I have been struggling with bingeing since I came back from SXSW in March. It’s just a symptom of a bigger issue.
“I want to be the girl with the most cake.”
– Courtney Love
I’m dealing with the green-eyed monster.
SXSW and Vloggercon were incredibly accepting and loving communities. I felt like I was welcomed when I was there. It was a feeling of belonging and community that I haven’t felt since high school. Of course, along came other feelings that used to lurk around during high school.
I’m not the most popular girl.
It’s true. Every community has their celebrities. At SXSW the biggest celebrities were Maggie Mason and Heather Armstrong. I felt like a fan girl actually meeting them and all those feelings of inadequacy of not being the most popular girl came up also.
After SXSW, I remember reading this entry from Maggie and feeling like I was totally out of it again…
We’re at a panel where Jason Fried is talking about “building small.” Nothing too complex. Reduce the feature set as much as possible. Build as little as you can.
I turn around in my seat, and whisper to Amy:
-Behold! I have built nothing.
-Ha! Someone just sent me that exact message over IM.
-Hive mind. (Adopting robot voice.) I-like-your-glass-es.
Suddenly, I felt totally UNcool. I didn’t have any “graphic tees.” My funny little green glasses are rarely worn because contacts work so much better for me and, worst of all, I had NO IDEA what Campers were. I immediately followed the link she provided and found out they were shoes.
It all boils down to shoes with girls…
I didn’t even know what the cool shoes were. That’s how UNcool I was.
(Enter eating disorder, stage left)
Don’t get me wrong. Maggie was so nice when I talked to her at SXSW. She was very friendly and kindly pretended to have read one of my weblogs. She’s not the kind of mega-bitch all of us had to deal with in high school. It really has nothing to do with her, or Heather or even Amanda Congdon. It all has to do with my messed up head. I have some really screwy competition things going on in my head.
The irony is: IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!
Take high school, for example. I was NEVER the girl with the most cake in high school. Every year I ran for office. Every year, I lost. I never once got elected to office. Losing never stopped me, either. I ran for office every time I had a chance. I gave it my all every time and in the end, I never won. That’s my perception of my high school years.
Then I went to my 15 year class reunion and got a different perspective.
I was talking with a table of people that I barely knew, “I ran for office every year and never won.”
The brunette crinkled her brow, “You didn’t? Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure. Failure tends to do that to you.”
“No. You were Treasurer one year, weren’t you?”
“Nope, that year I lost to Araceli Rojas.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
Another person chimed in mentioning class offices that she thought I won. The whole table was convinced that I was among the elite of the school. I was one of the girls who got to wear the special white sweaters with the kelly green highlights. I got to have a “K” on my back and my name embroidered on the pocket. I couldn’t convince them that my experience of high school was anything but privileged.
Who was right? I never won an office, but in the minds of people that I barely knew in high school I was one of the envied ones.
Does it matter that I’m not the girl with the MOST cake? Nope. All that matters is that I bring it, every day.
Time to put down the cake now.