Well, this is a momentous occasion indeed! BP here. Wait, this post isn’t actually about me, so let’s go ahead and get the unpleasantries out of the way.
I first met Michelle last year at DragonCon, but it quickly became evident that we are twins. Imagine when she, Monica, and I decided to start a podcast. Poor Monica. She never asked for grown children, but that’s exactly what she got.
The Twins can’t be trusted to record alone (it’ll just be about the hundy). They can’t be expected to remember anything. Maybe they answer messages or maybe not so much. We’re a special breed, really. We’re simply complex and we know what we’re about. It can be hard for other people to get, but that’s ok.
Through all our podcast breakups, one thing on our platonic throuple journey has remained consistent: I must speak for the Twins on all responses concerning emotions. Mic has them, sure. (Don’t ever let her tell you otherwise.) Expressing them though? Exposing herself? Yeah, not really her jam.
She can often be found pulling a “ditto” on our appreciation posts or anything about love or friendship. I have been given direct authorization to speak for her on such matters, but today is different. Today, you’ll hear from Mic herself about what’s been on her mind, the things that have hurt her, and where she plans to go from here.
It’s a big step for her and I hope you’ll give her all the support and love Monica and I do. Anyway, you didn’t stop by to hear from me so I’ll let her tell you.
Personally, I do my best to not be offended when people don’t like me. In fact, I’m surprised when people do because I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I mean, I’m a proud Slytherin with an abrasive personality and sub-par social skills (there’s a reason I’m called SaltHeda). I say this not looking for comfort or for anyone to say otherwise; I know who I am and I’m comfortable with it. I do what I want and am confident in my abilities, especially ones that include sarcasm and salt throwing.
The one area that I’ve always been insecure about has been my writing. In school, I despised lit classes because I had no interest in analyzing the books I was forced to read. Fun fact: I almost didn’t graduate from high school because of a huge lit project I “forgot” to do, but I Slytherined my way out of it. In college, I got an A for effort in my one required lit class. No joke, my TA pulled me aside to tell me he was giving me an A because he could tell I was trying but I’m obviously an engineer and not made for this class. After that confidence boost, I decided to never write anything other than lab reports and technical papers, and for so long “engineer” was the primary part of my identity.
After college, I moved away from everyone and everything I knew and started from scratch. My social awkwardness and anxiety prevented me from meeting people and building relationships, so I was mostly alone, hiding in my apartment, trying to dodge my crazy neighbor who was known for trapping people in nonsensical conversations that lasted for hours. I’d tell you about the few times I got trapped, but what she rambled at me was insanely personal, completely NSFW, and things I’ve been trying to forget. [quick aside: Once, her dog attacked and bit Opal so I reported them to my apartment complex and since it wasn’t the first incident they got put on probation and legally had to stay away from me for a few months. #victory Also Opal was fine.] I had one friend, a co-worker, who I ended up dating briefly. Baaaaaaaaaaaad idea. It didn’t work out since I was desperately trying to convince myself I was straight while knowing deep down that I was suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch a lesbian. Aside from him, I didn’t have any local friends, so I found myself depressed as fuck and feeling more alone than ever. In my loneliness, I turned to TV and it saved my life.
The first show I watched was Pretty Little Liars. I had been viewing it on and off since it premiered but decided to start from the beginning over a long weekend when I was feeling extra shitty. Nothing like a completely bonkers teen soap to distract you from your awful existence, right? I don’t know exactly what it was this time around, but I started to identify with various aspects of the characters more than I ever had with any other media or literature I’d previously consumed. I started taking notes on character development and coming up with theories on who the fuck A was (brief humblebrag: I figured out every single A correctly in that garbage show). Basically, I went a little bit crazy (like insane murder board with red strings connecting shit crazy).
From that point on, I started watching more and more TV, slowly starting to understand myself piece by piece. I wasn’t the person I had convinced myself I was during college; I was so far from it that I started to realize a huge part of my loneliness was the fact that my friends, the people who I believed knew me best, didn’t know me at all. If I wasn’t depressed before, I sure as shit was then.
