Overcoming “Special Snowflake Syndrome” as a Millennial

I thought I was off the hook, but it turned out I was the worst offender of all. Here are 5 things I’ve learned since that realization.


Generation Y are not bad people. For the most part, we’re educated, open-minded, accepting of others, and confident. But unfortunately, many of us are affected by a condition known as “Special Snowflake Syndrome”.

Special Snowflake Syndrome: The belief that one is a proverbial “unique and special snowflake”. Symptoms include inflated self-importance and an unfailing sense of entitlement. Those with exposure to excessive coddling in childhood are at especially high risk.

Gen Y is one of the first generations who grew up in a world where “everyone wins”, and as such, we often feel we are heroes who “deserve” everything in the world. We deserve a car when we turn 16, we deserve the new iPhone the day it comes out, we deserve to be “internet famous”, and we deserve near-perfect people to establish friendships and relationships with us.

Through my college years, I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t like that. I wanted to believe that I’d actually escaped from a 90s childhood full of soccer trophies and fifth-grade “honor roll” with my humility and pragmatism largely intact. “I don’t have that ridiculous sense of entitlement like the other kids my age. I work hard and pay for my own college tuition and living expenses. I’m not spoiled like everyone else.”

But that very sense of superiority, the lofty self-esteem, the self-proclaimed uniqueness — they were all unmistakable symptoms of the very disease I was refuting.

And, as it turns out, I was the worst offender of all. No matter how much I wanted to believe it wasn’t affecting my mentality, my pursuits, my relationships — it was.

As I’ve grown and worked harder, as I’ve begun to shed the special snowflake from my identity once and for all, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. These lessons have not come without their fair share of growing pains, nor am I even close to being done learning them.

Nonetheless, I wanted to share five things I believe are most key — lessons I’m processing today that I wish I could go back and teach myself years ago.

  1. Human relationships are not about finding people who are willing to coddle you. You do not “deserve” to be treated like a prince(ss) 24/7 by any friend or romantic partner. Yes, it’s important to be treated well by those you associate with, but there’s a difference between standing up against abuse and believing that you “deserve better” when your boyfriend fails to buy you a Tiffany necklace for your two-month anniversary. Taking a lazy and selfish approach towards other people ends up only hurting yourself by stunting your growth, and in turn, your happiness.
  2. You are wrong a lot of the time. You do not know everything. Accept those facts. Always approach your thoughts and words with the assumption there may be a piece of information you’re failing to consider. Being wrong or not knowing something is actually a really cool opportunity to learn something you didn’t know before. But you can’t let stubbornness and pride get in the way of that. If you keep insisting that your proverbial “sh*t doesn’t stink”, you’ll never have the chance to improve its smell. (And it’s something that everyone could stand to improve. Get it?)
  3. Doing a favor for someone does not necessarily merit anything in return. This one is pretty simple. I know you really went out of your way to give your friend a ride that one time, but stop passive-aggressively counting down the days until they offer to do your laundry for a year.
  4. You are not the center of the universe. I know you’ve probably been hearing this from day one, but it can be hard to fathom when literally every single interaction and experience you’ve had with the universe have been centered around you. But the truth is that your time is no more important than anyone else’s, that people are generally not “out to get you”. We’re all just trudging along trying to make it in our own ways. This fantastic (and slightly cheesy) graduation-speech-turned-short-film fleshes out this point better than I ever could.
  5. Nor are you the most interesting person in the world. Stop talking about yourself so much. Maybe this is pessimistic, but nine times out of ten when someone at a party asks you how you’re doing, they don’t really care about the details of your new job. On the other hand, they’ll be stoked if you’re interested in hearing about their life. So — why not be a listener sometimes? You’ll make a friend, and maybe you could learn a thing or two.

As painful as it is to admit, I believe all of us are struggling with a little bit of special snowflake inside us. And I don’t blame us, either. After all, the most primitive human instinct is to survive, and now that humans are no longer getting chased by sabertooth tigers or starving to death for lack of brawn, maybe that instinct manifests itself in the form of a blown-up ego and mindless greed. I don’t know for sure.

What I do know is that honestly evaluating the place of narcissism and selfishness in our lives can help us start to weed it out. And I think that’s a very worthy cause.

Next Story — Today’s Vagenda
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Today’s Vagenda

Ready for the day.

6:00 am. Arise. Wrap your cardigan-sheathed hands around a mug of hot cardamom lemon water; squint into the distance from your craftsman veranda. Breathe authentically. Pick off a passing man with your bespoke porch rifle.

