Read part one of “Me & my bullshit.”
I find a tiny bit (okay, a medium bit) of comfort in recognizing the fact that the road many writers, amateur and professional, travel is one that’s alone.
The craft of writing is introspective — even fiction writers often say their stories come from some place real — and looking within isn’t something that happens at a conference table or in a room full of cubicles.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what success means to me — not in terms of money, but in terms of what every day is like for me. I’m still working to get where I want to be.
While Ryan’s words really, really hurt me, I know that I cannot change who I am to please him, or anyone. I have always promised myself and my readers that I will remain honest, even if that means I’m not the most popular person.
I also know that there’s a big, big difference between someone like me who works every single day, chasing my dreams, and someone who sits at a job, letting the days pass them by. Complacency is not for me.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about successful people, and I’ve noticed that many of those people, who are SO successful in business, are also misunderstood in many other aspects of their life. Perhaps that’s just how it goes.
Take Steve Jobs for example. Chances are you’re reading this from a device that he invented. I’m writing it on one. And I’ll Tweet about it on another one later today. In his biography by Walter Isaacson (a genius writer that I’ve been lucky enough to interview), there are many mentions of how Jobs went against the grain in nearly all areas of his life — even in unflattering ways.
At the root of the reality distortion was Jobs’s belief that the rules didn’t apply to him. He had some evidence for this; in his childhood, he had often been able to bend reality to his desires. Rebelliousness and willfulness were ingrained in his character. He had the sense that he was special, a chosen one, an enlightened one.
— Walter Isaacson, “Steve Jobs” 
There are other successful creatives I can relate to — Amy Winehouse and her broken heart (and the ability to turn that into beautiful music), John Green in his writing processes, and of course, my love, John Mayer, in his ways of being so, so introspective and insecure, that it gets him in trouble socially.
And while I know (haters, this is for you) I’m not nearly as genius as those people, I do know that I’m not a dumb ass. I’m not the girl who lost her job. I’m not someone wishing to be a writer. I’m someone just trying (and often succeeding) to make it. And by it, I mean my dreams a reality.
My past is littered with guys like Ryan. Guys who tell me how great I am, and then disappear for no valid reason. One of the biggest questions I had when Ryan sent me his douchey text was this: Why are we so quick to cut people off?
It’s that easy, especially hiding behind a fucking phone screen, to write someone a message and cut them out of your life forever, because you don’t feel like dealing with a human. Another question I had? If my behavior was so scary, why didn’t he ask me if I was okay?
And that’s the difference between being selfless and selfish, my friends.
I know I won’t stop writing — let’s be honest here, there’s nothing else I’m really cut out for. And I know it’s not going to be easy. But when the road gets tough, and the guys continue to be assholes, I’ll probably just write more of these posts about my “bullshit.”
You know the greatest thing about that guy at the gym who thinks my column is bullshit?
He read it.
If you’re nice to me I’ll never write anything bad about you.
Wait. So on one hand, you acknowledge the craft of writing is introspective and then you say something like: “My past is littered with guys like Ryan. Guys who tell me how great I am, and then disappear for no valid reason.”
Girl, I can guarantee you there is a reason and it can’t always be everyone else but you. You might seriously benefit from a little introspection there.
Oh hey girl…Caroline… or Justine… or Katherine. How are you?! Miserable, per usual, I see. You’re right. It’s all my fault. Thanks so much for clearing it up for me. I’m sure it’s my fault my dad left and never talks to me, too, right? You’re so good! Thanks for making me feel better. Love you.
Ah, now that was worth reading! Instead of just flippantly throwing actual substantive details out there and immediately dismissing them as valid talking points (your relationship with your father for example,) you find it’s more impressive to readers to blabbity blah about steve jobs and john mayer and claim to be dropping some kind of mic. Let’s not forget throwing an amy winehouse quote out there you had to google to threaten individuals around you – with a not-so-thin veil – that god forbid someone isn’t “nice” to you – you will write bad things about them. Well holy hell, no wonder guys bail!