H8rs gon h8.

Today something great happened.

I got my first hater.

I was sitting at my desk when the green notification light on my phone started blinking. I finished up a small project before I checked it. Two new emails, 5 texts, and new interactions on Twitter. The emails were from WordPress, informing me of new subscriptions. The texts were from Twitter and a couple friends. Twitter told me of retweets (“Hey bed: I’m gonna sleep on you so hard tonight.”) and one mention.

The mention was simple. Thirty-six characters meant to express a single thought:

My words are stupid.

I was excited. I’ve had a lot of nice feedback about my blog (“It’s so funny!” “I love reading it!” “It’s on my quick links on my browser!”), but nobody has dissed it. While I’d love to think that everyone who reads this thinks I’m the next voice of America, I’m also aware of reality. In reality, I probably appeal to a small segment of the population: those people who are interested in the mildly entertaining thoughts of a twenty-something girl who lives in Wisconsin. I’m not writing to please everyone. To be honest, I write to entertain myself. If other people like it, that’s a bonus. I don’t say this to be a jerk. I say it because if I tried to please everyone (or even just one other person), I’d never be able to share anything.

I don’t write a political blog. I don’t write reviews. I don’t share recipes or crafts. I don’t give beauty advice. I write about growing up – and I don’t even give advice on that. I express expertise in nothing other than displaying my lack of perfection. I write a personal blog and I don’t claim to be anything more.

But this is beside the point, because he didn’t insult my blog. He insulted my Twitter feed. Which is sort of hilarious. It’s Twitter. I have 140 characters to express thoughts. I’m aware that Twitter can be an amazing social tool. It has the capability of connecting people from all over the world like a gigantic cocktail party with 8 million conversations – all of which are begging to be interrupted. Some of these conversations are highbrow and topical. You know like the ones that begin: “Hey bed: I’m gonna sleep on you so hard tonight.”

I’ve never understood why a person would insult someone on the internet. Maybe they just want to take advantage of the internet’s convenient veil of anonymity.

I’m at an interesting point with  my presence on the internet. It’s small – mostly friends and family on Facebook, a few hundred readers on WordPress, and less than 200 followers on Twitter. But I’m owning up to it. A year ago, I was a bit bashful and almost embarrassed to say I have a blog. Now, it’s one of those things I do. I’m not in the business of changing minds. If someone thinks blogging is weird or dorky, I’ll let them continue thinking that. I just know that I’ve found it to be a very rewarding and exciting experience.

The beauty of social networking is that you can make it whatever you like. I suppose I could use my Facebook, Twitter, and blog to educate, but I don’t. I use them to make jokes.

Also, to share the creepy picture I set for my desktop at work.

Anyway, I appreciate the hater. It gives me the chance to be self righteous about my self-indulgence. I don’t get a chance to do that very often.

I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free. – Georgia O’Keeffe

A little about Jay-Z, Kanye, and my blog.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my uncle’s house to celebrate my cousin’s 21st birthday. Along the way, my little brother and I listened to Jay-Z and Kanye West. By the way, I just had to google Jay-Z because I wasn’t sure of the correct spelling or notation. I can’t decide if that makes me feel very old, very uncool, or very superior for not knowing how Shawn Corey Carter, who is worth $475 million, (Thanks, Google!) spells his stage name.

We were rocking out (does one rock out to rap?) and singing along, laughing at how ridiculous Kanye’s lyrics  were (“That shit cray, that shit cray, ain’t it Jay? What she order? Fish Fillet”), because honestly, how could you record that and still respect yourself as an artist? Because it’s clear that Kanye thinks of himself as not only an artist, but a visonary.

I’m not sure if anybody remembers January 4th when Kanye forgot he was using Twitter to unveil DONDA (hah, what?), but it was a ridiculous thing to witness. At the time, I had his tweets sent to my phone as text messages because he said awesome things like this:

That night, I didn’t have my phone near me for a few hours. I found it and saw that I had something like 36 missed texts. About 33 of them were from Twitter. All from Kanye. And they were still coming. Obviously, I changed the mobile forwarding on Kanye’s tweets.

Now that I’ve shared my extensive Jay-Z research and  given you a brief history of Kanye’s Twitter, I’ll move onto what I actually meant to write about. Ryan and I had a lot of fun on the 20-minute drive. When we arrived, I was bombarded by half of my family telling me they loved my blog. I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t like it. Compliments are nice. They’re even nicer when they’re about something you care about.

While I was in high school, I kept a Xanga. I think that for the most part, it was very similar to what this is, except even more self-absorbed (can you believe it?) and melodramatic. However, I do think I posted some interesting things. That was around the time I remember feeling like I was exploding with creativity.  I credit a lot of that to Xanga. It was the perfect outlet for my artistic restlessness and wandering self esteem issues. But I was embarrassed of it. I didn’t share the link anywhere (myspace?), I didn’t tell my friends to read it unless they stumbled upon it themselves, and I certainly didn’t invite my parents or extended family to read and comment on it. Part of this is because I was a teenager and while I didn’t want my parents knowing my business, I wanted everybody else in the world to realize the importance of my personal dramas.

Now that I’m older and have a better sense of self, I’ve sort of taken a claim to my blog. It still seems weird to articulate that, but I have one and I enjoy it. I’m enjoying it now even more that people are reading it and telling me they enjoy it. It means a lot that I can be doing what I want (ie: writing about myself) and be recognized for it. Despite appearances, I’m not doing this to just blather on about my life. I’m doing this because I think that every person’s existence is important. I believe that everybody has a story that deserves to be told. And if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their story, then at least they can be reminded that they are not alone in those feelings of love, loneliness, despair, euphoria, or hopelessness. By sharing myself on an intimate level, I’m trying to remind people in this crazy age of technology that we’re humans, not just profile pictures and clever autobiographies.

And if people are entertained along the way, that’s good too.

I feel extremely tacky saying this, but if you read my blog and you enjoy it, I’d like to invite you to comment, subscribe, or even share a link to it. I would really like to expand my pool of readers and possibly even start conversations in the comments. I love hearing other people’s anecdotes about similar situations; it’s a nice reminder that human existence isn’t solitary. Though we all think we are special snowflakes and our sufferings are unlike those of anyone else’s, we’re really just going though the same trials with variations on dialogue and setting.

Anyway, thank you for reading. It means more than you probably realize.