Finally Admitting To Myself I Am More Emotional Than I Thought

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 10: A defining life moment

I’m supposed to write about my college graduation. I’m supposed to write about the moment I packed up my life and hit 95 to move to Massachusetts. I’m supposed to write about the summer I lost one of my best friends. That is how we qualify defining life moments. These grand or horrendous moments that appear in rare instances. So, maybe you won’t think the conversation I had with my sister over dinner this past weekend is a defining life moment, but I will beg to differ.

We sat at Macaroni Grill and as I cut into my tomato and mozzarella salad, I started to verbally unravel. Sitting in front of my sister is pretty much the same as sitting in front of a mirror. She knows me far better than I would like to admit and sometimes, better than I know myself. And, after I verbally unraveled, she said something to me that went a little like this:

“I get it. You blog. You’re Ty Unscripted. You’re ‘yo, son’ this and son that. But I think you try too hard to play it cool and be a guy’s girl. You have to admit that you are also emotional and vulnerable. That is a part of you that you need to acknowledge.”

They were the kind of sentences that caused me to sit there and nod my head silently while I chewed. I couldn’t say much first. It’s hard to say much when someone spits out a truth that you have tried for a long time to ignore.

Listen. I’ve written about being okay with your emotions. But, for me to actually be okay with the range of my emotions is another thing entirely. I think the term “emotional” gets a bad rep. The word gives you a very Angela-Bassett-torching-her-husband’s-car-in-Waiting-To-Exhale vibe. It isn’t much of a secret that we live in a world that values strength over vulnerability. Logic over emotion. We respect people who can leave their personal lives at the door when it comes to work.

We learn in relationships that (most) men appreciate women who do not cry or nag too much. We admire those who can disjoint their feelings from their libidos; it makes them seem much more in control of their lives in the maze of dating. We strive to be sarcastic and cool in an effort to avoid being attached and affected. And, maybe we act that way because at the ripe age of twenty-something, life has already hardened us. We’ve already learned to keep a joke in our back pockets if anyone tries to clown us first. We know how to poke fun at our own insecurities better than anyone else. We would rather remain detached than risk the shatter fest of a broken heart. We are already so fucking jaded.

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But, my bluff has been called and it’s time to be more honest with myself.

Yes, sometimes I have a sharp tongue. Yes, I can be incredibly no-nonsense and about my shit. I do firmly believe in Kelly Cutrone’s mantra of “If you have to cry, go outside.” I crack jokes and yes, sometimes I really don’t care about things. Sometimes I am living for the moment and I’m having a good time. But, that doesn’t mean I can discredit the many other layers I have. Those layers of vulnerability. Those pieces of myself that truly do get attached to the people in my life. The bits of me that listen to people’s stories and take them in as my own. There are the parts of me that sit up at night staring at my ceiling remembering one detail a person told me. The parts of me that stand up in the shower replaying conversations. There are the parts of me that care fully, wholeheartedly, almost to a fault.

I break. I crack. I hurt. I feel. I cry. I do all of these things much more than I would like to admit. Perhaps until now.

Because, I’m human. And, maybe that is sometimes hard to admit, too. I like to don my superwoman cape and pretend I can carry the world on my back and take over it at the same time. But, I can’t keep doing that. I have to stop and breathe. When I feel something, I have to face it head-on. I can’t brush it under the table or deem myself too cool to acknowledge it. Because, denying any way that you feel is the quickest way to self-destruct. You implode. Everything festers and then it comes spilling out in this incoherent and unpredicable way.

My friends sometimes joke that obviously I’m emotional; I write. But, there’s some truth in that. You don’t become the kind of person who pours your life out on a blog or stands on stage and recites spoken word without being an emotional and vulnerable creature. You just don’t. You can’t not give a fuck and then try to be an artist. No one will believe you. People believe in art when it is real and authentic, a direct bullet straight from the heart to the audience.

There are a few lines in a poem I’ve recently written that say, We are insecurities and messes and many mistakes. Delicate beings in need of reconstruction, you and I we easily break. We try to take our scars and shield them with a mask. But please label us fragile; we are only glass.

Please label me fragile. I am only glass. And for the first time in a long time, I am accepting that.



Please Define “Single And Ready To Mingle”

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 8: A new/different city

I credit the city of Plano, Texas with teaching me how to be single.

I know what you’re thinking. Where the fuck is Plano, Texas? But, let me explain.

Two years ago I moved to Texas for work. I knew it would be an eight-month stint there and the move came at a much-needed time in my life. When I got to Plano, it was as though some ominous cloud lifted. I could see clearly now, the rain was gone, all that good stuff. During those eight months, I learned how to actually be single for the first time in my post-grad life.

Of course, saying I “learned how to be single” begs the question of what does it actually mean to be single?

That’s why I hate the term “single and ready to mingle.” I feel like that term should only be reserved for drunk sorority girls in college bars. Outside of that context, it just makes my skin crawl.

