Freestyle Friday

Photo by Leo Wieling on Unsplash

Went back to Instagram yesterday. The sky did not fall. I was not a junkie too long off the junk. Instead, I logged in, posted a quick series of “this is what I’ve been doing” photos, announced that I missed my friends but hate The Internet, and dipped back out.

Which is good. I was afraid I’d nosedive into bad habits. But, as I told a friend yesterday, “Instagram isn’t even a fun drug. It’s crack without the euphoria.” With every “Welcome back!” I wanted to yell “You don’t have to live like this. Escape while you still can! It’s so much better on the other side!”

You know who exercised five days this week, despite it also being Hell WeekTM — which usually leaves me prone and ready to remove my internal organs? This girl.

I subbed my Walk at Home aerobics videos for slightly brisk neighborhood walks on Wednesday and Thursday. Added some mat-based arm work yesterday for a little strength. By this morning, I was back to “AND MARCH!” in my living room (at 5:30 AM, no less, because I’m hitting happy hour after work and refused to miss a day).

This week in Kibbe experiments, I think I’m getting closer to my ideal aesthetic. A softer, drapey-er interpretation of my classic, slightly gamine sensibilities.

*throws all my money at Banana Republic*

“The ‘Pity Me!’ Personal Essay.” A friend shared this with me yesterday and boy, does it come out swinging. Right in the subhead: “A recent trend in writing brings us a whole lot of dramatics and zero perspective.”

This stuck with me:

Be it funny or serious, good personal writing is honest, confident, and singular. It doesn’t feel defensive or caveated or generic. There are sentences which read like the equivalent of a coyly raised eyebrow, and jokes which aren’t spelled out. Perhaps above all there is a sense of faith in the listener, the reader, the audience; in other people, really.

Connolly, Rachel. “The ‘Pity Me!’ Personal Essay,” Gawker. April 14, 2022

I’ve talked about this before, how years on Twitter trained me to cushion every utterance with qualifiers and brace for impact. And it’s present when I’m blank staring at the screen, editing in my head instead of putting down words. Good personal writing is singular. That’s what makes it personal. The best I can do is speak for myself.

So here’s what we’ll do. I’ll stop trying to “sound like a writer” and we’ll chat like old friends. You trust me not to be an asshole for the sake of provocation. I’ll trust you to keep up. Deal? Deal.

Happy Friday, friends.

Published by

a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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