privately now. I also find it slightly egotistical to have written this, not only in this format but to have penned it at all, to make assumptions about you as a person and describe what you mean to me, as if my perspective mattered that much. I guess I'm writing this in the hopes that it does matter - it matters to me, but perhaps to someone other than myself or some greater end. And there is the vain hope that maybe this will end up in your hands through some means because I'm too - what? shy? afraid? embarrassed? - to send this myself. I don't know why I'm writing this instead of something else - a petition, a deep investigation of some issue, some altruistic undertaking - but perhaps I need to recognize and investigate just how important my own sensibilities are for myself.

Anyway, before I ramble on into more meaningless drivel, I would like to express to you the tipping point that caused me to write this. Several days ago, I saw a picture online of you holding a Thor-themed Build-A-Bear. Let me tell you a story about Build-A-Bear: I have two dear friends who used to work at one of these wonderful stores and for my birthday last year, they gave me this:

This is Loki the War Horse. He really means a lot to me, so to see you with a Build-A-Bear yourself really struck me on a extraordinarily personal level and added to your adorable wonderfulness. I can't say exactly what it was about instance that did it, but it perfectly captured what I admire about you. I guess what I'm really trying to say in all of this, dear sir, is thank you. Thank you for being yourself, for being an optimist, and for inspiring so many people through your work and your actions. A thousand gratitudes and all the best to you.

Gina Musto
Minneapolis, MN

1 comment:

  1. Omg, I feel like everything you said came from my mind. I feel exactly the same way about Tom, with the exception of I don't really use him as a source of strength and encouragement (my faith does that). But I have felt exactly like you feel here. I want to write him a letter, but feel kind of weird about it. One, because I have not had a celeb crush since high school (I'm in my late-20s now). And two, because like you said, all I know about him is what he, the media, and his publicist put out about him. And for all we know, that could be false. But if it is false, it's a good lie.

    I feel like he not only possesses physical attraction, but also emotional attraction and an attractive personality . And strangely, that has changed what I want in a romantic partner. Knowing that men like him exist gives me hope that I will find someone like him someday. Someone intelligent, kind, funny, and generous.

    So I just wanted to say thanks for posting this, and if Tom ever reads this, thanks Tom for being who you are. I truly believe God led him to the public eye to show the women of the wolrd that good men do still exist.