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Tag Archives: self-loathing

Me and rejection sailing together. That's me on the left.

Ahoy. Let me first say that I’m not looking for any pity here. Read this with a hint of derision in your mind’s voice. This is me trying to do something I’m very bad at, incidentally something that should have been included in the Parade of Stupidity (see previous blog): turning negative experiences into positives. Blah, blah. Oh boy.

This is going to be contemptuous and silly and dopey, but it makes me happy. Plus, I don’t have anything better to do. And, yes, perhaps I should keep these things to myself. But what’s the good of having a blog if you can’t subject people to your every self-pitying whimsy. Let the voyage begin.

Raise the mainsail and waggle the jib. Tie the halyard with a double mummy Oprah knot and take two shimmies on the rudder. Make sure the stanchion is bubbling and turn the wheel to a heading of east-northsouth at a speed of 8 million knots. Very soon I’ll make the jump to hyper speed. Set your sextants to stun.

I’m sailing a majestic boat. I’m wearing a pair of Top-siders without socks. I’m sporting sunglasses with Croakies and on this trip I’ll develop the most bodacious tan on this side of the Tropic of Capricorn–which is saying a lot because I usually go straight from whitey white to daddy-please-don’t-hit-me-with-the-belt-again red. This voyage will almost certainly be awesome. I’ll keep a journal, a memoir of my journey because that’s what you do. Should my mechanical pencil run out of lead I will slay a mighty squid and use its ink. I will not, however, write in my own blood because I get queasy around needles.

A double mummy Oprah knot. Just in case you were wondering.

Day 3: Navigated successfully through the Straight of WeRegretToInformYou. It looked a lot friendlier than it actually was. Once between its canine-shaped rocks I experienced a what I’d thought, until that moment, to be a fictional feature of the S.W.R.I.Y.: pockets of halitosis gas bubbling from the sea floor.

Day 25: Running out of freshwater faster than I anticipated. Could have something to do with the long shower I took after being pooped on by an entire flock of ThankButNoThanks Birds. They came out of nowhere while I was eating cheese and crackers on the deck. Ruined the rest of the day. After my long shower I sat in a dark corner chewing on a toothpick.

Day 49: Been doing repairs after I threw my knife at a small WeLikedItBut Nymph last night. Some people say they don’t exist, but I saw it clear as could be. Doesn’t matter that after I tried to attack it the darn thing disappeared and my knife gashed the jib. All I have is a needle and thread to repair the hole. Hoping it will hold.

Day 72: So thirsty. Thought I saw fresh water on the deck, but it only turned out to be a puddle of WeGaveYourStoryaSecondReadingHowever. Didn’t realize it until I was getting splinters in my tongue.

Day 99: Get it? I’m sailing in a sea of rejection. I’m tired of this metaphor.

I’m getting rejected a lot lately. It’s kind of a daily thing. Job opportunities, writing submissions… it doesn’t matter. I know rejection is part of the deal considering my interests and career (?) path, but it’s still not that fun. So I’m looking for ideas. I’m not quite sure what to do with all of them. Unfortunately almost all of them have been delivered via e-mail. If they were printed I could use them to make some lovely wallpaper. As it is, though, I just catalogue them in my psyche.

What else to do? I could always write the infamous writer-writing-trying-to-overcome-rejections story, but that’s just a big cliche. Besides, I’ve already written a silly blog about it. Maybe there’s some sort of business opportunity to be had. Maybe I could be a rejection consultant. Start some kind of service where I counsel people on how to compose more humane rejections. Businesses could use it: Thank you for applying, but we’ve decided to go in a different direction. It may not be the right direction, just a different one. Heck, it may just be the wrong direction. We don’t even have a map! Not hiring you may be the biggest mistake we’ve ever made! You don’t want to work here anyway. There’s asbestos in the walls and all our male employees have mustaches.

Fed-up girlfriends could use it too: Dear Kenny. Don’t think of this as a break-up. It’s an opportunity. I’m giving you the time necessary to become the professional Xbox player that you so long to be. I’m only holding you back from realizing your dreams. I don’t deserve someone with your digital dexterity. You’re welcome. I will love you always and watch you from afar. Yours, Mona.

Realize the dream, Kenny.

