I have fake eyelash extensions, I often put off writing, and I used to be in a cult.
3 things I’ve mentioned here before, and today they all tie together.
First, about the cult:
I’ll give the usual qualifier, which is that it wasn’t a cult-cult, more of a weekly workshop attended by about 70 people, all of whom show up hoping it’ll improve their lives, and leave thinking it has. Yet they come back week after week and year after year with the same weird problems, like “The last date I had was in 1994. Men all say they’re allergic to my 22 cats, but I think that’s an excuse. I think they’re intimidated because I’m so confident and powerful at gardening.”
What’s especially disappointing about this cult is that the leaders (they’re a couple who dress in matching tropical-print vacation shirts) tell every person who wants to make a positive change, “What if you don’t have to change anything or do anything? What if you’re perfect right now, exactly as you are?”
That person always giggles uncomfortably and says, “Wow, kewl. I like that. Yeah, great. I can see that. I’ll do that.”
And then the husband leader says, “Well don’t ‘do’ anything. There’s nothing to do.”
And then more giggling and rambling. “Heh heh. OK. Kewl. Thank you, you guys. I’m really um. Yeah! Excited to be exactly who I am.”
No you’re not. Liar.
Are you wondering why I kept going?
Me too, since I wanted to change something, not be told I didn’t have to change anything. But I did enjoy the theater of it. Discomfort is so entertaining!
Now I’ve written enough about them that I wouldn’t dare show up for their workshop again, though I’m tempted.
So instead, I listen to the podcasts, which are call-in format and provide all the awkward squirming I love, without all the gratuitous hugging I don’t love. Everyone hugs everyone there. God forbid you should skip someone. They’ll bring it up. “When you don’t hug me, you make me feel ‘less than.'”
All that is to say, I love listening to these podcasts while I get my eyelashes done.
It’s a process where you lie there and have your eyes closed for at least 90 minutes, and can’t even check your phone. Other than sometimes hearing other customers snore, it’s pretty great.
Today, while I was getting a new set of lashes done, I listened to an episode where a caller said she was feeling guilty because she’s a writer and she almost never writes.
Know what they told this caller?
“That’s because you’re trying to write when you don’t feel like it. Wait till you feel like it, and it’ll just flow.”
Here’s an important PSA:
That’s the WORST ADVICE EVER.
What writer ever feels like writing? None that I hang with. If I only wrote when I felt like it, the only writing I’d have to show over the course of my life is a bunch of gossipy notes to coworkers and doodled dick-and-balls in the notebooks I used to bring to writers’ meetings. I know, doodling isn’t writing, but the little hairs you draw on the balls when a meeting goes long sometimes resemble letters.
The whole trick to writing is to write when you don’t feel like it.
You think I felt like writing this? No! I felt like watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion Part 3. I already watched it last night, but I’d watch it again just to avoid writing and to try and figure out why Kyle’s face looks so screwed up. Brandi’s face is obvious — cheek implants. But Kyle, I can’t tell what she did.
That’s how much I don’t feel like writing, and here I wrote a whole blog post. If I waited till I felt like it, you’d never hear from me again.
This same caller also said she felt bad that she sat in a different chair than usual and noticed all the dust under her sofa.
They said, “Know what I think? It’s really neat that you sat in a different chair than usual.” “Yeah. How great to get a different perspective.”
The caller said, “Wow, thanks guys, I really love hearing all that. I’m so hard on myself.”
Bet you she never writes anything or vacuums that dust.
Guess you can tell, I’m feeling a little high and mighty because of my newly touched-up eyelashes.
You know what? I am perfect exactly as I am!
Do you like being told “You don’t have to change anything”?
Ever get self-help-y advice that actually worked? Do tell.
What podcasts are you into these days?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.