Monday, April 18, 2011

Double-Dared by Skinny Vegan? I Accept Your Challenge!

(can someone pass me a paper bag before I hyperventilate?)

Almost Skinny Vegan double dared me to write an unedited post after this post to free myself from self-censoring and give myself permission to just let it all hang out. Well, I welcome your challenge and I double-dog dare myself to step up to the plate and let it flow.

So, I guess the best place to start is with why I feel so self-conscious about making a mistake (grammatically speaking) in a blogging forum which is meant to self primarily as a journal. Well, it hit me the other day when I wrote the original post about needing to stop being so perfect. I had two, not one but two, serious boyfriends who were both geniuses. My highschool boyfriend- I used to pass notes back and forth which is was so much fun. I’m smart, witty and can usually one-up any guy when it comes to come backs and jabs and having fun just ragging on each other. I also thought I was a creative writer and I wanted to share this with my boyfriend. I remember quite vividly getting back a note I had written to him and he had corrected all my mistakes in red pen. I had poured my heart out and shared my thoughts but all he saw were the errors. Of course, I was next accused of not having a sense of humor or being able to take playful criticism but his actions seemed more out of mocking and not out of love. I was self conscious enough as it was and already had a father (oh, my father- another painful topic that warrants some free writing). I don’t know why it hurt so much but from that point on, I thought that the only way I would be accepted was if I proved I was smart enough to not make mistakes.

Then there was the college boyfriend. He didn’t go to college with me but he was also a grammar die-hard. It had been years since I had thought about my previous boyfriend but it all came flooding back the day I received in the mail a corrected version of my heartfelt letter professing my love. The mistakes were normal, especially when writing a note (much like chatting online where most people ignore minor mistakes or only take little jabs at errors). It’s like I knew-knew- this guy wasn’t the right person for me but I stayed with him for a long time. Now I know that the person that you’re with, the one that you spend your time with, shouldn’t make you feel stupid or mock you in front of people. This lesson took some time.

And it didn’t stop there. For some reason, even though I am very intelligent and have no reason to doubt my capacity for knowledge, the men in my life felt it was necessary to put me in my place for such trivial mistakes. Guess what? Turns out I have a mild form of dyslexia (most people experience it and stress brings it on for me). I transpose letters, numbers, syllables, etc. In fact, I am neurologically wired differently and my brain and my communication skills aren’t always in sync. My husband finds it fascinating and brilliant that I can make up words that are perfect for what I’m saying. He says that my brain works so fast and thinks so much that there aren’t enough words in the English language to accommodate my unique communication skills. He adores my “mistakes” and he has made them a part of our vocabulary. He sends me the sweetest texts, several times a day, and he pays tribute to my strange verbose talent and now we have a secret code, a language all of our own.

I guess that’s the main point (as I remind myself I am not allowed to go back and re-read this before posting- and I won’t)- all those guys, the men in my life including my father, employers, co-workers, boyfriends- they were all necessary in my life. Because I wouldn’t have appreciated the kind man that I’m with now. They showed me all the things I didn’t want but this man? He taught me about unconditional love and that I was worthy of it. This man treats me like I’m the only girl in the world for him. He compliments me no matter what my weight and has never criticized me for the things that don’t matter. He taught me that I deserve mutual respect and I’m entitled to voice my opinion when I feel mistreated. I love him more than he realizes and I’m baffled that he thinks he’s not good enough for me. This is the man I can grow old with. This is the man that will love my wrinkles and sagging parts for as long as we’re together. There are no guarantees in life and even the happiest couples will struggle to make it. I don’t spend my time worrying that we may, someday, part ways. There’s always a chance. But what I know, what I feel, is that I’m with someone who will see this through to the end, whatever that may be. He won’t kick me to the curb for not being perfect. Hell, he thinks I’m perfect.

I can’t promise that I will only post unedited, unchecked entries. But I will make it a practice to do this frequently so that I can give readers, those kind enough to take the time to read my posts, to see the real me.

