Cooking Show Confessional

In a cooking show confessional moment *  ** I was poised to do a post about how we, as a culture, for all of our wanting to be connected to people, seem to only want to be connected to the happy, go lucky bullshit persona that 89% of the people post on Facebook (yours truly included), and that because of that we often wind up saying “I’m fine” or “sure…things are good. I’m OK” when in fact we may be fighting the Rosemary’s Baby of all internal demons with a smile that tells the world “thanks for asking, but I know you don’t really want to hear the truth.”

At least that WAS going to be the post. I was letting it simmer in the back of my brain-bucket all day.

And then I got home and something boiled to the surface about the fact that we are living in a society where we are dumbing down the interpersonal skills. We give trophies for participation. Somehow people need to be shielded from actual conflict. So in order to spare people the growth that comes along with actually losing, we sugar coat it. Look, you lost–but isn’t this participation trophy sweet?

Actually, you know what? I don’t know that I want to write about either of those things right now, to be completely honest.

Ever wake up and realize that the life that you’re living is now your new normal? Like the whole writing/writer/wanting to be loved and adored for the words that I put on the page thing has been there for a large portion of my life. It’s shifted, of course. At first it was poems. Then song lyrics. Then screenplays and short films. The writing writing was always there. Meaning that I always wrote for me in some way shape or form for most of my life.

And oh my god are my neighbors whiny as fuck! If they are over 23, I’ll be surprised. No, not the neighbors I actually love–the neighbors in my complex, but the neighbors in the building next door.

Where was I? Oh yes. The new normal. This seems to be it. Don’t get me wrong. Some things about it are great. There are some freedoms that come from living alone (please text first before dropping by, for your comfort and mine–trust me on that).

There are also things that, if I could look ahead in my life 10, 15, or hell even 5  years ago, I may not have been so OK with. But as humans we adapt. Don’t we? I mean. I think the points of depression and discordance come along when something in my brain…that image of what I think I’m supposed to be, or supposed to be doing in my life don’t quite match where my life actually is.

For example, I had always assumed that I would be somewhere other than Central Ohio and a big time screenwriter by now. Not wearing board shorts, sitting on my Value City mocha love-seat listening to Morgan Page through the Bluetooth sound bar loud enough to drown out the millennial version of friends happening outside my window as I update my blog with things I think people actually want to read.

I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes I’m not OK. If you ask me how I am, I will tell you that I’m fine. Or that I’m not as good as I could be, but things are turning around. Or any number of phrases that let you feel like you did your due diligence as a friend or human without actually having to care or dig too deep.  That whole digging too deep thing really isn’t that comfortable for either of us, I get it.  

And I’m OK with that. Seriously. I am.

And here’s the thing. If you’re reading this and you know me in real life (or real enough life), I want you to know something right now. I’m not writing this to elicit sympathy, or help, or trying to open the channel of communication. That’s not the point of this at all.

For me, the writing is cathartic. If there’s shit going on that’s driving me nucking futs, I have to write about it. Either a song. Maybe a story, or a section in a story.  Or a blog post. Or something in my journal that I hope to fuck nobody reads until I’m dead (because for reals, I didn’t change anyone’s name in there). Point is…when I say that I’m not OK, but I will be. It’s true. If shit gets too overwhelming and the writing doesn’t help. Or the trips down to the farm with full-metal jacket therapy don’t help, then I promise–I will open up.

Or I’ll sit in my apartment naked eating ice cream directly from the carton (seriously, I’m not kidding about texting first).

Hmmm…either the dance music is drowning them out or the mosquitoes have actually come to my aid for once. In any event, I don’t hear the neighbors. Maybe they’ve taken their cookout indoors.

Yes. I know that I’m a crotchety bastard sometimes. I’m come to accept that. See above paragraph about the new normal.

As with most things that fall on these electronic “pages,” very little of what I write is planned. And most of it, is actually the real me. Or at the very least a more accurate representation of the me I am in real life vs. the me that you see on Facebook.  The me that’s on Facebook is more positive. The me that believes that as a species, we’re mostly OK. It’s a sketch of what I’d like to be most of the time. The water colors. No hard lines. Things blending together. Happy accidents and a little nest with happy birds somewhere nestled in the pine tree.

I’m not always that way, I guess. And I know you’re not either. And what I’m trying to do here, on the blog, I guess is to let you know that it’s OK to not be OK. And maybe I’m telling myself that more than I’m telling you that. Sometimes I have to know that there are days when I’m going to feel shitty. And days when I’m not going to want to be around people. And that it’s OK for me to feel that way.

At the very least it gives me a wellspring of material to draw on when I write.

Which is a bonus.

And hey…look. I guess this did wind up being a post about being OK.

Although I’m sure the judges will still have preferred to sample the goat nuts (don’t worry, it will make sense in a few sentences that were pre-written so I wouldn’t forget them as I rambled through this post like a drunken yeti).

In any event, I have to go now. There’s some ice cream calling my name.

Peace out

* – Cooking Show Confessional Moment: This is when the contestant on a cooking show starts to make a dish (say for example marinated goat testes), but for whatever reason doesn’t wind up finishing the dish. The viewers see the whole process. The judges (pretend) like they had no idea what the contestant was planning on making. And in the ultimate deflating moment as the judges finish tasting what the contestant thinks is their masterpiece, calmly say, “you should have gone with the goat nard reduction” or something equally snarky.  Point is…rule number one on those shows where you need to make something from supplies provided in an allotted time — You Never Tell The Judges About What You DIDN’T Make!!

** – I probably will still post about this at some point. It is something my mind circles back to frequently, usually during periods when I’m not quite OK. Or not as OK as some people think I should be, all things considered.

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