Oh Yes She Did

I don’t like to complain. I didn’t say I don’t, I said I don’t like to. So, if you don’t want to hear me on my soapbox, I suggest you don’t read this post. That said, I want to get something off my chest and would love if you’d indulge me.

I can’t stand when people disregard certain things I say or write just because I look too young to know any better. It’s particularly trying because, while I’m on the back side of 20, I could pass for a teenager. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; when I’m 40, I’ll probably look 30 at the most (if I quit smoking *sigh*). But people take one look at me and assume I don’t know shit from Shinola.

I’ve got responsibilities—a child, a job, a car payment, and now, a mortgage (and once we get moved in, everything that comes with it). If you don’t think being a stay-at-home-mom, full-time student, and full-time writer is a job, it’s because you’ve never been any of these things, or certainly not at the same time.

It’s difficult being in my twenties. Oftentimes, I feel like I’m in my thirties—forties even. This might have something to do with feeling like I was born in the wrong century. Regardless, the stress from responsibilities adds up. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and start worrying I’ll never finish anything I’ve started.

Other times, I think, “Did I really graduate high school ten years ago?” Part of that has to do with being a little behind the college curve. As getting busy being good would say, I’m a non-trad. For you ‘trads’ out there, that doesn’t make you any better than me. It just means I’ve gained more life experience than you. Of course, that’s a matter of opinion, but most of you don’t have ‘real’ jobs either, even after graduating college ‘on time’—not in this economy. And at least I can say I have more work experience than you, albeit a tad sketchy.

I acknowledge there are many things I do not know. That’s why I love to learn. If I don’t know something, you can bet I will Google the hell outta that shit.

I’m not completely ignorant, though—far from it, in fact.

Just because I don’t have a very large vocabulary doesn’t mean I’m dumb; it means I haven’t learned or mastered the use of certain words.

I’m still learning. We all are, I hope.

Just because I talk like Boomhower from King of the Hill doesn’t mean I’m dumb; it means I have difficulty spitting out words in the right way at the right time.

I never said I was good at speaking.

Just because I live in a Podunk town with a Podunk outlook on life doesn’t make you any better than me. It doesn’t make me wrong and you right. It just makes us different—or the same, depending on where you’re from.

I like to think the world isn’t as big a place it seems, don’t you?

I still have faith in humanity.

The fact that I’m writing this post makes me so upset I want to stamp my little feet and pull my hair out. Why do I let these people make me feel so irrelevant, so inconsequential? When will I reach the point of not caring what others think about me?

I’m starting to get it. When people try to reach out beyond their current station in life, they get knocked down a peg. Parents do this to their children. Adults do this to their elderly parents. Abusers do this to their victim. Bullies do this to the wimpy kid or the dorky kid. Britain did this to the American colonists. The colonists did this to the Native Americans. White folks did this to black folks. On and on and on. It’s the way of the world, right? It just comes naturally?

I don’t believe people are inherently wicked. I think we all need to take a look at ourselves before we cast judgment on others—that whole three fingers pointed back to you thing. We need to realize that our actions and our words affect other people. Just because someone’s outlook, opinion, religion, or anything else is different doesn’t make them wrong.

Now that I have your attention and if you’re still reading, I will admit a few things.

I’m a little forgetful. I like to think it’s because I’m a sponge and information the water. I soak up as much knowledge as I can hold and grow because of it. Then over time, the water slowly leaks out and I have to absorb more before I become a crusty dried up old piece of polyurethane. Yep, I Googled ‘sponge.’ Corny, I know. All for the sake of a pretty crappy metaphor.

For example, the other day I repeated the exact same thing without missing a beat, on two different occasions. I plumb forgot what I had said in the middle of saying it. I lost my train of thought. They looked at me like my screws were coming loose.

Now, I do say some dumb shit.

That same day, my fiancé and I were at the bank, and the teller asked if I wanted my cash in twenties. I said “twenties is fine” without even batting an eyelash.

He looked at me like I had lost my ever-loving mind. “Don’t you mean ‘are’ fine? Aren’t you a writer or something?”

Before I jumped the gun and got my little ego hurt, I actually did pause to think. “Did I say that? Oops. I didn’t get the time to edit it first. Now you know why I say some dumb shit, or why it takes me so long to find the right words. I’m constantly trying to edit myself.”

True story.

Why do I feel the need to do this? Do I really care what anyone thinks? Should I care? Who gives a shit what anyone thinks, I’m writing for myself aren’t I?

