I just don't know. I mean, it seems clear to me: I don't like complainers either. I am not a fan of babies. I could never be a nanny.

I resent being put-upon. I feel like, especially recently but also in general, I'm so often called on to witness, validate, soothe, support. It feels like a real drag sometimes. Like I'm only in the room to say "No" when someone says "Does this look bad on me?" Like I exist solely to be a mirror. Why do I resent this so fucking much? I always have.

For me, the ideal expression of intimacy and affection is not asked for; not demanded. I am allowed to lavish praise on the object of my admiration at my own speed, unbidden. Perhaps this is why I historically am so attracted to people, places, things which I can never really lay claim to. They can never demand it.

Maybe I don't want what's real. And what's wrong with that? Isn't it okay to admit it? What I want is a fantasy? Who can fault me for this.

What irks me is that I don't make these same demands. The reason I resent it so much, the validation, the patting on the back, the cooing, the nannying, is because I don't actually ask anyone to do it for me. Because I don't feel like I deserve to ask for it. I don't feel like, really, anybody deserves to be able to ask for it or demand it. I have this very weird idea in my head (I want to say it's a Californian thing, since I think it's also in Joan Didion's bones) that if you have to ask for something then you don't deserve it.

I'd qualify this by saying that if you have to ask for it, you'd better make it such that the asking is in fact the pleasurable part. Asking for what you want is one of life's great joys. Not getting what you want is also a typically human experience. I guess you can't have one without the other.

I think I am trying to engineer a situation in which I can control my own feelings, my falsely managing my expectations, so that I won't be disappointed when I don't get my way (which happens all the time, and I'm still disappointed every time). It takes an extraordinary amount of energy to come up (and maintain) with this scheme. broadly speaking, the scheme is: be really down on yourself so that no one else can do it for you. It doesn't work, and it is exhausting.

Understanding this rationally does very little to help change it.

And again, complaining! How unattractive. Is there anything more important in life than being attractive? Isn't being attractive synonymous with happiness? I don't mean to the sexual object, I mean to yourself. Shouldn't you feel like your life is exciting, fulfilling, attractive?

Being so down on yourself is basically the inverse of this. But still a form of morbid self-obsession. I feel like I get a lot of shade and anger from people for my so-called narcissism. Which is frustrating, because I always want to make the distinction that my narcissism as such is really a tremendous amount of time and energy spent attacking myself, not celebrating it. But it's still time and energy spent thinking about myself.

It makes it hard to take this criticism seriously, too, because the people who get down on me for being narcissistic (as such) are generally insecure, and seem to think that my energy would be better spent thinking about them. So that they don't have to. No, that outfit doesn't make you look weird. You look really good. I would want to fuck you.

It's Monday and I am in a bad mood. I feel like I can't do anything right. Like all I get is negative feedback. I'm really tired of everybody telling me how bad I am, or how wrong I am. Or how my thoughts and feelings would be better spent on them.

And so we go back, back, back to the fire of making art work to invent a world in which everyone isn't criticizing you, in which you do not deserve constant fear and pain, in which you do not worry. Imagining a world in which the question of deserving was a moot point, because everyone deserves, just for being alive, to be happy.

Wouldn't that world be great?

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