I usually stick to the more “professional” topics on this blog and write a lot about writing, authors, and publishing, but this week I feel compelled to get a bit more personal. There is a tie in to writing and being an author, I think. And if I get to that, I’ll talk about it. But, before I go any further, I have a feeling this post may come across as a “poor me” post. I might sound a bit like Eeyore. But I assure you that I write from inspiration, even in my blog posts, and I felt inspired to write this down so I am going for it.
The inspiration for this came from Facebook. I get a little too much inspiration, and distraction, from that site. But the truth is I am on there a lot (I just wish I got the social experience I crave from it). It wasn’t someone’s post that inspired me today. It was that greyed out text in the update status box that reads “What’s on your mind?” On my personal Facebook page I comment on that phrase a lot. But over the last few days it has been taunting me. Every time I’ve read it for the past few days, I’ve wanted to post a real response to that. But, I chickened out. Today I told myself I would really post what has been on my mind, it is simple enough. One sentence really. But, just a little bit ago I chickened out again and posted, “Facebook always asks “What’s on your mind?” but I don’t think it really cares.”
I did what I always do when I am faced with something I think might be going a bit too deep, I resort to an attempt at humor. You see, what I had wanted to post was much more of an insight to my own personal demons. I wanted to post in that status box, “I wish I was attractive.” Wow… something tells me that when Facebook designers sat down and decided to put “What’s on your mind?” in the status box they didn’t really mean that. They probably were hoping for something more along the lines of “My cat just chased a laser light and ran into the screen door.” See… there is that attempt at humor jumping in again.
It is interesting that I couldn’t post that real part of me on Facebook to a group of friends and family, but I can post it here for the entire world to see. Probably because I know none of my friends will read this.
I know I am not an attractive man. My wife might argue with me on that, but the fact remains the same: I’ve spent my whole life being overlooked by the opposite sex. First I was skinny, lanky, and awkward socially. Then I got a bit more social, but I was still lanky. Now, I love to be social. But, I’m fat. Once again I find myself the perfect description of unattractive. I compensate for that with humor. When I make a woman laugh, for just a moment I feel good about myself. Not just women either, anytime I can make someone’s day a bit better I feel good. (Perhaps that is why I want to be a respected author with a fan base.)
I am very happy with my wife. Despite all my awkwardness, I found someone I can be with for the rest of my life. I know many of you are thinking that if I’m happy with my wife, why does it matter what others think. But let’s be honest, we all care what others think. My wife doesn’t get jealous. She says it is because she trusts me. And I know deep down that is why. But to me it is because she knows she has nothing to worry about. I’m just not the kind of man that has women chasing after him. Of course, many would argue that woman won’t say anything to me or compliment me because they don’t want my wife to get the wrong idea. Perhaps that is true. But where were they before?
I told you this would sound a lot like Eeyore.
So if I am happily married, why does it matter so much to me that I am attractive? I just want to be someone my wife can brag about. She has nothing about me to brag about, and she doesn’t bother to try. She can’t say I am attractive, she can’t say I’m rich, she can’t even say I’m successful. The few times she has bragged has come after talking to her about this very topic.
Ah, there it really is. I just want to be successful in something. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be someone that made an impact on the world, or even my community, or even my friends. If I died tomorrow who anyone outside my family morn my loss? …That sounded a little emo of me. (Attempt at humor).
I volunteer in my community. But my attempt to be a city council member failed. I tried to be a business owner, and failed. I tried to go for my dream job, and failed. Financially, any amount of good luck with money has been followed by a haunting from my previous money mistakes. Now I am trying to realize me dream of being a writer, but the jury is still out on that one. As for a career, I’ve settled into security and accepted that is the path for me.
Back to the topic.
As much as I crave social interaction, and lack it, it would figure that I would pick the very solitary lifestyle of a writer. But I think I like the company of writers because I discovered that for the most part, writers are a group of people with Self-Esteem issues. I’ve found some very attractive writers out there, but that isn’t the only esteem issue out there. For some they are terrified of social situations. Others, lack confidence in their writing. The list goes on. I think that is why you find so many authors out there with pen names.
There are so many reasons to have a pen name, but one of the most common I hear is because of some variety of the statement: “I don’t want people to know I write.” or “I don’t want people to know I write this.”
It seems that to be a writer you must have some personal demons. Mine is that I am ugly and lack success.
Next week, I’ll try to come back with a little bit more upbeat post. Something to do more with writing.