Good news! I think I finally — finally — figured out what my problem is. And it only took a highly complicated cocktail of conditions — nearly a year of unemployment, months of over-analyzing my situation, a bout of depression, more over-analysis, a breakup with a therapist, and this morning’s epiphany — to get here.
All-in-all? I’d say it was worth it.
I was looking through a shopping list app I have on my phone. You’re about to realize just how much of a freak I am, because while I do occasionally use it for groceries, the main list I utilize is my list of blog topic ideas. As a “writer,” I pretty much carry a notebook with me wherever I go so I can immediately jot down ideas when I find myself inspired (which, unfortunately, usually happens while I’m driving, in the shower, or doing anything that virtually makes it impossible to write in a notebook). But sometimes, when all I think of is a random topic for the blog, often triggered by something someone says to me during a conversation, I enter it into my little shopping list app and forget about it until I need inspiration for something to write about.
And this morning, after all of your super awesome and generous comments on my post yesterday (THANK you), the fact that some of you even thought it was good enough to share with your friends on Facebook (THANK you), the fact that I had more hits on this site yesterday and the day before than I’ve ever had without extra effort on my part (holy cow, THANK YOU!)… it really laid on the pressure.
In a GOOD way.
In a sense, I got stage fright — writing impotency, if you will. And while that’s not necessarily a good thing, it made me realize that this site really is worth my time if, every now and then, I can come up with something people like to read.
So. I needed a topic. I referred to my trusty app, full of sure-to-please post ideas for the average Domestiphobia reader.
Among the most interesting are some of these gems:
- Green Farm Show
- Thunder from Down Under
- Pink tissue paper stuck to my fingertips
- Are your nipples easily fortifiable?
- Why my POA (Property Owner’s Association) sucks
I mean, really — with jewels like that, I can’t figure out why this isn’t an award-winning blog by now.
But there was one, when I read it this morning, that had a highly profound meaning for me — a meaning that, for some unknown reason, was more significant over orange juice and a handful of vitamins than it was back when I first typed it out.
It says, There will always be someone better than you.
Now. That’s not meant to be self-deprecating. I know it’s not meant to be self-deprecating because I wrote it.
What it means, is that I need to chillax. Stop stressing. Tranquilla, as they say in Costa Rica.
Because the reason I haven’t sent any pitches, the reason I still don’t have a real job, the reason I’ve been stuck in this mucky mess of a limbo for so long is that I’m afraid that even when I put forth my absolute best effort at something — when I work my mind to its threadbare bones, when I emit actual tears of concentration, when everything in me would bleed if it could because I’m trying so hard — there is always someone who can do it better.
Who makes it look effortless.
Who makes me want to give up before I even start.
That fear — it’s paralyzing.
Impotence. When, even if I could get it up, I’m not sure I want to.
But this morning I read that little note to myself. A note which, undoubtedly, was originally written out of self-pity.
There will always be someone better than you.
This morning it has an entirely different meaning. It’s a release on the pressure valve. Because you know what? There will always be someone better than me. Smarter. Prettier. More eloquent with words. Has a better blog. Has a better career. Has a better grasp of what she wants.
And finally understanding — and accepting — this fact is like an epiphany. Liberation. Viagra for my troubled mind. For you Sex and the City fans, it’s like when that guy tells Miranda that the man she’s seeing just isn’t into her. If he was into her, he would’ve gone upstairs. He would’ve booked the next date. It’s not as complicated as women think. And Miranda’s all, he’s just not that into me. He’s just not that into me! It makes so much sense!
This whole time — this whole period since I quit my job, moved to Costa Rica, determined I wanted to be a writer, then sat on my butt and was mentally productive for 10 months — it’s like I’ve been climbing the steps of a downward moving escalator.
And now, ohmygod now I know! All I have to do is ride it to the bottom and just take the stairs! I can stop trying so hard to figure out ways to beat the best. I’ve been fighting a fight I can’t win, and all it’s done for me so far is suck away time, energy, and drive.
I’m applying for jobs today. Many jobs. And I’m committing to a part-time writing gig I’ve been afraid to take (if they’ll have me). And I’m going to get back on track with some other projects I’ve let fall by the wayside — things I verbally committed to but never actually did.
It’s important to note that this isn’t just a declaration, like all the others. It’s just a fact.
Today, I stop being a turd.
*Every so often I take a break from the humor and get a little real with you readers. The funny is me, but sometimes, so is the struggle. And this blog isn’t just about making you laugh or giving you recipes or motivating you to take on home renovations or share my love of travel — it’s about me. And because I know I’m not as unique as my 3rd grade teacher insisted, I think some of you can relate to this part of me, too. Click here to read Step 1.
Girl don’t ever let me see you referring to yourself as a “writer” in quotes again! You ARE a writer. You write well, and even if you’re not queen of the blogosphere, who cares? I hate cooking, and I hate recipes and I read your blog anyway because it makes me laugh. ‘Nuf said :)
Thank you, Kat! Coming from someone whose writing I admire so much, that means a lot. :)
I fully endorse this comment!!! I NEVER cook. I have NO interest in fixing up my house or doing projects. Yet, you are at the top of my Google Reader. I look forward to your posts. You are a writer. A great storyteller. And as I just commented, I also love your pictures. It’s a whole package that a lot of other bloggers don’t have.
You ladies are the sweetest. Believe it or not, I wasn’t actually fishing for compliments this time! But hey… if you want to give ’em, I won’t complain. ;)
You do inspire and you are a writer.
I think I’m an example of that because I would have never started what I did with you doing what you do.
Sure, scripts are one thing, but some of the things written in the last year have been things I’d only imagine I’d read about as someone else typed the words.
Now go get’em!
Thanks, Matt! Now you and Kat have the ultimate hurdle for dating bloggers — you’ve found a significant other you want to stick with, and now you need a new voice. I hope neither of you give it up — I love your blogs too much!
There is always going to be someone better, but that should never stop you from going after things. You are a writer, a pretty awesome writer. Take that part-time gig, and keep going after better, because eventually someone important will realize that you are a pretty awesome writer. So “yay!” for your uh…Duh moment.
Haha, “duh moment” is the perfect way to describe it. :)
I agree with all the above . Your a great writer and I know one day you will accomplish your goals.
Thank you!! You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. :)
Am I the Thunder from Down Under?
Hmm… I don’t know — are you? ;)
dude. youre starting to scare me.
i too, went through the same thing when i got laid off. I was jobless for a year, majorly depressed, so much so that i left my fiance. I spiraled out of control and lost all faith that i could do anything meaningful.
One night, I saw a call for submissions on casualties of the economic crisis…. It resulted in me writing a story that ended up in Chix soup… which launched my freelance writing career.
But let me tell you, it’s been a rough journey. I doubt everything. i over analyze myself to death. one moment, i’m on top of the world with confidence and the next day i’m crumbling under fear.
Ugh. i relate to this more than you know. But girl, you have talent. And you’ll get rejected. I can’t tell you how many times i was and still am. But slowly, you’ll make progress toward doing something you love.
That story is wonderful, but I just have to ask — how did it end up in Chicken Soup?! Did you submit it somewhere? Very impressive!
Anyway. You give me hope that maybe I’m not a total lost cause.