Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whatever you do? Do it with confidence!

I was out riding on Sunday, feeling utterly at home and peaceful on my horse (who no longer lives with me but I don't want to talk about it because I'll cry), when some standard, socially acceptable conversation shook me out of my zen space. Someone asked me a very simple question. They said, "Hey Johi. So what do you do?"

Shit. THE question. My mind immediately ripped through all the things that I DON'T do and was left feeling like a failure at life and a sad loser. I quickly settled on a very shaky, "Umm... I write.... ? "

I could feel my friend smirking in front of me, knowing that it is hard for me to give myself credit for what I do, so I said it again, with a little more confidence, "I write. I like it. I would like to make a career out of it, and by that I mean that I would like more people to give me [a lot of] money to do it."

Then I added quickly, "But I mostly stay at home with my two kids." Because somehow, in my mind, being a stay at home mom is more of a life path than some "creative hobby" that I am pathetically trying to pursue.

This entire 15 second conversation was both a step forward and a step back for me. You see, it has always been entirely too easy for me to admit my failures. It is how I relate with people. Self-deprecation is a huge part of my personality and my humor. I told someone once that I wrote satire and he asked me to elaborate on the types of things that I find annoying; what things do I mock and write about. I thought about it for a moment and tilted my head just like Red Dog when she is willing you to throw the stick for her, then said, "Mostly I make fun of myself, with sprinklings of stupid shit that my husband says and does."

This self-deprecation is not to feed some narcissistic tendency to try and draw attention to myself. My writing style and subject matter is merely what feels "right" to me. It is also because I really don't like to be mean and all that I can do is share my own flaws with the hopes that people will relate, laugh, shake off their own day and go a little easier on themselves. That's all. My writing is not for world domination, it is simply for me and you, with the hopes that it will bring a little joy and a much needed dose of lightheartedness to a world full of serious problems. Problems like giant wildfires that are ripping through the foothills west of Fort Collins. Problems like cancer and starvation and sleep deprivation and dandelions. Problems like which man the bachelorette will choose, why Nathan Fillion won't just hold the motherfucking twine for the Bloggess and how many pieces of chocolate you can eat and still maintain your daily calorie count.

So, damn it, I'm going to start owning my positive qualities as well as I do my flaws! The next time someone asks me what I do, I will tell them, "Not only do I spend a great deal of my time scraping dried oatmeal from under the kitchen table and picking up after everyone, I mostly WRITE! Because I'm a WRITER!" BAM! Chuck Norris can eat my shorts because I just roundhouse kicked the shit out of that. Kind of like when the hummingbird attacked me the other day when I was hiking. I showed that little winged devil all of my athletic prowess! Here's proof!

Hi-yah! Take that, you tiny Kamikaze bastard!
Apparently red isn't the only color to attract hummingbirds.


Now if you will excuse me, I need to go wash out a bowl so that no one discovers that I was eating ice cream in the middle of the afternoon.... again.

So here is my challenge to you: Admit to something that makes you special or that you do well and own it. Wear that positive attribute/ talent with honor!*
*Because I told you to do it, and this is all part of my master plan for tyrannical world domination. Muahahahahaaha!

Peace, Love, and Spellcheck,
Johi
(a.k.a. Writer!)



16 comments:

  1. TOWANDA!!!

    I've been sitting here for a while, attempting your challenge, and all I can come up with is that today I fill Kleenexes very well.

    If you would have asked me this three years ago, I could have easily answered it, but now that I'm at home with Quinn, it's not so easy to do, and come to think of it, why do I say I'm a stay at home mom with this guilt/shame attached to it. Fuck that - I work my ass off, and so do you.

    I'm a good listener, I can drive a tractor, I can still shotgun a beer, and I can play a mwan game of Shutes and Ladders. :)

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    1. Fuck those people making us feel guilt and shame for doing what we do. It's an important job to raise children, possibly THE most important job. I mean, we are preparing humans to enter society. That's a shit ton of work. Think about how many people that you know that didn't get the proper preparation for society- it shouldn't be too hard, they are probably the same assholes that are making you feel guilty about staying at home to raise your kid.

