I’m Going to Impress You With a Big Word

by D.J. Paris on December 7, 2013

I always wanted to write a piece where I used the word “precipice.”

Just wanted to say that. Great opener, yes?

Let’s move on.

We all need a council of people that will tell us the truth even when it hurts. If you don’t have such a group, you may want to build that into your life.

(that was the original opener)

No, scratch that. You NEED to build that into your life.

Mine is my pal Karen.

She’s not afraid to tell me when my writing sucks. She’ll call me out when I use a literary trick to get attention. If I tweet out something that’s hacky, I’ll incur her disapproval. She’s a critical and tough broad.

But, you see, I employ her to do hold me accountable to my authenticity.

The bottom line is that I’m not always conscious about what’s in my best interest. I’m not always aware of my true motivations. Sometimes I know exactly what I’m doing when I try to trick the reader using a cute allegory, and I do it anyway.

Karen brings me back to authenticity, which, as I’ve come to believe is the only real goal of life. Brene Brown writes about connection being the most important human quality, but that only through authenticity can connection exist.

Which means that I must get present for my motivations. I need to ask myself before tweeting out something , “Am I really being funny here or am I just looking for attention?” Or, “Is this blog post reflective of what’s really happening a deeper level in my life?”

Most of the time, my authenticity is demonstrated appropriately in this blog. Sure, I fire off a nice crotch joke from time to time, but that’s just because dick humor is awesome. Vagina humor, too. Especially vaginas.

I have in my mental possession a vagina joke so offensive (but hilarious) that is would upset a majority of my readers.

But, I didn’t write the amazing vagina joke. Also, I would be submitting it for shock value. Not authentic.

This blog started out as a bastion for sophomoric humor. And, to be honest, I’m damned good at that stuff. Even a cursory glance through my Top 20 stories will demonstrate that ability. But over time I realized, like Brene Brown teaches, that I really just want to connect. I already know I’m funny.

Could I have the strength to share the pain of divorce or the shame of illegally downloading music or how sometimes I just need a virtual hug? Will that connect with a reader? Does that matter to me? What if nobody comments?

Here’s a current embarrassing truth – I’m close to 100k Twitter followers. In my mind crossing over that threshold means something important. Of course when I pass that marker nothing will change. The next milestone will be set and I’ll delude myself into thinking that’s the magic number to fulfillment.

After bragging on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll call up Karen. She’ll allow me to boast, congratulate me, and then cut me off. “So, what’s really going on in your life?”

The truth is that I’ve been slacking lately and not writing, yet it’s my favorite daily activity. I’ve become scared of this blog. That I don’t have anything of worth to say. Fear has paralyzed my ability to act. I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of – last year I posted every single day without a miss. This year, barely a hundred published.

So even this post, as all over the place as it is, is a massive step forward. And, I know, that in a few weeks, I’ll be back to my normal self. I will go through highs and lows. From time time I will write shitty pieces. I will brag about accomplishments for attention. I will pepper in dirty one-liners because I’m afraid to publish too serious of a story.

But I will also stand on that precipice where I’m afraid to tell the truth. Most of the time I’ll push through it and lean into the fear. Sometimes I’ll wuss out.

Did you notice that I figured out how to weave in precipice? Full circle, motherfuckers!


This was the best image I could find to represent a precipice. Although, it appears as those this poor fellow might jump. So, it’s kind of a bummer.

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