Thursday, November 8th. Ventura county is being evacuated for fire. The same county where early this morning, at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif a man walked in with a gun and killed 11 people and then himself. That means that there are people who, yesterday lost a loved one, and now have to evacuate their homes, in the same day. I wonder where they go? I wonder how their nervous system deals with something like this; the mere survival mode they must feel. Numb to the trauma of it all.
I wondered where I would go. I only thought about them for a moment before my depression came roaring back because I am upset at the world for not liking my stories about me.
I was seeking validation, outside on my patio overlooking Baker Beach, on a sunny Thursday mid-morning, taking a bikini yoga photo. Validation that proved, not necessarily that I am pretty, but just that I just exist. The Golden Gate Bridge was visible and I turned my camera toward it in the background. I didn’t get a photo that made me feel attractive enough to get the attention I craved before the fog horns started. When I looked up it was only hazy. No fog. I was bummed. I wanted the sunshine. I have been fighting this depression hard...or trouble surrendering into it; I haven't figured out the difference yet.
The sun helps and it’s going away.
I didn’t know it was smoke.
It was almost time to go back to work. I had a few hours of free time, and I spent the majority of the time taking selfies. Superficial, and obvious, I was desperate enough to not care. I dismissed thoughts of how hypocritical I might be. I knew self care had to come in likes on Instagram today. A solo patio yoga session—usually enough to pick me up, just isn’t enough today. I need people to tell me they see me, and I didn’t care how cheap the solicitation. I posted a few photos of me in positions I thought people would be impressed by, and I looked ok, and I went to work. The likes rolled in.
I took one really unattractive, unposed, sitting down photo on my IG stories, at attempt to ‘keep it real’ or something like that. Belly roles, pimples, the red marks on my chest and neck from Jiu Jitsu, armpit hair---all visible. Usually, I love how imperfect I get to be. To be a good role model for girls, when they aren’t perfect. But, today, I felt the need to be imperfectly…perfect… you know what I mean? The more attractive photos that made their way to my actual IG page validated this. Here is proof: I am frumpy, chubby, hairy, and flawed, but I CAN be pretty.
Look. See. There I am, being pretty, in this beautiful location.
Likes. Likes. Likes.
But I’m still mad at you world.
You know why?
Four people liked my blog post last week. Four
You know how much time and effort I put into that?
It was emotionally taxing, vulnerable, insightful, clever.
I hated it, and I worked and edited it, and met with a coach and eventually, I liked it.
The world owes me more.
Art owes me more.
This isn’t fair.
I’m better than this.
I’m mad at you.
I’m mad at art.
I’m mad at myself for wondering.
I’m mad at all the artists I love who valiantly explain, via press releases, to crying, screaming audiences about how they had played shows to two people, and how that seemed so heroic, and necessary.
This seems so dismal.
I’m mad that I want to give up. I’m mad that I don’t wanna do this anymore. I’m mad that I don’t want to share this with you anymore.
I’m mad that just knowing someone read something I write gives me so much joy. I’m mad that I deserve joy. I’m mad that I am concerned about joy while people’s houses are burning down, and people are being shot.
I’m mad that whenever I write, the subject becomes the predicate.
I hate writing.
Why do we share our art?
I’m mad that I need feedback.
I’m mad that I need revisions.
I’m mad that it’s not perfect as is,
as it pours out of my stupid little pathetic brain, I hate, it’s not enough.
I’m mad I have to change it for you.
I’m mad about how right other people are.
I hate having to rely on other people.
I hate that I need you.
I hate how this is sounding like a poem.
I hate that I don’t know what a poem is.
I hate that I don’t know what a poem isn’t.
The way this feels.
The way this feels.
I hate, so much, how wonderful this feels, and then have to turn it in.
You stupid people who just prefer an ass photo.
I hate giving you that.
I hate that I am just like you.
I hate that my mom says she would read my stuff if it wasn’t so long but she likes it anyway.
I hate all the things I wrote that I love that I can’t share because I am not good enough.
Why can’t I love them if I don’t share them?
Why do we need to share our art?
I hate where this is going. I hate imagining what you are thinking.
This is my favorite thing, you are ruining it.
Predicting everything you will say is wrong about this.
Predicting what you will say you like, and what I will know you lied about.
Predicting everything you won’t say.
Predicting it as I am writing it.
Predicting you don’t care.
How can something be so horrible before it exists?
This is who I think I am.
I’m afraid of not being good at it.
I’m afraid of the hard work I know has to happen.
I’m mad at myself that I don’t have the growth mindset yet to be ok with the growth I need.
I’m afraid of not being who I hope I am.
I hate being afraid.
I hate that the world is burning and I’m still begging you,
please like this.