2018: Everything Sucks, and You Can, Too!

What a year it’s been so far!

We’ve seen…suicide exploited and monetized; nuclear threats tweets and the assurance of being, like, really smart; corporations, celebrities, and internet-celebrities alike pitted against one another in a battle royale of digital outrage; and on a more personal note somebody toucha my spaghet! Can you believe it? It hasn’t even been a week and we have already achieved maximeme dankness for 2018, if not our entire lives.

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On December 31st 2016, we resolved to make 2017 kick 2016’s ass, but instead it kicked ours. So on December 31st 2017, we said for real this time. But on January 6th 2018 I say fuck it. Shit went off the rails a while ago, so we just gotta lean into it at this point.

National-, International-, and Internet-drama aside, 2018 is probably going to be a year of personal do-overs for a lot of folks, myself included, my second do-over, in fact.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and a lot about what I thought I knew about myself, and a lot about how I think about what I know and think about myself…you get the idea. Self-awareness can be a painful state of being, but it can also, of course, bring enlightenment and, more importantly, action. I’ve been paralyzed with fear for 2 years now, and over the past few months, I’ve been attempting to claw my way out of this paralysis, and it’s working.

A little over a month ago, I finished tapering off of Effexor, a real doozie of an anti-depressant with a withdrawal period I wouldn’t wish on…well, I actually can think of a few people I would wish it on, but that’s beside the point. The point is: I finally feel like myself again. There are still some times where I find myself crying very liberally over a Disney “I Want…” song, but for the most part I’m back to average-level Hillary neuroticism.

But like a new-born baby horse trying to make sense of gangly so-called “legs,” so must I readjust to having my executive functioning restored. I have to reinvent the wheel in many aspects, and I appreciate the world’s patience with me as I clumsily try to re-enter it after suddenly and ungracefully pulling out. TrollFace.jpg This means a lot of productivity tools downloaded and abandoned; a lot of color coding, and dry-erasing, and note-leaving, and reminder-setting; a lot of time wasted catching up on trends and pop culture references, then getting exhausted at the sheer wall of digital information bestowed upon us at any given moment; and hopefully it means even more blogging and content creation. I know that’s, like, the third time I’ve promised that, but for real this time.

What will January 7th hold in store for me, and you, and all of us? I’ll be sure to stay tuned to find out…

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Irrational Fear Friday: The Internet

Happy Friday, pals! If I were a more consistent and confident content creator, you would already know that it’s about that time for your favorite anxiety-frought celebration of cosmic cognitive distortion proportion: Irrational Fear Friday!!!! #IFF#IFF#IFF#IFF#IFF

It’s suuuuuuper awesome that I haven’t posted one of these since, well…the first one, but I’m doing my best at juggling my Work-Work balance and I’m just not good at this yet, cut me some slack, Jack! But aside from actually being quite busy and not taking the time to sit down and write out my thinky thoughts, the topic of today’s post is a huge reason why my blogging (and Gramming, and Tweeting, and Snapping, and Facebooking, and Tumbling, and whatever other made-up verb-ings) has not proliferated.

It’s not like I’m too old (no such thing anyway, #AgeismSucks) and don’t understand this magical World Wide Web; my generation literally invented social media. (Seriously…Mark Zuckerberg was born approximately 15 months earlier than, and 20 minutes away from where I was born. Granted I didn’t go to Harvard, but I think Vassar isn’t terrible…)

So, what gives? How come everyone in the world doesn’t seem to have a problem posting their lives publicly for everyone to see with abandon? Scrolling for endless hours, consuming news, entertainment, gossip, tragedy, and the private lives of others?

Because it makes me feel like shit. That’s why.

Yes. I know that people only post the good stuff and that social media is a distorted, over-curated, painfully optimistic view of people’s otherwise messy, complicated, and boring lives. I’m not an idiot. But that doesn’t make it sting any less. That doesn’t give me back the hours I waste pouring over hi-res overhead food photography, timed #ootd selfies, and endless retweets of the same socio-political rants and raves. It doesn’t prevent the Imposter Syndrome. No amount of emotional reinforcement and mindful self-awareness can stop that creeping feeling of inadequacy. All the mommy-blogger inspirational text posts in the world cannot assuage that fear that I am not enough.

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And if it wasn’t enough that IRL celebrities are prancing around, inadvertently making me feel like human garbage, now normal everyday people are internet famous for normal everyday things. I literally have NO excuse NOT to be a wildly successful household name, now! Even fat girls who don’t wear make-up can inspire a huge following and win that coveted blue check-mark we all want so badly. I have nowhere to hide anymore…

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a “dank meme” by @cabbagecatmemes

And don’t even get me started on the Analysis Paralysis. Do you even know how many podcasts and channels and blogs and thought-influencers there are?! And they are all THE SAME! HOW DO I CHOOSE!? That’s what I thought…you don’t know either. And you probably waste hours scrolling and viewing and reading and listening, right? Where do you get those hours! I barely have time to do laundry! Do you just not sleep!? Or am I so bad at procrastinating that I actually do work while I’m procrastinating other work while normal people dick around on the internet?

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Again, like so many of my more recently acquired shortcomings, I think a lot of this is caused by the neuroendocrine shitshow in which I was forced to participate for the majority of 2016. I’m slowly but surely returning to my late ’00s-level internetting. But that was still relatively tentative, fearful internetting.

In case you didn’t know, I inhabit a marginalized body: female, fat, and chronically ill. YUP, I know I have privilege, thanks, and also I’m sorry. But it still sucks in my own, personal, painfully neurotic way. And what is a blog if not personal and painfully neurotic? Anyway, I’m a broken fat chick, and it’s never been good on the Internet for those (let’s be honest, it was never so hot for those in the Outernet either). So naturally, despite my love of performing and the proverbial spotlight, I retreated into my lurking shroud and engaged very rarely with any Internet that stretched beyond my personal circle of actual human beings that I knew in tangible, physical reality.

And how much does that suck?!

(spoiler alert: it’s a lot)

I’m a funny guy! I’m creative, smart, talented…I have SO many reasons not only to enjoy consuming all the internet has to offer, but to actually participate as well.

So blah blah blah here is my journey of self-discovery and blossoming into the empowered, successful, and fulfilled womyn I was meant to be yada yada…

But more on that next time….