Dear Abby: Quit It

Dear Abby,

I know (you think) you’re busy, but it’s time we had a talk. No, not “the talk,” although you could probably use a refresher course on the actual mechanics of that as well.

We need to have a talk because although you are good at quite a few things, there are some things you just need to quit. Sometimes you forget, which is why I’m here to remind you of a few things:

  • Blogging isn’t your job, so quit putting stress on yourself. When creatively blocked, anything written sounds forced. You get panicked, completely sure you won’t be able to come up with anything before that imaginary deadline appears. There is no deadline. There is no pressure. If there is no post, there is no problem. The best post ideas simply pop in your head, so chill the freak out from now on.
  • Quit yelling at inanimate objects before making sure they’re plugged in. Said objects and anyone in the vicinity will appreciate that gesture.
  • Quit trying to keep up. If it’s depth you want, you won’t find it in the quantity of people you’re involved in, but rather in the quality of people you’re involved with—online and off. There are too many things that suck way too much time. Choose wisely, have fun and move on. There are no rules.
  • That body you have? Quit taking it for granted. Yes, you eat healthy and exercise, but you know what I mean. You’ve been relatively lucky so far, but don’t push your luck.
  • Quit looking for answers outside of yourself. You will find your niche eventually—personally and professionally—but the answer won’t be found on the path that somebody else took. Live your life, not in comparison to any virtual stranger or things that you’ve done in the past, but in accordance to what you want now (TBD, I know, I know. We can talk about this later.) 
  • You live alone, so quit expecting the shower to clean itself. Not going to happen.
  • Quit saying “no” when perhaps you should say “yes.” There are routines and then there are ruts. I know you like things the way they are, but life begins outside your comfort zone.
  • And quit rolling your eyes after reading that.
  • Sometimes you lose focus and get jealous of things that other people do or get, even if they are things that you wouldn’t exactly want for yourself. Quit trying to squeeze yourself into a mold that’s entirely wrong. That never works. You get cranky. Surround yourself with things/people that make you feel good and avoid all the others that don’t.
  • Quit pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about.
  • Insisting that people address you as the Polish Princess every other Friday of the month? Quit that. It’s a bit excessive. Scale it down to once a month and call it good.
  • I know with constant streams of information everywhere, you struggle with the speed at which your words can be forgotten. Quit letting that stop you from writing. Write for you. Make words vulnerable to the possibility of being skimmed over and forgotten because the alternative is not putting them out there at all.
  • On a related note, sometimes you act insecure. That’s annoying. Quit it. You’re really not that bad.
  • Finally, quit worrying about the fact that I put this post up, that it isn’t funny and that you have nothing waiting in the wings (see my first point, as I’m sure you’ve already forgotten.) Knowing you, you’ll get attacked by a woodchuck or be part of a flash mob in the grocery store. When this happens, you will blog about it.

Sincerely,

The Voice of Reason

P.S. Quit doing that thing where you spray perfume/air freshener and then proceed to walk straight into it with your mouth open. Sigh…one of these days you will learn.

This post is in response to the Studio30 Plus prompt:

Write About Something You Quit

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49 responses to “Dear Abby: Quit It

  1. Dear Polish Princess,

    I laughed a lot at this post. We are remarkably similar and that should scare you and compliment you. I am paying attention more to the quality of people I interact with as well. My wife and I are making it our new thing. I am glad I talk with you on a regular basis.

    Sincerely, the dude in Atlanta who lives with a bunch of chicks.

    • I needed this today! I just finished a post after three days off, so you smacked me in the face with number one. It was just tacky to tell people about my shower though. Really, Abby, you don’t play fair.

  2. You do realize that amazing list applies to all of us who dare call ourselves writers, right?

    And also, you know it’s still fricken funny, right.

    And why do I walk into the perfume with my mouth open? *cough cough* Maybe we should start there are work backwards.

    Last, I think you are the sister I always wanted but was afraid to ask for.

    • We can totally pretend to be sisters and then not talk to each other because I’m jealous of your husband and you’re jealous that I’m single. Isn’t that how it works?
      I never asked for a sibling either, but it was mostly because that meant I would have to share things.

      • Totally how it works. But I would always be able to get you talk to me because I’m you fictional sister and I know all your buttons.

        Let’s just agree right now that we won’t share our stuff. I’m cool with that. Unless your stuff is better than mine. 😉

  3. “Blogging isn’t your job, so quit putting stress on yourself.”

    Sometimes I forget this.

  4. Are you inside my brain? Especially on the whole, there’s-no-magical-gnome-to-clean-the-shower-while-you’re-sleeping thing?

    Seriously – thanks for the kick in the ass. I know it was written to Abby, but a lot of it applies to me (and doubtless many others) as well. Especially the bit about being jealous of things I wouldn’t even want if I could have them, just because it makes me feel even weirder that I don’t want them, but I’m not entirely sure I don’t want them simply because I don’t believe I could have them, and have therefore convinced myself I don’t want them, and I’m not sure whether that little process, or simply genuinely not wanting the thing makes me more of a freak. For example, a husband, and/or a tan.

