It feels childish to write in the first person. It feels immature to talk about my life as if I face unique challenges. It feels depressing to constantly compare what I’ve done to what I think I should have done.
Yet, here I am, writing a post on a blog named after me. Some would say this is classic narcissism and unhealthy. Others would say it’s part of building a brand, maintaining a presence, and hopefully setting myself up for future employment or life opportunities.
But the longer I’ve been away from writing anything I deem serious — that is, anything long form and too complicated for Google+, Twitter or Facebook — the more I realize that this shit just doesn’t matter to the world. It only matters to me, and I suppose that should be good enough. But is it?
My rather negative reaction likely stems from a bout of letdown after writing and publishing my first book, HipCider: Beginner Guide To Cider In Portland. The thrill of researching (drinking), writing (while drinking), publishing (no drinking) and selling (again, while drinking) faded faster than I thought possible, and here I am feeling sorry for myself because either I don’t believe enough in what I wrote to start actively promoting it, lack the courage to do so, or just am not smart enough to understand how marketing a self-published book really works.
All is not lost, however. Life is pretty awesome compared to what it used to be, and that’s NOT only because we moved to Portland, but because I’ve taken a active interest in seeking out that what’s fun for me — which apparently includes weekend relay runs, weekly running groups, plenty of cider sampling and other activities that I’m far too scared to admit to online. So things are good. Mostly.
The easy answer is that I’ve become addicted to social media. Day in and day out, most of my social interaction happens via Twitter and Facebook. This isn’t because I’m avoiding face-to-face encounters to hide online, but rather because I’ve carved out my office space in a corner of my home, “far” away from the clichéd coffee shops and shared work spaces. My aversion to such environments isn’t because I don’t like them, rather that I’m trying way too hard not to be a cliché.
I mean…long hair? Check. Obsession with a semi-mainstream sport? Check. Eliticist actions/feeling toward people not drinking local, artisan cider? Check again. I feel exactly like someone I’d imagine living in Portland feels like, and for some reason it feels, at the same time, fake and so very…me.
Now, my wife will probably tell me that I shouldn’t post this because it’s just me rambling and doesn’t make much sense. The people I seek advice from will tell me I shouldn’t post this because it’s not my best work, and I shouldn’t show off anything but my best. But what if…what if this kind of writing is exactly what I should be doing? I bet that it is, and in a way, those closest to me are saying the same, it’s just that they think a more polished version…argh.
The apartment dogs are barking and howling again. The backup sirens on trucks are wailing. How do you make them shut up?