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Sike. (I’m bringing back the word “sike.” Certain parts of the nineties, like this word and the cabbage patch dance move did not, in my very humble opinion get enough credit).
In all seriousness, I’m noticing a troubling trend among women, and if you are reading this (thank you!) I know you’re guilty of the self-berating, awful treatment of yourself that I definitely practice from time to time. And if you aren’t, please vacate my blog- you are much too mentally stable for my yammerings. This is a place for fellow “what the fuck did I just do?” people. But anyway, I’m here to explain what I’ve learned in the past year and half or so of behaving like I flat out didn’t count. And it’s not true, so maybe I can help you if you’ve kind of fallen into that rut too.
First– believe that you are. Sincerely, honestly, know that you matter. Because you do, even if it’s just some random chick with a laptop and a free evening telling you that. Your opinions, your blabberings, your crying at stupid commercials or during that argument are valid, and important. But if you don’t buy into any of your beliefs/theories/platforms, nobody else will. Nor should they.
If you, like I did, don’t believe yet that you are important a pretty good activity for you then is to fake it til you make it. Tell yourself you are… Not in a creepy-homeless-person-who-talks-to-themselves-way, but in a silent, inside your own head way. If passers-by overhear you in the mall saying “I’m important!” not only will they not believe you, but they will alert authorities. And generally people in padded cells can agree on their delusions of importance… So avoid that, please. Anyway! When you catch yourself discounting your thoughts “Oh, that was stupid of me,” stop! Silently remind yourself that you are important. You are NOT stupid. (Unless you genuinely are, in which case I can’t help you).
Second– Place blame when need be. I’m not saying keep your index finger pointed in a permanent position facing outward at people near you… that’s creepy… but know when you are or not to blame. Women are quick to fall into the “totally my fault. I sooo apologize. Please forgive me” thing… Even if it’s NOT. If he cheats- you aren’t to blame. If your boss is a crackpot who yells at you all the time, chances are you didn’t fuck everything up. If you don’t deserve to take the fall for something, don’t. It doesn’t mean you have to fight tooth and nail to convince everyone of your innocence or superiority, but it does mean that you need to stick to your own truth. Sometimes other people just suck. Sometimes we are not so fabulous, and that’s perfectly okay. Humans are awesome like that.
Third– and this sort of goes with “second,” but have some standards. Yeesh. I am so guilty of going out with someone (last night?), and having a sort of okay time, but still staring menacingly at my phone wondering why the guy who was mehhh isn’t calling me incessantly declaring his love and reciting poetry (today?). Don’t settle for less-than, or you will become less-than. And who wants to be less-than?! It kind of sounds like someone who would be missing an arm or something… I like my limbs. Not that anyone thought I didn’t.
Fourth– People generally referred to as “important” are impressive. And maybe right now you have a not very impressive job. Doesn’t mean anything. Maybe you have some habits (cough, cocaine, cough) that are kind of scary… But there’s always time to find a direction that IS impressive. And more importantly, “impressive” is a relative term. I don’t find blue-grass singers to be impressive, but D does. D doesn’t find political figures impressive, and I swoon over them. (Fact: I almost cried when my favorite Congressman remembered my name). So just because everyone else doesn’t go “Ohmigod you’re so cool!” over attribute X about you, don’t worry about it. It is so good for you mentally and emotionally though, to believe in yourself enough to set a goal that you think is impressive. First, be proud of yourself for attempting said goal, and then, be proud of yourself for achieving it. It’s a fun game.
Fifth– If my extensive yoga experience has taught me anything (sike! I don’t do yoga, who are we kidding?), it’s that getting to know yourself is a good idea. Fuck that. It’s a brilliant idea. Spend some one on one time with yourself and just do what you have always wanted to do- even if it’s napping, or sewing or whatever. Know what you like, what you despise, what you are and are not capable of. This way, when other people (douchebags) are doing that “Let me tell you something about YOU” crap, you can either admit internally that “yeah, maybe I could work on that” or “you’re a crazy bastard and I don’t need your judgements”. Don’t rely on the two-bit opinions of people to form your own opinion of yourself. More often than not, other poeple are wrong. This kind of goes back to the “know when to accept blame thing.”
