Last night, the Heart Break Kid, Mr. Wrestlemania, Shawn Micheals, retired from WWE. Now, I know that there are folks who consider it a little silly that I am writing about this. For that, all I can say is, “At least I ain’t readin smut.” (SEE! I DIDN’T CALL OUT A NAME!) Last night, in his farewell speech, he said something that truly reverberated with me: the ring was his life for a long time, because the fans liked him there, even when he didn’t like himself. It got me to thinking…
The reason I do this, this whole writing thing – the reason that I have the balls to call myself a writer at all – is because I’m most at home inside of my own head. For those that know me, it’s strange, because I’m extraordinarily extroverted and at times, the queen of the over-share. But I pretty much live inside of my own thoughts, and a lot of those thoughts are off the wall. Fortunately, I’m blessed with a knack for stringing those thoughts together and letting those thoughts humanize me. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just blowing smoke here. So I’ll break it down further: I write pretty good stuff. Hell, I write DAMN good stuff. Because that’s the only way I know how to reach folks. I’ve got my mind. Annnnnd…that’s pretty much it.
I don’t say that in a feigned attempt self deprecation. My mind, fortunately, covers a fair bit. But when it comes to stepping “outside,” there’s this unbelievable awkwardness that I can never quite put my finger on. I hold on to this mom thing by the skin of my teeth. Marriage for me was an unparalleled disaster, and dating was almost as bad. I forget to call my friends and family. When I meet a new guy, I spend 65% of the time hoping he decides not to call; if I date him, I spend 90% of my time just waiting for the whole thing to be over, because contrary to what society believes a woman should be, I have always been a raving commitment phobe. Because I’m not at home with you. I’m only home with me. And people only like you when you are yourself. Myself is the writer. Everything else is window dressing.
And even when I don’t like who I am, I’m pretty fucking good at writing about what I want to be, and I like myself there. The folks who read what I write like that I can be frank and analytical about my failings and frailties. I can share things in written word, that in a conversation would be uneasy and awkward. When I write, it gives the reader the opportunity to search, and discover if they’ve experienced something similar, rather than the almost knee-jerk reaction conversation provides. (Not that knee-jerk is always wrong, but sometimes, we need that extra beat to consider the bigger picture.) At the end of the day, I am who I am, so there’s still potential under this raw material, but I know what it’s like to be confused when you’re not “in the ring.”
When I speak you get the coal.
When I write, you get the diamond.