Where All The Words Be, Sir?

Some folks have asked why I haven't written anything in a while. Good question! But a false one: I've written plenty of stuff, I just haven't posted any of it. Here's some thinking behind that.

As I’ve been driving down the bumpy road of self-improvement over the years, pulling over every so often to relieve myself in the bushes, I’ve learned a lot of things. Like the more obvious, “don’t pee on any fences ’cause you can never really tell if it’s an electric fence,” to the less obvious, “make sure you’re not stepping on an ants’ nest before you start peeing because if you discover it mid-pee you’re gonna have a mess on your hands.”

Point is, I’ve learned a lot of things I never knew about the world. Like the math of time or social feeds are evil or the fundamental difference in earning money and spending money. And these things, when I discover them and see the impact they can have in my well-being, well, hot damn if don’t just want to pee my ideas all over everyone!

I drank too much water this morning and it’s impacting my writing. Hold on a minute.

🚽

Better.

Okay, so I learn things and want to share them. But in writing those things, it can often sound like advice. Unsolicited advice, broadcasted out to everywhere, telling everyone, “Oh damn! I found this thing! It’s amazing, you must do it!”

At first, that seemed like a harmless thing to do. I’m helping, I thought.

Maybe you learned something. Maybe something I wrote triggered a thought in your own head, which triggered another one, which led to a more optimum arrangement of your living room. Maybe you started using an ethernet cable instead of using wifi for your smart TV and it feels like you got a faster internet connection without paying more.

See, even there. I want to tell you to use wired ethernet connections instead of wifi because I think it’s better. But lots of people use wifi. And that’s okay!

My wifi is particularly shitty, probably because I live in a dense housing area with tons and tons of radio wave traffic. You might not. I stayed in an AirBnB last month that had such clean and fast wifi that it was like the gods of communication had blessed my very soul.

My experience is not your experience so my advice probably doesn’t map cleanly onto your life.

Now, when I started, I really wanted to make this blog a living document of what I’ve been learning. But more and more it feels like I’m telling other people how they should live. And that’s not okay.

I mean, it is, because that’s a thing that some people do and I’m trying to explain that the things we do are generally okay, but … not for me. I really want to accept people and the world for what they are and not tell anyone to be anything else. No one needs that pressure!

I’m gonna live the way I wanna live, and you’re gonna live differently. It’s totally fine. In fact, it’s better than fine. It’s my preference, even.

I Must Be Different

I have a strong need to be unique. You might say it’s middle-child syndrome, or childhood emotional neglect or something like that if you’re a person who believes in the nurture side. Just da wah ‘e is, is the way a nature person with few teeth might say. Doesn’t much matter why, I just have this strong need for novelty and uniqueness. I drive a Beetle not a Golf, I stubbornly live in Quebec when all the other english-speaking people from small eastern towns move to Ontario, I won’t work 9-5 in an office (I work 11-7-ish from home) and on and on and on.

So. If you actually listened to what I say, and did what I said, then … I’d have to change my opinion. And I would change it even if it made life worse for me. Because our intrinsic value systems are messed up like that and we’ll happily change our opinions to meet our needs. And I ain’t above that.

We is people. We is weird.

This all leads to the question of what the hell is the point of me publishing anything?

What the hell is the point of me publishing anything?

So I’ve written a lot of posts this year and posted almost none of them. I have over 20 drafts in my drafts folder. They’re of varying quality and length, and one of them is just a list of names that I call my butt, but some of them I certainly would have posted had I written them a year or two ago.

But I haven’t posted them because I don’t wanna tell you how to live. The internet algorithms are already stuffed full of sensationalist content and opinions and advice and I’m a little tired of it.

However you’re managing your money or habits or daily allotment of chicken liver pate is totally up to you.

So … I guess I’m kinda done posting about my personal improvement discoveries. I don’t think the world needs more of that tone right now.

I should add at this point that writing about that stuff was very therapeutic for me, and probably helpful to some other folks, and I appreciate all the messages from y’all and clarity it’s given me. And, hey, there’s plenty of other stuff to write about!

Personal Experiences And the Fine Line

It’s often a fine line between retelling personal experiences and giving advice. Writing about being on the floor and not being able to get up? I feel like that’s the kind of dark experience people are not sharing enough of and it can be helpful to read someone talking about such a struggle. There was no answer in that post, nor was there anything telling you how to live. Maybe some gentle encouragement to dig deep and find that last bit of strength and it’s okay to feel weak now and then. Maybe.

But I haven’t shared a ton of those experiences here because, well, privacy.

I’ve been a lot less interested in sharing these moments publicly. I tried it recently for somewhat-selfish-somewhat-not reasons with the skin cancer post. That was a way for me to process all the emotion and move on. It worked, I moved on, and the whole skin cancer thing is something that I barely think about anymore except when I’m wearing sleeves in the sun and a hat every time I leave the house. (Even when I take the garbage out, you better believe there’s a hat on my head!) But as a post, well, I don’t think it was the kind of stuff I wanna put out there.

And I guess my current struggle is finding the line between sharing a personal experience that could be helpful to me and possibly others, and sharing something for the sake of sharing something. But more likely, it’s to take this whole life thing a bit less seriously than I have been for the past few years.

So … What’s Next?

I’ve been thinking about some better guiding principles and values for this site in the future. I want it to be what I want the internet to be but I don’t quite know what that is yet. More weird and fun? Maybe. I’ve also been experimenting with other publishing platforms like Medium, but I don’t know what I’d do with that yet.

If there’s something you want my advice on, or something you’re wondering about, or something you think I can help with, then ask. I’m happy to help, but I want to help the ones who are seeking it. Everyone else doesn’t need their thoughts muddled by hearing about solutions for problems they don’t have.

Or ask someone else. Or stumble along yourself. You’re all fantastic and have no reason to copy my or anyone else’s ways. Travel your own damn road and if you’ve had a bit too much water, well, find someone to ask who knows the best spots to pee. Then keep truckin’.