Pardon me while I learn to not give a fuck

I’ve been putting off writing this post for quite a few months. It could turn out to be quite a ramble, so here’s the TL;DR in advance:

I’m taking a break from this whole blogging thing… and the twitter thing. I don’t know for how long, really, but it became pretty clear to me that this is something I need to do. For myself. I’ll still be playing WoW. Still being the GM of those Effers, so I’ll be tied to the blogosphere. I might even still read blogs and occasionally comment.

There are a dozen reasons why and I can’t really say where one ends and another begins. I thought it was the stress of moving and not having a home base. With that settled, I thought maybe I just needed a permanent job before I could finally stop stressing out.

While I am sure that whole job thing would help somewhat, the truth is that I’ve been blogging and twittering for all the wrong reasons lately, trying to prove something to someone who left my life a while ago and who would probably laugh if he knew how much I let him win. Except the contest only exists in my head and honestly, how pathetic is that?

Learning to not give a fuck

At reminded me today of this article, which some of you have probably seen before. It resonates with me in a way I can’t describe and in looking over it today it was like many little lightbulbs going off in my head, a sort of lightshow of epiphanies.

People are judging me right now. I don’t need everyone to like me.

These are truths that have been difficult to internalize. I think we all like to think of ourselves as the star of the show in the drama that is our lives. So for the most part, people should like us! Oh, an antagonist or two might be something we have to deal with once in a while to keep things interesting, but they will ultimately be shown to be dumber or crueler or less human, right?

Yeah, right. Or maybe it’s: Yeah right!

Giving a fuck about the right things

The third fact in the article was a little easier. It’s my people that matter.

Why do I put so much time and effort into worrying about whether or not everyone out there likes me when I know damn well many don’t, and won’t ever? Why does the approval of virtual strangers become a top priority when my people – people I don’t even really deserve when it comes down to it – get shoved to the wayside?

My priorities have been pretty fucked up.

The good news is that there’s plenty of room to change. My people are fairly few: my family, my friends and to a certain extent, my guild.

Oh, my Effing guild

I’ve been struggling for months now feeling like I was failing the Effers because I just couldn’t find a balance. Then a week ago, I blew up at Zel, as much as one can blow up via instant messaging, because I just didn’t want to hear one more thing about the guild.

She went to the forums and asked if we needed another raid leader or maybe, gasp, some officers. In the first hours of the discussion, I was torn between sadness, guilt for failing and relief that maybe I could either share the burdens or find a way out of being GM altogether.

They won’t let me out of being the GM, but help is on the way, and I think it’s a good compromise between taking on officer-type people while avoiding the trap of officers eventually becoming figureheads in the most elite of cliques.

But I digress.

Self esteem, I’d like to have some again

The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck goes on to list five “easy steps” for getting a handle on the problem of caring far, far too much about other people and their opinions of you.

The first step was do things you would consider embarrassing. Check. This blog post qualifies. I’m rarely honest in front of others about my real shortcomings, and I fully expect that a number of people who read this post will nod knowingly and think, I always knew she was a loser.

I realized I’m self-deprecating so much of the time because I figure it’ll save other people the bother. It’s so much easier to hear from me than it would be to hear from someone else. It it okay to simply admit that I’m fragile and would prefer to be handled with care? I don’t know. Everything in me says no.

This post also partly covers the second step: dealing with awkwardness. If you’re reading it, you are seeing just how awkward things are. How awkward I am, not so deep down. Uncomfortable truths? I’m looking at them.

Work in progress

I guess it’s fitting that for my last ramble here for a while, that this is something of a long one. I feel like I’ve lost the point several times throughout and that this won’t make sense as a cohesive whole. I suspect it might all come across as a disjointed mess of self-pity and unrelated asides.

But for me, it’s more. It’s good. I feel hopeful and a little bit free. I’m giving myself the freedom to walk away from trying to come up with something to say here when I’ve been paralyzed in the same ruts for months. I’m giving myself the space to pay attention to my people and to stop chasing the approbation of others.

And more, I’m giving myself the gift of time to work on the things I do want to attend to but have been putting off because I was already failing my other commitments. I’m planning on diverting my writing time to the novel and I hope my volunteers for reading that will still be willing to do so. (I doubt any of the willingness to volunteer stemmed from my writing this blog, but eh, it’s worth a mention.)

