I have a lot of feelings.
I don’t regret what I write. That’s a good thing because it allows me to write whatever I want to, whether it’s pieces about silly things like eating crunchy food or dating Thanos or satirical pieces about politics or feminism or more vulnerable serious essays about my own mental health or personal challenges. This blog is my place to share what’s in my head, and I’m very lucky to have readers that connect to my work, regardless of what it might be. This blog has been a source of constant joy since 2016, and I’ve never had second thoughts about it. Until, well, last month.
I was up for a script coordinator/writer’s assistant position at work and the subject of my blog came up. This isn’t a surprise; my blog is how I was able to get my foot in the door for an interview at our studio in the first place a couple years ago, and since this position is related to writing of course they would ask me about it. Now that I’ve been at the studio for two years, I’ve established a reputation for myself outside of the blog and was promoted from production assistant to production coordinator but still, the blog is the thing that people who don’t know me hear about first. I’m usually super proud of the blog and all the great things that have come from it, but this time I felt my stomach drop to the ground.
The last piece I published was this intense, honest, dark look into my battle with an eating disorder. I feel much, much better now, but the fact that the people interviewing me had probably checked out my blog and seen that as the first thing on the page made me want to crawl under a table and just cringe in shame for like, a good three hours. What’s a professional way to say “I swear I’m not having a breakdown, I’m totally good and feeling spry!”
We talked about Lady Pieces (thank you lord for Lady Pieces) and moved on to other topics. I spent the rest of the week nervous, on one hand because I wanted to know whether I got it or not but also because I was debating internally. Should I delete the piece? Hide it? But so many people have sent me kind messages saying they connected to it, and I connect to it too and it’s true to me and I don’t want to hide that part of myself. Okay, I kind of do want to hide that part of myself though. I have a stomachache. Literally what have I done by posting that? I already agreed to the piece being featured. If I take it down, I’m a poser and full of shit. Plus, if they even clicked on the blog for a second they already saw it. What do I do? Why am I complaining about this? This is the most first-world problem shit I’ve ever thought about in my life! Literally less than three years ago I was delivering food to afford medication, Elizabeth get a fucking grip!
I kept the piece up. I thought about publishing something funny to be like “see? I can do funny!” but decided against it. I didn’t want to force it. Also, everyone has their shit. Everyone has their inner demons and battles. The only difference is that I published a piece about mine and suddenly it was read by thousands and maybe that included the people who held my dreams in their hands like a tiny hamster and I wanted to drive to the beach and bury myself in sand and have seagulls eat my earlobes as punishment.
I found out after about a week that I got the position (which, by the way, I’M SO EXCITED FOR I COULD LITERALLY CRY RIGHT NOW OH GOD IT’S HAPPENING I’M CRYING) and once I stopped jumping up and down in the parking lot I had some time to reflect. What if the outcome was different? Would taking the piece down or never even publishing it had mattered? What if the people hiring me, the people reading my work, people out there in the world think that I’m too fragile? I know I’m not, but what if one day, being too vulnerable in my writing affects my actual, real life in a negative way?
I constantly remind myself that facing your struggles and vocalizing your deepest fears does not make you fragile. If it was anyone else, I would do everything in my power to tell them that. But since it’s me, and I’m my harshest critic, and I was staring people in the face who might’ve read my dark moody shit and that could’ve affected whether they hired me or not, it’s like…. criiiiiiinge.
I love this blog. I love exploring different topics and different styles of writing. I have more of a focus for my actual career goals (TV comedy all the way), but on here I experiment and more often than not, the pieces that I enjoy writing the most are the ones that succeed, which I know is not an accident. I’m usually fine not filtering myself on here, but this was truly the first time that I paused and thought “Oh God. I’m looking at someone who might’ve read my serious personal writing and might’ve judged me for it.” It was a raw feeling. I thought I felt vulnerable before, but this time I felt stripped-to-the-bone raw, exposed, just bracing myself for the worst.
Shit. That’s what writing is, isn’t it?
Well I guess I should get used to it. You guys know I’m not going anywhere.