in and out of touch
there's a crutch i've been leaning on lately--it's a knee-jerk response that is born from truth, but can only hold me up for so long. "i've been busy!" i say in reply, in protest, as precaution. and i have been. my little moleskine datebook is brimming with places to be and schedules for working, teaching, meeting, planning, writing. my down time is decidedly down
because of the obvious lack of activity it implies. but ultimately, i've struggled recently with the idea of being in, or out, of touch with people.
some people in my life use this very page as their crutch to lean on, to give them an avenue into my life. this is frustrating, because what i write here represents one small fraction of who i am and what i do. am i uncensored? not by a long shot. in fact, i am the very definition of censored. i censor myself. my desire to be anonymous is ursurped by my love of attention; it's a vacuum i created and now fight with on a regular basis. it's why i don't post as frequently as i used to. it's why things are often more vague than perhaps a reader might like. at a certain point i felt more of a need to be in control of the information i was putting out there. the "what ifs" took over for the "so whats" that had been my guiding force when things first started out. and the changes have been good, for the most part. what i put out here is crafted, thought out, the product of my continued focus and ongoing education. what i put out, i'm proud of.
and then something happens like what happened last week. people have been wondering where my comments went. no, it's not a browser or server problem. no, there's nothing wrong with my code. i had to take them out, because someone was leaving hurtful, rude, cruel comments. a (presumable) stranger. and i know i can't please everyone. and i know they are the loser for being so decidedly lame and having nothing better or nicer to do than to insult someone they know only a sliver about. they had the gall to call me "rude" for deleting their comments. and much like the jackhole who tried to steal the tv set in my apartment building's new gym last week, this one person ruined it for everyone. they almost ruined it for me.
i am, like so many of us are, my own worst critic. i can build myself up and then knock myself down in a heartbeat. i can make myself feel horribly about the way i look, the choice i make, the failures in my life (that number fewer, but far, far outweigh the successes--isn't that a bitch?), everything i don't have and can't seem to get. i don't need anyone else to do that for me. i know in some areas of my life i've dropped the ball, or i've contributed to the failure. i own my failures. i own my mistakes. isn't it billy joel who sings a song about our mistakes being the only things we can truly call our own? and i am not perfect. the cruel of word and heart will nod emphatically, and think of some witty taunt about my appearance, or some manner in which i've let them down. everyone else, i hope, will simply recognize themselves in my words. no one is perfect.
i like to share my accomplishments with the people in my life. i have some really important, strong relationships with family and friends, and some that i want and need to tend to, cultivate, repair. i want to shout loudly all the great, great things i've done and achieved in the hopes that by sheer volume, i can move beyond the quieter, more piercing moments of feeling inadequate, unattractive, or unsuccessful. i am doing wonderful things with my life. i am frequently in the company of smart, talented, loving, funny, interesting people who bring so much to my daily life. i am healthy. i am beautiful--not to everyone, but to some, and, more importantly, to myself. i am extremely bright. i am talented. i am going places i never dreamed possible. i am passing goal marks on this incredible journey.
and what happens is sometimes i lose sight of the little things. many a phone call goes unreturned, many an email unanswered. because, like in all arenas of my life, i don't want to do it half-assed. and then i am swept away in the thrilling tide of deadlines! events! assignments! relaxation! dinner!... and i'm out of touch again. i'm here, typing out small pieces that come from complex places in my heart and head. i am not, as someone recently assessed, brutally honest and baring it all. not even half of it. not even some of it. and i refuse to write something that is routine, or diary like. dear world, this is what i had for breakfast. this is what movie i saw. this is who i saw it with.
i write everyday. i have to, or i will go insane. i have a handful of writing projects i'm tied to on a regular basis, including ones to which i've obligated myself, like here. this is a forum. this is an exercise. this is a style unto itself. this is a part of me. and for many of you, this is more than enough. this is plenty. this may even be too much. but this isn't a phone call. it's not a letter. it's not where i'm going to tell you the name of the award i've just been given, or explain the essay project, the book assignment, or the prestigious academic grant i've been given. hell, i don't even use people's real names. i don't even admit my feelings here. it's a form of the truth. it's full of mistakes.
and i can call it truly my own. and if you want to talk to me...you can call me.