Wednesday, October 23, 2013

not everyone's going to think you're funny

We live in a strange, strange world.  I mean, the Browns are ahead of the Steelers in the AFC North and the Giants just got their first win... in Week 7.

We also live in an age when, thanks to the internet, more than 7,500 people can see your face on any given Saturday without you leaving your room.

I guess I should have considered that possibility when I started broadcasting my life over the world wide web.  But I didn't.  Or at least I didn't until  I went and put one of my blog posts about running on Reddit.  I don't know what I was expecting... An online version of a high-five?  A gold star?  A virtual "attagirl"?

What I know is that I wasn't expecting this...

And from that day forth, October 12 will be forever known as the day that, for however briefly, more than 7,000 people saw me checking to make sure I remembered deodorant.

At first I didn't realize that a lot of people had actually looked at my post.  But after checking Reddit a few hours after I posted it, I saw that there were almost 100 comments.  And to be honest, I got pretty nervous.  

What was I going to do if someone didn't like it?  I had only ever gotten positive feedback before, but most of it was from people I knew in real life.  I didn't know these people on Reddit and they didn't know me.

It brought me back to fifth grade when some boys once teased me about my pointy nose.  (I know, they had so much to work with...

... and they chose my nose.  Unimpressive.)  

I started to panic.  What if people start making fun of me?  What if they say mean things?  Oh god, what if they start talking about my nose?  Will I be able to handle it?

I didn't want to look at what they wrote but as a wise man once said, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do.”

But it turned out not to be so bad.  I mean, there were some rude comments, like this guy's:

But I was surprised to see that people shot right back at this grumpster.  And I was even more surprised to discover that reading a random, nasty comment didn't make me want to listen to Taking Back Sunday and look morosely out of windows like my fifth grade self would have done.

I mean, I would rather people keep quiet about the state of my “casual” but on the other hand, he doesn't know anything about me.  I know what kind of runner I am and that isn't going to change based on the comment of a stranger.  Hatas gonna hate.  Or something.

Then there was this guy who meant to be snarky but actually came up with a pretty good idea.  How’s that for irony?

But not everyone took offense to my tongue-in-cheek.  Some people liked what I had to say, and were quite nice:

Others even expanded on the joke:

And then there was this guy who mostly missed the point, but was nice anyway:

And then we had this guy who didn't have anything relevant to add but just really had to get this off his chest:

In the end, though, in addition to sparking some heated debate on blackened toenails, that afternoon opened my eyes to the potential that blogging holds.  I couldn't talk to 7,000+ people in a day if I tried (at least not without bathroom breaks) but thanks to my blog, now literally thousands of people were exposed to a bit of my sarcastic mind.

It was also a reality check; if I’m going to put myself out there, I need to accept that everyone isn’t going to like it.  But I guess that’s the same as with anything; if you want to do something worth doing, you have to learn how to deal with the critics.  Because they’ll eat you alive if you don’t.

So what’s the point of this whole post?  Well, I guess it’s my long way of saying that if you like who you are and what you’re doing, own it... regardless of the people who disagree.  (Unless you’re Ben Roethlisberger and you like being a huge creep and even worse, a Steeler.  Then don’t.)

And also, I really wanted to post this picture but couldn't do that without a bunch of words to put in front of it.

Happy Hump Day!  I hope it's filled with good tea, long lunch breaks, and none of those damn audible exhalers.

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