The Responder

There is nothing more frightening to me than the sight of a blank page, because I know that at some point, there are going to have to be words on it. I don’t feel a deadline, per se, but I do keep track of the time. For instance, here’s the reason I post so often. It’s nerdy. Strap in.

Internet sites that stay stagnant do not get traffic. Period. Especially with blogs, the amount of attention you get is directly correlated to how often the content changes. People who change their content more often get noticed because when the feed (think Twitter or Facebook) updates, their links appear more often. The feed only moves forward, it does not stop to call your attention to yesterday.

On this web site, I am connected to thousands of updating feeds. When they get a ping from me that I have a new article, it exposes my words to a broader audience. It’s a 24-hour news cycle, just like CNN. The difference with “Stories” as opposed to anyone else’s site is that it’s mine. There are no unique story lines, only unique characters. I post often because I think often, and it works to my advantage. What would be my downfall is thinking that I have to write for national television (what I call the Fanagans), so make it something good. If I weren’t naturally a writer, I would feel the urge to make things up just because I had the platform to get attention. Writing would be the action, and not the response.

I have said that in death, God is not the Actor. God is the Responder. So much bad theology out there is based on people’s thoughts that God is out to get them because they deserve it… they’re miserable sinners, anyway. People now think that way about me- that writing is an action, and not a response. I supposedly write because I am trying to hurt someone, when, to me, I use writing to respond. I use writing to, in effect, think in longhand. Of course my responses are human, because I am not omnipotent and I am especially not silent, which is one of God’s better qualities, if you ask me.

I like the image of me saying something ridiculously offensive to God and not having to say, “shut it!” afterward. We have lots of inside jokes.

If I’ve said something that hurt, I will refer you to Martin Blank. “Chances are if you see me knocking at your door, you’ve probably done something to get me there.” Basically, it’s the reason that I am an INFJ and not an INFP. I prefer to call myself an “introverted intuitive feeling asshat,” but so far Meyers-Briggs hasn’t responded to any of my suggestions.

Life’s interactions hurt me and lift me up all at the same time, and I hope that this blog reflects it. I am so brave with my writing because I believe that everyone is entitled to have emotional space in the world, and life gets hard when you stop using it. When you stop taking up room, you are giving your power to other people and you cannot know how they’re going to use it. Everyone’s nice in the beginning. Letting other people have your power is fun at first, and then it descends into hell on earth, particularly if both people in the relationship have given away their power to the other and are trying like hell to take it back.

For instance, in order to protect myself emotionally, I prefer that my friends read my blog. That way, they have some clue as to what they’re walking into when they meet me. It’s a very effective advertising campaign, because I don’t get many applications for friends, and when I do, I know that they know how fucked up I am and they’re okay with that.

But then we come to the space in our relationship, and it happens all the time, that people love the mirror I hold up to the world around me until they can see themselves in it. Their belief in my brilliance is shattered because I am amazing at writing about everyone but them. I am amazing at bringing truth to the world until they’re the medium through which the message is carried. I have done everything I can to prepare for and avoid these moments, because writing is my passion. I do not have the option to quit. It is how I save my own life, all day, every day.

It is an exhausting life, defending creativity. However, my power does not come into play until it’s been several years and they want to remember what they were doing at that time in their lives, and I am the only one that remembered to write it down. My words carry different weight when they are taken in long after the fact………. because I am a responder, and not an actor.

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