In closing, before I come up with any tangents

I don’t know when I’ll be back. It could be anything from a month to never. I just know that as much as I have loved being a part of the WoW blogging and tweeting community, and for as many of my people as I have discovered there, it’s become the wrong place for me. I would be beyond honored if anyone stuck around long enough to welcome me back, if and when the day should come.

Just in case it doesn’t, know that you have all had a big impact on me and I will always be very grateful for the time I got to spend in the corners of the internet that were yours and mine.

And in the meantime, I’m not shutting anything down now. I’m just closing some tabs that have been perpetually open in my browser for over a year.


Pardon me while I learn to not give a fuck — 22 Comments

  1. Good luck out there!

    Someone once said to me “What anyone else thinks of me is none of my business”. It’s kind of hard to do when you are perpetually worried about fitting in, doing things right and making sure everyone is happy. Once you start trying it a bit it actually helps.

    Hugs and I’ll read you when you are back :)

  2. Ahhh…I will miss your rants and clear words (and limericks), Alas. but you need a break when you need it and yeah – you matter, not the others. if you feel that blogging here is just not the right thing anymore for you, for the moment, then that’s how it is. no need for fatalism and final resolutions either, I don’t believe in that personally. maybe you’ll get the love for it back by taking some time off – it happens all the time. and if not, that’s that (although I will certainly keep an eye out for it).

    The best of luck to you with all the things you’ll be doing meanwhile and instead. I’m off to read that article now. :)

  3. First off, I think you made perfect sense and not at any point do I see where anyone would nod and think that they always considered you a loser. But I guess that’s kind of the whole issue – the fact that you think like that. And I get it – I really do. I walk around with a perpetual feeling that no one *actually* wants to be around me, and that they just tolerate me/talk to me to be nice.

    Which, logically, is completely ridiculous. But sometimes logic doesn’t work and our mind play tricks on us.

    I wish you the best of luck in learning to not give a fuck. Naturally I will miss your blog posts and Twitter, but hey – we all have to do what is best for us and that’s what’s important here. You’re doing just that.

    For as long as I remain being a blogger myself, I will keep you on my feed reader, in case you pop back :)

  4. Ok, I read the start of the article and am now going to go and read some more. But before I do that, just wanted to say good for you for having the guts to a) take ownership of how you’re feeling, b) express it and c) do something about it.

    Like Syl, I’ll miss the rants (and the other stuff as well!) and send you my best wishes for doing stuff that makes YOU happy!

  5. You gotta do what is best for you. I will miss your rambles and updates, but wishing nothing but joy and luck to you in your having fun stuff. You’re awesome. End of story.

  6. Your place in my feedreader/twitterlist/thoughts will remain unchanged, for if/when you decide to come back.

    ‘Til then, do what you need to do to make things the way you need them to be.


  7. <3

    I've always thought that you were awesome, and I am almost always right about such things. Ergo, you're awesome. You may cite this comment in any future argument/discussion as expert validation of your awesomeness.

    On a mostly unrelated note:

    They won’t let me out of being the GM, but help is on the way, and I think it’s a good compromise between taking on officer-type people while avoiding the trap of officers eventually becoming figureheads in the most elite of cliques.

    Is an unfair teaser for those like myself that have been following the evolution of your group’s exciting experiment. Its like one of those cliffhanger season finales to a great television program that has just been cancelled. Tell on our your guild mates that they are now required to take up the torch on public updates for the zany misadventures of the Effing Effers.

  8. Your rants, ramblings and insightful thoughts will certainly be missed. I hear myself a little in your posts – a lot of that self-deprecation, and low self-esteem that is one of my own greatest faults. Having you around in the blogosphere has helped me feel a little bit less alone.

    I’ve watched you deal with drama, blogosphere fires, and trolls. From my perspective, you have a very likeable personality and I’ve always felt like I was on “your side” even when I disagreed with your opinon. I’ve admired your strength and completely understand that you need to step away for awhile. Real Life is stressful enough, and it sounds like blogging is stressing you out instead of being a fun thing. I hope that you’ll come back when you’re ready, but if not I’m sure I’ll hear about you via other Effers. Best of luck to you.

