Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Seeking Validation Like A Socially Inept Grade School Nerd And The Yellow Dog Should Die

I have learned something valuable recently, and it is this: nobody cares about anything you care about as much as you care about it. No, this is not the first time that I have figured this one out, but occasionally I get so caught up in caring about something that I become blind to the fact that other people probably take no notice whatsoever of this thing that I care about.

For example, take the art (I use this term loosely) that I made for the Fiery One for his birthday. I have not openly admitted it before, but I love the hell out of that piece. It is loud and unrefined and elementary-school-art-classy, but I worked hard over that thing, and I love it. I wish it were cuddly so I could take to bed with me. I wish that it would curl up next to me and lick my hand while I watched television. Of course, I am the only who feels this way about it. I am the only one who has come to find its melted crayon and jute twine mouth endearing. Where is the mother who would stick this art up on her refrigerator and have me spell my name and age clumsily along the bottom? Where is the grade school art teacher who would write words like "original", "creative", and "free thinker" on my report card? Oh, I know. I am well aware that those days passed twenty years ago, but dammit, why do we only offer up gushes of verbal encouragement to the impossibly young? Are we so embittered that we have quite nearly given up on urging anyone over the age of ten to greatness? I want a gold star, for Christ's sake! I want the red stamp that proclaims whatever it adorns "Good!". I want my photocopied award on coloured paper with my name filling in the blank and a smelly sticker in the corner!

Another example is this blog. My mother has found it somehow, and my brother knows about it, but neither of them reads this thing. I am extremely thankful that my mother leaves this thing alone, but my brother, who laments occasionally on the telephone about how we don't know each other anymore, never bothers to read it. It's not like I really want him to be reading half of what I write in here, but I thought he would at least be curious. Nope. They just don't care. If my mother or brother were writing all kinds of personal shit on the internet, I would be all over it, but that's me. It is strange that I should be so bothered by this, especially when I would prefer to write here without worrying about family members being offended.

Thirdly, I have started a new job, and the position I hold is fairly important, and almost nobody gives a shit. Even my own parents, after all the it's-great-to-see-yous and we-miss-yous when we went to see them this weekend, had to be prompted to ask me about my new job. It really doesn't directly affect their lives, so I can understand why its level of importance didn't rank highly for them, but honestly, show some fucking interest. Yet again, I cared about something a whole hell of a lot, and no one blinked.

Are you starting to notice a theme here? I certainly am. I seem to have a great need all of a sudden for acknowledgement. I feel like jumping up and down and waving my arms while yelling look guys, look, over here, check this out, this is me rockin', no really, check this out. This feeling is kind of embarrassing actually. I feel like that nerdy kid in elementary school who would bring stuff to school with the hope that someone would see it and think he was really cool for once. I think that some of this is stemming from my bloated-crampy-acne-ridden-pre-menstrual issues, and I should just drink some wine, turn on the television, and wait it out, but I also think that part of this stems from having just left a job which did its best to arrest me of my self esteem and belief in my own abilities.

That place was rough on my sense of self-worth, and now that I have started a new job that comes with co-workers who actually ask you how you're doing, I'm going through a bit of a readjustment period. What I really want to do is to start feeling good about myself again – a little less hopeless and a lot more rah rah rah. This will happen for me, but I don't want to wait. I want it to happen right now, so I'm seeking validation all over the place. The Fiery One has been awfully good about it and keeps telling me I'm pretty and that he really does like my art and that he likes me, and for this I am incredibly grateful, because without him I might have turned into one of those people who compulsively strips in public for attention.


I am presently working on someone else's computer, and she has enabled one of those stupid little screen companions. This one is a yellow dog, and right now he is sitting to the right of my screen watching this line that I'm typing. He must like what I'm writing, because just now he started wagging his tail and panting. I want him to stop, because he's distracting and unnecessary and keeps staring at every word I put down. Oh, except for just now when he pressed a little button, got a floppy disk, and then stuffed it down his collar where it disappeared presumably inside his own skin. All I can do is ask why, and the universe, as usual, is not offering up any answers.


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