Not Another Progress Report

Hello, world. Betsey Horton here. Sorry for leaving you on read. I’m still here, somehow, even though I totally got wasted and tried to pull a Tiger Woods the other night. BTW, am I the only one who thinks this car wreck has “suicide attempt” written all over it, or am I just projecting my own sadness onto a celebrity? Hard to say. Especially when I’m currently in the middle of my “Elle Woods quitting her prestigious internship, dropping out of Harvard Law School, and packing up to go back home to dat Beverly Hills Barbie life” moment in the movie of my life. It’s like I’ve done all this work on my self-improvement journey and yet I’m still failing so hard at life. Yeah, dark night of the soul moment for sure.

Anyway, here’s how life has progressed since my last update (approximately one whole millennium ago):

Novel

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was gearing up to pitch my novel about Verm to an agent for the first time. I was very nervous, so I was completely avoiding any thoughts about it altogether. I did the responsible thing and attended a pre-pitch session at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference in order to properly prepare. Once I understood the expectations, I decided to be slightly more realistic about the meeting. My manuscript is very much incomplete. I decided to treat it like practice and then all of my anxiety went away.

The meeting went as well as it could have. I did that thing where I freaked out and held back too much. The agent liked my overall concept, but essentially told me I was guilty of over-summarizing instead of being specific. Fair and also true. What did I learn? Go straight for the jugular. Mad Dog, crazy bar owners, shady underground gambling rings, the works! Suck ’em straight down into the Verm Hole! Also, her agency does not work with my proposed genre, so she gave me a list of agencies that do and wished me luck. I would consider it a “soft” rejection because the future potential is definitely there.

After the meeting, I decided to step away from my manuscript for awhile. I need more perspective. There’s a lot of things that have happened in the last year and a half that I haven’t really properly processed. Mostly because I don’t understand why the people I’m dealing with are so ridiculous, unreasonable, and honestly, just straight-up insane. Ultimately, it all means something in the end. Besides, I am the hero of the book. I’m supposed to overcome whatever adversity presents itself to me. Since that adversity is appearing in the form of misogynists and their loyal army of cool girls, I guess I have permission to just laugh it off and focus on other things. Lol at small towns in the middle of nowhere. What am I going to do, change them? HA HA HA HA HA! That’s a good one. Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.

Blog

Listen, I know what I’ve told you about what I’m planning, but I’m not writing shit. At all. Nothing. It sucks. I know. Especially when I have the most amazing new blog neatly planned out in a notebook! It’s so amazing. It’s so cool. Unfortunately, I am totally not cool. I spend all my time being sad instead of just writing. It’s totally lame.

I also haven’t been able to come up with a new name. I need an actual name for my entire brand/concept/plan. I need it for the url, social media accounts, email, affiliate marketing, ads, everything. Yet I have no name. Content plan? Check! No problem there! A name? Impossible. Thus, I am delayed from making any actual progress until I can come up with one. Sad.

Courses

I signed up for a lot of these, so I’m just taking my time to work my way through them. I spend a lot of time studying other blogs, business, influencer marketing, and social media strategy. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about digital marketing in general the last year. Hopefully this leads to a job.

It’s hard to say since social media companies just change everything up on a whim because they don’t care that people are using their services to run businesses. It’s actually really frustrating. I was trying to learn Pinterest marketing yesterday and the damn site just wouldn’t cooperate. It’s like they decided to take everything useful and functional away from their platform and turn it into a useless lump. I know I’m not alone in this struggle because I joined a bunch of social media marketing groups on Facebook.

Overall, I just have to say I’m having a really good experience with Udemy. Yes, it’s cheap online classes, but it’s not like I need a *degree* to do digital marketing. I just need to learn how social media works beyond just shitposting and arguing with trolls. I think Udemy is perfect for people who want to boost their practical skill sets without going back to school and taking on a fuckton of debt. No need for elitism here, folks. I’ll go get my Masters when the time is right. For now, it’s a fuckton of super practical $12 coding, marketing, and writing classes that supposedly will help me get a job.

Job Search

It is a universally agreed-upon fact that job hunting sucks. I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. I’ve joined job hunting groups where people with STEM degrees are talking about not finding anything after sending out 200 applications. It’s scary.

I’m not really sure what to say about this other than that it sucks. It’s draining, demoralizing, and frustrating. The pandemic is making it worse. I used to torture myself with anxiety over it, but since I joined these groups, I’ve just let it go. Yup, it sucks for everyone out there. Sometimes all you can do is turn off the computer and watch Netflix for the rest of the day. Sometimes you spend lots of time applying for jobs and you never hear back from anyone except for the occasional rejection. It happens to literally everyone.

