Lately I have been roiled with feelings of inadequacy. I mean, truly shitty feelings. I’ve not felt this bad in YEARS, and I had forgotten exactly how powerfully awful my emotions can get. I don’t take for granted the many consecutive years of happiness I enjoyed, and I really need to get back to that place where I was content and brimming with gratitude. I am not in full-blown depression, but I have come closer these last few weeks than I have been since 2007 when the fraud debt almost forced me to declare bankruptcy. I didn’t think I would ever have some of those “dangerous ideas” again, but there they were… just sitting there, patiently waiting. They were gloating like a pig executive type with a cigar in a plush, leather chair when I finally acknowledged them. Assholes.
But I know that laughter can help. It can help A LOT. I have spent the last hour laughing myself literally sick, because I accidentally discovered an internet meme that is new to me: Nailed it!
The meme compares outcomes with expectations, and I see a great deal of meaning in it right now. I realize it isn’t necessarily intended to be deep, and it’s a meme to poke fun of one’s own “failures.” But that is exactly what I need. I have been feeling like an utter failure on every level (dancer, choreographer, artist, activist, model, producer, writer, person, etc.). If it has something to do with how I have built my identity, it has come under the shadow of doubt lately. And that is some heavy shit right there. I felt like I hadn’t forgotten how to love, but that I’d murdered that part of my spirit.
It started about six weeks ago when I read a very revealing (and not particularly flattering) biography of Charles Baudelaire. He has been my favorite poet since I was in college studying French. He was a dark, disturbed, injured man, and he reinvented poetry. In the 19th century French was the international language, not English, and the arts in France influenced tastes the world over. Because of Baudelaire’s influence on English and American writers, his work is directly related to the way we now conceive of creative writing. He exploded the barriers concerning what poetry could use for themes, and he all but invented the prose poem (which went on to become stream-of-consciousness and other informal styles of writing). In short, although he was broken, he was brilliant. No, not just that. Charles Baudelaire was a genius – he created something new that had never existed before, and his invention forced everyone to reconsider the boundaries of creativity.
His horrible, purposefully self-destructive, and unhappy life has far too many similarities to my own. I read his biography in order to understand his art better. I didn’t want to enjoy the writing just for its aesthetic merits, and I didn’t want to appreciate his works intellectually. I wanted to understand them. And now I do, and (for better or worse) I’m not sure I can read them anymore. Now that I know the specifics of his points of reference, now that I feel intimately the contexts for different images, and now that I understand better the nature of his relationships with others… I just… I don’t want to end up like him, and I recognize patterns in my life that parallel his.
And I don’t want his misery.
But that is what set up the emotional context for everything else that began upsetting me in subsequent, accumulating, piling layers. All sorts of “failure” started heaping up, and everywhere I looked there was proof that everything I had ever done was wasted effort. For someone with an ego it is very bitter. My megalomania doesn’t tolerate proof of its own invalidity. Must I always be Salieri, never Mozart? I feel like I have been given enough ability to recognize talent in others, but that I will never accomplish anything myself. I am “just enough” at everything, but not enough at anything. And that is hard. That is bitterly hard. It’s also infuriating that I always “lose” in comparisons (which is exactly why Janet says you should avoid comparing). If I am similar to anyone in porn, I hope it’s Conner Habib. I think I agree with just about everything I have ever heard/read from him. He’s an intellectual. I’m a performance artist/activist. He uses words to make people think. I put into practice what he theorizes about. That’s the only major difference I can see in how we’ve branded ourselves: He’ll question situations, but I am willing to get into brawls over those situations… but he’s idolized, and I’m demonized (or worse, invisible). He made a comment today on Twitter that pissed me off: “Education and artistry can give the illusion of real intelligence. Usually they’re just copies of original thought.” That’s comfy, isn’t it? He didn’t reply when I asked him to clarify exactly what he meant by this post-intellectual crap.
Yesterday, I was texting with someone. The convo went like this:
Me: If I were to go back to doing video scenes, would that be a good idea?
Her: They are going to be very critical about your appearance – are you okay with that?
She then went on to say that because I left the big companies like Falcon behind to try my own site (and because that failed), the bloggers and readers were likely to heap extra scorn, scrutiny, hatred, and vilification all over me once I was relegated to the third-tier bullshit sites. That gave me reason to pause: I’m way hotter now than when I was doing scenes… Aren’t I? That was the whole point of all this fucking working out, dieting, supplementing, etc. When I interact with people their responses to my results are very positive. I am definitely (in person at least) doing much “better” now that I have put on 30 pounds of muscle (but I haven’t seen what these results look like in photos). But no, I definitely don’t want to be put through the gay blog meat grinder again… I may be a martyr too often, but I’m not a masochist despite that.
The conflict is that I don’t even like porn anymore. I don’t ever watch it much, especially now that I know so many of the intricacies (after being a model, director, producer, executive, recruiter, affiliate program manager, tube site point of contact, etc etc etc…). The entire engineered machine of the Industry (whether in front of the camera or behind it) is a huge, polluting, toxic MESS. I never really liked doing it (except when I was making my own, in the style that I wanted), I don’t like most of the personalities involved, the parties/events are tawdry performances of gratuitous excess, the “ethics” are abhorrent to me, the pay is CRAP, and I don’t need any more clients. But this is what has changed: I was fine, so long as I was presuming I was simply choosing not to do it. Now that there’s a question about whether or not I’m “good” enough to do it anymore… WELLLLLL! Now THAT is simply unacceptable.
I really HATE the thought that I simply CANNOT do it. That was fucking with me pretty badly these last couple days. But then watching the meat grinder crush Rod Daily into something like SMEAT?? Well… I am starting to feel better about not jumping back in. I will keep working out hard, so that if there’s a chance to do more scenes (and I elect to do them), then at least I will have already prepared… But that wouldn’t be until 2014 at the earliest anyway. By January 2014 I will have been off the scene radar for 36 months and off the production radar for 18 months. I’ll re-evaluate then. But in the meantime, I’m just glad to have found “Nailed it!”
Had you forgotten “Nailed it?” Ah yes… I do TRY to keep everything positive. And this is where the pendulum starts swinging back toward optimism. I remembered that perspective is everything. Is it a failure, or is it a lesson? I am deciding on the latter. In the meantime I am going to laugh with (not at) the people who tried (and learned how not to do something).