Another fun thing about this little part, getting to know yourself can normally result in liking yourself more. Finding some sort of acceptance of who you are, of your big ears (cough, me, cough), or the way you laugh, or whatever it is you pick on yourself for without ANY reason.
Sixth– Finally, take care of yourself. Be a priority in your own life. For a long time people talked about learning to love yourself and I really didn’t understand. I thought that meant tell people how much better you were than them… and guess what? That just makes people call you a “bitch.” Which was sort of true at the time.
What I think they actually meant (I admit, I’m still sort of working it out), is to treat yourself like you were your own daughter (son if you have a penis). This does not mean attempt to put your head up your vagina and give weird bizarre birth to yourself. It doesn’t mean that at all. But- think of it this way- if you had a daughter, would you stuff her full of shitty food and dress her like she was homeless? Would you tell her she was stupid or not to bother with school or her friends? No. You would value her, make her feel special, treat her as the special being she is. So, in a sort of creepy way, what I’m saying is to treat YOU like the special, unique, lovely being that you are.
And there you have it. I spent a year and a half hating myself, blaming myself, being angry at me and actually starving myself because I thought punishing my own person would somehow improve anything. Surprise! It made it worse. We all want to be told how important we are to other people, and while that’s normal and (duh) I do it too, it’s dangerous if “other people” start to supercede our own opinions. So… just next time you feel like you’re becoming a big grey ball of “ugh,” remember that it’s temporary and you are better than that… and you are important.
*Also, points to me for managing to use SIKE twice in one post.*
Remember when I was funny? Remember when I posted with dependable regularity? Want to know what happened? I moved.
I swear, I got away from Charlie the Miracle dog and his douche-bag of a mom, M, and I am literally incapable of producing a blog that doesn’t blow ever since. I blame geography.
…Only that’s not the whole story, I’m afraid. My blogging skills/schedule was largely dependent on the general mood I was in. I’m good when I’m miserable. In fact, my humor reaches impressive levels the less happy I am internally.
So in yet another way the-universe-is-fucked-up, the defenese mechanism I have exploited for years is kind of useless when there’s nothing to defend myself from. When I am unhappy, I deflect the probing questions and sympathetic looks by throwing open the doors to my self-deprecating humor. I suppose I must be thinking, “well, I might be black and rotten on the inside, but at least I can still make people laugh.” Or something like that.
Imagine my surprise then, when I found myself comfortable for the first time in a very long while. And with this comfort came a mental break that took me off guard-duty for myself. I can communicate with people without the need to interject jokes to control the situation. I employ my sarcasm less often now since I don’t need it to distract whoever is unfortunate enough to be near me. I am, I cannot believe I am writing this, not angry.
That’s a lie. I’m less angry. I’m still frustrated with Democrats and my boss and the weather’s bipolar tendencies of late. I’m still disappointed with certain folks and myself for my various shortcomings. But I’m not (at the moment— knock on wood) pissed off at the air for being there. I don’t want to yell at trees and the sky and God. I’m just kind of… going.
Ironically, as I became less awful a person, my blog plummeted. I think it’s more because I’m not passionate about things now… That’s not right either… I’m not passionately aggressive. I’m still in love with politics and my family and my friends and good music and literature. But I’m not forcing myself and my thoughts on the world, and I’m not (currently— knock on wood again!) trying to prove a point that I was never able to articulate well, anyway.
And conssequently, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. I neglected myself lately, and I was miserable… I cried myself to sleep for a long time, and I never looked in the mirror and asked why. Choosing to wallow was sooo much easier and blog-worthy. The need to grieve a number of things took priority over my own emotional well-being and to be frank, I got lazy and in the laziness, incredibly selfish. Lately, I feel like I see a different girl in the mirror, and I kind of like her more than that teenage-esque bitchy-for-no-reason person I always thought I was.
Sooner or later, I’ll return to the world of blogging with what I’m sure will be a wave of observations, but for now, I’ll keep if off the blogosphere. I’m just done trying to be funny.