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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Lies

There’s one photo that encompasses my entire childhood (that I will not be posting here).

My stepfather was a professional photographer. He not only made it his living, but his hobby, so much so that we often had to pose for stupid photographs like the one I’m speaking of, which has me sitting, nicely dressed, backwards in a dining room chair, making me appear as if I’m on the back of a NYT bestselling crime novel I’ve just published to rave reviews. Not only this, but we actually had a large framed photo on our wall where my stepsiblings I all got two rows to ourselves to make goofy faces and then smile at the end, because that’s the sort of household I grew up in. Give someone an outside appearance at a happy family to cover up the inner turmoil. That’s the thing I love about photography, more than anything. IT FUCKING LIES. 

This photo irritates me on a number of levels. Not only was I ever a happy or a good looking daughter (hell, I’m not even the best looking woman in the world. I mean, I know I’m up there, but I’m not #1), but it signifies the fact that not only was my childhood a lie…but it’s a well documented one. Having your parent be a photographer means being stuck with photo album after photo album of family photos ranging everything from christmas mornings to graduation. So the photos lie just as much as I was lying about myself to everyone around me regarding my lesbianism and so much more. And it’s all documented. Wonderful. It’s not necessarily that I HATE the photo, but it’s more along the lines of…I hate what the photo is showing. The photo itself is well taken, but it’s presenting yet again a false image. That other one I mentioned? That one with the rows? That was hung literally next to our front door as an instant image to be seen when you entered as a guest.

Oh, what a happy family!

Far from it, lady. Childhood is hard enough, but it’s even harder when you have to deal with declining mental health or a rejected sexuality. I’m certain the difficulties vary person to person, but for me personally…it’s the photos that are the worst. A lie of a lie. And the worst part is that it makes me feel like I didn’t even start really being alive until I came out, so there’s a documented childhood for a person I never identified as. That’s…unsettling to say the least. It also explains my enormous self hatred for having my photo taken as a kid, to the point where I’d leave the room or cover my face. I didn’t want to be documented. I DIDN’T KNOW WHO THE PERSON IN THE PHOTO WAS. Other people look back at photos and say, “What a happy child I was!”. I look back and say, “Who the hell IS this?”

These days though, I take a lot of selfies. It’s not because I’m vain (you have to first have self esteem for that, so I’m safe) or anything, but simply because I finally kind of like how I look. It’s a small consolation for the hell I had to put up with, but at least what I’m working on fixing my self esteem. But, that’s what suburban life is, at least when I was a little girl. Parents didn’t want their neighbors to see how screwed up their family was. Judgment was important to them. They wanted their family to be portrayed as happy, good, people. So they kept trimmed lawns and took lie filled photographs and they upheld to the highest standard an image of excellence and perfection to hide the problems they had. Nobody talked about divorce. Nobody talked about mental illness or homosexuality. It’s amazing how far we think we’ve come from the 50s, when really the only thing’s that’ve changed are our cable packages and how we process our food. There’s still bigotry, and hatred, and total lack of decent humanity, ESPECIALLY regarding treating your children and, a lot of times, often, yourself right.

So yeah, there’s one photo that encompasses my entire horrible childhood.

But there’s a billion that encompass my bettering adulthood.

And that’s kinda cool.

Hey, I’m Maggie Taylor, and this is my blog. If you like what I do here, you should check out my depressing space webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, or my new site “Sad Party”, where I ask others to revel in their sadness so others can see they’re not alone. If you wanna support me, you can always donate at my SquareCash. I’d really appreciate it.

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Orb Of Despair “Peer Pressure”

OOD6

Orb Of Despair is back again with more vague grey area life advice.

If you like what you’ve read here, and wanna help support me in my artistic endeavors, and not ever make me put on pants, then perhaps you should consider donating at my Kofi? It accepts PayPal and you don’t even have to give more than 3 dollars! It’d be greatly appreciated and help buy groceries, pay for our rent and more. Thank you.

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Once More Around The Sun

Today is my birthday.

When I was a little girl, I never dreamed I’d live past being 10. Then it got pushed up to 20. Then 30. Granted, while I’m only turning 28, I’ve learned a few things. The first is to stop counting upwards using only increments of 10’s, and secondly that for as long as I can put off ending my life, I might just make it further in life. I’m not happy, don’t mistake what I’m saying for growth, cause it’s not, but what I am saying is that for some people, existence isn’t a struggle. They enjoy being alive, at least on a base human level, enjoy seeing friends, having their families, getting jobs, having relationships, etc. But for others, it’s a struggle, and for me it’s an absolute slog. So, other people go through life, sometimes having a midlife crisis or so along the way, until they finally reach their 80s and die. Meanwhile, I’m actively bored of existing, yet because there’s such a stigma surrounding suicide, shaming people who simply don’t want to hurt anymore, and also because I’m always constantly in the middle of something (a movie, laundry, writing this blog post you’re reading), I keep having to put off killing myself.

Now, people may take that and go “Well, that indecision means you really don’t want to do it then!” and while I respect everyones right to their opinion, no, they’re wrong and they should shut up. Did they make this diagnosis from the comfort of their bedroom doctors desk chair? You don’t know me, or what I’ve been through or how I feel. I WANT to die. I do. I just keep having shit come up that has to be taken care of, and I’m not one to flake on responsibilities and abandon projects. In essence, my perfectionism is extending my life sentence, and yes I say life sentence and not life span, because much like prison, I didn’t ask to be here and I certainly want it to be over with. Now, I’ve written a blog post in the past about how if you can come up with things to do like “I can’t kill myself until this tv show is over” or “I can’t end my life until I feed my dog” then you can keep yourself from dying, but this isn’t that.

