Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Cat Doesn't Care What You Think - Life With No Apologies

So this message happened:
"Why are you always trying to piss people off? You would probably have a lot more readers if you toned it down a bit."

Dear Random Person On The Internet,

I appreciate you reading, and taking the time to offer your life wisdom.

First of all, I'm not TRYING to piss people off. They choose to be pissed off. I have very little to do with it.

On the second point, you're probably right. I probably would have a lot more readers if I toned down the sarcasm and the passion. If readers and popularity are the goal, I should ignore the insanity of popular thought, keep my opinions to myself, and just post more pictures of my cat (She is an awesome cat, by the way, but she rarely does anything post-worthy. She mostly sleeps and smells like fish.)

There she is...
sleeping and smelling like fish.
But you see, I'm not in high school anymore, and I never really cared to play the popularity game when I was there. But now, I'm 42 years old. Statistically speaking, I've lived just about half my life. I have things to say, things that only I can say, and I'm desperately afraid of slipping off into the ether without having said them.

I get it though. I could sit here like the masses, doing little more than constantly refreshing my inbox, trapped in a constant loop, like a hamster on a wheel, never really doing anything or going anywhere. I could relive the same day over and over like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I could swim with the school, graze with the herd, fit in like I'm supposed to, never saying anything that strays from the social script we've been handed. I could see the same things, and think the same thoughts, spew the same platitudes as every poor schmuck  trapped on the treadmill. I could stuff myself into the box of acceptable thought and behavior.

I could do all of those things and I would probably have more "friends" and gain more readers.

But to what end? Popularity doesn't equal success and fulfillment. It didn't in high school and it certainly doesn't now that we're out here in "real life".

I don't know how to wake you up to the meaningless horror you must be living. I don't have all the answers. I don't know everything (in actuality I know very little), but I do know this: Watering down my every thought, ignoring every creative notion, denying every idiosyncrasy that stirs inside of me just to ease my fit into a constrictive mold is not for me. Maybe it's easy for you, that's fine. But changing my life and diluting my thoughts to better fit someone else's notion of what my life should be... well there's not enough lube in the world to ease that entry (Yes, there is an inappropriate metaphor here, but I'll leave it to your imagination. My kids are probably reading this).

I refuse to constantly hold back for fear of offending someone. I will not temper my thoughts in order to win some stupid popularity contest, to win some flock of adoring fans. I don't care if I shake things up, because that's really the only thing worth doing.

So, I appreciate the advice there, Well-meaning Internet Life Coach, but...

I really just don't give a shit.

(And neither does my cat.)


Robin Follette said...

HAHA Ya, I know. I shouldn't be laughing. Timing. I've been reading some of my blog survey responses. "When you get an opinion about something and go off on it... I don't come here for negativity." Apparently when I don't "go off on it" my opinion matches that person's opinion and it's all good.

Don't hold back. I'm here because I value your opinion and what you have to say. You usually make me think. If you don't make me think it's because I already agree with you and sit here nodding my head as I read. How boring life would be if everyone agreed.

In my next life I'm probably going to be a cat. The whole not caring what people thing thing...that's good.

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Thank you, thank you! Of course, I have no idea how you got into my head and wrote just what I think almost every day - in response to the criticism I get from some corner or another almost every day. Maybe our cats are on the same wavelength and are transmitting my thoughts over to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found you. It's sooo refreshing to hear what you say and think. I am so tired of 'politically correct' and all this racist/blk lives matter/divide and conquer crap I could scream. In fact I often do scream!! I feel so much better but my cats seem to think I'm rather odd at times. I believe that deep, dripping sarcasm is medicine for the soul. And there is oh so much to be sarcastic about these days.