Discover more from Hello Bobbie
Light that bitch up
People in upstate New York will likely start out their conversations by letting you know one of two things: either all of their career triumphs/accomplishments or the status of their yard. If not their own, then surely their kids’, or grandkids’.
To be fair, living in Westchester is expensive and a lot of us are New York city transplants. We moved to NYC specifically to be career oriented and live in suits and commuter shoes. We moved here to live the dream of working a thankless job for a little (or a lot) less than we deserve and somehow we take some pride in that. We don’t really know what we like anymore, we just know we like to work ourselves dry and be blindly committed to something. We can afford to live here and keep our grass green so it feels as if we’ve traded in a piece of our soul just to maintain these things.
To be fair, I love green grass. We are slowly coming into peak summer and it feels so good to look out into lush green grass and wild trees that have flourished after months of lifeless, scarce, sad branches.
Generally, it seems as though pinning down an identity that comes from deep within yourself and not your career triumphs, or your kids/grandkids, or how much money you spend to keep your grass green is very difficult. In my personal experience, pinning down an identity seems to be a lifelong endeavor. Perhaps what makes it so difficult is that we’ve been trained to subdue our neuroticism, like a fire that’s been born within us slowly burning out as we age. And in retrospect maybe we’ll look back and wish we could’ve added more wood to that fire so it can grow into a massive wildfire of passion and creativity and fearlessness. Here’s to hoping it’s not too late to do that.
As for me, my newsletter is a big part of my identity. On my good days I tell myself it's a pretty neat thing I’ve built all on my own. Yet, it’s something that I find difficult to talk about in a social setting. I justify my content as me talking to my own subconscious, so sometimes it’s hard to talk about it in the conscious world. Sometimes there are days where I don’t have the humility needed to explain that people are becoming increasingly tough to connect with so I write as a way to connect with myself. Sometimes it’s hard to know I’m the only one in any social setting constantly exposing all of my interiority, whilst everyone sits around stealthily, asking me to reveal more. Sometimes vocally explaining my internal exposition doesn’t seem worth it. Sometimes it’s hard to justify why I pour my neurosis out into this page….for zero dollars.
But what this kind of work does (putting all of one’s neurosis onto the page) is that it makes you completely unafraid. What’s good about getting paid zero dollars for your side hustle/passion project/projections is that it will always keep you primed: ready to stand on your invisible podium that no one even notices to tell you that this is GOOD. It may not be textbook GOOD. Like, it may not be something you can say is GOOD or BAD. But it’s SOMETHING. And building SOMETHING is GOOD. Building SOMETHING allows you to look straight up into the cornflower blue sky and say Well, I woke up today and put my two feet on the ground. That asshole rain cloud that has been following me around has become bored with me and left. My veins are pulsing with blue or red or yellow blood and I no longer care what color it is. I am just a vessel to project all of this bottled up neurosis. I am just here to produce the work that I am meant to produce. Nothing more! Nothing less! It’s really that simple. Let your neuroticism bubble up and seep out of you by way of something meaningful. Like, something that means a whole lot to YOU. Because on those days that asshole rain cloud comes back and your eyes are red and swollen from all this pollen you could still be like: Well? What can I say? This is ME bitch! I’m just here to do what I’m supposed to do!
At the very least, what writing down my neurosis does is make it easier to read the comment section:
“This is so raw”
“This is so vulnerable”
“Thank you for your bravery”
“Clearly she’s working through something”
Instead of having to chew this shit up and swish it back and forth in my mouth to make it easier to swallow I can now break it with my teeth and spit it back out. Call this whatever you want to call it. But I will tell you what it's not; It’s not raw or vulnerable or brave. It’s life. Real life is not a smooth, newly cemented road. The road of life has never been paved; it’s always been gravel and full of crushed rocks that can chip the paint off your car and all the accruing chippage makes you feel shitty for being born this way, with all these dents, more and more reckoning as you travel down this road, as you make more mistakes, as you grieve and resent all the shitty rocks you’ve been exposed to. And now look at you? Now you drive a car with exposed dents. Well, here are MY dents. My dents are something that I can look back at in retrospect and say Damn I just went and wrote what I wrote? I just went and said what I said? Damn I allow myself so much freedom, don’t I? Damn I am THAT girl, huh? Go ahead and take a spoonful of that for me!
All to say, life is just one big grouping of errors. And it costs zero dollars! Fuck your yard! Fuck them kids! What do you have to say about yourself? Where did all of your exciting and excruciatingly awkward neurosis go? Look at how far you’ve gotten: No one can survive the way you can. No one has founded all these important resources to put in their toolbox like you have. No one can dig up ancient artifacts as a means to understand what this unpaved road is really trying to tell you. No one can live the way you live. Living is so GOOD because sometimes it's so BAD. But I get to look up and say I’ve been placed here for all these reasons and to commit all these embarrassing errors along the way.
People aren’t neurotic anymore. Note to self: be more neurotic! If I had business cards they would read something like this: Stephanie Pérez-Gurri - NEUROTIC SEEKING FELLOW NEUROTIC. So whenever someone wants to tell me about how much capital they raised in 2020 despite the pandemic, or how they found a new fertilizer on Amazon that makes their grass highlighter green, I will throw all of my business cards up in the air and storm out of the room dramatically. And if they even dare to mention anything regarding how many different summer programs they are enlisting their 3 year old toddler in I’d likely reply with “why don’t you go fuck yourself already?”
Sorry I yawned. I’m just so unbearably bored. But being bored is good. Being bored is a sign for more ambition and fearlessness. Being bored is the way your mind knocks on your orbital cortex to be like, Take this shit up a notch. You’re not bored, You’re just scared to do the next thing. Fear is good. Use all this fear and make it your little bitch. Let fear know that they chose the wrong one.
Anyways, maybe this is my way of telling you I miss deep, unsettling conversations and I’m sorry I have to be such a baby about it. Lately, it’s as if people use their outer selves as a shell to protect themselves from revealing their inner selves. It’s pretty selfish of you to keep asking me to chip away at my shell all the time, don’t you think? We are all small micro cosmic specks, orbiting slowly around the sun. Does it even matter how well you disguise yourself? How far can you keep this up?
Tell me about the places your brain inhabits. Tell me about your darkest dreams. Tell me about how there are leeches in your bed slowly sucking you dry. Tell me about the garden you are watering. Tell me everything. Set it free. Or better yet, set it on fire! Light this bitch up! It will prime you for the next best thing.
I pack up all my bullshit and present it. I’ve made my bed and now I’m ready for the rain. It’s just life babe. It costs zero dollars.
Thank you for reading bobbie! Please share with someone this may resonate with 🙂