I don’t know why I’m so nervous. Just hit publish. Do it. Doitdoitdoit. Ugh. Unfortunately when I get nervous, I get the nervous shits. I’ve been dealing with this since 2003, and it gets bad. Who knew there were so many different types of nervous? There’s the nervous-nervous, the happy-nervous, the excited-nervous, the sick-to-your-stomach nervous, the sad-nervous, the angry-nervous, the I’m-about-to-do-something-stupid-nervous, the I-just-did-something-super-stupid-nervous…
So here I sit in the coffee shop with something between the nervous-nervous and the excited-nervous brewing in the special nervous spot of my belly, and I can’t hit publish out of fear of having to run immediately to the bathroom. And it’s one of those single toilet situations, which is great for privacy, but horrible when you really have to go and rush to the door just to find it locked, or worse, you do your business in private, all the while imaging the giant line forming outside in the public, knowing that every single person in the line is about to know what you just did, and there is no other stall person to blame it on.
I know there is a certain level of anonymity on the internet, but that’s the part that scares me. People are mean. And the internet makes it possible to be so much more mean without worrying about having to face the person you are not-so-secretly directing your anger toward, pretty much ever. It opens up a confidence most people didn’t know they had, which sometimes in turn opens up the inner nasty they’ve been waiting to unleash. I think some people’s guilty pleasure must be ripping people apart in the virtual world. Not that I am terrified of being ripped apart (though the people who might take pleasure in that do terrify me); it’s more of a generic all-encompassing fear. I’m not afraid that people won’t read this, I am afraid that people will.
I have kept a journal since I was in the 3rd grade. I can tell you everything I did, everything I wore, everything I ate, every boy who so much as LOOKED at me, from 1988-2000. I had a bit of a problem documenting my college years; it appears drinking, partying and making poor life choices took up all of my available free time (I am convinced these three things serve as the main purpose for higher education; society’s futile way of trying to flush the idiot out of you before you enter the real world) and I’ve been struggling to pick it up ever since.
But I’ve tried. And each attempt ended the same: I lied to myself. On paper. My hand would write things, and my eyes would stare at the half-truths on the page in disbelief, wondering what the fuck was wrong with my hand. What was I trying to do, rewrite history? It was like my hand thought my actual feelings and experiences were too stupid, too embarrassing, too awful to put down in writing. Because that? That would make them real. My hand was horrified by my head, avoiding reality. So I just started keeping all of my thoughts and experiences upstairs, in my tiny secret garden of a brain. Eventually, it became like that time you tried to stuff your 32-year-old self into your 22-year-old jeans. You’re faced with the reality that you need to find a new home for about 10 years of acquired body.
So the other fork in the road was born from the collective droppings of my overstuffed mind. But it was not alive. Each day I clicked on my home page and the bold words Nothing Found screamed, “Hey YOU, this thing isn’t going to write itself.” And then days turned to weeks and weeks to months. I am positive that months could turn into years. I try to avoid nervous poo-creating activities as much as possible, but I do realize I have to start somewhere, even if my somewhere is as pointless at this. I don’t know if this will fix anything. I don’t even know what’s broken. But it’s worth a shot.
Now if you’ll please excuse me, I need to find a toilet.