I’m feeling bad right now because I haven’t posted anything here in weeks. MONTHS, MAYBE.
I know it doesn’t really matter. Nothing was riding on this. No one was staging a hunger strike to get me to write, or holding people hostage, or sending me threatening notes. It’s not a big deal, or even a little deal. In fact, the word deal should not be brought into it at all. Nevertheless, it’s hard to look my blog in the i’s, especially since it turned five in September and I wasn’t even there for it.
I’m like the absentee father in a Creedence Clearwater song and I feel awful about the whole thing. I am consumed by guilt.
I don’t know if it’s a characteristic of anxious people, or if it’s because I was regularly in well-deserved trouble as a kid, or if I committed a horrific crime in a past life and this is my punishment, but I feel guilty all the time. If I’m not feeling at least a low level of shame I assume that I’m either very sick or forgetting about some terrible thing I’ve done.
Things That Should Make You Feel Guilty
- Stabbing someone in the jugular vein with a pen
- Introducing someone to hard drugs and ruining their life
- Kicking animals
- Stapling your gross tarp to your neighbor’s fence
- Enjoying Paul McCartney’s solo music
You’ll be happy to know that I’ve never done any of those things. Instead I feel guilty about crazy stuff.
Things I Feel Bad About Right Now
- Wanting to punch Paul McCartney right in the smug, elderly mouth
- I think I’ve been paying less attention to Winston since I brought home a kitten and I’m not sure he knows I still love him
- I never had to take out student loans. I’M VERY SORRY ABOUT THIS
- I’ve never lost an extremity in a factory accident and I feel bad about having so many body parts
- I’ve never had to work in a factory
- Sometimes I identify with Bruce Springsteen songs about factories and I clearly have no right to do that
- I haven’t worked on that project that I physically can’t discuss
- I watch TV on my computer all the time but sometimes I say stuff like, “I don’t own a television” without mentioning the computer part and IT IS THE WORST and I’m sorry people have to listen to me
- I never answer my phone because I’m afraid of it
- I whine about stuff all the time and it’s only slightly less annoying than bringing up how much I don’t have a TV
- I raised my eyebrow in a passive-aggressive way in a meeting today and I should have just said the mean thing I was thinking instead because at least it would have been honest
- I still don’t know how to play piano
- I had a conversation in high school that makes me cringe to this day
That’s just a small sampling of the little stuff I feel bad about. I’m not even going to get into the big stuff, like guilt over being born with certain privileges, or how I don’t have every part of my life together, or how I have hair and some people don’t. I will never run out of things to feel awful about. Anytime I feel like I might not be wracked with guilt, my messed-up brain actively seeks out new things to obsess over. It’s sick.
On the other hand, it’s also motivating. If I can get past the initial hurdle of feeling so guilty that I can’t even think about the thing that’s bothering me, I’ll work for hours to fix it if I think it will help me feel better. I’m sure a lot of people are that way. I’m willing to bet that the caveman or cavewoman who invented fire did it after a sleepless night staring at the cave-ceiling, feeling cave-bad about how undercooked food and cold temperatures kept killing the other cave-people.
So after four weeks in a row of not posting anything, I wrote this. And I hate it. I feel like I could have done better. I’m sorry to have wasted your time. I feel really guilt—