My friend Robin cornered me in a party at BlogHer. She has extraordinary handwriting (as evidenced by her hand-made cards in her Etsy shop) and she was writing on everyone’s arms something inspirational on everyone. So being Robin, she looked me straight in the eyes and asked me what I needed to hear on a daily basis. It was uncomfortable because, hey, it was a PARTY! And I didn’t want to look there, to see it, to acknowledge it. But I did.
She wrote, “I am fucking enough, dammit.”
I have so many voices in my head. Voices that tell me constantly that I am failing, that I am not working hard enough, that I will never succeed, that I’m ugly, that I’m fat and stupid – it is endless. The litany of shit in my head that I have to fight is awful.
As I’ve often heard said, I would never speak to someone else the way that I talk to myself in my head.
But that’s not all.
There are external voices, too. I spoke in my post on Babble yesterday about feeling afraid to post my truth here sometimes, and several commenters said I should just close comments here if I don’t want to hear people say nasty shit about me. But the truth is, it’s NOT on this blog.
There are a dozen or so Twitter accounts that discuss me – nastily – on a regular basis (I have them all blocked so I don’t see them, but I know they are there). There’s at least one website that writes about me frequently and the commenters there gleefully steal photos of me, of Tori, and trash every single detail about my life. There are forums dedicated to nitpicking my life. I work HARD on not going there, on not seeing what they say, but I’m only human. Trust me, it’s incredibly challenging to fight the impulse to click – as tough as it apparently is for them to not click on THIS site.
But I don’t want to discuss them, not really: what I want to talk about is how these external voices have fed the internal voices. My internal critic has grown so much louder as a result of this, and some times I stumble from the beating I give myself.
But I realized something yesterday: I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I am not going to let the voices win. I am going to fight, and I’m going to start by telling you the truth about how it is right now, this minute in my life. Fuck the nasty voices. This is my fucking blog and I blog about my fucking life.
Right now, my life is 90% awesome. But the other 10% is weighing heavily.
I am working very hard. I generally put in about twelve hours a day of work, and my paycheck shows it. Some aspects of work I love, some I don’t like so much (says the girl inputing stacks of business cards into a spread sheet). But work is, generally, great.
We have an issue with our mortgage company. After eight months of paying a triple mortgage as part of our bankruptcy settlement, they are claiming it wasn’t enough. We are working with our lawyer on this, and it sucks in a lot of ways, we might have to sell the minivan, but… we’ll take care of it. We will. Because we are doing our best to live financially responsibly, by our definition. I’m frustrated because I’d really hoped at this point to be starting to build savings and emergency funds, but… first things first.
You might wonder – and I don’t blame you – how I pay for the conferences I attend. The answer is this: I don’t. I’m very grateful that AboutOne finds it important to get me to conferences, and that other companies ask me to represent them at conferences as well. I’ve seen this be a point on those sites I mentioned, so I want to address it once and for all: I do not put my family’s financial stability at risk by attending social media conferences. End of story.
Living with my mom has gotten better. She’s been working hard to give us some space and I am very grateful for that.
Tori is brilliant and funny, but after nearly six months of a perfectly behaved child, some typically six year old behavior has creeped back in. As it should be. Tori will start her new school in about a month. We received our financial aid package from the school, and it’s very reasonable – we’ll be paying about what we paid for day care. I’ve taken on extra work to pay for it (I’ll be doing some sponsored posts at my blog on Babble) and am continuing to seek new writing gigs to help ease the way for the school. I am thrilled that she’s going to participate in this grand experiment.
We’ve had one small issue with Tori this summer; she’s experiencing some anxiety. This is not surprising; her father’s anxiety surfaced when he was about her age. We aren’t doing anything about it at this point, although Jo-Ann has provided us with some resources to check out. We’re adopting a wait and see attitude right now; we don’t really know if it’s simply a developmental phase. After all, she’s our only kid. We haven’t done this before.
So there you have it. That’s my life in a nutshell. Instead of thinking about it all being fodder for someone else, I’m going to just think about it as returning to the type of narcissistic navel gazing that is the meat and potatoes of this blog.
Thanks, everyone, for listening and understanding. It means a lot.