I tried to start a restaurant gig last week and failed. Of course. I tried everything I could think of to motivate myself and hype myself up to get the cash, but I knew it was over when I saw that greasy, disgusting, dirty bar. I can’t do it anymore. I especially couldn’t do it after almost a year of not doing it. Seriously, no more. I’m just torturing myself at this point. It’s a waste of time and energy. I just want to focus on getting a remote job with benefits. Yes, I’ll be broke in the meantime, but I’ll also be a lot saner than I would be if I was waiting tables.

Networking

February and March were really busy for me. I went to lots of online events and conferences. I attended the Paris International Film Festival, the Official(TM) virtual Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, the ASU Piper Center for Creative Writing’s Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference, AWP (one of the largest national writing conferences in the US), a Gatsby-themed virtual murder mystery party, a virtual film industry panel for women, and, of course, March Madness, baby!

I admit that I was doing well until March Madness. Why? Because that’s when the drinking reared its ugly head up again. I usually don’t drink home at alone because that’s just sad. I like to go out and drink at bars, especially during basketball season. This is pretty much always a mistake. I get way too drunk, end up feeling really sad, and then think about death a lot. So, maybe just stick with the virtual events instead of going to the bars for any reason whatsoever.

Unfortunately, the common theme throughout all of these events has been the insane amounts of social anxiety. I don’t know how to get over this. I have skipped every single virtual meet-and-greet event and in-person party I’ve been invited to in the last two months. I am terrified of dealing with other people. I blame all of the shitty, toxic, fake “friends” I’ve entertained throughout life for getting me to this point. I’m legitimately afraid of interacting with other people after what they did to me at Bloody Mary’s.

This is really fucking dumb because I literally went to two WRITING conferences full of WRITERS. I went to a panel with a happy hour for FILMMAKERS. I was hanging out with artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, directors, editors, etc, aka the kind of people I WANT to be around because I have things in common with them. Instead it’s like… “No, scary, bad, run away because everyone will just think you’re annoying and hate you.”

No idea how to get over this at all. Zoom doesn’t help at all. Zoom anxiety is real AF. I hate being on that tiny little screen. It makes me way too self-conscious to watch myself try to interact with other people. I know I cannot possibly be alone in this, but ugh. Wow. It really fucking sucks.

Routine

My routine has changed recently. I’ve been staying at home more and going to the cafe less. I haven’t been productive at the cafe at all. I’m also not productive at home. I’m not really that productive at all. I’m mostly just reading and watching a lot of movies/tv, as I have done for the entirety of the pandemic. Some weeks I’m totally on, getting shit done, cruising through my courses, outlining ideas, hacking away at my business plan, looking for jobs, and submitting resumes. Other weeks I’m still in my pajamas at 3pm and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the 80 millionth time. Welcome to the pandemic lifestyles of the perpetually broke and small town famous.

Mental Health

Not so good. Not so healthy. So many ups and downs. Mostly downs. I’ve had a few major downs in the last few months. Struggling a lot right now. Its hard. I feel so alone sometimes. I feel like nothing will ever change in my life. I just feel sad and empty all the time, no matter what I do.

My current attempts to counteract said depression include going vegetarian, drinking more water, buying new activewear, signing up for a Zumba class, and purchasing some Vitamin D supplements.

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Therefore, I shall go on a fitness kick instead. I will get really into my home dance cardio classes, walks with the dogs, and outdoor yoga/meditation sessions. Spring at last, spring at last.

I know you’re asking yourselves why I don’t go to therapy, right? Well, the truth is that I have already been through extensive amounts of therapy in my life. In my case, it has 100% caused more harm than good. The medications fuck with my brain, no one will work with me to actually make a real therapy plan with an end goal in mind, and the diagnoses are constantly changing into everything aside from anxiety, which is what I actually struggle with the most. Seriously, one Xanax prescription and it would be all over for me. So simple, right?

Wrong! That’s not what Big Phama and Big Psychiatry want! They want to hook you on drugs and self-pity so you’ll keep pouring money into the system forever. Meanwhile, they’re out drinking top shelf booze and eating expensive caviar on the yachts they bought with the kickback money from shelling out poisonous prescription cocktails to children. I’m not here for it. I’m way more into trying alternative therapies. I’ve tried so many, I could write an entire book about it. I should get off my ass and actually do that. I have it all planned out. But nothing. Yay!

—–

So, there you have it, all. That’s my life. Look at me, trying to get her shit together so she will no longer be a glorified mess with amazing taste in shoes. It’s hard. I feel like throwing in the towel most of the time. I want to give up. Luckily for me, many people have reached out to me on social media with positive, encouraging messages. I’ve taken screenshots of all of them. I read through them now when I’m sad and want to give up. It is so important to remember that not everyone is a negative, energy-sucking douchebag. I do have friends and family who love me, want to see me happy, and hope for me to succeed.

So hopefully all of this will work out, even if it seems like nothing is working for me ever. Maybe I’ll update in another millennium, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just be sad forever. Stay tuned to find out!

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