Felicia Day’s book just came out, and I’ve been annoyed ever since I heard she was writing it. I wasn’t sure why, exactly, the idea of some person I’d never met writing a book had me perturbed, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the fact that what she was writing was a memoire. In her mid-30s.
What gives her the right to think anyone would even care about the memoire of someone who’s barely been able to legally drink for a little over a decade? What could she possibly have to share that makes her so important that she could get a book deal over it?
Maybe that was it. She got a book deal to tell her life story, however brief it may be, and I haven’t. I’m 40. I have, like, ones of years more experience than her!
But no, that wasn’t it.
What upset me was the fact that I’m kind of an asshole.
I didn’t always want to be a writer. For most of my childhood, I wanted to be an astronaut, which makes sense, seeing as how I’ve never quite grasped the concept of probability. I used to stay home from school for shuttle launches, I’d read every book about space I could get my hands on, and I even owned the Space Shuttle Operator’s Manual. You know, just in case I ever got called up by NASA between snack time and afternoon cartoons one day.
Of course, I didn’t ever become an astronaut. When I hit 9th grade, I got smashed in the face by the Hammer of Algebra, which put the brakes on my journey toward the Air Force Academy. Then, just in case I still had any optimism left in my gangly teenage body, my uncle (a retired AF Colonel) made sure to casually crush any dreams I had left by telling me I was too tall to ever fly, and even if I wasn’t, the Air Force would never let me be a pilot since I wore glasses, like some kind of bespectacled monster. So that was fun.
After that, I flailed around for a little while, bouncing from life goal to life goal. For a while, I was going to be a filmmaker. Then, I decided to be an anthropologist. At some point, I sort of slipped into IT work because I’d always been good at it, years before anyone had even figured out that Information Technology was a thing. Before I knew it, I had a career.
But way back before any of that happened, somewhere around 4th grade, I was already a published writer. I just didn’t realize it until now.
Growing up as a nerd has never been particularly easy for anyone, but it was particularly difficult for me, as a scrawny little nerdchilde in a small east Texas town where the only good game is a football game, and the only good book is, well, the Good Book. God, guns, football and the baby Jesus. That’s Texas, if you add some cowboy boots and stupid hats.
Elementary school is fun. You learn how to share and care, and you get to have a great time being a kid with your friends who are also kids because the opposite sex doesn’t exist yet. Then middle school happens, and the kids who used to be your friends take up arms on the other side of the island before killing Piggy with a rock when he clearly had the conch and everything goes to shit because middle school is the worst.
I’m not okay.
It’s hard to admit that, and even harder to do it here, on a blog I only just recently decided to walk away from. People who do not like me (and they are legion) will treat this new post as a punchline to my last one, where I declared my intent to be done with this site. They’ll crack jokes and snicker, and do all the other horrible things Internet People do to make the lives of others a little less bearable.
Which is fine. I can take it. I’ve been dealing with that sort of person my entire life. For a very brief period in the Lord of the Flies middle school years, I was one of those people, and I’ll always regret it.
But now I’m past the point of caring about the opinions of people who just like watching others fail – for the moment, at least. Ask me again tomorrow, and I’ll probably be biting my fingernails and crying in the shower over how miserable they’ve made me feel. And an hour after that, I’ll have moved on to worrying about something else.
Because that’s how Depression works.
Although, I never actually realized that until literally just now, after Wil Wheaton told me that’s how it works.
Seven years. I’ve been plugging away at this blog for seven years and, for the most part, it’s been fruitless. Sure, it’s brought some work my way over the years – briefly, even a full time gig – but the law of diminishing returns kicked in a long time ago. I guess I just kept hoping I could power through it and eventually land on something that sticks. But I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.