I decided I was going to write a blog. Why? On more than one occasion (usually following an anxiety-ridden rant about my #firstworldproblems), friends have suggested I start writing a blog. At first, I was flattered. Wow, my problems are resonating with people or, at the very least, they think I’m worth listening to.
But it never occurred to me to ask why they thought I should write a blog.
As a lifelong target for bullies (hello, round wire-framed bifocals a la Harry Potter and a proclivity for answering every single question asked in class), maybe this suggestion was not as kind as I initially thought.
Suddenly I saw this exciting prospect as a scene out of Gladiator or the very bloody, very sweaty Starz series, Spartacus. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? My anxieties were in some part amusing for my relatively level-headed friends. I want to say my problems are no different than yours, but the truth is that they are. Maybe it wasn’t amusement, but interest. You know when you see a car accident happen and you want to look away but you can’t? Morbid curiosity. Everyone has it, and that’s the urge that a glimpse into the problems of others can satisfy. Hopefully, though, in the pursuit of curiosity, someone finds some common ground, similarity or empathy.
I guess that’s what this blog is, an experiment in empathy. Or at least until it morphs into something else entirely. Who the hell knows, I’m not capable of committing to a theme or topic (which was one of the ‘how to name a blog’ strategies suggested to me that will all make sense in a paragraph or two) when I can’t even commit to a brand of shampoo. And so began the series of dilemmas known as decision paralysis.
If I write, and no one is around to read it, will it matter?
So my first bout of decision paralysis started with a seemingly simple choice between two things: to write, or not to write, that is
the one question. I quickly got over this quandary by realizing I would likely not be entertaining anyone because it was highly unlikely many people would stumble across my obscure little corner of the Internet.
What’s in a name? According to the ol’ Bard, absolutely nothing. (I tried to make a funny pun on the Edwin Starr song, “War,” but it just didn’t happen.)
I encountered my second moment of paralyzing fear when it came time to name my blog. I have a love/hate relationship with Google that my coworkers can attest to (pro tip: do not, on your first day of work, Google the phrase ‘what is a vCard’ on a company computer after your boss asks you to create one and you blindly say yes instead of being the smart, responsible adult and admitting that you don’t, in fact, know what that is. Just so you know, it’s an electronic business card. WHO KNEW?), so naturally I searched ‘how to name a blog’.
I should be clear, I possess the mental acuity to come up with a name for a blog, maybe even the creative faculties necessary to come up with something catchy, but I was suddenly presented with an infinite number of possibilities. Should I try to be clever? How exactly do you name a personal blog? Should I make it easy to pronounce? Will anyone even care what I call it?
A stroke of genius or maybe caffeine deprivation resulted in likely the most literal list of words mashed together that explains my life apart from the phrase, I’m an anxious person and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with my life. Thus, Panic/Cope/Live/Happy was born! Not a fan? I’d say I don’t care but that would be a lie, so please like it, just a little. It took four hours to come up with.
Looks aren’t everything, at least that’s what your momma told ya.
Next decision to be made: what will my blog look like? Typically, the appearance of my social media sites, from Google+ to Twitter to Instagram, are identical because I have a thing about consistency and matching. So when I finally decided on a look for my blog, it would open a whole can of worms that would require me to update all of my sites. And what did I do at midnight last night? I updated all of my sites, including my profile photo, cover photo, accent or theme colours and just about everything else.
WRITE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
The final frontier? Writing my first blog post. What the hell do I write? I was tempted to write just two words, semi-ironically, in a last ditch effort: Hello world! But that would inaccurately convey the ease with which I was able to share those words. I’m an aspiring writer but I’m plagued with page fright; I’m perpetually afraid to share my writing with any living soul. A friend assured me that I could just delete my blog post which helped a great deal when writing this. I can just delete it at any time, permanently erase my nonsense from existence (even though I’ve watched enough spy movies about cyber terrorists to firmly believe that there are digital traces of things long since deleted, and also little shitheads that take screenshots of everything).
Oh, Internet, thou art a heartless bitch, but also that childhood friend in Math class who would eat that note you passed rather than give it over to your horrible toad of a teacher to read in front of everyone in a display that amounts to harassment and I’m 99.9% sure is against the school’s policy on bullying.
All in all, this was borderline therapeutic for me. Many anxieties were overcome, many glasses of wine were consumed and some decisions were even made. Suck it, decision paralysis…until I write my next post, at least.