For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how to remove people from following my blog. I looked up blocking but was told you can’t block anyone. You can only make your blog private. I certainly didn’t want to do that.
One day, as I was going through some of my followers, I noticed you can remove people from getting notifications. So I did that. Not exactly blocking but at least they won’t be notified of when I update. I suppose if they go through the trouble of seeing if I’ve updated, I can’t help that. But it makes me feel better knowing they won’t have a direct line to my life.
Toward the end of the year, I removed a few people from my social media sites (and thus my life) because I realized they weren’t good for me. And for a while, I struggled with whether or not my reasons for this removal were valid. Once I realized I didn’t have to justify my actions to anyone, I felt good having taken away some of the negative energy. But a few people still had access to me through this blog. And I even tried to start an alternate blog but somehow they found me and started following that one as well.
And I wondered why.
This person did not care about me as a person or friend. Did not support my writing endeavors. If anything, they probably only kept me around to make themselves feel better and more talented. As much as I gave myself as friend and as much as I supported their various projects, I never felt that support reciprocated. And I told that person this much. And their response was underwhelming. No apologies. No validation of my feelings. And that’s when I realized that I had made the right decision to distance myself from them.
I give a lot of myself on this blog. It’s not that anything I write is so profound or that it’s only for a few privileged people to read but I have opened up my life and put it out there for others to hopefully relate to and understand. Something in which they can find a connection. And for that person to continue to take parts of me, to still get glimpses into my life when they did not choose to do the same for me, just felt kind of unfair. It was just more taking on their part.
And I hope by being able to remove them, I have taken a little bit of myself back. I want to help people. I want to support their artistic goals. But I don’t want it to be because they tear me down to make themselves feel better. I’ve had enough people do that to me and I just can’t allow that to happen anymore. I don’t think much of myself but I know I deserve better than that.
“I was supposed to do great things
I know the road was long
But I wasn’t raised to shoot for fame
I had the safety on
I cut my ties, I sold my rings
I wanted none of this
If you start from scratch you have to sing
Just for the fun of it…”
-Cold War Kids, Miracle Mile
I’m a failed artist. I created an animated short film no one watched. I’m a failed writer. I wrote a book but no one read it. And I’m a failed person. I tried to give myself to others but I have no friends.
So what’s left for me?
It’s weird because now that I’ve written my book, I’m almost entirely over writing. While I had another book in mind, I’m likely never going to write it. I could write it for myself. But I would also want it to be professionally edited. And I can’t afford that. I couldn’t even afford to have my first book edited but I thought I might make that money back in book sales. That didn’t happen. Not even close. I can’t take that financial risk again. And if I can’t make the next book the best it can be then what’s the point?
And when I think about it, there’s a piece of me that doesn’t even want to blog anymore. It’s partly because I’m burned out on writing and partly because no one seems that invested in my words. I had that same exhausted/defeated feeling when I finished my student film in college. After I exported that final animated file, I had no desire to do another one.
Now that the book is done, I feel a huge weight has been lifted from me. I wonder if that’s why I don’t feel the urge to write anymore. Maybe I had this need inside me to just finish this one project, to get this story out of me. And maybe all the other writing I did was a distraction. I was writing and it felt good but I wasn’t working toward that one true act that would bring me the most satisfaction. And now that I’ve finally accomplished it, there’s no need to continue with the distractions.
When I was a child, I came home from school and went straight to my room and did my homework. It just made sense to get it out of the way so I could watch Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers uninterrupted.
As I got older, the Internet took precedence over algebraic equations. There was just so many other interesting things to do and the fact that I hated math didn’t help my procrastination. When I was in a chat room or downloading music on Napster, I always told myself those word problems were waiting. It was like getting your teeth cleaned or taxes done, an activity you know is necessary but one you put off for as long as possible. It always stayed in the back of my mind and I always felt guilty for not getting it done right away but that didn’t stop me from waiting until the last minute.
When I graduated from college, I felt free from the burden of homework. I could get a job, put in my 8 hours and then go home and be lazy without the worry of another deadline weighing me down.
But that was before I decided to write a book.