Letting Go

I’ve had an epiphantic weekend.

(I know that’s not a word but it should be.)

For example, I sometimes feel like the Past is unfairly vilified. There are so many memes spouting to “not let your past define you” and “you can’t look forward if you’re still looking back” and “blah blah fucking blah blah”. While I don’t deny that these sentiments are in fact correct, I feel like sometimes we can’t go forward until we do look back and see how much that past defined us. It just sucks because it’s never a simple analysis with an obvious answer and the time that we take to get the message into our thick heads is indeed time taken away from the move forward. And it just sometimes happens that the moment when our eyes are blurry from a combination of sweat and tears, when we blink furiously and only see the bottom of the toilet for a brief moment until the sweaty tears drop from our chin and shatter the water surface in jagged circles, that we see the clearest.

At about 3 am last Sunday I began throwing up more violently than I had thrown up in years. I initially chalked it up to food poisoning but even as I heard myself reciting that reason the next morning when I called my office manager to explain why I wouldn’t be in work I knew that bad food wasn’t to blame. I was to blame. Myself and my psychotic need to not only do everything myself but to do it and understand it perfectly…to stand in the middle of a furiously rushing river, holding on to broken tree branch because fuck you river, I am not finished analyzing what is on the bank right there yet.

On the most basic level I was overexhausted from staying awake at all hours due to frustration over this migration. While I managed to do the migration, I did it without fully understanding the internet protocol and how it actually worked. Do I really need to know the ins and outs of IPS? Probably not because I sure as hell am never doing a migration again, but it still pissed me off that I had to just accept that something worked the way that it did because that’s how it does. (And in a related note I was really fucking pissed that I couldn’t get the feed to work for blogger reader. I think I might have fixed it but I won’t know until I publish this.)

humans fuck up, letting go

I bitched about memes and then made one. GO HYPOCRITICAL ME!

On the deeper level though, I realized that the reason I was so stressed about having this site be perfect is because *deep breath* I’m insecure about my writing. All writers are insecure, and I’ve even admitted as much before, but I didn’t realize just how much until I had made myself sick over it. It was on my third day of lying on the couch in a fevered and dehydrated state was that it dawned on me that I was putting a shit-ton of work into my site because I felt like my writing alone wasn’t good enough to stand on its own. I felt like I needed a massive platform to tempt an agent into trying to market my novels and that my Alexa rating would be the thing to sell me instead of my ability. I know now that I can’t think like that anymore. I’m sure that I’m still making grave webmaster errors but I have to accept that they don’t matter.

This entry is so disjointed since you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with that spew in the beginning about the past and analysis and shit, but what else I realized is that I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and, much like my irrational need to understand the mechanics of internet protocol, I’ve spent time analyzing those mistakes to ensure that I don’t repeat them and have wasted attention where it’s not needed. They were just mistakes. I’m not going to make them again because I’m not a moron. I do stand by my statement that you should learn from your past but sometimes you just do stupid shit and there isn’t any deeper meaning other than you’re a human and we fuck up.

And on another note there is some random shit that happens for no other reason than shitty things sometimes happen to good people.

I’m never going to be one to accept things at face value–it’s just not who I am–but I’m trying to entertain the possibility that the answers might not be complicated, that sometimes understanding comes with letting go.

26 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. This is so true. It feels lame to just say that and leave…but it is so true. Sometimes we need to find deeper meaning…sometimes we don’t. How we know the difference is the grey area. Doesn’t seem there are any rules to knowing what is called for. Sometimes that paralyzes me, sometimes that doesn’t.

    (I don’t know what I know about writing…but I enjoy yours quite a bit. I am a new reader…)

    • Thank you so much, Adelyn. I often think that I don’t know that much about writing either but I know what I like, so I take it as a huge compliment that you think the same way and enjoy mine. =)

  2. This was a good reminder for me. I’ve been beating my brains to pieces for days, trying to study for an anatomy test on Thursday. And while I still plan to study until that test happens, maybe I don’t have to stress over every tiny detail. Maybe I know this stuff better than I realize.

    Well said, my friend.

    • YES! I completely agree that you shouldn’t stress over the details of study. (That’s another post in itself though. ;-P ) I’m happy that my post maybe took some unnecessary stress from your studies.

  3. I contest that to be a writer you have to be masochistic. We’re insecure sometimes but we HAVE to be brave to share ourselves, our writing, and our inner workings with the world. We share to feel whole and wonder the entire time if we’re going to measure up. In the end though, you write because you’re a writer. Fuck what everyone else things so long as you know you’re doing what you’re meant to do.

