Here is what I want out of life:
1) I want to travel. When I was growing up, I traveled every year, and I miss it.
2) I want to write for a living.
3) I want to be appreciated. I want people to see that I am intelligent. I want my opinion to matter. I want someone to think I’m pretty.
4) I want a group of close friends.
5) I want to participate in a book club (where my opinion is welcome and appreciated).
6) I want to exercise. To eat well.
7) I want to keep a clean house, full of cool stuff. I want to maintain my garden, even if I feel depressed.
8) I want to vlog/blog about geeky things (once again, to an audience that appreciates me).
9) I want to be famous, but if enough people like me, I can live without traditional fame.
10) I don’t want to be seen as negative, stupid, disgusting, lazy, fat, ugly, unpleasant, a terrible writer, etc.
This list is telling. I just want people to like me. Unfortunately, few people do. Perhaps it is my fault. I am a fan of inviting discussion with a Devil’s Advocate argument, and I was recently dismissed as “lazy, fat, disgusting, and stupid” in one such discussion. I was told “people like [me] ruin the good things in life for everyone else.” All because I had read a piece about why organic farmers should like genetically-modified seeds. I found the piece interesting, as it was written by a respected scientist, who presented his argument in an intelligent way. I posted the article on my Facebook page, not because I agree genetically-modified seeds are a good thing, but instead because I want to hear well-informed opinions about why they are a bad thing. Let me tell you, there are a lot of uninformed people out there, whose only argument against genetically-modified seeds is this: people like me are fat. I have read convincing reports that tell me GMOs are a bad thing, yet not even one person has cited this data when asked why they are against GMOs. I am left with the impression they have no real idea why GMOs are bad. Sometimes, even seemingly informed people are ignorant, you see. The article in question did make one point I agree with: we are running out of water. GMO seeds, which do not require much water, are not a good solution in the event we experience widespread water shortages (and we will), but we should focus on ways to conserve water and to ensure we will always have a supply of food. Resorting to personal attacks and pettiness in a debate isn’t going to save the planet and the human race.
The same goes for the healthcare debate. I was dismissed as “showing very little intelligence” by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, simply because I said that, if we do not fight mandatory car insurance, why do we fight mandatory health insurance? Car insurance protects our vehicles and ourselves. Health insurance protects another kind of vehicle: the human body. His argument: he “chooses” to drive a car, yet health insurance is a product he does not choose–one that is “forced” on him. We do not choose life, yet we are here. Why not protect our lives? I agree the insurance system is flawed. I would prefer a tax-based universal healthcare system, like the one in place in many other countries, but I believe the Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction. Why am I dismissed as unintelligent? Because I see that mandatory insurance is well-intentioned?
Perhaps I am just as intolerant as the people who don’t “get me”/understand my debate style. Perhaps I shouldn’t debate with anyone at all. However, in my heart of hearts, I worry I truly am nothing more than a dumb fat ass. I have been dismissed as such my entire life. Every month, at least three people tell me I am negative–that I bring this pain upon myself. Most people who interact with me on Facebook nowadays do so in order to tell me I’m an emotional, irrational woman and a disgusting fat ass. My own brother described fat women who dress in sexy clothing as “cottage cheese stuffed in a balloon,” and he couldn’t understand why I would defend such women. When I bring up the fact I was bullied in school, there are people who tell me it never happened. I remember: I was “lard ass,” “Lapissa,” “retard.”
I don’t want to be negative, but how do I change? (And is it really all my fault?)
So, here is what I do:
1) I don’t write for a living. I know people who freelance and who are successful working writers. I want to pitch articles to publications I read, but if I am rejected there as well, I will have to consider the possibility I’m a talentless hack.
2) I don’t have many friends. I avoid social situations, because again, I have alienated so many people online, I don’t want to experience the immediacy of it in real life. (For this reason, residencies at Pacific University give me more anxiety than they should.)
3) I feel sorry for myself instead of adhering to an exercise regime and eating well. I sleep a lot. Some of it is the result of depression, but in the words of everyone who ever told me to snap out of it, I probably don’t try hard enough. (It should be noted that telling someone with depression to “snap out of it” is really quite heartless… though hurt feelings are still no excuse for not adhering to an exercise regime and not eating well.)
4) I’m afraid to offer my opinions on GoodReads. Case in point: I love Vaginal Fantasy. Its GoodReads forum seems like a cool place, populated with intelligent, articulate folks who read fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal romance, but I’d rather imagine what it would be like to interact with people than to actually go for it. (Because again, if my Facebook discussions are any indication, people are either going to think I’m unpleasant, or they’re going to tell me I’m an idiot. Woe. Just call me Eeyore.)
5) I don’t clean my house, and I neglect my beautiful garden. Everything is hidden away in closets or drawers, and my garden, which I once lovingly tended, becomes more wild and neglected the more depressed I feel. Again, I want to blame my depression, but as many people have said, the problem is me. I can’t even fully articulate how sad I feel when I look at how much I’ve let my garden go, yet I don’t do anything about it. (There might be some kind of metaphoric message here.)
6) People say I have a persecution complex, and perhaps I do. I certainly do feel like nobody likes me… but that is because most people don’t. Again, I don’t know what to do about that.
7) I seldom blog, and the one time I had a vlog, somebody made fun of my voice and said some unkind things. Granted, it wasn’t a vlog about geeky things, but since my opinion doesn’t seem to matter to anyone, why bother?
8) PERSECUTION COMPLEX.
9) I do work on Rose Red Review, so I’m not a total waste of space.
10) I daydream of a better life. Constantly.
I want to change, but in truth, I can’t imagine a world wherein I am appreciated and I have a lot of friends. Most people don’t like me, and I don’t know how to make myself likable. I feel broken.