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May 29, 2005

What does it really matter?

Yup, that is the question, folks.

I'm sitting here, next to tears, struggling with learning CSS and changing the design of this blog and I have to take a breather. It makes me wonder why I am putting so much time into getting everything exactly right? What does it matter? Do you care? Does how this page looks change the quality of the writing here? Will it bring in more eyeballs? Is that why I push myself so hard?

Hardly. I build websites because I like seeing something concrete that I made with my own two little hands. Pretty funny thing to say about something on the web but there it is. I look at a website as a work of art, something that I envision and create from my head, an experience that I can give viewers that doesn't overwhelm the content I try to provide. I'm hoping the design will only enhance the experience readers have when they come to my sites. Now, if only I could get them to come to my sites.

But really ... does it matter? I don't create for anyone but myself so why does it seem to matter so much what other people think of me or that I leave something concrete with my name on it? I get the feeling that it's more than just a need to succeed or be heard.

It really hit me full in the face a few weeks ago when I snapped at someone I care for very much because I felt insignificant. I asked what I thought was a very important question and I was told that "It doesn't matter to me" which I, of course, heard as "You don't matter to me". Funny how I hear that. Must be that conditioned response I have been struggling with.

Apparently, it really does matter to me whether or not I matter. Not that I want smothering attention or someone fawning over me every second because, let me tell you, that would get old really damn quick in my book. I'm not used to people hovering, not unless you mean my kids or my students, and it kind of freaks me out.

Case in point, one day last week, at the beginning of my Kindergarten class, I made the mistake of sitting in my storytelling chair before all the kids were seated on the floor. For some reason, they took this as an excuse to hug me. Ok, one or two hugs from kids I really like, oh how sweet. Then they were hugging me 2 and 3 at a time just because the other kids in class were doing it. I look up over their shoulder and the kids at the back of the line are running toward me, ready to fling themselves at me, arms wide open. At this point I'm about to crawl out of my skin. I can't stand up and I have lost control of my space. Sheesh, remind me not to sit down before the class has settled, please!

I think the problem was that I was on their level to begin with. When I come up from behind them, they all find their seats and look forward, showing me how well they can behave just so that when I walk around them to my chair, they can get a compliment. Something like "My goodness, Mrs. E, I think you brought the wrong class with you. Isn't this a 1st grade class??" or "Mrs. V, did you forget to bring your class with you? It's so quiet in here today. *gasp* Oh my, I didn't even realize that you were there!". These little white lies make them giggle but they also remind them of how they are expected to behave.

Anyway, mattering to a group of people is one thing. Mattering to the person that matters most in the world to you, that antirely another thing.

When I was little, my dad was the shit. I adored him, as most little girls adore their daddies. I watched football with him, stretched out next to him in the recliner in the den. We worked in the yard together, raking the leaves into humongous piles so that I could jump into them, shoveling snow into mountains so that I could dig them out and make forts from which to have snowball fights. We worked on his cars, especially the '56 T-Bird, entering it in every antique car parade we could and lovingly washing, drying and restoring it piece by piece. We went on long walks in the woods with our dog, Whiskey, letting him run ahead of us once we got to the end of the path. We would walk slowly after him then, listening to him bark at squirrels (and the occasional skunk) while we talked and picked wild blueberries. Weekends, we would go to the shop and pretended I was his secretary. He meant the world to me and I thought I meant the world to him. The morning I woke up and found out that he left us for his real secretary, well, that was when I knew that I really didn't matter to him all that much.

After that, it was just me and mom. We did a lot together but there was always something, or someone, else that was more important than me. Case in point, I mentioned the other day that we were thinking of taking the kids to Busch Gardens this summer. They have never been, I have never been ... I would do anything to give my kids this memory. First my mom says "Well, it's about time, you never do anything with those kids." which makes me feel like a bad mom. In the next breeath, she's telling me how much I'll love it, that she has gone several times. She's also been to Disneyworld, Disneyland, Bermuda, Mexico, Greece, Spain, etc., etc ... do I have to mention that she never took me on any of these excursions? Want to know where I've been? Canada and Florida. When I pointed that out, she reminded me that she and my dad did take me to Niagra Falls when I was 5. Whoopee ... does that make up for all the times that she left me with neighbors while she want on vacations with various boyfriends, not to mention leaving me alone all those times when she was out dancing or on dates.

So ... who did I matter to if it wasn't the two most important people in my life? Is it any suprise that I still wonder about this even now? It doesn't excuse my behavior when I snap at someone that tells me "It doesn't matter to me" but it may explain it a bit. I donj't know if this makes a difference but Lord knows I'm working on it.

Things I noticed about myself that I would like to change:

I don't initiate contact because I like to know that I matter enough for someone to contact me. I don't call, I don't email, I don't write ... but I will answer and reply. God forbid I care more for someone than they care for me. I have allowed at least one relationship to wither and die becasue I knew I didn't matter and I would not chase. Only once have I initiated contact ... yup, once ... and that was just a little over a year ago. Luckily, that worked out or I would have continued my life of hermitude.

I don't invest myself in friendships with people casually. It takes me a long time to let people know how I feel about them. When I finally do, I've usually felt that way for a long time and letting them know is long overdue. It's like I make people prove to me that I'm important ... I've even not called people when I knew I was supposed to or not showed up when I was supposed to just so I could see afterwards if I was missed.

So, what does it matter? Is the new look worth all the tears? Am I worth the time it takes to get to know me or even to read one of these diatribes? Does it matter if you read my blog?

Those are the questions of the day.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on May 29, 2005 8:09 PM.

Proseless? was the previous entry in this blog.

Borrowed verse is the next entry in this blog.

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