Currently awake in the night for no apparent reason whatsoever. Sleep eludes me, which is unfortunate as I was ready to escape reality for a few hours. Dreamland isn’t exactly my ideal escape, but it is an escape nonetheless.
Thinking about my real future escape to New Orleans. I am excited to sit on my balcony with a coffee and croissant and just write! Yes, yes, of course I will go out and do stuff, but I will also spend lots of time in my hotel suite writing. I always write better when I’m not in Verm.
I am quite happy with my hotel choice. I thought about going hotel hopping to collect more material (as I did in the Black Hills), but then I remembered it will be Mardi Gras and it’s better to just stay in one place. I can’t remember if I’ve explained on this blog why I don’t use AirBnB, but it has a lot to do with its extremely unreliable nature and the fact that it is destroying local real estate markets. I prefer hotels because I am directly contributing to local economies and the service expectations are better. I would go on about this topic for much longer, but a full essay is worth too much money to be wasted on a blog.
Wait, what was that? I’m not posting real shit because I actually want to get paid for once? Whodathunkit! Sometimes I get so caught up in not giving a shit what people think that I actually forget what people think. I mean, I know what people think. That’s why I spend so much time writing about how great I am and all the fabulous things I’m really up to with my time (you know, when I’m not blacking out at the local bar because real life makes me sad).
Is it really that interesting or entertaining? No. But I am allowed to keep a diary just for the sake of keeping a diary. I don’t know why so many people feel the need to rag on me for it. Just because you are uncomfortable with metaphorically stripping down naked in front of a live audience doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Some of us enjoy laying our souls out bare. I get that you prefer fantasy zombie dragon TV shows that show graphic depictions of rapes and violence against women, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Anyway, no amount of complaints have stopped me yet, nor should they. I am not responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings. I am responsible solely for mine. Is that selfish? Not when you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere full of vicious, two-faced, backstabbing snakes. It is merely a matter of self-preservation. I know I’m a talented writer and a good person. I also know I am the survivor of a smear campaign launched by misogynists to destroy the path towards progress. Therefore, I will do whatever it takes to maintain my own integrity. If blogging about my life from my point of view is what it takes to feel sane in a place where everyone constantly gaslights me to the point of regular benders and blackouts, then that’s what I’m going to do.
Meanwhile, people continue to be mad that I blog about my life online for free while hoarding my real material in the hopes I get paid. Self-indulgent narcissism, blah blah blah. I’ve been reading Out of the FOG lately and it’s really helping me a lot. I’ve been using it to look at my position in town from a more objective angle. Now whenever I am dealing with an uncomfortable encounter with some jackass in town, I have the words and tools I need to effectively describe the experience.
For example, the other night I was asked by my Boss to act as a “Brand Ambassador” for his company here in town. He gave me a package to deliver to a local business I frequent. This is considered part of my job. What was their reaction? You guessed it. It was the same thing it always is, which is to act as if whatever I’m doing is “crazy.”
As all of us smart people know, it is absolutely NOT crazy to do your job as assigned. It is not crazy to promote the company you work for. It is not crazy to suggest to a group of USD Alumni running a local business that they should support another group of USD Alumni running a local business. There is absolutely nothing out-of-the-ordinary about what I did. It was just another day on the job.
However, the locals want me to believe what I did was crazy because they have programmed themselves to believe I am crazy. They do not care that I have eight years of bartending experience, twelve years of experience in the service industry in general, a college degree, and three internships on my resume. They don’t care that I’ve been self-publishing my writing online for almost 20 years. They don’t care that I’ve traveled and possess knowledge of other languages. They just see me and whatever I do as “crazy,” completely unaware of the fact that I am a human being who leads a relatively normal existence.
They need to invalidate my lived experiences. They need me to not be human. This is the only way to justify their shitty treatment of me. If they were not obsessed with actively dehumanizing me, they might realize that they are actually guilty of bullying me. This cannot happen. They cannot take responsibility for their actions. That would mean they are wrong and they can’t be wrong! Heaven forbid a person admit they were wrong and sincerely apologize!
It is unfortunate that they chose to react the way they did, but I am not surprised. Now that I have my toolbox, I can analyze this situation appropriately. I don’t have to get drunk and have a meltdown over the fact that they were not nice to me. Instead I can say, “Well, I’m sorry but it’s your loss” and promptly go back to living my life. I understand now that my thoughts and feelings are normal. My stories are worth telling. My opinions are worth speaking. My life is worth living. I will not let anyone tell me otherwise, nor will I allow the inhabitants of a small town in the middle of nowhere to destroy my livelihood.
I know I say these things constantly, but it’s only because I have to remind myself I’m a beautiful human being who is worthy of love and kindness daily. Going to continue reading Out of the FOG and hopefully fall back asleep. In the meantime, I aim to answer the question: “If Verm had a personality disorder, what would it be?”