Somewhere, at some point along the line, I’ve started becoming a lot more cynical and negative compared to, well, me.
And today I’m standing up in front of all of you, admitting that.
I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately, particularly after yesterday’s post (and some other things that I’ve been doing lately).
How did this happen? Why did it happen? Is there a way to immediately fix it? And is there some degree of need for such cynicism or should I work to eradicate it from my life?
How it crept in, I honestly don’t know, and I don’t think it was any one major event. As I look back at the past three years of blogging, a long list of things could certainly be looked at.
Starting with the trolls, I suppose.
When I started this blog, I honestly believed that any person could be worked with and could be rational if the right methods of communication were used. But, it wasn’t true.
Those first two years of this blog were beyond rough for me when it came to others in the parent blogging world (especially a handful of other dad bloggers). The more I tried to communicate and work with them to get to the bottom of their disdain, the worse things got for me. And finally, the only way I could stay sane and keep going was to tell myself that some people are just jerks, some people are just jealous, and some people cannot be communicated with no matter how hard I try. I didn’t want to believe that. I tried not to believe that. But in the end, it only hurt too much to believe anything else.
Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. I just know I no longer had the energy to refrain from being cynical about them.
But the parent bloggers and the trolls have been just one dynamic of all the dynamics that have slowly chipped away at me. At this.
Friends have been the most challenging of all.
I have always been such a social person. I have always had such good, powerful, and positive friendships.
At the time I started this blog, I honestly believed in the goodness of every friend that I had. I believed they would do anything for me and I would have done anything for them. But, it wasn’t true.
As my blog became more popular, things started changing, and I’ve never understood why.
One of my very best friends began distancing himself from me more and more. He began purposefully diminishing my work and my accomplishments behind my back and even while I was there to anyone who took interest in what I did. After about a year, I had to more or less end the friendship to keep from being hurt any further.
Old friends, the kind that I now remain friends with through Facebook, were so awesome. At first. So many kind words. So many kind emails. And over the past three years, I’ve slowly been losing them one by one. At least weekly, sometimes more often than that, someone I’ve known in the past sends me a fantastic and friendly email. The emails are almost always the same. First, they tell me I’m awesome. Second, they remind me of our friendship and what it once was. Third, they ask me to do them some sort of favor, usually which consists of shouting out their business, or their product, or their cause, or their whatever.
I, unfortunately, have to tell them no. And, believe it or not, more often than not, they get offended and either say some choice things to me or defriend me. I’ve defriended some of them. And so the cycle goes, continually, always, and only getting worse the bigger this blog gets.
Other friends (and sometimes even people I date) feel a need to verbally and sarcastically tear me down. Other friends become obsessed with finding out how much money I make. Other friends, and this is the most common with my present-day friends, do everything they can to never mention my blog or to steer every conversation around it. It’s almost as if they pretend that it doesn’t exist, as their way of… I don’t know. Maybe making sure that I never think I’m too good for our friendship? Your guess is as good as mine.
I didn’t want to believe that any of my old or current friends were like that. I tried not to believe it. I’ve done everything to avoid letting myself believe that.
And I don’t know how true it is or how deeply the problem actually goes. I just know I no longer had the energy to refrain from being cynical about it.
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