    If you ever want a running buddy for your mental marathons, I’m practically Kenyan.

    • As long as you bring Cooper, we can totally go mental marathon training together. Then people will be jealous of the two skinny white girls in running shorts sitting on the park bench with ice cream and snarking about life and have no idea why they feel that way. Perfect!

      • Fabulous, especially since Cooper pops up on his hind legs and runs on them (upright, just the two legs) barking and foaming and generally acting rabid when approached by strangers.

        He is the canine version of me. Or us. Or whatever. Give me a call whenever you’re feeling the urge for a public park bench breakdown, and I’ll lace up my running shoes.*

        *that I only even own and wear so that I can appear “athletic” rather than “disheveled and unkempt” when I decide to leave my compound in said yoga pants.

        • I think you are hilarious and I love every single comment that you leave, as I feel like you’re in my head half the time (sorry about that.) The end.

    • Sorry for spamming your comment box, but hahahahahhahahaha “I’m pratically Kenyan” thanks for the laugh Jessica!!

  5. “And quit rolling your eyes after reading that.” <–you totally caught me. Damn.

  6. I often find that writing letters like this to myself helps keep me on track, in the right mindset, whatever. Just saying it in my head isn’t enough – I need that physical act of writing or typing it out.

    Love the “quit looking for answers outside of yourself” – I’m pretty sure a book needs to be written about the propensity to do this.

  7. My college roommate called herself the Polish Princess as well. I’ll let you two work it out.

    I always feel pressured to blog if I haven’t written anything for more than a day or two. Why do we do that to ourselves?!

  8. I always love when you write posts like this. And I have a feeling this post just popped into your head and words just started flowing. I do the same things, whether it’s making the imaginary deadlines for my blog post to go up (because clearly people are DYING to read everything I write), comparing myself to stay at home mom who gets to make her own schedule (I’m quite happy not changing diapers at the moment), or keeping crappy “popular” blogs in my reader because I feel obligated. Why do we torment ourselves with these things??

  9. You show her who’s boss!

    I have that first bullet item talk with myself every single day of the week. I’m having it right now, actually…

  10. I like it.
    I love it.
    I want more of it.
    The best thing I heard at the blogging conference I went to this spring, was about deciding what your “brand” is and stick to it. Don’t cater to your audience, cater to YOU. Be authentic, and don’t try to be something else just because it may be more popular.
    I get the most responses stuff that comes to me in a flash, writes itself in my head, so I type it and don’t think twice. I just have no choice but to write it and hit “post”.
    Write when it comes to you. We’ll be here when you’re ready, excited to see what inspired you next.

    • It can be easy to cater to an audience–any audience–as there’s a natural need to be liked by “the masses.” However, “the masses” read the same stuff over and over. The only way to create something that’s a true reflection of you and your creativity is to cater to YOUR thoughts and ideas, what YOU want to write about. For me, these things can’t be planned, as they just happen. Considering I’m a control freak, that stresses me out 😉 By the way, you went to a blogging conference? Fancy!

      • I’ve been a control freak since I first exited my mother’s weary womb. Trust me, I know how this can be. Let it happen, even if it kills you. You’ll get used to it, and you’ll be a better writer.
        And yes, I did the Bloggy Boot Camp by SITS Girls, and it was pure awesome. It’s a one-day thing, and I very highly recommend it! Email me if you want more on that, I’m happy to serve you up.

  11. Ok, you are my soulmate.

    I knew it in my heart, but this is confirmation..

    I could almost literally reiterate every sentence of that to myself. I struggle SO MUCH with figuring out where I belong in the world, with putting self-imposed pressure upon myself for stupid shit that no one cares about, with quasi-taking care of myself but not really and taking my health WAY for granted, and trying to keep up. OH gosh, keeping up. I’m a YES person, I don’ tknow about you, but I about lost my mind last week due to the overwhelming nature of my mind going in 600 directions at once and having so many projects/ people/ jobs/ ideas. exhausting. I’m feeling a hermit stage coming on again. I already have a drafted post about this anyway, kinda funny.

    Oh girl, anyway, I have no idea what you’re talking about in this post.

  12. Dear Polish Princess/Abby/one of my favorite blogger and writer,

    This post, as others have mentioned, applies to me so so much. I like how you’re able to write about life issues without leaving it sounding overly depressing.

    I really do hope that you’ll believe me when I say, you are such an amazing person Abby. You really are, don’t ever think otherwise.

    p.s.: sorry that my comment is somewhat unstructured. I’m not a writer 😉

  13. Pretty much a perfect list. Now I don’t have to write most of that to myself and try and staple it to my wall.

    • Well, be careful with that. I’ve heard staple guns can spontaneously inject staples into the palm of your hand if you’re not careful. Just a rumor…

  14. You can CANNOT steal my royal moniker, I just won’t allow it. I am the Polish Princess…and with being blonde and Polish, well I’ve had that name since childhood. 😉 In high School I was “Miss Polish America” a name that I carried into my 20’s. Soo….