OK. I’m freaking the fuck out thinking about posting this all willy-nilly with not even a glance to check for proper sentence structure? So many rules have been broken by this post. What’s a neurotic girl to do? AHHHH! Breathe. Breathe. I kid! I’m not that intense (yes I am). I’m not ever going to re-read this post (total bullshit).

But I must stay true to the double dare code of honor (which follows the same rules as the famous double-dog-dare), and I promise, Almost Skinny Vegan, that I will simply copy and paste (add a couple of hyperlinks only) and I will let this entry be a statement, an oath, a new page in a new chapter that says, “Hey! Amelia, you dork! You’re blogging, not writing your thesis. Give it a rest and enjoy the process!”

Enough! I can’t take it any longer. If I don’t post this now it won’t happen. I’m a nut, I’m a nut, I’m a nut!!!!


  1. YAY! *standing ovation of applause*
    That was great :) I really enjoyed getting to know you more- I like the relaxed vibe this post has- despite the nervousness.
    I'm so happy you've found the right man for you, your husband sound just gorgeous.
    I don't think your a nut, just striving for perfection... I get it, I just don't think it's the be all and end all. I mess up words all the time too! and say things in the wrong order or get muddled between my brain and mouth- I'm glad it's not just me!
    This was great fun to read and I hope it did you some good too. Personally I think you write beautifully and you don't need to stress about blog posts- they're for you, no one's grading you xxx

  2. Great job. I agree with Almost Skinny's comment. The funny thing is... I bet you are the only person who knows what the proper sentence structure should be! I love English and I could sit down and diagram a sentence if I wanted, but I don't want to when I read blogs or books. I'd rather just get what you're trying to say and know that it's your genuine feelings.

    I had a boyfriend in college who routinely made me feel like crap about my education because he was so well read. The fact that he was 7 years older than me didn't seem to occur to him. He was also the guy who would pull out a dictionary to prove you used a word wrong. He wasn't trying to be cruel, but it didn't help the self esteem at all that's for sure.

  3. Haha... my perfectionism is going to come out right now : ) I am so wanting to delete and re-write my comment above. I am one of those rare individuals who does turn off my editing brain while reading/writing blogs and then immediately wants to go back and fix it after it's posted... so, you are not alone!

  4. Thanks, both of you. Let me clarify by saying that whenever I blog, all my posts are genuine and not edited in a way to change my meaning or intent. I think editing is fine and can help in clarifying meaning and enhance creative writing. There’s no shame in wanting to verify spelling, grammar, or use of words. And sometimes editing can help illustrate a point or improve the quality of the content. I would never pretend to be someone I’m not but I noticed that I was having the same problem in blogging as I did in social situation- I’m so isolated that I want to make sure I don’t fuck up any chance I get to communicate with others.
    I mentioned in the blog that I’m neurologically different and I’m sure I’ll get around to explaining this more, but maybe someone out there will know what I’m talking about. People are distracted by my mannerisms, my body language, my strange use of vocabulary and my odd perspective on things, not to mention my propensity for brutal honesty and inability to engage in small talk. Although many people find me interesting and very friendly, I’ve been ostracized for, well, for basically not being one of the sheep all of my life. I’ve learned to blend in not by agreeing with others and mimicking their behavior, but by clearly thinking out every statement and carefully monitoring my surroundings. It’s a bit of a social phobia- I have to plan out my conversations because I become so noticeably nervous that I get “stage fright” which causes me to act oddly, which I’m painfully aware of.
    That’s why I couldn’t get this blog started the first time around- I projected my social experiences onto the blog and became paralyzed by thoughts of rejection. I knew it was ridiculous and it was good for me to work through it and get back to blogging. For some reason, I was also worried that someone would find my blog and know it was me. I don’t know why. I’m nearly 40 years old. I have nothing to be ashamed of and there would be no consequences to the discovery of my identity but that became a big part of the over-editing. I also don’t want to offend anyone due to cultural or language miscommunications or differences. I’m very sensitive to the differences of others and most people are very thankful for my awareness but once again, it caused me to over think what I was writing.
    I’m so glad Skinny Vegan (and everyone else) kindly encouraged me to do this and I think it has served me well already. I didn’t go back and correct any mistakes (even though I want to fix a few spelling errors) but my main goal was to not go back and change the content because I suddenly feel stupid or think someone’s going to misinterpret what I’ve written. Also, sometimes I simply go back and delete the entire post because I’m overwhelmed with emotion and don’t want a permanent reminder of what just went through my head.
    I think I can find a nice middle ground that will allow me to improve my writing through minor editing and reworks while still being genuine and allowing others to see the real me. Because that is the real me- I love to write and I love the challenge of captivating others through my words and thoughts. But it’s so important to let go, especially when I need to rant or vent, because this is when unedited writing is at its best- when you just need to get it out and you don’t care how confusing it comes across.
    Of course, now I’m worried that maybe this is too long of a comment so I’ll stop here. I can’t wait to blog again and I’m so flattered by and appreciative of all the kind words of encouragement. I may still sound a little overly rehearsed, but that’s just me- my brain never turns off and I never stop thinking. I haven’t even mentioned that I’m an avid lucid dreamer and experience all kinds of strange altered states during REM (I’m a big geek on all things related to the brain and dreaming). This plays a big part in my life and I’m curious to find others like me. Wow. Veered off course again. Ahhh!
    I love you guys!

