Yesterday’s post, a much needed vent, prompted one person to call me a bitch and a few other names. This person went on to suggest I should be barred from the San Francisco Bay Pagan community because I was “judgmental” about the people of the area. She was summarily blocked and is no longer welcome on any of my platforms – someone who can’t handle a differing opinion over something ultimately so minor isn’t someone I want anywhere near me. I kind of saw her coming, too – she’s posted some nasty comments about how “tech companies ruined the Bay Area” likely knowing full well that I am a secondary tech immigrant. Whatever her problem with me really is, this last incident was just the excuse.
Fortunately I am not a lone 25 or 29 or 32 year old. Reactions like hers to me speaking my truth used to make me think I brought out the worst in people. Only after therapy and fixing my “people picker” did I realize that I was simply choosing the wrong people to have around me. I don’t bring out the worst in people – sooner or later I bring out the truth in people. I also realized I was actually destroying myself in my attempts to seem likable and reasonable to everyone. Nowadays a few of these jerky folks get through, but for the most part I pick awesome people, I am awesome to them as best I am able, and we often bring out the awesome in each other.
Finally at 39 I have friends that will speak up and say, “Uh hey, that’s not a reasonable response.” Years ago, so-called friends would have blamed me or called me “abrasive” or “confrontational.” Now I have friends that don’t blame me for someone else’s reaction to things I say that aren’t popular but also aren’t prejudicial threats to the well-being of others.
Smart looks like crazy to stupid people. It’s taken me a long time to actually believe that I am smart, and not in any way crazy.
So with that ugly little interaction acknowledged, all I can say is this:
Pride ruins relationships, casual or close. So if you choose pride, be very careful lest it overtake your ego.
In this case, it was hardly a relationship – just one person who tracked me across social media platforms who didn’t really contribute to real discussion in any worthwhile way during the time I allowed her presence. Distinguishing between discussion and self-branding via opinion is pretty much limited to real smart people stuff – it also rules out a few of the more insecure and condescending academics. (Dirty secret: I actually have considerable academic skill – if you can track down any of my old college professors, they will remember me well and attest to this. This is why I limit my interactions with Pagan academics to one or two that have the capacity to recognize why I *haven’t* gone the academic route in my own occult-writing career. In the case of most Pagan academics these days, it’s not about knowledge, it’s about masking other insecurities. There is no ego where there is true passion – source: the ever uncitable personal experience. I trained as a journalist – experience over all.) I also had a secondary run in with one of those patronizing “do my work for me, no no this type of work” types yesterday. Did my own ego take a bruising? Yes – but it’s also because of some behaviors endemic in Pagan culture that are treated with undeserved tolerance.
I’ve seen it all before, and I’ll see it all again, and someday, maybe, all it will do is make me laugh.
It’s not so easy to laugh right now. Like I said yesterday, I’m tired. I think I may be coming up on my third communicable illness in three months. I have been friend-dating like a madwoman. I am trying to get the edits done on the books I owe Llewellyn and it’s like I have a mental block on focusing to that limited amount. When I do have the focus, something stupid happens to interrupt me, like the whole thing with the repairman calling his mother into my apartment without my permission.
The 51% of my personality that’s introverted is positively screaming at me.
…yes, introverts can and do yell. We’re not shy…we’re introverted.
In any case, should anyone else be looking for a reason to wad their undies, let me make this clear: when I talk about San Francisco, I am talking about the individual city spirit as a lone entity. I am not talking about the people of the Bay – that’s a whole other conversation. They may contribute to the personality of the city spirit, but the city spirit is its own personality, whether it’s an overgrown land wight or something else (I think something else thus far.) If you’re getting crazy and defensive because I say things like “I am not experiencing your level of hedonic pleasure,” then the problem is by no means me.