Watching Emily Fields and Paige McCullers figure out their sexuality helped me figure out mine. Watching Clarke Griffin and Sarah Manning risk everything for their people helped me realize how stupidly loyal I am to the people that have made it past my ridiculous amount of armor and found a place in my heart.
As I learned more and more about myself and the world, I began to break down episodes of my shows and write about the lessons I was learning. I have a box of notebooks sitting in my basement that are full of my ramblings on shows I’ve been obsessed with. Yeah, I’m a TV addict; get over it.
At some point, I discovered TV recaps and fell in love. It was something that I wanted to do so badly that I started recapping on Tumblr… and it was horrible. I mean, my previous writing experience consisted of technical reports, so my recaps were complete dumpster fires. For some reason, I kept at it and slowly started to feel more confident. Was the confidence earned? No. Did I care? Not so much. I bought my own URL and started publishing pieces (meaning roughly 5% of the crap sitting in my google drive).
Eventually, I discovered the queer Twitter community and found some of my best friends, who encouraged me to put myself out there and recap like I had been non-stop rambling about. I scored a position at a website recapping Pretty Little Liars, Orphan Black, Supergirl, The Gifted, and Wynonna Earp. I was so excited and anxious about the opportunity, but I was finally getting to do what I had been dreaming about for years.
When I started recapping, I tried to stick to purely outlining the plot, but it was boring and not what I wanted to be doing. Storytelling is such an important part of our culture. It’s how we pass along our history and lessons learned. It’s a valuable tool to help us understand ourselves and the world. I didn’t want to just outline plot; I wanted to write about the deeper meaning of the stories my shows were telling. I began incorporating more and more analysis into my recaps and started to get positive feedback from folks who actually read my shit.
On the opposite side of positive audience feedback, I started receiving a lot of negative feedback from my editor. It got to the point where no matter what I wrote, I got shit on, and it extended beyond our personal correspondence to social media. We got into an epic debate about whether “blah’s” was an appropriate substitute for “blah is,” which ended up as a Facebook poll intended solely to prove me wrong. Gladly, the masses took basic English and backed me up. Look, if you give someone a word count limit, you can’t be salty when they abbreviate as much as possible.
After that, the correspondence I received from my editor became more and more hostile. For everything I wrote, I got insults versus constructive criticism. I was consistently asked if I needed to take time off from writing for this site. I shared the emails with others to make sure I wasn’t being overly sensitive, and they all agreed it was getting malicious. It got to the point where the combination of my dumpster fire of a work life and the stress of my freelance writing obligations led to me having a complete meltdown.
I was pit stopping at my mom’s house on my way to NYCC, dreading the recap I had to write. She sensed something was off and one question triggered the ugliest meltdown I had in years — think “Aria Montgomery on a ski lift” ugly. The thing that was supposed to be a fun escape from the bullshit of everyday life turned into one of my biggest stressors. I lost confidence in my ability to write, so I quit the website for the sake of my mental health. In my resignation email, I explained the reasons I had to stop writing for them and the response was rude, insulting, and nothing close to professional.
It’s been eight months since I’ve written anything. My bestie has been encouraging me to write because she knows how much I used to love it. I’ve tried time and again, but every time I sit down to write I stare at my screen until I give up and go read AvaLance fanfic.
I’ve missed writing immensely, but I’m terrified to try again. I suppose this written verbal vomit is my attempt to face my fears and process all the shit that went down. Maybe now I can get over my mental block and get back to doing something I used to love.
So here’s the 411. Let’s make this conclusion simple. Mic loves writing and we love Mic. In the midst of such a love fest, we’re happy to announce she’ll be doing Wynonna Earp episode recaps for season 3 on earpsplainpod.com.
NOW, it’s your responsibility as our peeps to make her really uncomfortable with all your support, congratulations, and general thoughts about how great she is! Take it away!!