    Abby, your writing is exquisite and I am so glad that I am getting to know you. I love reading whatever you have to give us. Truly. You’re amazing to me.

    xxoo (the Real Polish Princess today 😉

  15. Followed Kir’s tweet here and am glad I did. I think we all should write a letter to ourselves to knock it off! And watch out for those woodchucks, they’ve got some scary teeth! :>

  16. So you wrote a list to me? I’ll just print this and put it on my fridge now.

  17. So I was sitting here thinking about how lame I am because I couldn’t come up with a brilliant comment (especially given the caliber of the comments above) so I re-read your post. Thank you.

    Looking forward to reading (or seeing first hand?) how you go about getting out of your rut 🙂

    • I’ve decided it’s not a rut if I don’t let it stress me out. It’s life–with all the glorious ebbs and flows, right? Right. 😉

  18. For the record, I was teh only reader to call you Polish Princess. I’ll take my cardboard cookie, now.

  19. That was an amazing post!! I love it! LMFAO! Loved everything about it. It made me laugh, I could relate, I loved the style of writing… did I mention it made me laugh? Seriously, at Starbucks cracking up right now… people think I’m nuts! 🙂

  20. Lol this made me laugh! I gotta say I definiately walk into the cloud of perfume with my mouth open as well. Thing is I never realize it until I get that horrendous taste in my mouth! I wonder if I habitually walk with my mouth open…

  21. UGH! I feel so late to the party but this is the only time i’ve had to sit down and read a blog!
    (Eden, quit apologizing!)

    I think you need to read this outloud more often.

    I think I need to quit thinking. I think too much. It hurts.

  22. Thank you for reminding me that If there is no post, there is no problem. The only problem I’ve got, then, is two cats biting off each other’s tail (one cat trying, the other succeeding). I had two problems. Now I’ve got only one, and it’s so distracting…

    Thumbs up from across the Atlantic 🙂

  23. How awesome are you? Seriously. Pretty dang awesome…that’s how. This was a great letter, and one I probably need to write to myself. This part:

    “Sometimes you lose focus and get jealous of things that other people do or get, even if they are things that you wouldn’t exactly want for yourself. Quit trying to squeeze yourself into a mold that’s entirely wrong. That never works. You get cranky. Surround yourself with things/people that make you feel good and avoid all the others that don’t.”

    I related to that SO much! I could have written that. I need to remember it. MAKE ME REMEMBER IT!!

    Seriously, once again, you’re awesome. Don’t quit being awesome. Ever.

  24. The shower doesn’t clean itself? Shit, that explains a lot.
    Being in a flash mob is on my bucket list. I’m serious. Call me if it’s going down.
    Lots of blogger love coming to you through all these comments- relax and enjoy!

  25. dear abby (ha!),

    there is one thing i hope you never quit: being fantabulous you!

    i loved this. i so relate. we may be twins, except that i am Queen Creole vs. The Polish Princess.

    lovelove,

    a.

  26. I saw a movie “Yes Man” in which the character decides to say YES to whatever is asked of him. I decided to try it to help me break my rut or a routine (crutch).
    I then discovered I am also very good at rationalizing according to the merits of what as asked. Happy Hour? YES *pats self on back*
    Mom and Dad’s place for dinner and Netflix? NO *stupidmovie*

  27. You inspired me to write a letter to myself! I laughed so much as I read this (yes..I really did! ) 🙂 Love how you conveyed so many serious issues yet were funny and light. Hard to pick a favorite but I have to admit I actually did laugh out loud to the Polish Princess bullet point!
    Thanks for sharing….Stopping by from TRDC.

  28. sarahontheroadagain

    I just ‘stumbled’ upon your blog in the wild woods of the internets…and I’m glad I did! Seems like so much of what you had to say to yourself—I needed to hear that as well! Thanks for the reminder to “Quit looking for answers outside of yourself.”

  29. This TOTALLY made my day! Thanks!

    I found your blog via The Red Dress Club’s weekend link-up!

    p.s. I do that perfume thing too. Le sigh!

  30. Ha! I love this. Glad you can be honest with yourself. If only we could all be so self-aware. I feel the same way about imaginary deadlines for a blog I don’t get paid to write. Why do we do that? Thanks for the reminder that it would do all of us some good to cut ourselves a little slack. The perfume thing cracked me up! Visiting you today from TRDC. Now go clean your shower. 🙂

  31. Could you just set this blog post to re-auto-publish every so often? Sounds like a bunch of us need to hear it.

  32. This was awesome! Your P.S. was hilarious. Just this weekend I was freaking out thinking, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO SAY. So much pressure. So much stress. I thought I’d never have a post again. Inspiration struck this afternoon (thank goodness) and I’m trying not to think about the fact that I have no idea what I’m going to write tomorrow!

    I need to print this out and post it on my wall. Good advice.

  33. “Abby Has Issues”, and so do I and THEY ARE THE SAME! RIght down to the perfume thing. Seriously, did it ten minutes ago! Going to bookmark this post and come back often and try not to roll my eyes at the “saying no instead of yes” bit!

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