6:30 am. Laundry. The heather-gray linen kitchen towels from last night’s festivities need washing. Delicate cycle; honeysuckle gentle wash detergent. Head back upstairs. Roll up your husband’s body inside the flokati rug upon which it rests. Dust surrounding area with small-batch microfiber.

7:30 am. Morning e-mails. Remind the others about this weekend’s dick-burning.

8:15 am. Breakfast: coconut-ginger scones with raw wolf meat. Using the giraffe filter on Snapchat, falsely accuse a man of rape.

9:00 am. Nap.

9:18 am. Yoga while watching latest Real Housewives of New Jersey; question Jacqueline’s motives. Move the rug-swaddled corpse to a dumpster behind Whole Foods. Buy chia seeds in bulk.

11:30 am. Back home. Shower; wash face with homemade semen-cucumber scrub. Triple steam vulva. Check internet. Mob formed yet?

1:30 pm. Doctor’s appointment — ask about ‘pleasure abortions.’ Do they do group packages? Alison’s birthday is coming up.

2:55 pm. Retail therapy; there’s a sale at Michael’s. Purchase 37 mason jars. Text Jenny for her scrotum-infused kombucha recipe. Commit vehicular manocide in the parking lot. Text while driving; tell the internet mob they can stop — you’ve just killed the man you falsely accused of rape.

4:30 pm. Kill a football team.

4:45 pm. Nap.

6:30 pm. Order artisanal pizza. Abduct the delivery guy upon his arrival; make him dance for you while you work on screenplay for an all-female Saving Private Ryan.

7:30 pm. Google cyanide. Ethically harvested version available?

7:45 pm. Nag a man to death at the local bar.

9:25 pm. Deactivate bitch shield.

9:30 pm. Apply lavender oil to temples, crawl into bed. Snuggle under your hemp percale sheets; set your noise machine to “crickets+men crying.” Fall asleep censoring male speech online.

Next Story — The Shocking Reason Millennials are Binging on Songs about Binging on Drugs
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The Shocking Reason Millennials are Binging on Songs about Binging on Drugs

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If you, like me, enjoy listening to other white women sing songs about how depressing it is to be a white woman, then you’ve probably noticed how many right now are about a female protagonist doing a ton of drugs. Not for fun, per se, but because her life sucks so much and drugs are the only way she can cope.

Let me tune you into this very depressing mixtape:

Lana Del Rey — High on the Beach

In “High by the Beach” Lana Del Rey wants to get high by the beach because she can’t stand being sober around a boyfriend she knows doesn’t love her while dealing with the nihilistic dread of existence:

Loving you is hard, being here is harder
You take the wheel
I don’t wanna do this anymore, it’s so surreal
I can’t survive if this is all that’s real
All I wanna do is get high by the beach
Get high by the beach, get high
All I wanna do is get by by the beach
Get by baby, baby, bye bye
The truth is I never bought into your bullshit
When you would pay tribute to me cause I know that
All I wanted to do was get high by the beach
Get high baby, baby, bye bye
Sia — Chandelier

Sia’s “Chandelier” admits openly that she’s binge-drinking because she can’t handle how much it hurts being conscious:

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
Phantogram — You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

In “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” the singer is complaining that her repeated efforts to obliterate her feelings with drugs have left her with such a high tolerance, she can’t get high anymore.

Cut it up, cut it up, yeah
Everybody’s on something here
My godsend chemical best friend
Skeleton whispering in my ear
Walk with me to the end
Stare with me into the abyss
Do you feel like letting go?
I wonder how far down it is
Nothing is fun
Not like before
You don’t get me high anymore
Used to take one
Now it’s takes four
You don’t get me high anymore
Tove Lo — Habits

And, oh my, in “Habits,” Tove Lo describes not just one addiction, but an apparent check list:

I get home, I got the munchies
Binge on all my Twinkies
Throw up in the tub, then I go to sleep
And I drank up all my money
Days kind of lonely
You’re gone and I got to stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind, ooh ooh
High all the time to keep you off my mind, ooh ooh
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you
Pick up daddies at the playground
How I spend my day time
Loosen up the frown, make them feel alive
I make it fast and greasy
I know my way too easy
Staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Oh, can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain
Oh, staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Oh oh can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain

And of course, Lily Allen just comes out and say it in “Everyone’s At It:”

