You guys I’m really excited. I’ve finally figured out what makes me so fascinating (to me). How can I get bored when I have no idea what will happen next?
Seriously. Today I was scanning my calendar for conflicts when I saw “Guy’s Name Birthday.” This was at noon, so I knew it was one that I had entered myself, not one skimmed from Facebook and deposited into GCal as if I had at any time needed to know when every one of my thousands of Facebook friends was born.
“Who is Guy’s Name?” I wondered aloud at my desk. My work husband did not know. “Oh, he’s the guy I almost married in Birmingham last year.” It was actually early this year.
If the right way to say disabled is differently abled, is the right way to say insane differently saned?
At this point work husband asked me about my plans to move to San Francisco in February.
You guys I make life plans like you make grocery lists. And I hew to them like a man on a diet who shops for food while hungry.
I’m mostly okay with this flightiness, though I know it irritates the four or so people who give a shit about whether or not I move to SF. Because at first they were all scared and got all emotional about losing me (they are all differently saned as well). But now they just roll their eyes when I tell them about my latest grand scheme. I mean I even do it on this blog. Or, rather, on social media. First I was going to focus on my content marketing blog. Then I was going to be sex coach. Now I’m combining the two ideas and trying to build my email subscriber list for this blog to 10k. It’s now at about 650. And that’s just the past three months.
Along the way are the people who signed up for my content marketing blog and who volunteered as testers for my sex coaching.
Besides irritating, disappointing, and inconveniencing other people (or, as I like to call it, being awake), it also irritates me.
Because I can’t trust myself to make long-term decisions. Answering a personal, subjective question such as “Should I break up with him?” or “Should I look for another job?” or “Should I move to SF?” requires reasonable confidence that I can predict how I’ll feel in the future if I do it and how I’ll feel in the future if I don’t do it.
I know nothing about the future. If I learned anything from getting married at 22, divorced at 26, moving cities for a new job and a new life, and totally changing my political, religious, and ethical stances, it’s this. I have no idea how I will feel in the future. The future includes five minutes from now.
Like most social conventions, it’s unclear to me if everyone has this much trouble predicting their own emotional futures but has the good sense not to be so open about their ever-changing plans and the mercurial emotions that lead to them. Or, if I’m especially unpredictable (and fascinating).
In my defense, predicting how you’ll react to a set of circumstances probably easier if neither you nor your circumstances change much.
“I love change.” I met a new colleague today and I said that in earnest (I’m hella earnest) when he was complaining about people who don’t like change. But it’s true. I like change for the sake of change. Because I am in love with growth. You have to try new things to innovate. You have to do things differently enough that you don’t know how it’ll work out in order to get more value out of the same amount of stuff. You don’t grow when neither you nor your circumstances change much. You can’t.
I hate the bitch I was in Alabama. Now, I’m slowly coming to realize it’s not Alabama’s fault I was more racist than I am now or the Southern Baptist Church’s fault I married the wrong guy. I mean, they helped, for sure. But ultimately I shouldn’t be mad at them. I have to take responsibility for my own life.
While I love change, what I’m not in love with is grit. And grit is really important.
It definitely helps you meet expectations, so you do less irritating, disappointing, and inconveniencing other people. It also prevents that thing where I know that if I’d spent the last however many years hunkered down on ANYTHING I would be like, hella good at it right now. Well, I mean I did kinda hunker down on fucking and I’m not good at it yet so maybe not ANYTHING, but a few things.
I did get good at realizing that there are people who will read something self-deprecating I write about myself to insult me, without adding anything witty or interesting to the insult. “Yeah. You’re NOT good at fucking.” They’ll tweet at me. As if I will be wounded by this insightful observation, instead of just very confused and somewhat amused. And also feel flattered they read me, despite clearly not being intelligent enough to glean much from my writing.
Anyway. It’s irritating that I can’t predict my own future because I can’t commit to anything other than putting my thoughts and feelings on the internet. This is my one true love. This is the one thing I haven’t ever forsaken. The only thing at which I show anything resembling competence is in communicating how I feel about things.
But that’s cool. Because according to Be Irresistible: What Men Secretly Want, which I paid $47 for, the reason we’re unhappy is that we have mind-created futures that we’re constantly living in, when we’re not rehashing the past. That’s bad, author James Bauer writes, in a book that is basically Buddhism mixed with some neuroscience applied to making straight women less pathetic in their dating lives.
So instead of putting all this effort into engineering a future I sometimes think I’ll like, and other times I’ll think sounds super shitty, I need to just dig into what I know I love. I need to write, to get better at writing, to invest in my one true love instead of looking around for more and different side pieces.
So expect more earnest navel gazing, friends. Well, expect nothing.