Being single means something different for every person who takes on that relationship status, which is usually each of us at some point in this life. While I lived in Texas, I learned how to fend for myself. I learned how to go out alone and talk to complete strangers. I learned how to quiet my life and focus on the things that mattered to me. I worked out. I started this blog. I worked a shit ton. I spent entire weekends alone. I cooked (well…on Sundays.) I rid my life of all the boy craziness that too often plagues it. And, maybe some of that sounds mildly depressing, but it was the definition of being single that worked for me.

We put a lot of pressure on people in relationships, but we also put pressure on people when they are single. We forget that each person defines the word and, more importantly, the lifestyle, differently. Single doesn’t have to mean ready to mingle. If you want to date multiple people, fine. If you have zero interest in dating anyone, fine. If you want to go out every weekend with your friends and imbibe adult beverages, awesome. If you want to stay in every weekend with a new book, also awesome. Single is whatever you choose to make it. You just have to make it work for you.

Plano, Texas was where I learned how to define my version of single. In some ways, that time in my life was the happiest and most zen-ed out I have ever been. I miss it. I know it would not be the same if I went back now. And, I have learned how to be content with where I am at this point in life. But, Plano, I miss you. Because you taught me how to be single. And, just with that, you taught me a lot.



Yes, I Write About My Life. No, You Don’t Know Everything About It.

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 7: Because I have a blog, people assume…

“You’re a writer so you understand emotional shit.”

“I feel like you’re one of the more romantically inclined people in the group.”

“When I met you, I really couldn’t trust you cause of your blog.”

“I think you’ll really like this article/video/quote…”

It’s a more recent development that people have started to assume things about me because of my blog. Granted, my blog is a significant part of my identity. If you know me, you know I write and if you know I write, you know about Twenties Unscripted. With that comes a lot of assumptions that people make–some of which are accurate, some of which are flattering and others of which are flat out wrong.

Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “The Tightrope Between Privacy And Vulnerability As A Writer.” 

…at rare moments in life, you realize something is important, or will be important, or may be important. So significant in fact that you guard it. It is glass. You feel like your fingertips alone are too strong to hold it; they may crush it. To entrust it to the online world would be to spray paint the Mona Lisa, irreversibly tainting something beautiful.”

I sometimes worry there is a perception that I barter every detail of my personal life for hits and retweets. I worry that because I give people one dot of my life, they feel as though they can blindly connect the rest. I worry that people think I value writing over the integrity of my relationships. I worry that people assume any and every thing that happens to me is immediately up for grabs on the blog. That I don’t have to take time to process things the way any normal person would before I even consider writing about them publicly.

But, that is the risk you take in the world of personal blogging. You risk people making grossly inaccurate assumptions about who you are as a person and what you want out of life. I once had someone very confidently tell me, “Oh, yeah, I know you don’t believe in love.” Um, whoa? Yes, there is often times a very snarky undercurrent of cynicism in my writing, but there are also at least two dozen blog posts where I applaud love and declare that it’s something I want out of this life.

The truth is that if and when something really affects me, I require some layer of separation from it before I write about it. Sometimes when wounds are too fresh, you can’t find the words to do them justice. And, in other cases, some things are too sacred to write about. Blogging is about finding that ideal space in order to marry your thoughts and feelings with the right words. The kind of words that will make sense to people other than just you. The kind of words that will affect people other than just you. The kind of words that will mean something to people other than just you. Otherwise, hit up Staples and just buy a diary.

I have said before that I always write in the interest of maintaining bridges. I don’t ever want my words to be so incendiary that they would burn my bridge with another person.

There is the fear from others that anything they say or do is liable to end up on the blog. As though I have absolutely zero sense of discretion, privacy or confidentiality. As though every moment of my life will be translated for random strangers online.  I can’t convince you that these assumptions are wrong; all I can do is know that for myself. My private moments and things exist. Yes, life is the palette from which I pull all the color and context for my blog. But, there are still the things and people that I guard very carefully. There are the feelings I am not comfortable revealing. There are memories of my past, pangs of my present and wild dreams of my future that people know nothing about.

This place is my safe haven. It is my outlet. Yes, it is public and expository, but it still where I go to make sense of a lot of my thoughts in hopes that maybe other people can make sense of theirs, too. So, sometimes I write things and feel differently about them a week later. My blog and I are both works in progress.  Yes, I write about my life. No, you don’t know everything about it.



Passions And Paychecks

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 5: A day in the life of me

I’m supposed to give you a play by play of my day. But, frankly, I wouldn’t even want to read that. You don’t care what I eat for breakfast or when I call my mom or any of that mundane shit. So allow me to diverge from the topic a bit.

During the summer of 2012, I had what I will affectionately refer to as an identity crisis. I had just started my blog and, consequently, started following more people in the so-called blogosphere via social media. Following these people meant that I was all too aware of the lives of many bloggers who managed to exist outside of the 9-5 norm. And, not only did they exist, but they thrived. Their lives seemed full, exciting and fun.