      I'm reading Stephen King's book "On Writing". It's brilliant, every writer should read it. He said this in his book "....but I had no answer to give. I was ashamed. I have spent a good many years since- too many, I think- being ashamed about what I write. I think I was 40 before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing , I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it."

      Words from a master of his craft.

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  2. I am extremely good at my job. I have been doing it for so long I am an authority on the very specific type of law that I practice. But outside of the courtroom, I mostly feel like a failure or inferior in everything else I do. I don't know what that is. Since I work full time out of the home, I hardly ever see my kids, so I feel like a failure as a mom a lot of times. Plus, when I am around them I am just so beat, that I am not fun. And I'm not very nurturing, so I feel like bad mommy. So I see what you mean about the negative view.

    I feel like a failure as a blogger right now. I don't have a blog planned for tomorrow and feel so guilty. I feel like I am letting mah peeps down. It is very hard to feel good about me sometimes.

    BUT! I am a very good driver. I kick ass at it. That's why the other idots on the road make me so angry. IT'S NOT THAT HARD, PEOPLE. Pfft.

    And why WON'T Nate just hold that damn twine?? Real World Problems, people!

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    1. Baby, you can drive my car. (Except it is a truck... you can handle a stick shift, right?)

      You already know that I think you are the bomb. We are our own harshest critics (unless you count most in-laws)

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  3. My day job is as a graphic designer for a “free shopper” not very impressive. To top it off the pay is comparable to that of a factory temp worker. I say I am an artist. What I don’t tell them is the pay is less than a temp worker, but I am dam good at working hard at it, also If I didn’t paint I would be on antidepressants. It keeps me sane. Any form of creative artistry lends itself to euphoria. Everyone who loves these jobs knows that so the competition is tough.
    You could say you are a writer but your day job is as a hard working mom. I have done that job and it was the hardest thing ever. I am still there for the kids. You don't retire from the job and you wouldn't want to.

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    1. Amen! And I am a firm believer in creative outlets for the sake of not just art, but also sanity.

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  4. Whatsoever thy hand findest to do, do it with all thy might.

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    1. Don't tell Bex that. I know what she'll be doing. And to quote her: "Masturbation. Because god didn't give you hands for nothing. And sometimes,well,it's just easier."

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  5. Or there's Henry's take on it, which I've always found rather amusing:

    "This is a world where everybody's gotta DO something. You know, somebody laid down this rule that everybody's gotta do something, they gotta BE something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that. Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don't want to do. All the things that I don't wanna be. Places I don't want to go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned. Save the whale, all that, I don't understand it.

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    1. I like this one as well. Especially since I am going to the dentist on Wednesday. *shudder*

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  6. I am slow on the uptake at reading this blog darling but I made it eventually. I'm laying in my motel room in Wellington feeling slightly maggoty after a couple if chartreuse shots after a very quaint hoity toity business dinner. And I just went wees with the bathroom door wide open & it was beyond awesome.
    Anyway, I am good at music stuff & making people laugh. Oh & apparently I am quite good at over trusting farts. I really need to let that go but seriously I'm mentally scarred from that error of judgement.
    I need sleep. Loves x

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    1. I love you hard, even if you shart. Hope that you caught up on sleep!

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  7. I can relate. When I first left my job to try writing, I would dread people asking me what I did for a living. I live in a city where creativity is shunned and oil and gas is where it's at, and telling people you're an aspiring writer will get you the same reaction as saying that you're a Feminist Sister Wife.

    Personally, I think you have the two most ambitious and challenging difficult jobs in existence.

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    1. So people don't think that being a Feminist Sister Wife would be awesome? Shit. Because I think that is the one thing that might solve my little time dilemna.

      And I agree.

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  8. This is exactly why I do read you blogs: "My writing is not for world domination, it is simply for me and you, with the hopes that it will bring a little joy and a much needed dose of lightheartedness to a world full of serious problems." You are too good! However, I have to say, I can relate to the depressing thoughts of "what do I do good" thing/"how exactly am I contributing to my world" thing, which I have gone through and sometimes still do. Then....I walk into Walmart, and those thoughts melt away! Hahaha! :D

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    1. I would love to write more here but I am putting on my best sweatpants for a dose of daily affirmation at Wal-Mart.

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