April 6, 2012

Duchenne Would Agree

April 6, 2012

I've been blogging for a while now.  Since 2008.  That's a pretty long time for a blogger.  I've also read plenty of blogs.  Funny ones, useless ones, personal ones, topic-specific ones, mommy and daddy ones, lots and lots and lots.

I've gone through periods when I had lots of readers and lots of comments.  Times when I had none.  It's never been important to me.  

One thing you begin to notice, though, from being part of the "blogosphere" (as much as I hate that word) is that a few themes will begin to stand out.

There are the mommy bloggers who think they're rebels because they eschew play groups or baby Einstein, or because they say "crap" or drink a glass of wine in the evening.

Stay-at-home-daddy bloggers who are trying to find themselves in such a female-dominated world.

Comment and/or attention whores- Their main purpose in life is to have hundreds and hundreds of readers and commenters. Kinda sad, really.

Folks who think they are quirky or weird or different or crazy for the exact same reasons everyone thinks they are.  All humans try to be different, but we're all just dancing for food in the same menagerie.  You can quote me on that.  

There are plenty of others.  PLENTY of others.  Mostly useless.  Much the same as my blog, yes?  Because the truth is, no one thinks their thoughts are useless or unimportant.  And if you do, you are more than likely in therapy because of it.

The bloggers I'm talking about here are the sad bloggers.  The ones who are perpetually trying to "find themselves."  The ones who lament not having lived to their full potential.  The ones who talk often about all the things they could have or should have been or done.  There is a constant hashing and rehashing of worry and nostalgia and pessimism and self-loathing.

Everyone goes through things.  Everyone has their time.  Or times.  When they are down or kicking themselves.  When they are utterly engulfed in loss or self-hatred or hurt.  The range of human emotions is rather shocking, actually.  All the way from simply having an itch you can't scratch to dysfunctionally suicidal.   Some people experience all of it during a lifetime.  Others not.  Some struggle eternally.  Others rarely, if ever.

And bloggers create and belong to a world where these emotions and thoughts and feelings are surrounding and pervasive and perpetually on display.

I write about it sometimes.  But unfailingly, my writing usually ends with the realization that whatever pissed me off was my fault to begin with.  Or it ends with a dirty joke.  I wind up laughing in spite of myself.  And get on with it.   I think, search, write, close it out, and put it away.   Writing should never be purposeless.  If it were, I'd already have an entire leather-bound anthology with my name on it called "Grocery Lists."

And so I wonder to myself sometimes, when I read these kinds of blogs, if the people writing them enjoy living in this place of grayness and discomfort.  Because in my mind, if you don't like feeling something, make it stop.  Fix it.  Make it go away.  Now.  I know it's much more complicated than that.  Believe me.  Oh yeah.  I know.  I really, really do.

And it is because I really, really do that I also know a few other things.  Happiness isn't something you are going to find.  Ever.  Because it's not lost.  You can look and search and pay hundreds of dollars for therapy.  You can lose weight or pile thousands of dollars into your bank accounts.  You can have a fancy house or send your kids to the swankiest schools.  You can have huge circles of friends and places to go every weekend.  You can take 'round-the-world vacations or run marathons or write a novel.  If you are not happy, you won't find it in a bucket list or a midlife crisis or a tangible object.

It starts with something so, so, so much more simple than all of that.  Happiness starts with liking yourself.  That's it.  Liking what you see when you look in the mirror.  Liking the skin you're in and the brain in your skull.

Does it sound a bit narcissistic?  It might, but it really isn't.  How can you expect others to like you if even you don't think you are likeable?  How can you be better if you don't believe you are worthy?

Being proud of who you are right now and what you've already accomplished builds a bridge that will lift you far above those things that were pulling you down.

Bloggers use their writing to vent.  I get it.  They use this rectangular white space to sort things out, organize their feelings, writing their way to clarity or catharsis or resolution.

It's a kind of therapy.

But I think some folks get themselves stuck in a rut.  Spinning their wheels of repetition, writing and writing and writing but never really coming to any insightful conclusions.

I don't have any answers.  I'm just another random blogger who likes to hear herself talk. 

But I think I can toss you a little tip.  From another writer, a learner, a living soul, breathing and laughing and full of faults.  Another human.  A girl who's been there and done that.  Who's lived it, walked it, dreamed it, grabbed it, and let it go.

