I’ve thought a lot about whether I was going to post this, but since I don’t have anything else to talk about, I’m going for it. I’m not one to really censor myself anyway, although I do make an effort to keep the more toxic thoughts offline – the thought of hurting someone’s feelings intentionally or otherwise appalls me, so I try not to do it. Someone’s mother somewhere must have said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” (my mother said “do you want mayonnaise on your pizza?”), but silence just isn’t in my nature. Good thing there are ways to express yourself without intentionally being a dick – snotty and arrogant for a laugh yes, but not mean. This isn’t high school.
I spent most of yesterday wanting to throw in the towel and skip not only TEDxVancouver, but also BarCamp, Got Craft, the Scott Pilgrim party at my house tomorrow night, and the internet all together. In my brain, three people yelling at me is pretty much the same as three thousand – and if three out of 500 don’t want me at the event, then clearly the other 497 people feel the same way. I know this is ridiculous, but I didn’t choose my particular brand of social anxiety – I just live with it. It definitely didn’t help that two of the yellers (one of whom has since apologized) were friends – if people who claim to love me can hate on me so publicly, what must The Others think? No one is rushing to defend my honour, so I MUST be a horrible person!
Another pickle in the bathtub were the people who didn’t get invites expressing disappointment that they didn’t make the cut. I honestly figured the only reason I got in was to fill up wasted space, and the thought that I would be displacing someone else – someone “more deserving” – really fucked with my head. I really, really, really wanted to back down; to ask for a refund so that someone else could go. After all, I’m not wanted there. A random stranger told me so.
I ran the idea of running away by the shoulders I leaned on, and they were all unanimous: are you crazy? You need to go. Don’t let the haters keep you down. You deserve to be there, you WANT to go and learn what all the fuss is about, and I thought you got over that whole “chicken shit fraidy cat” business anyway. Just because no one else is publicly throwing their two cents into the ring doesn’t mean everyone agrees with the negativity aimed your way – and what about all the emails and DMs of support you got? Why can’t you focus on the good instead of the bad?
So, that’s what I’m trying to do. Thank you to all the people who have my back on this, and I will try to keep a stiff upper lip and not hide. I’ve done a lot of work to fight my social anxiety, and I’d be doing myself a huge disservice if I let a few nasty comments keep me from going outside. I don’t know for sure if I’ll be successful – the main event is still 8 days away, and that’s a lot of time for my brain (and random others) to tell me bad things – but as of this writing, I don’t intend to back down. I’ll start small – BarCamp tonight – and test the waters. I’m not really important enough to warrant flaming pitchforks and angry villagers, but you never know.
If you’re planning on being at any of the events mentioned above (especially the one in my living room), please come say hi so I don’t feel as though the entire world has turned on me. It sounds like such a small silly thing, but it’ll help my anxiety a lot.
Here is a picture of a sign:
do not go above medium pitch, or else
And yeah, this is a little bit of a pathetic pity party – I know that. Don’t care, though. I blog the good, I blog the bad, I blog them both and there you have Delicious Juice Dot Com.