I’m not trying to say that I’m smelling of roses
But when will we tire of putting shit up our noses
I don’t like staying up, staying up past the sunlight
It’s meant to be fun and this just doesn’t feel right
Why can’t we all, all just be honest
Admit to ourselves that everyone’s on it
From grown politicians to young adolescents
Prescribing themselves anti-depressants
Now how can we start to tackle the problem
If you don’t put your hands up and admit that you’re on them
The kids are in danger, they’re all getting habits
From what I can see everyone’s at it

So where are we to take this? While I’m sure depressed people have been abusing drugs since time immemorial, what I think is interesting about this trend is what women are saying openly about their drug use. There is no literary allusion to Alice in Wonderland. There’s no fun symbolism wrapped around this pain.

These lyrics demonstrate extreme self-awareness. They say quite articulately that women are using drugs as a coping mechanism so that they might numb or blot out completely the pain of everyday life.

That’s some take for pop music.

I’m not passing moral judgment on addicts here. I generally reject personal accountability explanations for the pandemic of addiction since I think, ironically enough, the sobering personal accountability narrative is why so many middle-class women are turning to drugs.

Why?

Well, here’s my thinking. Little girls of my generation were born post-liberation. That means that girls my age were told that they would enjoy sexual freedom and get to make their own choices with their bodies. Once offered this choice, society up and absolved itself of accountability. Women, we’re now fully accountable for everything that ever happens to us and whatever messes we find ourselves in.

While there may be no one around to help, there will always be someone available after bad shit happens to audit our biographies and ask:

“Well, why didn’t you say ‘no’ then?”

“Why didn’t you know the bad shit would happen?”

“You should have known better that bad shit always happens.”

It’s enough to — hey! — drive someone to drugs.


“[M]ost Substance-addicted people,” wrote DFW in Infinite Jest, “are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking.”

I know he’s right. I hate myself most of the time. And as one of those people with hyperfast brains, oh, I can come up with about twenty reasons to hate myself per minute. And I’ll admit it: the quickest way to end that noise is to go on a drug vacation.

But why do women like me hate themselves so much?

I’ve thought about this hard. I have come to the conclusion that the reason so many women are this unhappy at this scale is because they’ve been raised to police their own thoughts for the thoughtcrime of victimhood and blame themselves for systemic fuckery. Nevermind that the fuckery is real, women’s adolescent curriculum is to learn how to hate yourself for everything you are and everything you’ll never be.

Because women are hated.

There’s no escaping how much society hates women.

And instead of being told this, you’re told you have to be hyper-responsible, hyper-vigalent, hyper-sensitive all the fucking time. No one actually gives a shit about your best interest. No one gives a shit about you at all. Men won’t take responsibility for themselves, so now that’s your job, too.

Deal with it.

And meanwhile, hey, you have to pretend like none of this patriarchy bothers you because, hey, now we can fuck on the first date, yay!

We get to fuck without even knowing the guy’s last name!

Freedom!

No one ever asks women what they want. They feed us bullshit like Sex and the City and tell us it’s feminist. Instead, we get books like Hanna Rosin’s End of Men where she takes a single study based on a few dozen college students and snowballs from it a ridiculous theory that actually women don’t want love anyway because — get this — it gets in the way of their careers.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.

Right, so presently we’ve got a sexual culture where women’s desires for love and intimacy are continually shat on by a society that hates women, that renounces anything feminine, including love and intimacy, and instead promises us hermetic sexual encounters from the comfort of our own phone as if that’s anywhere close to how we as little girls really hoped sex would work when we grew up.

And just how men’s perpetual boyhood turns out to be absurdly profitable, women’s consequent depression is also hugely profitable!

“HAHA THIS IS OUR NIGHTMARE PILLS”

I don’t think women’s depression is all attributable to the rise of manbabies and jobs being so ridiculously demanding that no one has time to love. But I do think they’re pretty significant in the grand scheme of things.

A lot of these songs are hitting on one theme: women are ostensibly offered tons of choices but none they desire. Most of these songs are about women having given up on getting what they want and trying to cope with what they get by binge-drinking and blacking out.

Tove Lo in “Habits” is so besides herself with so much daily pain that she’s taken up fucking sad men in the park because it takes her mind off of what she actually wants. When she’s done with that, she binges on junk food and throws it up because nothing is filling how empty she feels.