  9. I think you are your own harshest critic Alas.

    I’ll miss your blog, but you need to do what’s best for you. I wish you luck in learning not to give a fuck (about the things that don’t matter), and hope the blogging break makes you feel better.

  10. Pingback: Thursday Reading | Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

  11. As you can see, Alas, no one here thinks your a loser. I’m gonna miss reading your blog, but I do understand the reasons you’re leaving it behind better than you might realize. I’m also gonna miss you on twitter. This whole post makes me sadface cause I feel like i’ve only just recently gotten to know you, but such is life sometimes I guess.

    My blogroll will keep this page linked, and my twitter feed will keep your name listed within until you decide to come back. I hope this break gives you everything you’re looking for, and more. Also, remember that you’ve got that little baby mage on Azgalor too, so don’t be a stranger =P

  12. Hey Alas, I always enjoy your posts, whether it’s guild related, tales about RL derp, random bits of poetry, etc. If you have had the revelation that you’re blogging for the wrong reasons, good on you for taking a step back and re-evaluating! But I hope you sort things out and figure out why you were blogging to begin with and make a speedy return. Write for yourself! :D

  13. I hope this break gives you a much-needed respite! Although I feel like Gaia does that I’m standing at the edge of the cliff and going “where are they going next?!” I can understand the need to step back and evaluate your own project. If it’s not meeting a need for you, then it’s not something you should be doing for US (even if we pout. I’m pouting right now for the record.)

    Love! <3

  14. Hi Alas,

    I’m going to tell you the same thing that I’ve been telling Rith for ages and that she’s just now starting to act on, which delights me greatly. You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for and I think taking back the power however you can is fantastic. People only get away with what you let them get away with and I would hate to see you abandon these outlets because of other people. It’s so not worth it.

    I know I’m hardly one to call myself a role model, but I have never given a crap what people think and it’s gotten me where I am today. I get more page views when I’m crazy or talking shit or making a mistake and I’ve never worried about offending someone or dancing around a subject. Hell no! If it’s happening, we’re going to talk about it. That’s how I roll and people want to see that.

    I can’t say that every single page view I get is from someone who genuinely likes me, but I don’t care. At the end of the day I’m happy with where I’m at and what I put out there and that’s all that counts. The minute that stops being the case is when you need to do something about it and only then.

    I look forward to your comeback Alas, and to hearing about more of the adventures of you and the Effers. Please take care.


  15. This is what I like to call the “Hipsnatch” theory. See, back when I was in the Army we did all kinds of crazy things, and had to work with all kinds of idiots. There was a guy named Hipwell in my unit who took it to an extreme, and when asked about it one day he said simply “the only people who’s opinions about me matter are 3000 miles away, so you can kiss my ass”.

    Enjoy your break, regain your sanity, and tell someone random to kiss your alas!

  16. I just wanted to leave a *hug.* I don’t drop by often, and the only time I’ve seen you have a problem with someone, it was someone I firmly believed was a douche anyway. Keep running your great Effing guild, and maybe we’ll hear from you again someday.

  17. All the best to you and your Effers, Alas! You do what you need to do for your own happiness, at the end of the day, no matter what anybody says. (I also like the “tell someone random to kiss your alas,” haha.)

  18. Wow. I want to thank each one of you all personally, but I already have the feeling that my words are going to fall short. So thank you, everyone, for this amazing show of support and understanding. I’ll do my very best to take it all to heart.

    I’ll also poke at Zel to talk about our whole Effing quasi-officer update. (Didn’t realize anyone was following that with any sort of great interest still.)

  19. This makes me sad. I have always enjoyed your blog (well, since discovering it). I thought you have navigated the few kerfuffles gracefully. Please take what Oestrus said to heart!

  20. I’ve been, with very few exceptions, a silent reader of your blog for a while, and have very much enjoyed your views on things, your opinions and the tales you told, about your personal life and about your journey to get to an in-game place you enjoy.

    As it’s been said before, I am firmly convinced that you are a much stronger, more competent and potent person than you give yourself credit for. Good luck with the employment situation, I can assure you that all aspects of life look much brighter once that gets straightened out.

    Safe travels, Alastriona.

  21. Just blog about who you are and what you’re doing! (If you feel like it….)

    I’ve enjoyed your blog and will keep reading as long as you’re writing….