Insurance companies: Dear Mrs. Huffington. Unfortunately we must deny your claim for medical services rendered on January 15, 2010. But please take solace in the fact that we didn’t even review your claim. It’s nothing personal. Furthermore, your money will be a vital part of helping one of our lucky executives to realize his dream of owning his very own sail boat. Ahoy.

Ahoy.

That’s good stuff. Rejection still sucks.

-MC JLight

P.S. I’ve gone to the dark side. Follow me on Twitter @THEoriginalJLO.

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When I’m in the middle of doing nothing—I mean, when I’m really doing it well—I’ll sometimes Google little questions that I’m looking to answer. Are soul patches cool? Turns out they’re not as cool as they used to be. Where did Waldo go? Somewhere in the South Pacific. How much money should I save each month? More than I currently do. Am I too old to get pregnant? Yes.

Here’s one that I did today, just cause I worry about this kind of thing: How old is too old to change careers? I asked Google this for several reasons. First, honestly, if I got a real job, even my dream job, I’d consider it a career change, as I am currently the VP of Jack Squat. Second, I’m extremely worried that my chosen career path is evaporating before me. And third, because I feel like I’m starting to get past the age where anything is possible.  You know, I’m not sure I can go back to school and I doubt if people want to hire someone my age as an intern and I’ve got to earn money somehow. So basically I wanted to know if all hope for me is gone… And Google seemed like the place to go for this vital info. Besides, my Magic Eight Ball was broken. It just kept saying, “Ask again,” so I threw it into a lake.

The first link that popped up directed me to a message board on which a man of my exact age came a-wondering if he was too old to become a journalist. The responses poured in and were all very positive. Of course not. You’re only as old as you feel. Never say never. One person mentioned many famous people who started careers later in life.

But one response stood out. In it the respondent questions the asker’s negative language, which, strangely, is a lot like mine, e.g. I won’t go back to school. I can’t find a job that makes me happy, etc. He suggested that the wannabe journalist ought to rework his vocabulary. Agreed. For many people, positivity has worked miracles in the past. Our forefathers’ positivity helped found this great country in the face of insurmountable Red-Coated odds. Positivity has helped countless sports underdogs (notably the 1997 Denver Broncos). And who hasn’t used a little positive thinking on a road trip through Nevada when there’s fifty miles ahead until the next rest stop and fifty miles have past since you stopped at Taco Bell for a bagful of bean burritos.

So me and the wannabe journalist should go with positive stuff. I will…. I can… Fine. Sort of. Perhaps I’m a Negative Nancy, but I usually reserve I will for certain things that I will do. I will take out the trash. I will eat some ice cream. I will take you to the airport. These are things over which I virtually have complete control. The wheels stop turning, though, when I try to be positive about tasks of less certainty (I will drive this ball down the middle of the fairway) or, even scarier, goals that depend on the willing participation of others (see below). Those scare the dickens out of me

Most applicable to my “professional” life is something like this: I will sell/publish this or that screenplay/story. **Silence, cricket chirp, cough.** Oh boy. Again, I may be a Debbie Downer, but how can I even begin to utter such a sentence. My brain starts working overtime: I have little control over such an event, I might jinx myself by saying it, I’m setting myself up for disappointment. C’mon, the only way I could convince myself that it was possible for me to write a novel was by getting a few words of it tattooed on my body as motivation. Because who wants to be the guy who had a small portion of an unfinished/unrealized novel permanently etched on his skin? Not me. So what’s next? Do I need to brand myself? (This is the kind of situation that leaves me wanting to eat a carton of fudgesicles and veg out on the couch watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. He makes me feel better.) Moreover, if I can’t utter the aforementioned difficult sentence, how am I supposed to get anything done, much less take myself seriously as a writer?

But wait. You’re saying there’s another word between will and won’t. And you’re right. There’s also that lovely word: try. I love this word. I fall back on this word. It’s cuddly. It’s theoretical positivity. It’s exact middle. It’s hoping for the best without being cocky. I like that.

But Yoda had to step in and be a jerk. In The Empire Strikes Back he clearly says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” He took a choice, the best choice, away. I can’t even try to be positive. I can’t try to not try. I have to do or not do. I have to either be negative, which is nearly impossible for me (even though I’m a quasi-pessimist, I don’t like quitting), or there’s that other thing…

Crap.

-MC JLight