    I agree we have to learn from the past so we don’t make the same mistakes. It’s not about avoiding the past it’s about analyzing it and THEN leaving it there. It’s about not torturing ourselves with it. We’re stronger for going through what we go through. It makes you who you are and creates the mind we all love. It’s okay to be flawed and a bit cracked. Hell, it’s okay to shatter, so long as you sweep up the pieces and continue on. You got this!

  4. Hey, having a platform WILL help sell your writing. But the key is to remember that the platform supports your writing, and not the other way around. You’re a great writer, and part of being a great writer is being insecure. I’ve never known a single great writer that was like, “Yep, I’m great. And I know it. End of story.”

    • A platform will definitely help, but I do think that I was losing track that it’s there to support my writing instead of, like you said, it being the other way around. And this also plays into that writer’s insecurity because when your numbers are good then it’s a nice instant gratification for our insecure souls whereas the publishing is glacial.

  5. This is true for every aspect of our lives.

    After only one week at my new job, part of me feels like I should already know all this random shit they are throwing at me and I feel so stupid that I don’t. But then I stop and tell myself – how can I know this already when I’ve never done it before? I hate making bonehead moves and feeling like a dunce but it’s how I/we learn. We learn from those mistakes and hopefully we learn to not make the same ones over and over.

    • My mother struggles with that a lot when she is learning something new at her job. It’s one thing if you have an asshole boss that thinks you should immediately know everything, but more often than not it’s pressure that we put on ourselves. (I’m so behind on my reading since I didn’t know that you started a new job–congrats!!)

  6. My dear, Kat, it strikes me as interesting that while you profess the lack of ability to take most things at face value, you present yourself to your friends, readers, critics, and family here on these pages with seemingly little pretense or facade. What we see is what we get, and for that I’m thankful.

    Few of my blogger friends feel as genuine and natural in their writing as you. While I’m not implying you think that untrue, necessarily, to say so would be selling yourself drastically short. As you said, you’re not a moron, so you’ll learn from your mistakes. The ability to make them, sometimes subtly, often gloriously, is what keeps us human.


    • I think that my own person is the only thing that I will accept at face value just because I know what a fuckup I am and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. If I didn’t accept this then I would spend a lot of time arguing with myself saying “Oh yeah? Prove that you’re a fuckup!” and then it’s just one more step until I’m back in the straightjacket. 😉

      Snark aside though, this comment truly makes my day whenever I read it, and for that I thank YOU. =)

  7. Wow, I don’t know what to say, I could tell you that you’re amazing and you need to have more faith in yourself but you know that right……………so all I am saying is take a breath, throw up again, rinse your mouth and move on

    • I do know that I need have more faith in myself. I’ll argue the “amazing” part though. 😉 That said I truly appreciate the vote of confidence, Jo-Anne. =)

    • It’s one of those days where I question if I am, but since your opinion means a lot to me as both a professional and a friend, I’m apt to question it less. Thank you, mi amigo. =)

  8. I guarantee that reading my comment will make you and anyone else who reads it dislike me and tell me I’m wrong, bad, male, and other insults. Fine. And yes, consider the source: A self-described loser.
    Comment: I can tell by reading three paragraphs that you are not a professional writer. I’m not saying you’re a bad writer who doesn’t have an interesting voice and interesting things to say. I’m saying you’re not a pro.
    A professional writer is one who’s learned advanced mechanics like what to capitalize and where to put punctuation marks when quoting things (hint: almost always inside the quotes when writing for the American market). A professional writer knows that writing comes from things like cutting out adjectives (including “shit” and “fucking”) and adverbs and using strong verbs, limiting their gerund forms and “is” and “was” when possible. A professional writer knows to vary sentence length. Like this.
    There’s more.
    Good news: All of it can be learned.
    More good news: When you learn it, people in the industry (which is what it is) see it and it removes a barrier. When you have mistakes, they copyedit as they read (“Why is she saying ‘At about 3 am’? It’s either ‘at’ or ‘about,’ not both”), and that lessens the impact.
    I know how thin-skinned writers are and that this hurts. Deny what I’ve said, argue against it and say your negative things now. I won’t read any of it. I only read helpful advice. I used to write for a living. And failed.
    Best of luck.

    • If I didn’t have a rule against making posts about negative comments then I would definitely do one based on your comments, Bill. So I’m just going to do it here.

      To begin, I can tell that this is your first visit to my site. I can tell because if you were familiar with me and with this blog then you would know that this is the place where I let me hair down. This is the place where I will end a sentence in a preposition, where I was write in fragments and where I will commit that ultimate sin of writings sins and use the shit out of adverbs and adjectives. As you can also see I will use the shit out of “shit” and “fuck” as a few those dreaded adverbs and adjectives. All of that aside though, I think it’s rather unfair of you to judge me based on three paragraph of what I admitted was a disjointed and rambling post. Yes, if I were to submit this post to an editor then I would be judged on three paragraph, but I do not write on here to impress anyone and to provide them with an exercise on their editing skills. I write on this blog to entertain.

