the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Hostess

Oh, hey. Hi there! Remember last week when I wrote on my Internet Website Blog Thing about suicidal ideations? Yeah. Those were fun times. No? Not really? What, did my mom call you? MOMS. We really know how to ruin a good party.

I had someone write to tell me to stop whining, and I’m not going to complain about that criticism. Because I get it. I understand it. One second you’re in your car and suddenly a song comes on the stereo that reminds you of how much you once loved that boy with blue eyes, how you’d walk to fifth period through a specific building just so you could pass him in the hallway and see if you could catch his eye contact. And when you did, your irises pooling with black as you held his stare, the rest of your day warmed its hands near the thought of him.

And when you didn’t, when the blue light in his eyes skipped over your head into the nothing that could possibly exist above your head, the rest of your day wasn’t there. It got sucked into that nothingness. And that song at the stoplight reminds you of that void, takes you straight back to the moment you passed him and he passed you and you felt your vein bleeding out.

That’s a really indulgent moment. You’re driving a car. Liberal estimates say only about 9% of the world’s population own a car. I’ve walked through villages where women have to ride for over an hour on the back of a makeshift rickshaw if they want to see a doctor. Fuck you and your song and that extra few seconds it takes you to notice the light has turned green because you’re overcome with emotion.

A similar principle applies here. I own two cars, a large home, and a business in a free market economy. My family enjoys excellent access to healthcare. My daughter goes to school. I get paid to write about my feelings on the Internet. Am I seriously going to whine about aimlessness?

Yes, I am, and that’s where I invite anyone who agrees with the valid criticism above to sit here with me and let me have it. I will listen to you curse me. I’ll nod and offer you a tissue when things really heat up. I’ll let you talk about your friend who died or the job you lost or the meals you’ve had to skip, and then I’ll fix you dinner and invite you to stay the night.

Sometimes the only way to quantify our own suffering is to compare it to what we think is the happiness of others. It’s human. As human as reflexively wincing when hearing the chorus of a song you once played over and over in your bedroom because of two blue eyes.

So I offer up my humanness if, instead of a place to stay for the night, you need to hear that even with everything in its right place it’s okay if you still don’t know why it doesn’t feel that way.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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