Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogger ADHD and a reminder that i am appreciated: a story

Despite this blog being dead, dead, dead...or rather, never really brought to life in the first place, I really do have quiite the web presence. Over 75 blog posts for Little Village Magazine, 199 youtube videos, and over 11K photos on flickr - it borders on insane. I have a twitter account, a fresh tumblr account and a wordpress blog that has been as neglected as this one. I feel like I have found the ultimate way to spread yourself thin over the limitless surface of the internet. The digital way to say nothing in a maximum amount of kilobytes.

I admire those that have honed their focus enough to have blogs that people actually look at, and again I am attempting to refocus myself onto this space that I have designated as my own. Whether or not anyone will actually appreciate my attempts is best left unscrutinized by moi.

As for what to say, I always have things to say. It's often hard for me to stifle my opinions - they just seem to fall out of my mouth at the worst of times. And then when I pop my netbook open, ready to unleash my hard-earned wisdom or anecdotes on the world, nothing comes out.

Then tonight I had a little jolt of inspiration, er rather, an eye-opening experience about letting go. Both actually. I was feeling totally bummed out, like gum stuck to the bottom of someone shoe. I broke my rule of always leaving the house tarted up at least enough that I'd not be ashamed of myself if caught in a photo, threw on a hat and a t-shirt that I picked up off my bedroom floor and left my house. I didn't touch up my eyeliner or painstaking check my silhouette in my floor length mirror 100 times like I usually do....i just grabbed my bag and was out the door. Well, lesson learned. Two lessons actually.

As I approached the tobacco bowl, I caught a smartly dress young woman out of the corner of my eye and kept getting the feeling that she was going to say something to me. I ignored the instinct, charged on to the Tobacco Bowl and bought a half ounce of my vice to roll into papers and burn. As I was leaving, the woman actually did approach me and asked to photograph me for her fashion blog. While in my head I was thinking "Are you joking? In this?" but my mouth said something in agreement and I haphazardly stood there while she focused her sharp-looking silver camera on my awkward stance.

I tried to babble some words of wisdom, as though I have any to give, and sauntered on my way. She made me smile. I was in jeans, black flats, my pink Kurt Cobain t-shirt and blue hoodie. I had my thrifted grey wool hat on solely for the purpose of covering up my shaggy hair and the green earrings I had been wearing since 8am. I never thought I was a beacon of Iowa City fashion.

Lesson 1: When you are feeling low, the world is going to try to balance things out. And you've got to let it.  I could have easily told the girl no, stormed off and continued feeling terrible about the events of my day. I could have locked myself into my self-deprecating mood. I was feeling unloved, invalidated and underappreciated. Then a total stranger appreciated something about me, regardless how superficial it was.....and I remembered that I am more than just the sum of all the terrible things I can add up in my head.

Lesson 2: There is great freedom in not giving a shit. I looked at her blog post when I got home and for the initial 5-seconds, I scrutinized myself - critiquing everything I hated about the photo...about myself....and then....it passed. I though, "who gives a shit?" No one is going to ridicule me. No one's going to whisper about my smudged mascara or the width of my hips. In fact, this blog post was raving about my color blocking and understated style. There comes a time when you have to stop trying so hard and just be yourself. And in that moment, someone will recognize the inherent beauty of that attitude.

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