People spent a lot of time exploding the moral panic of middle-class housewives taking to stims so that they could cope with the isolation of their existence. But no one really cared about how they felt, then, either.

People wrote songs about that, too:

Turns out, now? Society is so fucking cracked, millennials dance to literal cries for help.

This adds a whole new layer of weirdness to this guano cake.

Putting this level of self-awareness into a pop song is to say to the world, “Look how much searing agony I face just living in this fucked up mess I’m being offered but haha no one gives a shit about me because I’m white, college-educated and 25.”

Because no one ever gives a shit about young women’s pain.

The drugs help her manage what no one else gives a shit about.

And it’s so apparent to us that no one will give a shit, we’ve decided we’re just going to dance to it.

No one gives a shit about women’s pain until it lands her in rehab where millionaires can mine her insurance for $30,000 worth of “compassionate care.”

If she’s lucky enough to have any.

Then, I guess, then people care about young women’s problems.

At that point, someone gives a shit.

Until then, I guess we’ll just keep churning out dance hits about finding a vein that still takes.

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where should we start?

Let’s start at the beginning.

It’s 8:29 a.m. and I’m peeking my head around the corner of the HR director’s door for our meeting, which starts in one minute. Immediately, I know she kn0ws. My boss said he didn’t tell anyone except for his boss, so I don’t know if he’s lying or if his boss told her or what, but she knows. You can always tell when people know. They look at you differently, even if they don’t mean to.

“What’s going on?” she asks. We make eye contact and she smiles, a kind smile but a knowing smile, because she knows I know the question is rhetorical, and I sit but only briefly because I’m flustered and I think the other chair might actually make more sense logistically so I stand and move my things, I’m going to sit in the chair furthest from the door so I don’t look like I’m trying to escape and isn’t another person coming to this meeting, I will sit in this other chair with the plush emoji sunglasses pillow already taking up half of the seat, okay here I go, I am sitting on the emoji’s face, this is fine.

“You know,” she says, oh no, here she goes, she wants to Talk About It, “This is no different than having a broken leg. People don’t talk about it, but it’s just as serious.” My eyes start to well up with tears as I chug some water to avoid making eye contact, keep drinking the water, I’m not thirsty but if I stop drinking I’ll start crying and that’s an unsurvivable scenario, “I can see in your eyes that you’re hurting. We need you to get better. Fix your leg.”

The door opens just as I run out of water.

“Aisha! Please come in, this is Amy. She wants to talk about taking a medical leave of absence.”


Let’s start at the beginning, which is right this very second. I am 27 years old. I am successfully raising a dog and six houseplants. My family is proud of me. My boyfriend wants to marry me. I get paid well for work that I enjoy; I have no debt.

The beginning is now, right here, in my bed. It’s a Tuesday morning, it’s 9 a.m. and I should be at work but I can’t get up.


Let’s start at the beginning.

It’s July 2015, in the beginning, and I am drunk in a hotel room. People always say Work travel seems so glamorous! and I don’t know how to tell them that I spend a lot of it crying or vomiting in secret, so I smile and nod. My eyes sink further into black-rimmed holes in my face, their fall accelerated by 4 a.m. wake-ups and fine just one more drink at dinners. I see silhouettes of skylines as I leave cities that I’ve technically visited, I guess. I’ve been to Miami, but have I been to Miami?

It’s July 2015 and I am in love with a man who does not have the desire nor the emotional capacity to love me back. We’re not dating. We’re not really anything. We sleep together sometimes and I don’t understand why he doesn’t want me, but I’m drunk in a hotel room and he’s telling me he can’t come over and he doesn’t want to sleep together anymore. We weren’t anything before, but we’re Officially Nothing now.

So I text him.

you are garbage and you’re going to die alone. I hope to god you find yourself where I am someday (accidentally in love with a sociopath, hanging halfway off a 15th floor balcony & wondering what it feels like to crack your head open on the sidewalk).

Morning comes. So, too, do the headache, the nausea, and the remorse. I email him once a day, every day, until he finally responds.

I hope you get better. I want you to get better. But that’s not something that I can help with.


Let’s start at the beginning. It’s 2000.

Do you remember 2000? It’s an awkward year. In 2000, I browse for clothes at Hot Topic and then replicate my own poser pop-punk persona that I’ve cobbled together from Goodwill finds and shoplifted eyeliner from the Meijer in the next town over. I have acne and a crush on all the boys, one of whom calls me Pizza Face and creates an AIM account to taunt me for not knowing enough about Green Day. A girl named Krissie tapes a sign that says “freak” to my locker.

