Everyone Else

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I will admit I’ve been considering letting this blog go. It’s not that I don’t like having it. It’s a place to vent and dump my thoughts when otherwise they would just swirl around in my head obsessively.

It’s just that I have this issue with sharing my thoughts and reading other people’s thoughts sometimes, an issue that makes me want to retreat from posting or reading anything personal on the internet at all. Just peace out for a while and come back later when I’ve worked the issue out. If that happens.

The issue is this: there are so many different types of people, and they all want to read something different. Sounds great, but it seems like, despite the variety, the majority of posters and readers out there think a lot differently than I do. Also sounds great. We don’t all need to be the same.

But sometimes I read what other people write and I think, “Why don’t I agree with this? Why don’t I think like this? It seems like so many other people do think like this. What’s wrong with me that I don’t?”

I start to worry that the way I think and the things I believe just don’t fit in in society. It’s so hard for me to find writers that I not only agree with, but who reach something deeper in me. It isn’t an issue with the writers, it’s an issue with me. I sometimes feel like I simply don’t care about the stuff other people care about.

Here’s a really stupid example, something that shouldn’t have even bothered me at all, but it did:

I read a blog post this morning about cutting down on kitchen clutter. This guy listed a bunch of items and kept using the phrase “You don’t use this.”

There were several things on there that I DO use. Every day. While most of the commenters to that post were saying things like “Oh, great list, great read, but I disagree with a couple of the items because I use them,” my own thoughts were “What the hell, dude? Why would you write something like this and use the language you use? You’re inadvertently judging people who use these items, making them feel like they’re stupid for using them, taking your own personal preference and passing it off as what everyone else should prefer.”

Why did it make me so angry? I read it as one guy trying to speak for everyone. I know it was a blog post. I know that when I post, I put down my opinions without a thought that it might sound too opinionated. I mean, it’s my blog, right? I can sound opinionated if I want, right?

So it shouldn’t bother me when someone else does EXACTLY the same thing. But it did because I think so differently from him about the topic of kitchen utensils and his delivery of that topic that it was jarring.

There are certain blogs that I’ve seen that are very popular. They have tons of followers, tons of commenters, so I read them thinking, “Hey, this is a good blog. People like it.”

And a large percentage of the time, I come out thinking “Holy cow, why is that so popular?” Which is a MEAN thought, I know it is! I can’t help it. Again, it’s not the writer. It’s me. It confirms in my mind that other people see something or get something that I don’t get. Other people find those blogs interesting. Other people like certain music, certain people, certain actors, certain movies, certain books, certain foods, certain activities, certain beliefs, certain I could go on and on… so many people, sometimes so many that I start to classify it as “EVERYONE ELSE,” like certain things that I just don’t get.

I don’t know any other way to say it. I don’t get it. And I know I’m an adult. I know I’m 28 years old and I’ve been like this my whole life and I should figure out how to deal with it, but sometimes just realizing that I don’t get what most other people seem to get makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me.

And it makes me feel lonely. I’m a solitary person. Most of the time I like being alone. But I don’t like feeling alone, like I’m drifting through my life in this weird little bubble, caring about things that other people don’t understand and not caring about things that EVERYONE ELSE understands. It’s hard sometimes to care deeply about something, try to talk about it with someone, and get either a blank stare or a scoff like the things that I care deeply about are absurd because the person I’m talking to doesn’t care about it.

Or doesn’t get it. I think that’s the problem I find most of the time. People misunderstand me because I don’t explain my thoughts well. And I misunderstand them because I don’t get where they’re coming from. We misunderstand each other, and then we don’t like each other, and then it just makes me feel more like there’s something off about me and I can’t get along with people and I can’t fit in with people.

You’re supposed to become less of a hermit as you get older and grow and learn how to interact, but I feel like I’m getting worse. Like the more I see of the world and society, and the more I feel like I don’t fit with it, the more I want to retreat into the things I do care about.

I’m basing my entire life at the moment on an ideal that I want to do something different with my life, that I want to try to work in the places I loved as a child. A zoo or a museum. My parents were so skeptical when I started school. My mom said there’s a good possibility I won’t finish. People keep asking me “Why zoology? You should become a school teacher. It would take less time and you’d be good at it.” Or “Why zoology? You should just get like a business degree. You’d make a lot more money.”

And I can’t just say to those people “Doing those things would make me hate my life. I already feel like the job I have now is crushing me, like I want to run away from it screaming, that the thought of doing it for three more years makes my heart ache and my eyes run and makes me feel so overwhelmed that I want to quit right now and do ANYTHING ELSE.”

I can’t say that. Because then I sound like a psycho. But that’s how I feel. Like if I’m going to go back to school, I damn well better go for something that I’m going to love. If I have any chance of being happy, it’s going to be because I did something I loved, not because I finished fast or because I’m making a lot of money doing a job that I want to get away from all the time. I know myself. I need to do something I love day to day, or I won’t be happy.

So many people tell me that work is just work. Just do SOMETHING that makes you some money, and you can get away on the weekends. Almost everyone tells me that it doesn’t actually matter if I like my job. And my only response is the childish statement “Well, it matters to me.”

To me, it matters so much. Liking my job matters more than almost anything else about that job, except that it can support me. But to EVERYONE ELSE, I’m being an idealistic, foolish daydreamer. Someone who looks like an adult, kind of acts like one on the surface, but doesn’t think like one.

This fear of misunderstanding extends into my story. I’m terrified of trying to publish it. I have this thought that because I like it so much, because it matters so much to me, because I think it’s a cool idea and because I like my characters, it means that no one else will like it. Because I like it so much, and because the other things I like so much are not that popular, my story wouldn’t be wanted by anyone. My taste is not the norm, so if I like it, it probably won’t be generally liked. It’s a negative, self-defeating thought, I know. But it won’t go away.

So, the blog. Part of the reason I’ve considered giving it up is this problem of misunderstanding. I am terrified of putting myself out here honestly, of saying what I really think, for fear that someone will misunderstand my motives or thoughts and get angry. I’m also afraid that people who come across this blog don’t like it. They start reading and then are like “Whoa, this lady is weird. I’m going to read one of those nice blogs, instead. One that’s written by a normal person.”

I just wonder what the point is of putting energy into something that sometimes reinforces my issues. I started this blog as a way to share my thoughts on writing, and to maybe share my story. But honestly, I don’t have all that many thoughts on writing. And when I do, I like to hash them out with another person. Have a conversation, not a monologue.

As for sharing my story…. yeah. Fat chance. I’m really going to post something I’ve poured my life into for the last two and a half years on the internet, where anyone can see it, steal it, ridicule it, whatever. I want new people to read my story and tell me what they think, but posting it on here just isn’t going to happen. I need to find another way.

I probably won’t quit the blog. I still have hope that someone somewhere will read my thoughts and understand where I’m coming from. And I admit, it does make me feel better to write these thoughts down and post them where someone can see them.

I mean, I’m writing this post now as a way to soothe myself after getting all bent out of shape over that guy’s post about kitchen utensils. It’s working. Do I feel less weird? No. Maybe more. But at least now I’ve figured out why it bothered me.

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