Be kind to yourself.  Smile randomly, and smile with your eyes. 

It won't fix you.  

But at least you'll be smiling.


  1. I needed to read this today. You were in my head. You are very right about "finding yourself". As i wrote yesterday about Kurt Cobain, looking to others for inspiration is ok. Looking to otehrs for answers or guidance is crazy.

    I like how brutally honest you were without being condescending. This is one of my favorite Pleasantly demented post


  2. Answers are highly overrated. Once you've found the right one, the search is over. And it's in the search that we usually feel life the strongest. That's what the smiles are for ;-)

    Thank you.

  3. So simple, yet often times, so difficult to do. This post rocked!

  4. The other day, I tried to envision what the "perfect" day would be like for me, from beginning to end. I couldn't do it. I couldn't think that lying on the beach was perfection or lying on the beach with margarita or eating my weight in chocolate all day long without wearing it on my hips (hmmm, yeah, I'm still debating about that last one).

    Anyway, the conclusion I come to is that I like/love my life the way it is. It will excite no one, but I think also my expectations are aligned with reality. Maybe some folks (like those sad ones you mention) are so sure they were supposed to have the most perfect World, they cannot fathom enjoying the moment, enjoying what you have, etc (about exactly what you said, I'm thinking). However, maybe they don't LACK self-confidence--maybe they have too much. Maybe Mommy and Daddy failed to mention that "Hey, we love you, but outside these walls, most people don't care unless they can exploit you." It's the fucking trophy generation out there--everyone on the soccer team gets a trophy, regardless of skill. My daughter's high school will not tell her WHICH place she has earned in the top 10 percent of her class (it's against the law) and she graduates next month! It's all about the "team" now. Wow, with that environment, no wonder people crash when they find out their shit really stinks.

  5. Fan-Fucking-Tastic. Beautifully Written.

    I really really really dig this.

    --& this is from a blogger who vents like triple HELL.

    Great Post.

  6. All humans try to be different, but we're all just dancing for food in the same menagerie. <- quoting as ordered lol ... because it really did make me laugh!

    VERY well written! I have a tendency sometimes to be one of the melancholy ones. And I'm learning to smile!

  7. I'm sucking your crap and I like it. Yeah, gross, but you get it.

  8. Four years of blogging is impressive to me. Long enough to know about the ebbs and flows. I wonder if I will stick it out for that long or if I might wander away during an ebb. There is something so counter productive to my original intent to get bogged down in numbers of readers/comments or pithy content for the sake of pith. Time will tell.

  9. Well I am one of the mommy bloggers who thinks they are cool because they hate playgroups - but I have to tell you - you would be surprised how many mommies really love playgroups....and isn't that demented?? Isn't that worth noting?? That there are women in this country - LOTS OF THEM - that ENJOY playgroups???
    I really love your pic of Jesus giving the finger!!


  10. Visiting because of your picture on the WoE linkup. Glad I did. I find myself grinding over this stuff sometimes. I'm very introverted and super introspective. I just need to get my thoughts out sometimes. You are right about happiness. It was sort of disappointing to learn that happiness is (predominantly) a choice. We can get used to the best and worst (well, mostly) situations. So our happiness comes from within and how we react to things. I used to make fun of people who used the word "present" as a adjective. But then I realized that was because I have trouble being present. So I am trying to work on recognizing when I am happiest so I can do more of that and less of the other stuff. I also try to keep my sense of humor, because when it goes I can be one cranky bitch.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  11. @Barb- The trophy generation. I could not have said it better.

    My problem that I had to grow out of was the "prodigy" lie. Telling myself that if I was not a prodigy, then working toward a goal is futile. I should be born great, naturally. If I was not, then reaching the goal would mean little. That thought process fucked me up for a long time. And yeah, I can definitely see how that is a result of too much self-confidence. There are times when I have it in spades, enough to pass a little around to every soul on the planet. Other times not so much. Perfection is impossible, thankfully. And I have spent a shitload of time making sure my kids know that although they are wonderful and brilliant and most excellent beings, there will always be someone who has something you want, whether it be intelligence, talent, success. Want what you have and be grateful for it, work to build upon your gifts and make better your inherent self. Trying to change your you, walk in shoes that aren't yours, jumping fences to greener grass you did not sow is the quickest way to lose yourself.


Suck on my crap