School gets out at 2:28. My house is empty until 5:30. I spend my free time carving deep straight lines into my arm with a razor blade that I stole from my grandmother’s medicine cabinet and writing poetry about suicide on a simple blog (plain black background with white Times New Roman font) that my mom inevitably finds. She takes me to therapy. They give me a prescription for Prozac. I am 11.


Let’s start at the beginning. It’s 1919. On Long Island, a pair of Polish immigrants are having their first baby. That baby will grow up a little and raise her two younger siblings after her mother has a nervous breakdown, and will eventually get married and have four children of her own. One of those four children will also have a nervous breakdown, marry an alcoholic, and give birth to her only child — me.


Let’s start at the beginning. It’s spring 2008 and I’m a freshman in college. I didn’t think I needed antidepressants anymore when I left home last fall but it’s April now and I’m coming unhinged, the top of my head is disconnecting from the bottom of my head, do you ever feel that way? I go to the campus psychiatrist and he writes me a prescription for Wellbutrin.

It works and it works and then one day, all of a sudden, it doesn’t work anymore. Depression is like that. You think you’re cured and then one day out of nowhere you’re hyperventilating outside the Olentangy River Road Big Lots.

So I go back to a psychiatrist for the first time in 8 years, which sounds easier than it is. Do you know what mental health care is like in this country? Half of the doctors don’t take your insurance. The doctors who do take your insurance have a two-month wait for new patients. If it’s more urgent than that, they tell you to go to the emergency room, as though the average American can afford an emergency room visit.

So I wait two months for an appointment. But before I even do that, I have to admit I need to see a doctor. And that’s hard. Realistically, I‘ve needed to see a doctor for a year. Maybe two years. Maybe the Wellbutrin never really worked. Sometimes I wonder.

After two months, I walk into an office park in the suburbs and tell a pleasant-looking total stranger that I’m losing my mind. It takes an hour and I tell her everything, literally everything because I’ve gone over it all in my head for eight weeks, even the number of people I slept with in the last year in case that indicates a tendency toward bipolar disorder.

“I think you have major depression,” she says, reiterating the diagnosis I’ve lived with since 2000. “Probably generalized anxiety disorder, too.”

We start by doubling my Wellbutrin dose. It helps with my depression, but it makes my anxiety worse. I start pooping, on average, once every five days. “Wouldn’t you rather be constipated and not want to kill yourself?” you might be asking, and the answer is no: that’s no way to live (Shit Free Or Die). I report back to my doctor, who reminds me that this is all correlation and does not imply causation. But what else do we possibly have to go on to decide what to try next?

All we have to go on is what didn’t work: Prozac. Zoloft. Lexapro. Whatever I took between Lexapro and Effexor. Effexor, which worked but with extreme side effects. Wellbutrin, which used to work but doesn’t anymore.

So then we try Pristiq, which is essentially just different enough from Effexor to let the drug company renew their patent (I’ve been doing a lot of reading). I have too much energy in the morning, but it subsides by 2 pm and leaves me unable to do much other than sit on the couch. Weed seems to be the only thing that helps with the side effects and I start smoking it a lot. It causes tension in my relationship.

I tell the doctor about all of this — except the weed— and she decides to split the dose in half: two 25mg tablets, twice daily instead of one 50mg tablet per day. The side effects change: I am less intensely tired when I am tired, which is more of the time.

One day, about two weeks into the transition to twice-daily pills, I wake up at my boyfriend’s house and hurry home to get ready for work. I stop at Starbucks (venti soy unsweetened iced coffee), I feed the dog (Blue Buffalo Wilderness), I don’t take a shower but I do get dressed (dress, sweater, sandals, all black), and then I sit back down on the bed.

“Help,” I text my boyfriend.

I take my shoes off. I climb under the covers and the dog comes with me and I am sobbing, suddenly my body is heaving and I am so sad but I couldn’t tell you why. I can’t move, I can’t breathe. “Maybe,” I think, “Maybe I’d like to die.”


Depression is good for a handful of things. Growing out your eyebrows, for one. Finishing all 12 seasons of Criminal Minds on Netflix. Creating Pinterest boards full of elaborate desserts while eating takeout. Letting your dog’s stray hairs settle into little black fluff balls that float across your hardwood floors like tumbleweeds.

Depression is bad for everything else.


