Do The Thing That Makes You Special…And Don’t Fucking Apologise

Disclaimer: Just a warning for new readers that things get a little bit sweary around here. I tried being less sweary for a very long time but I wasn’t being true to myself, so now I freely drop f-bombs like the ignorant, low-class cow that I am. If that isn’t your thing please feel free to click out in the top right hand corner and read one of the billions of other web pages that don’t say “fuck”. No harm, no foul.

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I don’t do inspirational posts. I never share rainbow unicorn memes or quotes from people with shamanic-sounding names like Jerry Eggplant Hyena-Scrotum. And I’ve never condescended to tell anyone how they should run their lives. Until now. Strap yourselves into those bum bags and listen up.

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I might be a cynical bastard at heart, but I’ve learnt that everyone has one thing that makes them special. It might be fixing cars, crochet, cooking, writing poetry, building model airplanes or playing music. It might be something you get handsomely paid to do as a career, or something you don’t.

I’ve been reflecting on the thing that makes me special. I’ve had my work published. I’ve had radio interviews, podcasts and viral posts. I’ve been a Top 30 finalist in a national competition of Australian bloggers. I’ve been lavished with personalised jars of hazelnut spread. At the risk of sounding like a total wanker, a lot of good things have come from doing my special thing, even in a mostly half-assed way.

(You can thank three days of fever and high doses of pseudoephidrine for this uncharacteristic post. I found my higher power in Codral).

It doesn’t matter if it’s pointless. Do it anyway.

The thing that makes me special is resoundingly pointless in every possible way: I write sarcastic shit on the internet. And that’s OK.

A pointless skill is just as nice to have as a non-pointless one, particularly if it’s the only swag you’ve got. We can’t all be out saving endangered Madagascan turtles, finding the cure for cancer or setting up charitable foundations to fight the global epidemic of bacterial foot disease. The internet will always need sarcasm, the same way that the world will always need your uniquely pointless skill set – whatever it is.

It doesn’t matter if it makes no money. Do it anyway.

One of the dumbest things we do is to define ourselves by the amount in our bank account, the wad of notes in our wallet, the postcode we live in or the number of kids we put through private school.

I’m here to remind you that status is a pointless, social-climbing wank, and that you should go ahead and do the thing that makes you special even if it makes no money whatsoever. I know that’s fucking obvious, but people need reminding. No one is going to chisel your net worth onto your tombstone or read out lists of your accumulated assets during the eulogy. You are going to be remembered for the things you are passionate about – not the shit you paid for.

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It doesn’t matter if it feels selfish. Do it anyway.

Doing the thing that makes you special takes time. It will take time from your kids. It will take time from your friends and family. And it will take time from the various commitments you’re always getting roped into because of your overly-acute sense of obligation to everyone.

Here is your permission to say “No. Fuck no”.

It’s OK to claim time for yourself, and you need to kick guilt into the outer galaxies of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck, because it is the most useless and unproductive emotion ever (unless you have actually hurt or murdered someone, in which case your guilt is entirely justified).

I have happily parked my kids in front of a Dora the Explorer DVD with reheated chicken nuggets while I bashed out a blog post. And I would do it again.

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It doesn’t matter if you don’t have time. Do it anyway.

Find the time. Find five minutes. Find anything you can. If you can’t find time to do the thing that makes your heart sing, then you really need to jettison a whole bunch of shit that doesn’t.

I often use “time” as an excuse when I really mean “fear”, because I am pissing my pants at the thought of where my next blog post is coming from.

Are you sabotaging yourself because you are afraid, and using “WAAAAH but I have no TIME” as your excuse? If so, you need to give yourself a pointy-toed stiletto kick up the ass and get on with it.

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It doesn’t matter if no one cares. Do it anyway.

You need to start doing the thing that makes you special, even if no one cares – because no one will. Your mum might. Or your partner. Or a bunch of random freaks on the internet (waves madly at blogging friends).

Prepare yourself for the fact that no one in the universe will give a single flying fuck at first. The trick is to do it anyway; just because you want to.

I started blogging to about 30 people. Three years later I uploaded a post that was viewed 100 000 times. At the risk of sounding like I’ve chugged the woo-woo Kool Aid, doing the thing that makes you special will eventually attract other people. They will support you, inspire you and cheer you onto bigger and better things: your tribe of like-minded weirdos is waiting.

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It doesn’t matter if people criticise you. Do it anyway.

For every person cheering from the sidelines there will be at least one asshole throwing bottles of their own piss at you. People are going to criticise, cast judgement and project poisonous darts of petty crap in your general direction. You need to accept criticism – and acknowledge that at times they might be right.

People will resent you for embracing your passion, and will try to drag you down into their murky little cesspool of frustrated ambition, self-loathing and insecurity. Pity them for having nothing better to do, shake that shit off and move on.

So, that thing that makes you special…? You need to go and fucking do it already.

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129 thoughts on “Do The Thing That Makes You Special…And Don’t Fucking Apologise

  1. I’m so with you on this! I often remind my workaholic husband ” It won’t be written on your tombstone what a great farmer you were, take more time off” On the flip side it’s something that he LOVES. And he’s very supportive of me and my little hobby. Thank god for finding fellow online weirdos that make you laugh so hard! Love your work Hugzy x

    • Thank you for being one of those weirdos! I feel very grateful that my stupid hobby seems to attract some extraordinarily positive and supportive people. Their enthusiasm for this is infectious, and helps carry me in moments when my own is flagging x

  2. I’ve needed some blogging time out this week. I’ve been looking after my daughter 24/7 following major surgery and a stint in intensive care.

    I’ve been over analysing everything, especially what I’m doing in the blogging arena in the first place following another massive troll attack that it would seem was instigated by bloggers and the fact that I don’t look or feel the part.

    I have honestly been in two minds about coming back…. only to stumble on this pot of blog post gold on my return. Just what I needed to read. Thank you for being you.

    • Thank you! x I think we all struggle with our “why” and with our relevance from time to time – particularly if those waters are being muddied by people who want to criticise and bring you down. At the end of the day I figure that this is me, and this is what I am. If other people have a problem with that then frankly, they can go and get fucked. I’m not hurting anyone and I am doing no harm. So, I’m going to keep on keeping on. I’m glad that my post has helped with your thought process – and I hope it helps you in some small way flip the finger at people who want to change you x

  3. hahaha I think you have just summed up my blogging experience, especially this week… for me add, ‘even if you’re not the worlds best at it, do it anyway’ 🙂 … you don’t need that last one, you’re at sarcastic s**t on the internet (ps. I fail at swearing, it just sounds wrong coming from me lol)

    • LOL thank you Lu 🙂 I really wanted to screenshot my “people will throw piss at you” meme and upload it to your thread the other day! I love your point about not being the best too – that was really something I had to throw aside with great force, and I have to keep reminding myself that it is impossible be the best ever. You just have to be the best you can be – that’s what matters x

  4. Oh Hugzy, how I love thee and absolutely everything about this post and the time put into the pics for our reading pleasure. I do love your sarcastic shit (and anything else you write) soooo much. Don’t ever stop. 🙂 Xx

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