lush, not aid*
Breakfasts 2 successive mornings, we spoke with a (very engaging) mixed-gender couple from the Netherlands. Their niece had just gotten married in Baltimore, and they took a few extra days to sightsee along the mid-Atlantic coast.
Oddly, the man had worked at the company Spouse works for now, which is in a niche industry that a lot of people have never heard of.
I don’t know how to explain this blog to someone I’ve just met. I usually say something like, “I write about my creative process/living a creative life, with everyday life stuff mixed in”. And that’s true, as far as it goes.
But I think that tagline might actually make it sound more interesting to new people than it actually is, to anyone who isn’t me.
A lot of other people who write about creativity, or their creative process, seem to find ways to make their insights broadly applicable to others. But to do that, you have to have some idea how other people think, so that you know what they value, and therefore which directions to go in.
I have some idea what other people value, but it doesn’t overlap almost at all with what I value.
When I meet someone new, and I tell them I blog, as I hand over the URL (if it comes to that), I try to recall my most-recent post. Any chance this person will find it interesting? Or will I seem narcissistic? Will my life seem pale and uninteresting? Or, more likely, will my life seem strange and unappealing?
I’m struggling with working through some thorny issues that have long troubled me. Before now, I always got caught up, at the surface, in a loop of self-pity, that could rapidly escalate into depression or even despair, without realizing that deeper issues lie underneath.
This blog is a reflection of my inner life. This blog may present an image of that life that is “strange and unappealing”. I think it’s actually fairly accurate to describe me as “strange and (largely) unappealing”.
I like being the person I am. I have always liked being the person I am.
But I have never found a way to present myself, socially, that is both (1) accurate, and (2) appealing to other people. If I’m accurate, then I’m strange. If I’ve accidentally stumbled across something that makes me appear appealing, then something’s out of whack. When it gets corrected, which it will, eventually, the other person is generally bemused at best. Sometimes resentful, as if I deliberately misled them.
When people like me at first, it’s bittersweet because I know it won’t last.
I don’t have to worry, though, about self-censoring myself to avoid losing the affection or emotional support of my friends and/or family.
I don’t have an obligation to write on a set schedule, because my job requires it. Or my writing group checks in regularly, so I’d need to be working on things other people like (to read).
I need have no fears that fans of my writing will not enjoy new directions I might find myself chasing. Some of which will indeed be dead ends. Or just only of interest to me.
I think the missing piece of the puzzle — obscured by the trajectory of self-pity => depression => despair — is that . . . I need to revel in being strange and unappealing. Who else has this kind of freedom? Who else would . . . be able to . . . put it to good use?
OUTLANDISH, with its many layers of personal meaning and significance, is my new byword.