Paint by numbers: a mini reflection on what I am doing here

As of today I have 90 posts, 601 visitors and 1,425 views on the blog I started back in May. I’ve written 44.2k words.

I have no clue what I’m doing with the blog, honestly. And no real idea of who’s seen it. I haven’t actively advertised it to anyone other than friends on FB, Insta and Twitter (and even then, pretty minimally).

I don’t know where any of this is going, at least in a creative sense. I’m just doing what interests me. And I’m trying to grow. It’s not all me me me. It may seem that way. But “me” is the one topic I know more about than anyone else in this world. And it’s a feedback loop. In order to have something interesting to write about, I have to be interesting. My writing incentivizes me getting out in the world and doing things. And then, once I’ve done them, I have the urge to write.

I’m standing with one foot in FB and one foot in the blog. I write a lot there. It works for me. Long ago, I whittled my friend list down from 1,000 to about 300. And that’s where I keep it. I put out notices every so often telling people that FB is my account where I write what I want to in an effort to better my writing. People are free to comment or like as they please. But above all, my integrity is my bond and I won’t stand for nonsense.

So I don’t feel bad for unfriending high school friends who post about drinking La Marca in Vegas. Or show pictures of their kids and, dare I say it, grandkids. People who get butthurt when their fragile egos and logic are tested. People who are reactive. People who post memes instead of having original thought. People whose best lives are behind them. People who are not fighting against the dying light.

It sounds high and mighty, when, really, my social media is whatever I want it to be. And so is yours. We get to create the universe in which we reside. It’s not a democracy. We don’t have to listen to everyone’s opinions. Or be nice. Or tolerate, tolerate, tolerate. Unless your goal in life is to be liked by acquaintances and friends you haven’t seen in 20 years. Bully for you if it is, but, the more unconventional I realized my life was, the less I could rely on conventional opinions. I stopped justifying myself to people who could never understand my point of view. Not because I’m recalcitrant, but because I have limited amounts of psychic energy and they are better utilized doing good than trying to get anyone to like me. And their likes don’t put shoes on my feet.

I can’t say this this enough: I don’t know what I’m doing. But I have learned a bit along the way. Any confidence that I exhibit is the result of a lot of introspection, walking the walk, and believing people when they say good things. But I am never too please with myself, and, at most times, I feel like I have just screwed up on the last thing I did. I beat myself up constantly because I don’t understand how the world works. I’m like a Vulcan studying earthlings…but with giant amounts of self-doubt. Basically, nothing will ever carry the weight of every cruel thing my mother has said. And I’m forty.

And yet, I keep throwing myself into new challenges. I have to. The alternative is to dig a hole, throw myself in, and pull the dirt in over me. So I’m ok with being a bit obnoxious. I’m ok if you don’t like me. I’m ok with being considered to have so much promise and so little success. None of that keeps me from falling asleep at night. What I am not ok with is merely existing because other people disapprove of what I call a life.

Having said all of that, if you find yourself here on this blog, and something resonates or provokes or inspires or confounds you…or you want more of something, feel free to let me know. I get better through the cunning use of feedback.


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