Life is short. And, sometimes, it’s a circus. And it doesn’t help that I’m dramatic and tend to be gloomy. It doesn’t help that I’m running a small business, finishing a book, trying to get a songwriting career into gear, want relationships (?) and am generally running on all cylinders. So I’ve come to a place where I literally Just Can’t Anymore.
I won’t worry. Because I don’t have the fuel for it.
#1: People who aren’t ready to laugh.
I mean, come on. When I say something that is obviously trying to make you smile or send you an article that’s about cats or show you something kind of dumb, is it really so difficult to throw me a bone? Even if your conscience prevents you from saying anything other than, “I don’t think this is funny, but I appreciate you trying,” I will take it. Because it’s not about being right or even making you laugh; it’s about connecting. I have now decided that, when I think to myself, “Wow, tough customer,” I need to stop trying with that person. They are not willing to sacrifice their own understanding of cleverness, look beyond content and see…a girl. Standing in front of a person, asking them to laugh at her stupid joke. Yes. I just did that.
#2: Whether or not I knew about [insert disaster].
Some days, it feels like the world is a whirling whirlpool of really depressing events, circulated by a frenzied news cycle that generates wealth by showcasing human evil and by generally making us feel like we’re going to die–unless we buy This Thing. Not that I’m going to stop reviewing what’s going on in the world. That would be too early-20th century isolationist for my taste. But I used to a g o n i z e over whether I knew what was going on, felt bad if I didn’t a) feel the need to instantly post about an event, b) share my personal, political, social, cultural, anthropolkadotic take on the event, and c) provide a link to a charitable organization that’s supporting the victims of the event, which my full-time PR team has vetted heavily enough to avoid the 20-20 vision that is other social media users, scouring posts for inconsistencies and errors
“You probably don’t know this, so I’m not going to blame you, but this organization liked a post from 2013, posted by a company that uses animal products in the adhesive on their office envelopes. : / Just thought you should know.”
/ end hyperbole
When I hear about something, I’ll read a bit about it, give a small donation if applicable and move on. Because what do all caps accomplish? What does feeling bad about not feeling bad enough accomplish? A big, steaming pile of nothing. Most importantly, it exhausts my very limited Doing Good Juice for the people I actually see face to face, in day to day life. People I actually know and care about. So I’m done worrying.
I used to be a glutton for punishment. I used to put my work and my art and my ideas and m y s e l f at the feet of people who had no interest at best and, at worst, liked to grind it into the ground with the heel of their very sensible shoes. They were agents, acting coaches, casting directors, older musicians, teachers, old friends, people I still respect, and people who were generally very, very pleased about being Hard To Please. Words I have literally heard:
Transcript: “Okay, so, I love you–I love you–but I’m being a *beeeep* on wheels because the industry and the world is just that way and you’re not going to get away with that.”
Translation: “My rampant unkindness is actually kindness and that sense of emotional violation you feel when I’m screaming at you like a maniac over the phone and blaming you for things you couldn’t have known? Yeah, that isn’t your self respect being shredded. It’s just your lack of realism and, if you can’t take that, then you are the problem. I love you.”
[Okay, yeah, but lyke the world wouldn’t be so hard if we were all just a little nicer?]
There is a difference between honesty and doing to others whatever nastiness was done to you, perpetrating the same negative feedback loop. There is a difference between critique and literally finding nothing positive to say about someone’s creative attempts. And it was up to me to see that—to admit that I was seeking brutal flagellation. A switch has been flipped, my friends. And I won’t do it anymore.
*long deep breath*
Was that a rant? I think that was a rant.
Most importantly, though, how are you torturing yourself these days? What do you need to stop worrying about? Figure it out and shut off that tap.
It’s just time. 🙂