I just woke up at 4:30am to find that I’d pulled out a third of the lashes on my top right lid, again. I Googled [for maybe the millionth time], ‘why do my eyelashes hurt’, and I found an article in Greatist about trichotillomania, which I’ve been both mispronouncing and misspelling (trachtillomania) for my entire life, usually in front of doctors—unfortunate.
If I’d written the previous paragraph yesterday, I’d have looked up trichotillomania, found I’d been mispronouncing it FOREVER, felt ashamed, put off writing about it, then eventually wrote about it leaving out the spelling thing and this whole tirade about it, and still feeling ashamed. Today I didn’t, that’s what Lucy Huber did for me. Lucy Huber is a humor and personal essay writer who apparently suffers from some degree of social anxiety, loves cats, and food (probably not in that order)—same as me—and then she talks about it—I don’t do that.
I will have a funny thought, and then I’ll write it down, and then I’ll wait and if I still think it’s funny the next day, I’ll try to think of a story that I can work it into or maybe a new blog (someday, once I have the perfect idea), and then that’s usually the end of that. The note stays in my phone and a few months/years later, when my phone storage is full, I’ll find it and still think it’s kind of funny, and I’ll feel ashamed that I didn’t do anything with it.
Or the bad thing will happen and I WILL write it down but be so afraid of offending someone, or feeling stupid, or losing my job, or my husband leaving me*, that when it’s finally down on paper, it’s been sanitized to the point that it sounds like an approval-seeking twelve-year-old wrote it—think obnoxious, lacking life experience, vapid, borderline-creepy socially awkward.
The reason it sounds that way is that I’m a bad writer and I’m worried that people will find out. Then, I’ll feel like my whole life is a sham because I so desperately want to be a good and real writer. That was hard to write and it will be harder to leave it on the internet without obsessing over it or deleting it.
I don’t know if Lucy Huber feels that way when she publishes something, even if it’s something that most people will never read. I do know that, if she does, it doesn’t seem to stop her from writing, and writing the way I’d be afraid to speak in front of most people.
I’m a bad writer but I’m not going to get better without feedback or by not writing. If this post sucks, that’s okay. If you want to tell me that it sucks, I can accept that and would actually appreciate it a little. If you had a shitty day and you want to cut someone down for a minute, go for it, we’ve all been there. I’m just going to be a writer, maybe a shitty writer, but working to get better.
*He’s not, I asked him, at least twice.
PS- I had a toasted pita with avocado spread sprinkled with Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning this morning. My husband’s suggestion—amazing.