This is about literally being so busy to never have time to die. People complain all the time about being ‘so busy’. Every single college student will tell you that, that they’re ‘so busy’, like getting up at 11 is so hard when they forget that they used to get up at 7 to go to high school. People stay busy with jobs, with social lives, with hobbies. Everywhere you look, at any given point, somebody is doin’ something. They’re reading a book, or riding a bike or watching a movie or having dinner with friends or going on dates or working until closing, or, yes, being in school. Everyone has a constricted schedule in which what they want to do often takes a backseat to what they have to do. In my case, the thing that keeps getting pushed back is killing myself, and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it. Just like those other people, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to take the weekend off for themselves and try and learn a new language or see the new action flick, they just don’t have the time or the energy, and let’s face it, killing yourself takes a lot of effort. My preference has always been to hang myself, but then I gotta get a rope so I gotta probably go to the hardware store and buy a rope and then learn to tie a knot good enough that it won’t come undone, and then find somewhere to hang myself, find a surface high enough that it’ll kill me when I’m not standing on it anymore. I mean, by the time I got to the actual act of hanging myself, I’m wasted half my fuckin’ day just prepping, and that’s without a note! Honestly, who’s got the fuckin’ time?

So, this is just what’s working for me. I hope those who are struggling also continue, as I don’t want anyone else to die. I just personally don’t wanna be alive, but I am, and I’m working with the hand I’ve been dealt. So let’s go for one more round universe, take me around the sun another time.

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There’s No Such Thing As Anything

We need to collectively, as a society, stop believing that anything has inherent value or meaning or purpose, because guess what…nothing means anything.

We, as human beings, created everything. All our precious little labels and identifiers that we so proudly wear as bumper stickers or put in our blog bios? They don’t mean a god damn thing, because we made them up, therefore they’re not even real. Everything we believe in, things people tout as facts, opinions, whatever, they’re none of that. They’re concepts. They’re ideas. They’re shit we came up with to differentiate ourselves from other people that we hate. To continue to believe that the inherent nothingness means a damn thing is false hope. You’re believing in nothing.

Now, that isn’t to say that there’s something wrong with believing in nothing. Hell, the entire human basis for faith and politics are based on believing in shit we came up with ourselves. Nobody ever handed us a list of what was going to be important as we continued to evolve. Just one day one large group of people decided to have different ideologies than another large group of people, and suddenly we were split down the middle and later on that splintered even more as peoples ideas narrowed or widened. Now we have the political or faith system that has culminated from our shitty, sudden beliefs. But, if believing in something like God gives you comfort, helps you through your day to day life and makes you happier, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that so long as you don’t use that belief to harm others or stop anyone from living how they do or believing what they believe. So, it’s not wrong to believe in nothing, but it is wrong to use that nothingness belief to harm others.

But I still think the sooner we all come to our senses and admit that this is all such a colossal joke, that none of this means a god damned thing and that we just created a bunch of shit to complicate our existences, the better off we’ll all be because maybe it’ll allow us to reach a better middle road. I know that for me, personally, realizing that there’s no such thing as anything really cleared a lot up for me in understanding the world and others around me. This positive nihilism has allowed me to continue living, allowed me to laugh at everything around me and has ultimately saved my life. Without accepting that nothing means anything, I’d likely be dead.

It just sort of helps put everything into perspective. Bad day? It’s ok, because it doesn’t matter in the long run. Good day? Awesome, because you might not have another good day for a while. None of it means a damn thing, but it’s still nice to experience. That’s what existence is for; to exist. The meaning of life is to live it, even if it means you have to laugh at it 99% of the time.

Frankly, I’d rather laugh than cry, and I think that’s a step in the right direction.

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How To Fail So You’ll Succeed

People often get irritated with me for continually saying that I suck, that I hate my work, that I’ll never be successful or that I don’t wanna do what I do anymore, but what they fail to realize (somehow, even after I tell them this) is that I need to externalize the internal in order to continue going. I need to believe I’m bad so I can continue to prove myself wrong with each new success.

By belittling myself to myself, by telling myself that I’ll never reach my own standards, all it does is make me feel incredible when I do reach those standards, when I do reach even a small piece of success. That drive is what keeps me going. If I don’t say these things, that hatred sits inside of me and festers into a horrid bubble of pure rage, and then I never get anything done. That’s way more unhealthy. I succeed because I believe I can’t.

Now that isn’t to say there aren’t times I really do believe what comes out of my mouth, because believe me, there are, and it’s a lot of the time too. Being touched by failure for the majority of your life, outside of career and inside career, really makes you feel pretty fucking terrible about your chances with success. That being said, more often than not do I use it as a way to continue to push myself towards the goals I wish to achieve with my work, and my life in general. Negativity is a bad copying mechanism? Bitch, please. It’s my only coping mechanism.

My entire life I’ve been told by people that I will never succeed. By my peers, even some people in my family at one time or another, and yes, you eventually start to believe a little bit of that, or all of it, in some peoples cases. But for me, spite thrives my craving for success. You wanna tell me how much I suck? We’ll see how much I suck when I’m happy and successful and you’re bitter that you’re still suck in that loveless marriage or in the same crappy job you claim you hate but can’t leave to chase whatever dreams you might’ve once had. Guess what. Dreams don’t go away with age. You will always have your dreams, so stop saying you can’t go after them after a certain age. THAT’S real negativity.

You hate me for achieving my goals? You hate me for even attempting to? Go try and achieve your own. Be happy. Tell yourself you can’t, and then do it, and prove yourself wrong. Be a successful failure. “Fake it ’til you make it”? No. Fail it, then nail it.

Own your sadness.