Teddy Roosevelt said (allegedly) that “Comparison is the thief of joy”. By comparing ourselves to others, we somehow find our own successes or projects lacking. Another term for this same idea is Imposter Syndrome. This is especially true when dealing with something we’re passionate about or the field we’re in or aspire to be in.
Writing has always been one of my outlets. Whether it’s blogging, fanfic, or original works, putting words on paper or on a screen has been therapeutic for me. I’ve had a Twitter account for a decade, but I’m not a very active Tweeter. I’m more of a lurker. Someone I follow tweeted a link to a fanfic. I let my curiosity get the better of me & went to check it out even though I don’t agree with her ships at all (shorthand for relationships). It had thousands of hits, comments, & likes. I felt inadequate before reading a single word. My story hasn’t even cracked 3000 hits. I immediately started telling myself that I had somehow done something wrong. Let’s do a quick comparison – I have never publicly linked the story via any of my social media EXCEPT here for reasons that are rather long & complicated. Her entire Twitter account is dedicated to marketing her work. I could create an entire Twitter account dedicated to marketing this story, but why? I know I write just as well as she does (I actually did read some of it eventually). I’d have to make connections in a fandom that can be extremely volatile at times & I really don’t have time for that. And by time I mean the emotional energy it takes to deal with people getting their panties in a wad over the smallest, strangest things. I’d get frustrated, abandon the account, & be right back to where I am now. Her story has all that attention because she decided that she wanted to whore herself out on Twitter (and wherever else), deal with any potential (likely) drama, & she saw results.
Everyone wants validation. It’s part of being human. We want to have someone else (or a lot of someone elses) tell us that our work is valuable & meaningful. My fic started out life as something very different than it is now. I have one very loyal fan who is constantly chasing me down for updates. Other people have read it, some even felt strongly enough about it to comment. I am not worth what other people think of me (or what I create) & sometimes I forget that.
Current Jam: “Sound of Silence” Disturbed
Twitter & Instagram: retroindiequeen
Archive of Our Own (AO3): TheHuntsmansBoss
I got stuck with jury duty last week. I’ve been called several times before, but never selected. What day did I get called, you ask? My emotionally abusive rapist’s birthday. I never got to take him to court. Hell, I didn’t realize what he did to me was even classified as rape until 3 years after our relationship ended. Doesn’t change the fact that he never answered for what he did. During the selection the question was asked have you ever been through a traumatic event. I was literally the first person they called from the entire pool of 200+ people AND #1 in my group. I dutifully raised my hand & instead of opting to speak with the judge privately, I said in open court that I was raped by an ex boyfriend.
They chose me anyway.
I proceeded to waste a day & a half of my life listening to a case that was complete bullshit. These people were trash who took their trashy issues to court instead of sorting them out on their own & not wasting my time. Then another juror couldn’t get it through her thick skull that it doesn’t matter if someone says it’s okay to come by the house when a stay away order (a baby TPO) is in place. It was in force at the time, therefore he was guilty of violating the order. Intent wasn’t at play here. She finally caved, but I was getting ready to beat her ass over it. Allegedly, my name will be out of the pool for at least 2 years. I’m not holding my breath.
This past week dug up a lot of unpleasant feelings. For example, feeling like I was being punished for being honest in front of a group about what happened to me. Last Monday would’ve been my very first boyfriend’s 35th birthday. He died in his sleep shortly after he turned 31. I never found out the exact cause. Valentine’s Day reminded me of how my dad would get my mom a bouquet & my sister & I would each get smaller ones. It wasn’t just about his wife. It was about all his girls. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. (I guess today since this will be posted after midnight) This is the 2nd birthday she’ll have without my dad. If it’s anything like mine was, it’s going to hurt like a bitch. I don’t know what to do for her. I don’t know if there’s anything I even can do.
I check Twitter & see adulation for other fanfic (read: slash) writers & I feel inadequate. Then I remind myself that I have basically no followers on Twitter, don’t whore myself out on there, & only post my username here on a blog that no one reads. Do I want that kind of attention? Do I need that kind of validation? I guess if I did, then I’d put more effort into it. Ultimately, it’s an escape for me & if other people enjoy it then that’s an added bonus. I don’t need 1500 followers on Twitter & 10,000 hits on my story to be worth something.
I think I had more to say, but my head hurts like a bitch & I have class tomorrow so I’m out.
Current Jam: “Far From Home” Five Finger Death Punch
Twitter & Instagram: retroindiequeen
I know I’ve ranted about this before. I’m 100% certain that I have, but I’m gonna do it again so feel free to skip right on over this entry.
It royally pisses me off when people (women in particular) whine about reaching a particular milestone birthday (usually 30+). Nine times out of 10 they’re complaining about how they’re old or some other nonsense. Listen up, bitches. Be fucking grateful that you got to see 30 or 35 or 40. Some people, for one reason or another, never will. Little Emily was 24 when she died. She never got to see her 30th birthday. My dad was 62. He wasn’t even (technically) eligible for Social Security. Yet here you are whining that you’re old when you’re 35 & life hasn’t come up roses for you. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. I’m 34. Am I where I thought I’d be when I was 24? No. I didn’t think I’d be back in school for the second time for a career path that I was 150% sure I wasn’t cut out for. Is my life perfect? Hell no. Did I think my dad would be dead? Absolutely not.
I blame our culture. We put too much emphasis on being young & linear life paths. You’re sexually desirable if you’re 25. You’re successful if you’ve graduated college at 22 & have a career by 23 unless said career requires higher education. I was raised Catholic & spent 13 years in Catholic school. It was drilled into us that you better get married & start popping out babies before you turned 30. I didn’t get married until I was 30. We aren’t planning on having kids anytime soon (though people are starting to get all up our business about that, but that’s another rant for another time). Life is messy. Life is far from perfect. Life isn’t a straight line. If you’re upset that you haven’t reached some arbitrary benchmark by the time you’re 30, then maybe it’s time to reassess your priorities. Think about what YOU want not what a skincare ad or even your religion tells you. Maybe I’m just a rebel, but I’m not going to let someone or something dictate my life when I’m a grownass woman.
TL;DR – Be grateful you made it this far & don’t let society’s arbitrary benchmarks get in your way.
Current Jam: “Danger” BTS