      Second, I do not dislike you based on one comment which I feel you made based on a lack of information about the author (me) but what I do not like were the assumption that you made about me as a person. I’ll be honest: your comment hurt. Yes it hurt because I’m a writer and I’m insecure, but what hurt even more was that you think that I’m the type of person who would automatically dislike another simply because they don’t like my writing. And even worse than that you think that I’m someone who would “male” to be an insult. If I have ever used the term “male” as insult then I was being snarky. (I’m only adding that last sentence because for all I know I have used it as an insult and since I don’t know you, I have to assume that you would dig up an instance where I did this and hold me to it. See how much it sucks to have someone assume that you’re an asshole?) Males have the same right to have a dissenting opinion as females and I do not attack either gender. In other news, it might interest you to know that if I were going to throw gender around as an insult that I would be far more likely to use “female” since I’ve received my nastiest comments and hate mail from other women.

      Next, you do not get a free pass by calling yourself a loser. I’ve noticed that whenever people preface a statement with something self derogatory then they feel that they can then say whatever shitty things they want–after all, they have just insulted themselves so it’s only fair that they can now insult you. To your credit, you didn’t really say anything so very terrible and for that much I will thank you. Your criticism of my writing was in fact very constructive. What was not constructive though was again another attack on my character where you said that I could make whatever nasty response I like since “I won’t read any of it. I only read helpful advice.” (And here’s another tidbit–MY pretentious inner copywriter whom I ignore says that you should have put a semicolon there. I disagree because semicolons only indicate that you took an English course but there you go.) At the best, you once again assumed that I’m asshole who will throw a tantrum because you said something I didn’t like. I however take this as you believe that I have nothing useful or helpful to say and that is extremely insulting and unfair. I have a fuckton of flaws which you can attack, Bill. I am my own worst critic of both my writing and my character so I hope you can appreciate it when I say that what I have never been is someone gets into a war of words to prove who has the bigger cock. I hate this and it is the exact reason for which I do not respond to hate mail/hate comments. If I ever take the time to respond to someone then it is because I feel that *I* have something constructive to say to *you*. In this case, I am offering you constructive criticism that if you do not like someone’s writing and wish to offer advice for said writing, that you do not do it in a manner which assumes that the writer is a bitch who hates men and will attack you for disagreeing with her.

      Finally, I do hope that you read this, not for nothing else but to know that I thank you for your comment. I thank you for writing advice. I thank you for your well-wishes. Most of all I thank you for the opportunity to illustrate that I’m not the kind of person that you assumed I was.


      PS-As to your remark about not being a professional, I’ll reference Richard Bach and say that a professional is an amateur who didn’t quit. I will never be a failed writer because I will never quit. You have my sincere condolences and, to some extent, my envy that you could.

    • Generally when a blogger is writing a personal blog such as this one, all grammar goes out the window. Much like when arguing with a friend, spouse, what-have-you, you lose all forms of decorum and do/say what you feel.

      All writers have different writing styles and NONE of those styles are 100% perfect, which is what gives them each a voice.

      I’m a huge grammar nazi, I’ll be the first to admit that. But I am also a huge supporter of expressing your own voice in whichever way you see fit even if that means casting away strict grammar rules.

      Kat has a great writing voice (shits and fucks included). Let’s leave it at that.

  9. I am definitely never going to be able to take anything at face value either – I WILL analyze the crap out of everything in every possible angle and then do it again and again. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometime it’s a waste of time. Only having wasted that time in the past have I realized that I need to waste less time on it now. Having insecurities is human and sometimes it’s just blind faith that makes us put ourselves out there. But you know what? Whatever happens after we do, it’s way better than never having done it and always wondering What If.

    • I couldn’t agree more. It’s cliche but I do regret things that I didn’t do more than the ones I did which were mistakes.

  10. Stop making yourself sick, darling. I’m glad to see you taking a step back and letting yourself drift in the rushing river for a while. I’m worried about you! Reading these comments, I think you already have a pretty solid platform of people who admire and care about you—and while that may not mean jack shit to a book agent, it’s a pretty amazing thing for a person to inspire such a kick-ass readership.

    • I love the people who read me so SO SO much. I probably sound like a broken record with how many times I’ve written a post and said thank you but I truly mean it. It’s even more of a blessing that not only do I have as many people supporting me, but like you said, they are all such brilliant people. I wrote a post a long time about meeting the people that I have through my blog and about how they were a gift that I never expected and I still feel that way every single day.

      Also? Love you and miss you. =(

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