This might be a long one. Or quite short. You might wince, you might not. Maybe I’ll embarrass myself and regret it the second after I post. Maybe I won’t. Clearly I don’t know how it’ll all go but either way, it’s time I copped to something I’ve dealt with for most of my life: being a ghost.

And what’s it mean to be a ghost, you might be wondering? It means being forgotten, overlooked, pushed aside, second best, abandoned. Choose whatever word you’d feel most comfortable using, as they’re all applicable. And I’m almost certain that I’ve written about this already–but it keeps happening and I DON’T KNOW WHY.

Is it because I allow it? It is because I’m too open and my heart too present? I know, I know I wear it on my sleeve like a logo but at this point in my life–and only 3 days shy of my 33rd birthday–I doubt I can course correct.

It’s obvious now that this is who I am, so I shouldn’t feel shame or make excuses, right? And yet…

It all hurts so damn much and I get so close to giving up and giving in when it reaches this level. And I’m there now.

I feel second best and overlooked. Not as good. Less than.

And I’m angry because I ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN. I’ve not known many people who didn’t believe they were better than me in one manner or another; a better writer, a better photographer, a better example for how a REAL life should be lead.

Or my personal favorite, those who believe they’re superior because they’re thinner or have more money or drive better cars or this and that because materials people, materials!

And some days I can combat the demons and tell them to go fuck themselves. And other days I listen to them, and believe in what they’re whispering or screaming at me.

Tonight is one of those and I’m fervent to escape these foul nothing’s before the reverberations last through the week and turn my birthday into complete shit.

Because here’s the thing, I AM an awesome writer and I take killer photographs and I love my 12 year old Chevy and money is a mountain but fuck, I love climbing. I know all of that.

But… I’d like to be recognized for it JUST ONCE. And there’s the rub–my “dirty little secret” you might say. I am tired of living vicariously through other people’s happiness and success and joy. Will I ever experience the same but in my own way?

See, it’s real for them and as their friend or relative, it’s real for me too. And I am genuinely happy for the people I find kindred spirits and friendship in–be it by blood or otherwise. I never judge or pull away or abandon anyone I let in, not in their highs and certainly never in their lows. It’s not in my DNA to do that, makes me sick to even consider it.

But I can’t say the same for 90% of the people I’ve known in my life. And that’s …crushing. And the weight, the weight tonight is pressing down so hard and so relentlessly that I’m starting to wonder: what’s the point?

Why bother taking photos or writing or crafting ideas that go to waste and unseen? Not many care enough to take 5 minutes to read <1000 words because they. don’t. give. a. fuck. And I’m not wrong, people. I see the stats. I know who creeps. Facts are facts.

So I ask again: What’s the point in trying to do ANYTHING when the result is always the same? Isn’t the the definition of insanity?

I have no answers and no power to see into the future. But I know I’ll keep on because it’s who I am. I’ll keep making my home in that shadowy place and smiling just the same because God for bid I ever stop.

I have to wonder though, what if I did stop?

What if I said no more often? Or ignored people like they’ve done to me? Or stopped caring so much over the happiness of others (my daughter is the exception to EVERYTHING in this blog, in case you thought I was being a bad mom) and started caring about my own?

Would I be more emotionally consistent and better in the long run if I did this? Would it matter?

Would anyone even notice?


UPDATE: I was going to let the above remain as-is but I need to clarify what I mean when I say “give up” and “give in.”

NONE Of what I write indicates suicide. Read that line again.

I have family who read this blog and I don’t want my words misconstrued to mean something far worse than they do. I’m a dramatic, angsty writer and like photo-art, words are also a form of expression. That’s all.

By “giving up/in” I mean quitting writing, quitting photography, moving on from being everyone else’s lap dog and being there for myself for a change. Not ending my life. No–that’s nonsensical talk and I’ve lost true friends to suicide so I will never spend energy entertaining that thought let alone writing esoterically of it.

I hope I’ve made myself clear here.

I wrote the above half at 2 am and was near tears because I’ve never felt good enough and needed to understand why that was. Understand why am I the way that I am? And why do people take advantage of that? The last 5 years has been nothing but shutting myself down and being quiet because GOD FORBID Jackie speaks up.

I’m moving on from silence… I can’t live this ghost life anymore. Truth is easy, remember.

This blog is going to get a lot more personal in the coming weeks.