No, I’m not. The truth is, I’m writing for my readers. I like to think I’m writing for myself, but in reality—it’s for them. I’m saying the things they want to say in a way they will understand. If they don’t get it, then it probably wasn’t meant for them anyway, right?

Moral of the story: myth busted. Turns out, you can polish a turd. And you know what? I do know shit from Shinola—and where the saying comes from.

Do you?

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Categories: Musings, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Oh Yes She Did

  1. You know, I happen to think that many of the best writers of the world likely smoke(d). Of course, it’s just a thought; no specifics nor statistics here.

    I really enjoyed this post, your view. It was a lot like Annie meets Stephen King; the whole, young and naïve appearance being solidly founded by intelligence and wisdom, with personal flare.

    We writers are strange, unique persons. Each of us has to find our own way when it comes to our writing; the same path doesn’t work for each of us. We will, each of us, find and conquer obstacles, which will in the long-run, make us all the better.

    • Hi, C.,

      Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy your style as well–your rhythm, your pacing. Your own wisdom shines through your writing; you make me want to stop and smell the roses.

      I’ve often had the same thought about writers and smoking. I don’t know whether it’s true or not either, but it does seem that way. Or, maybe I’m just using it as an excuse to keep smoking. Hmm…

  2. I loved this post! It made me laugh a little and relate entirely too much. I’ve learned that you cannot listen to people…whether the opinions are good or bad. You have to figure out your opinion of it first, then what others say is irrelevant. After all, it is YOUR life. As for the naysayers, jealousy breeds hate and that is what is wrong with most people. It’s not that they are bad people…it’s jealousy. The fact that you are chasing your dreams and not just laying around dreaming about them makes them look at their own dreams and realizations and lash out. Keep up the good work…you’ll be a NY Times Bestseller before you know it!!

    –And I feel ya on the smoking bit 😦

    • Hey, Heather! Glad you liked it.

      True that. I’m still working on forming my own opinions about the publishing business; I’m still learning. As far as people’s opinions of my writing–if they don’t like it, they can suck an egg. 🙂

      Thanks for believing in me! I believe in you too!

      • Also, while I’m thinking about it, I MUST get with you one of these days about the services you offer. I don’t have an immediate need, but I will in the future.

  3. Grass Oil by Molly Field

    Nice rant! It’ll take some time for that skin to thickened. The good news: you’re not alone. The bad news: assholes are everywhere. The better your radar hones, the sooner you’ll be prepared.

    I seldom self-edit my speech because I’m old now. Not really, but I’ve always been pretty sure of what I mean to say. I was once called obtuse by an asshole, and I said, “I’m only obtuse with you, because you’re high strung.” And that’s another part of it…some people put us on edge and we get jammed up. It’s because they’re jammed up that we become so. I see it happen all the time. I’m talking to someone all la la la…and then someone else comes in the room and we all look like librarian nuns.

    As for the smoking young lady…. Be careful, that shit’s insidious.

    • Hello again, Molly,

      Thanks! I needed to get that out.

      Yes, I have been told I will need some thick skin. I’m a fan of the ‘just smile and nod’ approach. That doesn’t mean I won’t complain on the sly (if you call blogging about it ‘on the sly’).

      I suppose I self-edit because what I say doesn’t come out right the majority of the time. I think that’s why I’m better at writing. I prefer listening to talking; I feel I have the upper hand when I know what’s on their mind and they don’t know what’s on mine.

      Haha! Librarian nuns. So true.

      The smoking thing–also very true…

  4. I hear you sister. Though in all honesty I’m old enough to be your mother. 🙂 I think some people just like to put others down/point out their faults to make themselves feel better. And I’m like you, Stacie, I need to edit myself before I speak. *shrug* Whatever. I’ve finally developed a thick enough skin not to give a damn if whoever is putting me down is someone I don’t give a damn about.

    • It’s good to know I’m not the only person in the world who edits before they speak. I was raised to not speak unless spoken to, to think before I speak, and to not say anything at all if I don’t have something nice to say.

      That’s why I write it instead. 😉

  5. Mandi

    Best one yet!

  6. Loved your style, wit and the pace of the prose. Loved this line: “When people try to reach out beyond their current station in life, they get knocked down a peg. ” I think this piece got more and more witty as it progressed and got very engaging about half way down. Keep writing!

    • Thanks for commenting and for the props. It just tickles me when people enjoy my style. I don’t know about wit, though I do strike a cord every now and then. They say flattery will get you far in life.

      Thanks for the input, too. I really got worked up about halfway down, so I guess it showed up in my post. Good to know. 🙂

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