All I could wonder was what the hell was I doing sitting at a desk, wasting my youth away?

I’m not sure when this identity crisis dissipated; I just know that it eventually did. I gave myself enough “You’re only twenty-something and right now, at least you have a roof over your head” pep talks to get over the hump. I soon realized that I was no less or no more for working a corporate job by day and full blown feeding my passion of writing by night.

Before my summer of 2012 identity crisis, I sat at a bar with one of my coworkers. It was someone’s going away party or whatever other excuse you find at work to imbibe alcohol after hours. At the time, I hadn’t yet started Twenties Unscripted and was only writing here and there somewhere on Tumblr. I told my coworker how much I loved writing and how I would love to spend my life doing that. And then she said something that caught me off guard: “You might not love writing as much if that’s what you relied on to pay your bills. You might start to resent it.”

It’s a sentence that has stuck with me because, like most sentences that stick with me, it’s probably true. As much as I’d hate to admit that. I’m probably head over heels in love with writing because it’s not what keeps a roof over my head. It’s not what keeps food in my fridge or my lights turned on. Writing is like my mistress; the place I go to get away from all the other bullshit and just enjoy myself.

Yes, that was a terrible comparison. But, you got it.

So, what does any of this have to do with a day in my life? Well, that is my day. That is my life. My day is spent giving a large fraction of my energy to my day job and my night gig of blogging. My day is spent jotting sentences down in my phone. Pulling inspiration from Twitter. Wondering what is next for every aspect of my life. My day is spent thinking too much and thinking too hard and wishing that I could just quit thinking for a moment. My day is spent laughing and extracting happiness from routine. My day is spent chasing a paycheck and chasing my passion.

People always tell you to do something you’re passionate about as if it is just that simple. Telling someone to do something they are passionate about is the most over-privileged statement in the history of the United States. At least now. In your twenties. When what you really need to do is put your big girl pants on and figure out how to stand on your own two feet. You can feed your passion and still get a paycheck. Why do you think blogs even exist? For schmucks like me who need somewhere to goafter work so they can shout to the Internet stratosphere until someone hears them. That is what I do every single day. That is what I focus on. That is what I care about. I care about keeping Sallie Mae off my back and keeping Twenties Unscripted alive and well. And I care about my kinfolk, of course. I try to sustain healthy relationships with the five people on this planet who can put up with my bullshit.

Feed your passion. Get that check. And, if the rubber finally meets the road and you find a way to do those both simultaneously, well, that’s fucking amazing and some celestial being has looked out for you. But, do not sit idle waiting for that to happen. The rubber does not meet the road without you being on a relentless grind. Move. Work. Bust your ass. Then bust your ass some more.



Poem: Kryptonite

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 4: A poem

Your number is still in the bottom of my drawer. Punch these ten numbers and I re-enter war. Erase my progress and go back to who it was before when I would fall to your feet and drop my pride to the floor. Punch these ten numbers and I leave open the door, spit back to a time time when you weren’t mine but I was yours.

I am superwoman. But, you? You are my kryptonite.

You’re still an internal battle I curl my fist daily to fight, still interrupting my sleep and fucking up my nights. Still fueling material I can use to write. Somehow I’m going out of my mind now that you’re out of sight.

I am superwoman. But, you are my kryptonite.

You are poison coursing through my veins,  lust is a drug from which I haven’t learned to abstain, love is a socially acceptable form of being insane, so hand me that straitjacket. I need to be detained. Chained or constrained because only a masochist could get this much pleasure from this much pain.

I am superwoman. But you are my kryptonite.

You bring my insides to a flame, bring my logic to shame, so I’m a prisoner of my own mind games, unsure of who I became. Because you are the kind of attraction that is filled with 1,000 watts. This is the kind of attachment that could survive high caliber gunshots. So it should be my immune reaction to walk away from this dying plot. There is dwindling satisfaction left in the memory of everything we are not.

I am superwoman. But you are my kryptonite.

 You make it feel good, almost great, to sin. To detach from my world and tune in to your skin. Somehow, you are the pain, yet you also make it subside as I gladly subscribe to this roller coaster ride. Because the lows are lows but the highs are so damn high. Mountains growing in between us but I ignore the divide, my insides are unraveled but I ignore that I’m untied. My heart a barely breathing organ, but I ignore that I have died.

Because I am superowman. But you are my kryptonite.

You feel bad and good and wrong and right. So each time I walk away, we somehow reunite. Because you feel bad and good and right and wrong. I am superwoman but with you, I never stood a chance at being strong. You feel bad and good and wrong and right. I am ignoring the flashing red lights that are within plain sight. You feel bad and good and right and wrong.  You’re a hurricane tearing up my life, and I welcomed natural diaster all along. Because you feel bad and good and wrong and right. You feel bad and good and wrong and right. You feel bad and good and wrong and right.

Who cares that I am superwoman?  You are my kryptonite.