I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets, and resolutions. I love this time of year because the calendar naturally moves me to reflect and take action. This post is all about 2021 failure.
I hate writing this particular type of post because of reader feedback.
Year after year, I write about my failures to teach you something about yourself. I’m a professional and can whip together a compelling blog post about letdowns and disappointments in about five minutes. When it’s done, I don’t think twice. It’s been this way on multiple sites, under various aliases and monickers, since 2004. But every year, some reader feels compelled to reach out and tell me that I’m not a failure and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. There’s a mom/dad/condescending quality to it. They’re going to relieve me of my burden by telling me it’s okay. And it fucking bugs me. A lot.
Is it all in my mind? Yes. Am I nuts? Yes.
I’m so thin-skinned, sometimes. I’m also impatient and self-important. Not just with these year-end posts, but all year long. Those are terrible qualities, and I’d like to say that I’m working on myself — but am I? Are you working on yourself?
(Okay, I’m working on it. The good news is that, unlike other internet destinations, I read my email. I’m slow, but you can email me your patronizing shit. I’ll try not to take it too personally.)
Those aren’t even the messages that bother me the most. I am learning to give a lot of space and grace to readers who send crazy shit. Not even the sex stuff. That’s easy to ignore. It’s the stuff that goes — You’d be prettier if you grew your hair back out. Or, It’s okay that your book isn’t a bestseller. My favorite came over the summer when I was training for a marathon: It’s great that you put on some weight and are not afraid to show it on Instagram because everybody has gained weight during the pandemic.
My first instinct is to be like I KNOW YOU SEE ME DEADLIFTING AND WORKING OUT, MOTHEREFFER. I EXERCISE SIX DAYS A WEEK. AND I’M 47 AND MY HORMONES ARE WEIRD AND MY HAIR IS CHANGING AND I CAN’T GROW IT OUT. AND MY BOOK SALES ARE JUST FINE AND I’M GETTING A PAPERBACK. KDJFAO;IJRTA98T4UQ[9U;JIRG/EOJ!!!!*(&*(YUHIKJDHFEIWU19483q75648q3
I want to rage against the machine, but nobody likes a shouter.
And, if I’m being honest, I’m snippy with people who don’t deserve it, too.
My ego is a failure. Full stop. I can do better.
I am working on it, but please stop testing me in 2022, internet!