Life is really funny. It has a this way of teaching you humility that, if you are anything like me, it hits you square in the teeth with a two by four and mocks you until you learn to stand on your feet.
That could just be because I am a special kind of dense though.
I was experiencing what I would call a bought with productivity. I was writing every day, travelling, and really reaping the benefits of structure. If there are such things (In truth, if you saw my bedroom, you would wonder if I had any kind of idea how to pick up after myself. I’m told I’m a messy person. Truthfully, I know where everything is. Everything has a logic to it – it’s just MY logic.)
Then, life happened.
My whole life I have suffered these crippling bouts with self doubt. I will encourage anyone else to follow their dreams without hesitation or remorse. I look at other peoples work ethics, and especially among my writer friends – their habits of actually producing content.
I commit words to paper every day. I am constantly working. However, maybe about two paragraphs of the content I create ever makes it out into the world. I’m picky. I second guess myself. I tend to make myself miserable by picking apart every last nuance to the point that sometimes, I just delete whole posts. Whole paragraphs. In the case if the comic, whole chapters. And re-write them. Wash, rinse, repeat.
On top of all the energy I put out being a self depreciating neurotic crazy lady…I still have my appointments with clients (That I am beginning to take again as my makeup portfolio kicks up). I am involved in a fledgling theater company (MorBacon Theater. Bringing the geek to Chicago one classy moment at a time. Wonderful people. I’m thrilled to be working with all of them, even though they all put me to shame in talent, work ethic and general nice-ness to people.) Kevin O’Shea of Made of Fail productions is at the helm, and working with someone who is not only amazing with the content he produces, but who also has the heart to put up with MY derp and still encourage me? Is humbling and completely new.
Collaborative efforts are often very difficult for me in general because I tend to be awful at making friends. I am what you call…at extreme risk of choking on my own foot at all times. I tend to say things to people without trying that make them either A) very uncomfortable. B) Think I’m some kind of loony bin clingy lady (which is still open to honest debate) or C) I’m just completely misunderstood in general. I’m simultaneously the queen of giving TMI while at the same time being a deeply private person.
I am my own worst critic. Not in the way that everyone is their own worst critic either. I’m almost abusive to myself in some ways. If something isn’t literally perfect, I will re-do it until it is. I do not hold others in my life to this standard.
I have an ex who is actually managing to navigate into the friend zone. He is also a writer. I’m helping him edit one of his books. Reading another writers work is intimidating because you can’t help but compare it to your own.
Naturally, I assume that everything I write is awful and I’m incredibly intimidated by the whole process. I’m forcing myself to edge out of my comfort zone again. Re-inventing ones self is a scary prospect, and I’ve been working my ass off for the last year just to get to the point where I am comfortable in my own skin enough to call myself a writer. I’m easing into my identity.
I don’t mind doing these kinds of things either. That’s not what this is about. I have just been struggling again with setting appropriate boundaries with people. I’m writing this here to vent. I love my friends and family – but all too often I find myself in a situation where I am doing things for others, out of a sense of duty, or because I like them and want to see them succeed. Or I believe in their vision and ability. The problem is that…Most of the time, I never know how to ask for support in return. People in my life get used to the fact that I am always going to be there, and while I do genuinely love being supportive – I have no idea how to ask for help and support when I need it.
My instinct is to take whatever feelings I’m having and bury them deeply to avoid appearing weak, or shallow, or neurotic, or whatever else I could possibly appear by being human. I don’t like being a burden. I hide the feelings I do have about things and in the past this has been a huge problem in both friendships and relationships.
I’m better at deflecting from myself than I should be. Because of this, people often sense that I am being shady, or whatever. In the past two years I have had my life get completely re-arranged and had to build from the ground up. I have trust issues like any normal human being who has had some of the experiences I have. I’m working actively every day to deal with these issues in a way that allows me growth and doesn’t negatively affect those around me. My problem lately is that I tend to surround myself with people who are brutally honest – which I love…but I don’t know how to let them into my world without overwhelming them.
There are many people on the autism spectrum who are much further down the tracks than I am. Social interactions will always be something I struggle with because I often feel like I am on the outside looking in. These things come so easily to other people it seems. I agonize over details that others get instinctively. It shouldn’t be difficult to just, give and receive with a friend. I find the prospect of asking for support in return completely intimidating.
I will get there some day.
This post has been full of random and odd, but I’m working on being honest about where I’m at – even if the thoughts don’t connect. I hope that this reached at least one person. If it did, it wasn’t a completely vain post.
This week, MorBacon begins gathering funds to move forward with our production. I will make another post once the promotional stuff goes live.
This week, I will actually mail my comic script to my chosen artist with all the revisions and I will mail it to my friend. I will mail Molly those hats I owe her that have been sitting here collecting dust because I managed to work myself into a coma these last two weeks.
I will work on finding photographers to take a set for me and help me update my headshots. I will stop hiding all the material I work on just a little because damnit, some of it might actually be really good and I’m never going to get anywhere if I don’t put myself on the line.
The podcast will also get recorded this week so I can begin editing. My co-host is one of the most naturally talented comedians I have ever had the opportunity to work with and there will be a lot of good things to put together.
I’m coming to grips with the fact that if I don’t believe in myself, no one else will and they shouldn’t.
The time has come.
As always, thank you all for reading and for your support. The letters I get from my little community here pull me through some of the worst times of my life. You guys are all fantastic.