What do other people think of me?
When I chucked in my Patreon last year over the realisation that only high-output users were of any interest to them, there was a fair amount of navel contemplation that took place. As part of that, I asked people to provide me with feedback on how they thought the adventure had operated, and what could be improved. From over 3000 followers, twelve people stepped up with an opinion. That is printed out and sits on my right, permanent reminder that somebody out there likes this stuff.
I already know how much I have been hated over the years. From those who accused me of hijacking them for commercial gain, to the individual who would not leave me alone until I became friends with them again (which never happened), I’ve seen the best (and worst) of the online world. There is also a lifetime of behaviour that isn’t discussed and is seldom referred to from Real Life, but the skeletons are very much out there. There is at least one person blocked for life from my online existence, but they could easily read all this stuff, and may well do.
There have been some significant mistakes made that will never be forgotten.
It will probably sound odd, but I’m ready to deal with the fallout of my actions pretty much at any time. Now there’s answers to why I acted as I did when younger, explanations for behaviour that make sense in the wider contexts, there’s no fear from the past. In the present, I am determined to not make those mistakes again, with life conducted in such a way as to ensure that takes place… but with the best will in the World, and as is amply demonstrated online, people will consider anything as an insult if they choose to do so.
You can’t make people like you, or force others into being friends. That’s not how this has ever worked. There is the grim, and often depressing acceptance that you can just try your best and hope, eventually, that the people you would like to be close end up being so. What matters to them can still matter to you, but unless the other person wants that next step to happen, you’re on your own. Therefore, in the last couple of years, the comfort of Internet Friends has really begun to matter. They are always there when you need them, and are often far less judgemental than the individuals in reality.
However, for a healthy existence, there really ought to be a combination of good and bad.
My existence is a bit like a meringue, when all is said and done. On the outside it can look fully formed and sometimes elegant, but one well placed poke and the whole thing has the tendency to collapse in an ungainly, sugary heap. When you add fruit and cream, the whole thing never stays together, rapidly going Pete Tong. Accepting that this is the case, and acting accordingly, has taken a lot of time and effort to perfect. However, I’m good at this now, and don’t really give a flying fuck what you think of me. You’re not in my head, living my life. That’s my job.
I’ll continue to do it the best way that I can.