  5. a few things #1 congrats on succeeding at Skinny Vegans challenge. Unlike you my speeling and grammar is terrible, I really have to edit my posts. An anon commented on my blog ahilw back about my mis-use of you're and your and ever since then I've tried to be on top of grammar. As a reader I don't mind as long as it's not texting talk.

    #2 i love your comments long or short! and I also enjoy reading your blog because I can relate to a lot of the stuff you write/yoru life/situation/

    #3 I often read your blog from my phoen but I can't comment until I'm actually on a computer.

    ~ H

  6. Aw. Thanks, Harlow. You break it down just the way my ADHD brain needs.

  7. OO!! do a post on dreams!!! PLEASEEEEEE?!?!?!?!
    I have crazy dreams, always have, I often spend all night running or moving and wake up with random bruises. I dream so realistically that it takes me ages to work out what is real and what is not or I have to deal with emotional hangovers and then have to explain to people why I'm scared of them when I just had a dream the tried to kill me etc etc...
    Ok sorry for the ramble I'm just excited. Please can you teach me more about dreams? I would LOVE to understand more. Especially that strange stage of 'not' sleep where I have no memory but apparently talk and get up and do things or dream and move in real life...
    I think I need to take a page out of your book and try and structure my comments/posts more! sorry xxx

  8. I will absolutely do a post about dreams and I know quite a bit about the subject. Has anyone ever tested you for a sleep condition called Behavioral REM Sleep disorder? It's a fairly rare condition but there are other forms of sleep disorder that mimic it. I experience awareness during sleep paralysis. I lucid dream and I have a lot of information about that topic. Most of my intense experiences are terrifying and emotional. It was the source of my depression, my anxiety and my constantly being distracted. As far as I'm concerned, there is no true sleep for me. I begin dreaming before I even fall asleep. I have vestibular disturbances (out of body experiences) as well as feel intense sensations. I have to constantly face death in my dreams and I believe it's actually happening in the moment and that's a whole other topic. I've obsessively researched this for most of my life and have contacted experts in the field.
    I know I write (talk) way too much but this is something I know a lot about and if you're struggling with anything like I do, there might be some information that can really help you. I know I'm rambling right now but I didn't sleep last night so I need to get away from the computer screen. I will gladly write more about this and talk with you anytime. Feel free to tell me more about your experiences or any questions you have. I won't pretend to know something I don't and I can back up my information with valid resources, so if you're interested (and anyone else), I'm totally for it. I'm really excited about sharing and hearing about anything dream/sleep related. I'm a bit loopy so forgive the repeating nature of this comment. I'm in need of sleep....