I ordered business cards. For networking purposes. But mostly because I fear the wraith of my friend Louise, who insists I take myself ‘seriously’. Because, let’s face it nobody else will. She lovely really and very attractive.
And I dithered for ages over the “Job Title” bit on my business card. I’ve had no real job, as in a paid job, for over a decade. It is real job obviously. Just not one you can put on a C.V. So, I’ve been busy wiping noses, and bums and expulsions that defy description off skirting boards. And I’m sure a lot of women have this problem when they try and take themselves ‘seriously’. And not just those of us with unreal jobs either.
Anyhow, as I hovered over the keyboard, fingers poised. The ‘shitty committee’ appeared. A phrase my friend Jill used to describe the tendency we have to concentrate on the bad and negative and never on the good and positive. And the conversation went something like this.
Me “I’ll just put down writer, playwright, blogger, actress, covers all the bases”
Snorting and then choking sounds from the dark side of my brain, followed by heavy Darth Vader breathing. .
Also Me “HAHA hHilarious, I’m weeping! Oh God, I think I’ve done myself a damage, herniated something, you know, down there. Look, you’re a gobshite, you can’t do any of those things, you can’t do anything right, get over yourself. Oh and we might need to see a Gynaecologist”
Me “Eh excuse me, smart arse. I’ve been short-listed for lots of things. You would do kindly to remember that. I just directed and wrote a one-act comedy play, where people, real people, sober people, including my friend Anne-Marie and MY mother, laughed”
More choking and wheezing sounds, accompanied by high pitched squealing and leg slapping.
Still Me “Yeah yeah laugh away, but you know it’s true. I was in a film that played in the Dublin Film Festival. So I’m putting down writer, and playwright. And I’m also putting down actress. It’s entirely legitimate, I have an IMDB listing thingie and everything, just takes a while to find”
Also Me “The Big Brother house mates have IMDB listings, along with those eejits from Naked Dating, all you need is a personality disorder and daddy issues to have one of those. No actual talent, so yeah, fair enough, you’re listing is perfectly feasible.
Me “I’m not listening to you, you’re like a rain cloud full of pig droppings, useless messy and unwanted”
Puts fingers in ears and hums, loudly.
Also Me “I know you can hear me. And those other people you mentioned, they felt sorry for you, with your attention seeking notions. And lest we forget, you played a pyjama wearing, psychopathic weapon with breathing problems and grey skin, in THAT film. Hardly a stretch. I mean, you’re wearing pyjamas right now, and seriously, what is that crap on your face?”
Me “It’s a homemade avocado and oatmeal face mask. I got the recipe off Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog. Well Listowel is not a notion. That is like a very big deal. I got short listed for that! ”
Also Me “It was an essay writing competition you twat. Only twats write essays for fun. And only twats read Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog. And what about yer one, last week, who messaged your Facebook blog, direct-mailed your inbox and said your stuff was shite? You should listen to her, now she’s got a bit of sense, have you got any crisps? I’m starved”
Me “Feck off, you’re not eating my crisps, certainly not the fancy balsamic vinegar ones. Yeah well, SHE was just one person. There were lots of people who said nice encouraging things. I got a card congratulating me. I proper one, not one a cheap toilet paper one from Euro giant. Get away from the crisps! Who said you could pour yourself a glass of wine?”
Also Me “Jaysus wept woman! Those crisps are bleeding stale! I’ve scratched my soft palate, I’ve got a lisp now! Better not be permanent. What about all those people who unliked your self-indulgent shitty blog”
Me “They are not stale crisps. They are expensive, exclusive and made from lentils, healthy crisps. The unlikes, were a mere handful, par for the course”
Also Me “Well a handful of people have good taste, unlike these woeful crisps. Lentils? Is the blood supply to your frontal lobe constricted? Because your lentil crisps taste like desiccated cow manure. Buy normal snack food you asshat? And what about the message, about your duplicate WordPress blog? The long-winded comment, highlighting all the magnificent ways in which you are shite. That was brilliant. Really well written actually, like angry troll poetry”
Me “I don’t care what you say, I’m listing those things as my job title, STOP getting crumbs on my bloody fecking carpet! Why are eating them if you don’t like them? Don’t spit that out! Did you spit in my fireplace? You are disgusting”
Also Me “I nearly hacked my spleen up, those lentil chippings are satanic. Anyhow, you’ve been at home for ages and ages, doing nothing, breast-feeding sprogs, flushing toilets, growing hair in the wrong places, and just letting your brain rot – and letting yourself, you know, go. Can I make myself a sandwich?”
Me “Right that’s it, get out, get of my brain, right now”
Also Me “Nope, my brain too, you’ll have to fight me for it. And I want a sandwich, did I mention you’ve put on weight?”
Me “The weight might have something to do with you wanting a sandwich at 10.30 on a Friday night!”
And on it raged. Back and forth. Until eventually I just hit enter I hoped and prayed my spellings were correct, and my grammar wasn’t obviously wrong. I felt in leaving the back of the card blank, people could at least use my ‘business card’ for doodling, or cleaning their teeth with.
Anyhow, my point is. We all have that voice in our head. And no matter what horrible thing another person says to you. The most abusive and toxic attacks are self-inflicted. But I also think you should hear those voices, let them shout at you, that way you can argue with them. You won’t always win. But each little battle is worth it. Helping you hone in on your humility, and increasing your genuine self-worth. Moving away from a dependency on validation. Letting you see what you are good at, whilst never losing sight of the need to get better.