Mandy Stadtmiller is one of my very favorite writers – these days, she’s a Deputy Editor at XOJane (yaa!!). A few weeks ago, she wrote a particularly poignant piece on XOJane that I had to respond to – but, instead of using the Comments section, I sent Mandy an email at her XOJane address. If you can believe it, she wrote me a personal reply within 15 minutes – and her words were heartfelt, sincere, thoughtful, and beautiful (kinda like Mandy herself). She’s one seriously classy, smart, hysterically funny broad – if you aren’t familiar with her work, do check her out NOW – you will be thrilled with what you find, I promise.
She wrote a piece today entitled, “Can You Help Me Decide What To Do Next In My Life So That I Am On Some Kind Of Track: I’m in a funk. Existential-like. And I would like your advice, please.” In the piece, Mandy describes how crappy she’s been feeling lately, and how fed up she is getting with being in this funk (preaching to the choir here, sistah friend) – and then she wrote the following two paragraphs, and all around me became clear:
I am not good with any semblance of rejection in any form whatsoever. So I pretend that I am OK with it. I set myself up for it. I put myself out there in large and humiliating ways to see what happens, because I don’t think that any of it matters, really. Or perhaps because I think that will make none of it matter. I see the dust-to-dust thing everywhere I go, and in every encounter, and in every change. It is all dust to dust. So why not go for the things that you want? It all ends up dust anyway.
I once told a friend of mine that the problem with personalities like mine is that, in any kind of dating scenario, I take a hose, and I spray the delicate new roots, and I say, “Grow, motherfucker, grow.” And then it dies. Or it changes. Or it is not as good. This is an excellent quality to have in work. You can make an entire something out of a very little nothing — and then you are a big success, because no, you will not be swayed. You are unstoppable. You are a force.
Isn’t that profound???! I kind of can’t stand how absolutely she gets me – yes, I know she is writing about herself, but…she might as well be talking about me, too. You’d think that with all of the rejection I’ve endured in my life, I’d be better at handling it - but, you’d be wrong. I don’t deal well with rejection at all (which is probably why I have a tendency to reject most people before they reject me – ’cause that makes so much sense), I regularly say and do things that are highly humiliating (if I only had a filter, if I only had a filter…), and I am exactly the way Mandy describes her personality in a dating situation in my everyday life – I try way too hard in everything, too. She’s right – when it comes to work, that kind of persistence is awesome, but…when it comes to life and relationships, well, that stuff can really suck the life out of things. I hate these qualities about myself, but I don’t really know how to fix them. Part of me wants to dig in my heels, holler SCREW IT to the world as I vigorously flip off everyone around me…but, you can’t really do that and remain part of society, can you? Not so much. So, I have to learn how to channel this energetic persistence of mine and put it to good use…and I also need to learn how to better handle rejection, and not fall to bits at the littlest slight from someone I care about. (Interesting point – if I don’t care about someone, then no shits are given as to what they think of me….it’s funny to me when people with whom I am acquainted but am ambivalent towards snub me and try to do it all big-time, thinking they are making a point and hurting me on purpose – when really, I couldn’t care less. Har har har, bitches.) I don’t take any joy in the fact that Mandy suffers from the same miseries that I do – far from it, actually…I wish neither of us had them. However, there is something comforting in knowing that I’m not the only one who struggles with these things – and if someone who seems so damn together all the time, as if they have life swinging around them by its tail like Mandy has insecurities and funks, then it kind of gives a heaping load of hope to the rest of us, don’t you think?
PS: There was a lot of talk about Cat Marnell’s departure from XOJane (I did more than my fair share of writing about it, too) – and, for a while there, I was kind of worried about the site and where it was going. However, I am over the moon to report that things seem to be looking up – the continued strong presence of my favorite fashion girl Alison Freer, good stuff from Emily, and the addition of Mandy, Gala Darling, and the freaking HILARIOUS India-Jewel Jackson (this piece of hers on how to do a ‘do-it-yourself’ bikini wax makes me die laughing each time I read it – and I’ve read it about 20 times, no kidding! Her list of her favorite nicknames for the vagina is even funnier when read out loud over the phone – as I did to my BFF last week! Heehee!!!) have really REALLY spiced things up around there. Let’s hope it continues!