Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Suck it Haters

"Who walks around thinking they're wrong all the time?" my dad's very opinionated ex-wife asked one time with a laugh full of certainty and assurance.  She just couldn't understand people that didn't have confidence in their own ideas or expectations of greatness.  

She was full of all kinds of advice, like "Never walk and smoke, it's tacky."  (Ahhh, let's give her a break on that one,  it was a million years ago when she gave me, a very impressionable 16-year-old, that advice.)

I know some people like her.  People that are sure of themselves.  People that think they have good ideas.  People that know they are smart.  People that feel pretty damn good about themselves.  And I hate those people.  No, I'm kidding.  I mean I'm jealous of those people, because I am not those people.

You see, I was raised by a co-dependent, mind game playing,  fucking crazy lady (my mother, not my ex-stepmother)and I blame everything on her.  I'm kidding....about the blaming everything on her part.  I do use it to explain, not complain, about why I might be a bit crazy.  Just like the eloquent hooker in Pretty Woman, after you've been put down enough, the bad stuff is easier to believe.

(I won't lie to you, this is a pretty poignant clip from a pretty non-poignant movie.)

So, feeling like a loser, I consider myself a hustler for the good stuff in life.  I've quoted Elizabeth Gilbert's idea from Eat, Pray, Love about "tap dancing for pennies of affirmation" before and I kind of love her for that quote.  Kind of wish my dad would've married someone like her all those years ago.

All this hustling is a coping skill you see. My brother and I have talked about how we have an "I'll show you attitude" about life.  I guess you might call it a giant chip on our shoulders.  

When I was training for a marathon a couple years ago, part of my motivation was to prove all the haters that I could finish the damn thing.  Did I have haters?  I don't know for sure.

But with the help of Kanye and Eminem on my ipod, I will tell you that anger helped me get through the first 14 miles of the race. Half-way through however, it all changed.

I stopped being angry.  I stopped caring about the supposed haters/doubters.  The songs on my ipod were happy, upbeat love songs.  My last few miles I was fist-pumping and waving at the crowd like I was in a god damn parade.  Like I was something to be admired.  Like I knew what I was doing.  Like I had a good idea.  Like I was something special. 

That's right, I am about to make the whole marathon of life metaphor.  Even as I type this I am wondering if you, the readers are hating it...and I am about to say well, screw you.  But then I worry and hope you like it, maybe love it and I want to scream thank you.  

Anyway, in this whole race of life I hope I accept the ebbs and flows, the certainties and complete uncertainties, the haters and the lovers.

I am about to go to my first blog conference, called Blissdom.  I leave in a day and a half.  I feel all kinds of crazy--not professional enough to attend, guilty about leaving my family for days, pissed that I feel unprofessional and guilty, tired from the past few weeks of a lot of heavy life stuff, happy that I get a shot at making blog connections, silly for feeling like a blogging poser and so much more.

As I think about what to pack and worry that I have flimsy, unprofessional business cards, I want someone to say something horrible to me.  Tell me I can't do it or say the dreaded "who do you think you are?"  Help me get that chip on my shoulder....without it, I am a mushy, insecure mess.  Okay, even with it I am, but at least I am angry and think I will prove my haters wrong.

In my old house I had a wall of words in my bathroom---a place dedicated to quotes I love. Quotes that have meant or mean something powerful to me.  And it was one of the first things I did in my new house, my new bathroom, my new wall of words.

A wall to share quotes like this:

One way or another.  Even if it's only the lyrics to a stupid pop hit.  We're going to right the world and live. I mean live our lives the way lives were meant to be lived. With the throat and wrists. With rage and desire and joy and grief and love till it hurts. But goddamn, girl, Live.

Sigh.  I love that quote.  It sounds manic, but I love it.

The good, the bad, the ugly.  The certain, the insecure, the haters, the lovers.  They all matter.  Knowing that, I am going to keep doing things that make me uncomfortable, fight through my doubt and laugh when things aren't perfect (like my shitty fake business cards) after I cry first of course.  It may be messy, but goddamn, I am going to live.  Haters can suck it (awww, there's that old chip again).


  1. can't wait to meet you.
    What a wonderful post.

  2. This is a great, great post. I know exactly where you're coming from. You hear the negative, from others and then from yourself, long enough before you start to get angry. After a while you have to wonder why you're *still* angry. It can be motivating but it can be debilitating too.

    I hope we get to meet up at Blissdom!

  3. Everybody thinks these things. Everybody. It's human nature (except for those super-confident freaks). I can't wait to meet you!

  4. This made me smile so much. Maybe that wasn't the point, but that's what it made me do. I love the confidence oozing off the screen. I had business cards made that are so generic, because I am hoping to get a blog redesign soon-ish and didn't want to get cards to match my current look. So I get you on the cards. See you in Nashville!

  5. Many of your thoughts & fears I can relate to. Feeling like a poser blogger is one of them. I can't wait to meet you in person.

  6. I'm so insecure, too. Just today I started getting the butterflies-in-the-stomach-because-I'm-about-to-be-in-a-room-with-700-bloggers feeling. Yuck. We're going to rock it, though. I can feel it.

    Also, your header up there caught me eye immediately, because (in the last week) my toddler was diagnosed with Celiac. I'm still wrapping my head around it. I'll be checking out your other blog, too.