This post is the blog equivalent of a Starbucks gift card, purchased in a panic on Christmas Eve. I just don’t know what to give you, and my self-imposed publishing schedule doesn’t give a fuck that absolutely nothing is going on. I feel like I’m writing on a chain-gang this week, and so here I am. Taking it off, boss.
I know I can’t be the first writer to consider making some bad decisions on purpose, just to have something to blog about. I get an email from that girl I like, who wants to know when we are going to get together for French fries. Maybe I answer her a little too fast, because I don’t hear back after I list out some days to see her. Or maybe I didn’t hit send. I’m half-assed like that.
Also this very week: a highly stimulating man I know suggested a midwinter fuckation, and that, my friends, is a tempting offer. Someplace hot enough to justify running around in age-inappropriate clothing. Surf. Sand. Lubricants.
Instead, I am here where it’s cold and the trains don’t run for shit, holed up in my apartment. I am trying to learn how to write a book proposal, using my twin powers of the Internet and bothering my friends. I am invited to consider my platform (hello my 11 Twitter followers!) and asked to consider what I am promising my readers (soup! I will make soup for everyone who buys my book! Everyone likes soup!)
A book proposal. I feel like I have just shown up for an Iron Chef competition with a bottle of ketchup, a freshly honed spork, and a dead-earnest expression. Let’s fucking do this thing.
It’s mortifying, but I grimly finish all the modules of this online course, tamping down rising panic and self-loathing with handfuls of leftover Christmas candy. Sometimes I sit on the floor and just look at nothing for a while, chewing. I fill a notebook with careful summaries, bulleted lists, questions I want to ask (yes, junkie nerd to the bitter end). Then I leave the notebook on the floor, and my rabbit eats half the pages. Yes. My rabbit literally ate my homework. This goes beyond my reach exceeding my grasp—we are in the territory of full-bore delusions, people.
Or maybe not. Who the fuck knows. I’ll just keep sporking away over here on the blog. “You need to talk to more people,” suggests my friend and amazing writer-person, Jodi Sh Doff, who invites me to view social media a bit more socially (I shiver, side-eyed). “It’s like a cocktail party. If all you do is talk about yourself, people will drift away.”
And here it is, the uncomfortable awareness that no matter how much of myself I’m willing to bare for you, it’s still just my bloviating self going on about myself.
And I panic. Am I a boor?? Am I that person who wants to take you conversational hostage at a work function to tell you about the weird dream he had, and the symptoms of things he’s experiencing, followed by a slideshow of vacation photos on a greasy iPhone screen? Am I that person?
I can do this. Not a big deal at all, just go cruise around some blogs and leave some comments. Come on, Tippy. Go make friends.
And instantly I feel like I did when I was eight and my mom would send me over to go talk to some kids. Hi, I’m Tippy and I like things that have skin on the outside. Do you also enjoy making mouth sounds? Like an alien, trying to pass herself off as human.
And so, hyperaware of the freaking hubris of this whole thing, I struggle to connect somewhere. I read blogs, leaving comments that I hope sound casual but I fear border on shrill. I go on Instagram, where I see this Kino MacGregor quote beside a photo of one of my favorite yoga instructors:
“Get comfortable with who you are. Just be yourself. You don’t need to be the ‘best’ or prove your worth. You’re enough. You don’t need to be better than anyone else and you certainly don’t need to try to be anyone else. No matter how tempting it may be to compare and contrast yourself with others, life is not a competition.”
Posted along with this photo, by the gorgeous and bendy Serena Tom. It seems like it’s mostly the people who don’t need to compete, because they are already physically flawless, talented, and wildly popular, who love to remind the rest of us that it’s not a competition.
But if it wasn’t a competition, there wouldn’t be so many numbers attached to it all. It wouldn’t be so easy, to go online and count the ways that I am sort of failing.
That’s kind of a grim ending for a post, but I probably won’t publish this anyways, not unless I get really desperate, and then I’ll make sure to include a picture of a hamster at the end or something, just to cheer it up a little.