The thing about blogging is that it’s a game. I was never good at games but seem to excel at this one. If Arianna is right and the Internet rewards obsessives, wow, should I have been rewarded in the monetary not just the intrinsic sense.
My blog is read by many people. It has great stats and gets publicity. So I have nothing to complain about. Seems unseemly. How dare I complain when for a non radical right personal blog I have risen so high in the food blog chain? Having to write “for a non radical right,” gives me that right. Feeling guilty for succeeding at something that costs me money, but other people get more pleasure out of doing, and some resent my success. They forget or don’t understand that I actually spend time and thought on my posts, and my comments.
If your comment enabler doesn’t enable me, I can’t waste more than three tries each time. I do send emails explaining but I think that some people feel I’m doing that to get out of commenting.
I’m, also, complaining about doing such things as stringing together quotes by George Clooney and saying he wrote an article. Does Arianna think that blogs are exempt from ethical rules? Does she believe that blogs aren’t accountable? I know this happened awhile ago, but I’m thinking about it in other contexts.
It must be so wonderful to know all the answers. To exist on pure faith alone. That’s behind my imagination. I never use the word “religious” before rad right because I can’t believe that a truly religious person would be a member of the radical right. To be truly religious you have to have ethics. That’s something sadly lacking in the radical right.
This isn’t really directed at them. Until I was 25 I lied, though only to my parents and usually by omission. Wasn’t very good at it, and they forgave me because they knew I had problems and was a good person. In the revised family history, later, I had always been perfect. As perfect as I had been when I was a baby, toddler, child…
When I was 25, I moved to East 63rd Street off Fifth. Of course I omitted, in my talks to my parents, as I always had. No parent wants to hear the details of their children’s sex life. Those aren’t the lies of omission I’m talking about. It was the neglecting to mention that I had never applied to the college I completed all course work for. I know most people get in, and then don’t go to school. I had done that earlier.
I was accepted and did graduate. They would have even give me nine credits towards grad school and I would have had the grad degree I always should have, in Urban Studies from a large Boston university. But no I had to move back to New York. My Cambridge friends were to scatter around the globe, but my New York friends had moved en-masse to the city. Shelby was a waitress at Max’s Kansas City. It was too perfect. I had to be in New York.
We both became professionals. For eighteen years I felt like a fraud. It was as if I really hadn’t gone to college. I would look at the diploma to make sure that I really had. Going to grad school became on obsession. I sent them my college(s) transcripts but still haven’t looked.
In 1994, I was 44 but most people thought that I was in my early to mid 30’s. I pointed out every flaw, half the time. When I moved to Riverdale the women in the building thought that I had moved there to steal their husbands. No, I moved there because I worked in the Bronx and was tired of Manhattan. I couldn’t leave New York as I had an elderly mother. I had fallen out of love with Manhattan in 1991 for reasons I have and/or will explore.
Being accepted to the two year program of a top ranked grad school of social services was a very big deal to me. This was my chance to do school the right way. Our first year classes were all full year ones. When presentations were assigned everybody wanted to be in mine because I would do the reading for the whole presentation, and had been a manager for a number of years so I was used to giving presentations and speaking to groups. Personally, I preferred to speak to 260 people than five. Somehow it became less personal.
In one class we had to give a minor presentation. I assigned the work, gave an overview to the class and moderated the discussion. It was a truly nothing assignment and when one woman motioned to me that she didn’t know her part I segued into it.
During the question and answer period, the teacher asked the woman a question:
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“I didn’t do the work.”
Our teacher looked perplexed.
The woman pointed to me, and said rather hostilely:
“I knew that she would know it. So why did I have to waste my time?”
To my teacher’s credit she did become angry and explained that I had to know all parts of the subject to assign them correctly, and only knew the details because I was obsessive, and certainly hadn’t been expected to go that far. She used different words and turned it into a compliment, and asked the woman to see her after class. I don’t know what happened It truly was a minor presentation. The incident, however, has remained with me.
I mention it because I saw two students at two different times tell two different professors that they were going to get “A”s, despite one woman having failed a major class assignment, and the other woman not having done any work all semester, but worked for the city, and you know how demanding that is.
It is, but this was grad school. I considered it be a major life reward. Those women have probably risen far. Chutzpah takes you far in the world.
I want a bit less conscience and a bit more chutzpah. I want to feel free to foist my responsibilities off onto somebody else. I want to be able to say “no, I won’t do that but I expect…”
Am I living on another planet? Two professors at a top ranked grad school rewarded behavior that should have been punished. I just happened to have been in one class after the class let out, and saw the other teacher and student talk in the cafeteria. When they got their grades they told people proudly.
I tell myself that I went to grad school at the height of political correctness, OJ days, as if that somehow mitigates the behavior. It doesn’t.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not how much you know or how effectively you can work, but how and what you can command. Maybe we’re living in a post-ethical society where chutzpah counts for everything. This is Denny Crane’s William Shatner) world, not Alan Shore’s (James Spader). I think Alan Shore to be a very ethical character because while he might use unusual methods, he does it for good.
