failure to launch -- pre-season diary entry 1
when i was little i called it a journal bc boys did not have diaries but now guess what they do
It's 358AM. I can’t sleep. Last night, which is really still this night, I jokingly said to Lauren that "I can't wait for tomorrow" and she said “why” and I said "so i can write!"
Now look at the mess I’m in. It’s too early! I have to imagine whatever fumes I'm running on will soon run their due and I'll be sent back to the land of slumber for one more hour at the least, but until then, let’s do a sheep sized dive into the week.
Astute readers are asking themselves, “why did he write sheep sized?” Great question. Sheep is a portmantoh of the words shallow and deep. You can do a shallow dive or a deep dive but there’s really no good word for what’s in the middle of those two and I’m sure as sheep shit not gonna say a ‘middle dive’ I’d rather die.
Anyways - the week. Probably the biggest in BAT history.
On Monday, I announced that I was available to help people with their writing.
On Tuesday, I announced Season One: I’m (Not??) The Best, an entire season of essays about my obsession with needing to be the best, achievement, burnout, etc. AND more of an intimate ‘let’s figure this out together’ vibe for paid subscribers.
Which actually reminds me of a joke — tell me if you've heard this one - man announces he's going to write about the toxic competition within him. man then sees only - "only" - four people have become paid subscribers as a result of this post. Man stews. It is not enough for man. It may never be. Man is an idiot.
I am man.
I am mad.
I am wishing I were glad -- and obviously I am glad also but you know what I mean, right? What is this gnawing unmet need? Why aren't I simply grateful for the fact that ANYONE let alone four people - IN LESS THAN A DAY - have chosen to pay actual money for my writing. It's insane. The fact that all of you here pay for my writing is insane. And I feel like an ungrateful worm for not simply being able to relish in that fact. (props to the reader who wrote in using the word ‘worm’ I love it and will use it in every essay until I forget).
DISCLAIMER: This is seriously NOT a passive aggressive way of me saying ‘hey, you there, reader who probably considered becoming a paid subscriber - maybe now IS the time since it might make Alex not feel terrible.’ It is, instead, the beginnings of the season on competition. I am not begging people to become paid subscribers.
I’m also not not begging people to become paid subscribers.
If you are unable to pay and would like to join the BATcave just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you a free comp. No questions asked. No shame seriously the goal here is to have everyone who can’t pay but would like to be able to join!
Compete & pete
Substack dropped a pretty sleek new app yesterday for mobile devices. It’s very dope. I saw the announcement post right away because I’m a nightworm who’d been awake for hours at 6am.
Now for a sane person living in any year but 2023, this would mean nothing. But for me, yesterday, this made my mind go “ooooh wow a new post means a fresh comments page! Shit I could get to the top of this comments list. Lotta eyes on this post means good amount of eyes on me, I gotta post something funny that'll send some people my way.”
Deranged, yet real. I tried to think of a funny thing to say but i can't so I just say this:
Hey, at least I was honest. Also it worked - I was in first place, top of the comments heap. FAME! (if you get this reference plz lmk). I was winning!!
Except joy this brought not. Fear, though, well now fear came a plenty. Now that I was ‘winning’ I could lose!
I’d get notified whenever someone liked it and each time I’d hear my inner monologue say, as I clicked on the notifications, "I better still be in first place in the comments section."
And when I got there, I was. But only by 1 like! Friend of the BATwas closing in on me! I then commented on her post which I thought was funny but still. WHY IS ANY OF THIS HAPPENING?
Why am I competing with Olivia who seems like an all around great person and friend of the BAT??
Even after writing this, I went and checked again. And still derived that perverse non-joy sort of joy from being on top that’s less about a good feeling and more about…winning.
Like almost every single product at Target, I did not need nor want this. And yet.
Oh but Alex it’s ok — awareness is most of the battle here, and you’re realizing its insane and that’s good and you won’t do it again probably right because - I DID IT AGAIN. Like, on another post!
This time on the Substack Reads post about why the new app matters.
Ok sure this one had a bit more self reflection but still??? What the fuck?
What is this complete lack of impulse control? From whence does it come? There’s no way to win, either, because if I didn’t post that comment, I'd kick myself for that.
It’s a lose lose in the land of losers grasping for anything that might make them feel less so.
Under the table I just kicked my left calf with my right foot just to make sure that that phrase - kick myself - was in fact accurate. It didn’t do much.
Ok so now it’s P TIME.
Paywall time get your head out of the gutter why is your head in a gutter?
I’ve been playing with an idea for how to Solve My Competitive Idiot Brain which I’m gonna ramble about below AND THEN, most importantly, I’m gonna open things up to y’all. I wanna hear about people’s relationship with this stuff — is everyone wanting to be #1 all the time or is it just me?
Also there’s so many new kids here so let’s all say hello and get 2 no each
To read the rest of the essay and start commenting, become a paid sub today! And look you can even do a trial if you wanna!
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