Saturday, October 12, 2019

Leap

I bought this website not really knowing what to do with it. Perhaps I still don't. But it has always seemed odd to me to have a website with my own name on it, but not really have much of me on here.

I started this as a place to market books. I suck at marketing. I think I wrote a blog about that a while back, but I'm too lazy to find it and link to it. That's the marketing bullshit that I suck at. It all feels like a hustle, a scam that if I just get good enough at it I can make it big.

I get that same feeling about a lot of things. Like there's a carrot hanging on a stick that's just out of reach. Like if I just pull harder on my bootstraps I'll earn my worth.

I feel like that about marketing, about working, about writing, about being a man, about being married. I've felt like that about being a preacher, a student, a non-profit leader, a union member, and a farmer.

That feeling is in the air I breathe. It's the pollution that I've taken in through its ubiquity.

Earn it. Be a man. Don't be a pussy. That's gay. Walk it off. Give it to the Lord. Queer-bait. Focus on your results. Live up to your potential.

Mikey likes it! I'm a Toys 'R Us kid! G.I. Joe, GO JOE! And now, GIRLS JUMPING ON TRAMPOLINES! And now, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous! Are you Ready for some FOOTBALL!!!

I'm working on letting go of the bootstraps.

I like walking barefoot better anyway.

A huge part of why I suck at marketing is that I've never been good at bootstrap-curls (or regular curls, or other kinds of exercise for the practice of self-aggrandizing competitive-self-harm). Please never feel sorry for me, I was born into the intersection of so much privilege, very near the top of the social pyramid-scheme we've constructed. But I was also at the bottom of my local pyramid, crushed under the weight of being the most not-enough one in the hustle-for-worth-and-value. Picked last at life (my particular and particularly privileged experience of life). I learned early and often that I couldn't try hard enough to fit in.

But damned if I didn't keep trying. I just tried at things I was better at (like words and ideas rather than bodies and balls). I got really good at the hustle, just my version where I cultivated this image of myself as an intellectual, author, preacher, soon-to-be church planter (that never did pan out, I ended up killing way more churches than I started). And one by one those hustles led to the same failure as when I tried to wear the teal Nike tracksuit to seventh grade to impress the kids who'd been teasing me about my Ross: Dress for Less(TM) apparel. It wasn't that I didn't comply with their rules, it's that I can never comply with rules that change.

I learned that about fashion at twelve years old. It took significantly longer to learn the same lessons about marketing ebooks or planting churches. But in the end it turned out to be the same fucking scheme. I was just better at it so it took longer for me to realize that there's no way to win when the game requires that some people must be less-than, othered, dehumanized, so that others can be more-than, insiders, celebritized.

I've spent the last two years learning how to walk away from the ashes of my failures as a preacher, author, church planter, and non-profit leader. I've spent the last two years trying to wash off the poison that had seeped into my bones. I've spent the last two years trying to learn how to love myself when I spent the previous thirty-nine learning to hate every offending part of me (of which there were many).

Now I hope to spend the next moments of my life learning how to share the love I've been cultivating in myself. I hope this website can be a place for that. Whatever form it takes.

(if you're grateful for this post click here)

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