I never said that people shouldn’t deviate from the mainstream or do things differently. I would be in deep trouble were that true. What’s important is that something is done. But what do I know? I spent two decades between college and grad school truly believing that none of my accomplishments should be taken seriously because while I had graduated from college, maybe I didn’t really deserve to.
I realize that my attitude, the I’m-not-entitled-one, has held me back. It made me dream smaller. It made me scared to approach all the people who could help me get ahead. It didn’t enable me to be as complete a person as I could be.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to have work due and not do it. When I was a reporter and more recently I have pulled all nighters. The acts of writing and research do thrill me. I can’t imagine a more fun way to earn a living. But I’m not earning a living. I actually do have several degrees, licenses and certificates all designed to be age and career friendly, My heart, mind and soul belong to writing. It’s just that I want to write without playing the accompanying games. So many people are so great at breaking all the rules.
While I’m so far from perfect I could I sell in the outlet shops I do believe in accountability. In blogs, in grad school, in the work place and in life.
Can never shake that memory of the woman pointing me because she knew that I would do her reading also. What if I had slacked off that day and only did my own? What if I had been sick? As I said it was a minor presentation otherwise I would have been prepared for every variable as I was at my ten minute coop board interview. Okay, sometimes I am rewarded for being obsessive, but….
Do find several things ironic: I never minded knowing all the roles or doing other peoples work, sometimes even at work, but that always made me seem like a pushover yet people would easily get used to me in that role and when I would want something, anything for myself would say that I have too much ego and want the starring role when that role is filled by people who know their great points and their limitations. And don’t even bother doing things that they consider beneath them, even if it’s in the job description.
That role was denied to me a long time ago before my learning disabilities were diagnosed when I was in my 30’s. I thought that if I couldn’t learn something it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough so I would try and become so defensive if I couldn’t do something. First and only person in history to fail at Xeroxing. Copying was much more difficult in the 70’s-80’s really.
My skills were in management where I did do well. In the years, on and off, where I was a manager, I would think that I don’t really deserve the accolades, I can’t even f–king Xerox. I knew that I did many things much better than most people and that should have been meaningful and enough.
I read too much. Because I was adopted legally, my family and I were deemed not worthy enough of not knowing my own biological history. While I was growing into adulthood, the anti-adoption movement was gaining momentum.
They had entire books on how many of my problems were caused simply because I was adopted. I have never looked for the simple answer, and their hypotheses made no sense to me. But they were the only people who provided any answers so a part of me did fall for what they had to say simply because they had something to say at all.
You have no idea how hard it was for me to rid myself of the half-belief that I had ADHD simply because I was a adopted. I knew that to be irrational, but when you’re searching for answers you grasp at half-straws even if they’re the ones with filled with Kool-Aid.
I do resent growing up and coming into adulthood at a time when these absurd flights of fancy weren’t laughed at by everybody, but even the adoption agency saw some validity to being hostile to being adopted. Trust me, not being able to work a copy machine had nothing to do with hating my parents.
I don’t feel sorry for myself. Courtings success has shown me that there is a demand for my type of writing. That I and I alone am responsible for its success. That the little bit of me that believes me to be a slacker, at heart, should be laughed at. I do resent the time not wasted but spent doubting my abilities.
I resent the people who saw through the secure facade and used my insecurities, but damn I gave them a road map. Courtings another type of road map, but one that can’t be used against me because I am aware of everything that I say and why I say what I do.
Obviously I learned years ago to speak up for myself. But I didn’t know until recently how to speak to the right people at the right time. My problems in grad school with the 74 year old intern probably could have ended earlier had I not listened to my adviser and to my teacher and had gone to the administration myself earlier. I so wanted to believe them when they said that they would take care of it. Though a part of me knew that they wouldn’t.
Post secret: I no longer believe in anybody but myself fully. I have been told that I’m a micro-manager when it comes to Courting and everything related to it. I have to be one. If not me who else?
This is rough. I’m working things out, and have found that if I blog about these intangibles, I generally come to some type of clarity. I want to learn how to have more chutzpah, it seems to come so naturally to many people.
I’m also aware that as a New Yorker many people expect me to be brash, over-confident, and assured of my place in the world. You give a city way too much credit. Yet at a glance I appear to be one of those people. Maybe there are more people like me than I thought. Maybe most of us function on appearance.
I have a pink blog with a pin-up. That takes chutzpah. I guess I have done somethings with it that might be considered to be the by-products of chutzpah. It’s up to me to take it to the next level, and that scares me into inertia. I won’t allow inertia, so….I’m going to force myself to feel deserving. I did find a game I could win at. I’m also good at Trivial Pursuit but I’m not sure that counts. It’s not poker nor does it require strategic planning, but just a memory for the trivial, and not even an understanding of why Lindsay Lohan is a better person than Brittany Spears for one very strange hypothetical.
I was going to go away for a few days but don’t know if I would ever come back. While I might be posting before 5/31, I won’t be commenting. Need regrouping time.