I began this post a while ago.
It was going nowhere; I wasn’t even enjoying writing it.
The first draft was a list of reasons why I haven’t posted in so long. Each numbered reason went into long, meaningless detail about all these recent distracting nuances in my life—all of which have apparently prevented me from updating this site.
I deleted all the blabber. And, here you go, I saved you about 2,000 words of your time:
THE REASONS (abridged)
- I lost my sense of smell and taste.
2. My cat died. (RIP, Elle!)
I adopted two new ones.
3. My kid was diagnosed with a rare auto-inflammatory disease.
But he’s perfectly fine.
4. I’ve been taking online courses.
They finished in November.
5. I turned 40.
6. My laptop keyboard was broken.
It was replaced in November.
7. I’ve had ghostwriting gigs.
Well, one. And it’s done.
8. Strangers on the internet bashed one of my last pieces. Like really tore it apart.
But . . . they read it.
9. I don’t have a proper writing space.
10. Pieces on a blog are hard to get published. Editors want original material.
So post something. . . anything. Post this.
These aren’t reasons. These are pretty bad excuses.
It got me wondering what the real reason is? Which one of those ten reasons has put me at a screeching halt? None of them really seem give-up worthy. They all really seem like no big deal at all, quite honestly.
Well, after much soul searching, the votes are in. . .
It was Number Eight. Go ahead, go back and look.
Number Eight was published by a very popular mommy blog (here) . Not once (February). Not twice (August), but three times (October). Can you say thrice there?
It’s not my favorite piece, nor my best. I was actually rather surprised when my submission was accepted.
In the essay, the narrator (me) bashes what she sees on her social media feed. What these moms and families are portraying, she perceives as fake and unrealistic. She’s angry. She’s tired. She’s jealous. She’s lost.
“Oh, and then there’s the obligatory happy family pictures at adorable places. You’ve seen it. Look at us! We are so happy and coincidentally wearing coordinating outfits at the beach. Look at us! We are so happy and laughing hysterically at this trendy restaurant where our children are behaving perfectly. Look at us! We are so happy and just in love with life at this park. Look at us! We ski. We vacation. We snuggle. We hike. We smile all f*cking day long.
Stop it now. Because no, no you don’t.”
She’s drowning in her new role of motherhood, unsure of her ability to be a good mom.
Her perception of these Facebook friends gradually shifts as she comes into her own in her role as “Mom.” She becomes less uptight and more self-assured as the essay ages.
I intended for her relationship with social media to be a metaphor of her emotional state through different phases of motherhood.
But I guess that’s not exactly how most of the readers interpreted the piece, now is it?
These readers obviously took my words very personally and they didn’t hold back. They attacked. They abused. They diagnosed (I need to seek help. This was suggested over 300 times), but not in a sympathetic way, in a cruel, demanding way.
They stomped and spit on person they’ve never met. And it was published thrice! So, it just kept happening.
I didn’t even read the comments in the most recent posting.
I’m just a girl standing in front of a screen trying to make a metaphor. Anyone?
It dawned on me that none of the trolls commented on the writing (and that’s really all I care about). They commented on the content. But they read it. . .
Oh, they read it alright. And, it impassioned them. It infuriated them. It affected them.
Then I guess I might be doing something right then after all, huh?
Until next time. . .