Let’s start at the beginning, which is actually two beginnings that have twisted and warped their way into the same memory in my mind.

I’m between the ages of 3 and 9, which I know because we still live in the small two bedroom apartment in Englewood with the bright red patterned carpet in the kitchen and my mom drives a teal Ford Taurus station wagon. She’s raising me herself, which I won’t fully appreciate for almost two more decades.

We’re in the car and she’s yelling at me. She yells a lot in these memories, which in the present causes her to think she’s the reason I have depression in the first place. I’ve grown to understand that it’s likely a lot more complex than that. I also know that she loves me and did her best, and if anyone understands how hard it is to ask for help, it’s me.

We’re in the car and she’s yelling at me. We’re also in the kitchen and she’s chopping carrots. I’m young; I don’t have a word for depression yet. I haven’t been exposed to the concepts of suicide or self-harm. But I want to throw myself out of the moving car. I look at the knife she’s using to chop carrots and wonder what it would feel like — would it kill me?

So, how long have I been depressed? I think a better question is: have I ever not been depressed?


Let’s start at the beginning, rewind the tape, back before my parents were married. They’re not my parents yet, either. They’re just a couple, in love, on a camping trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t know exactly what year it is, but it’s the 1980s and my father is sober.

He’s sober and he’s having a terrible time, which my mom doesn’t know until he tells her, “If I’m gonna feel this way all the time, I might as well just drink.”


Let’s start at the beginning: it’s August 25, a Thursday. It’s been a rough day already for the dog and me, though it’s still early. Just after midnight, severe thunderstorms roll through and I have to coax him out from his favorite spot under the bed; he is barking and barking and will not stop, and is so scared that he snarls at me when I peek down to check on him. The only thing that seems to calm him when he does emerge is the world’s tightest hug — like a Thundershirt, except it’s my body — so we stay like this for two hours in the middle of the night.

I wake up again when my alarm sounds at 6, and we greet each other as we usually do: him with a yawn and a stretch, me with a Good morning, my love and a quick head scratch. Except something feels different when I lock eyes with my neurotic, 20 pound dog this morning. He’s begging for belly rubs, sure, but something else too.

And it dawns on me: I got him through the storm. This ball of fluff needs me. I spring into action, collecting things from where they lay around the house. From my bedside table, I grab what’s left of the weed, the bowl, and two empty beers. I empty the fridge of 11 more beers and two bottles of wine, its only contents. I rifle through my medicine cabinet for my secret stash of muscle relaxers. I got them after a car accident and I save them for special occasions, taking one every so often when I really can’t sleep but monitoring the supply to ensure I still have enough that it’d kill me if I swallowed the whole bottle.

Everything goes in the trash.

I come back to bed, feeling strange. My dog looks like he has questions, though his English isn’t great so I’m not sure what they are. I scratch him in that spot behind his ear that he likes and tell him he’s a good boy. I give him the world’s tightest hug again — not for him this time, but for me.

And then I get up and turn on the shower. I am ready.

Next Story — Será que a Bel Pesce aprendeu mesmo a lição?
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Será que a Bel Pesce aprendeu mesmo a lição?

Nos últimos dias a menina do vale aprendeu muito sobre a vida e sobre os negócios, a mesma disse isso há pouco em seu Facebook.

https://catracalivre.com.br/geral/educacao-3/indicacao/10-cursos-sobre-empreendedorismo-com-bel-pesce-a-menina-do-vale/

Mas será que ela aprendeu a seguinte lição?

Não construa uma imagem insólita sem embasamento, o tempo é implacável e a verdade hora ou outra vem à tona

Quando decidi escrever e buscar ser uma referência sobre empreendedorismo, conversei com um amigo e ele foi duro comigo — agradeço — dizendo que eu não deveria falar de algo que eu nunca tive grandes êxitos. Por questões de autoridade, eu não deveria querer ser uma referência, antes de ser uma, mesmo tendo uma faculdade de administração e um MBA em gestão estratégica de empresas, alguns negócios testados, tendo passado e contribuído em mais de 250 empresas, eu não tinha um respaldo para solidificar minha fala. Foi ali que eu mudei o discurso de “faça isso”, para “eu tento fazer isso.” E isso não garante nada, falar de empreendedorismo e inovação sem ter nada (ainda) grandioso para mostrar a respeito é frágil demais.

E aqui entra o marketing.

Bel Pesce fez seu nome por ter estudado no MIT, trabalhado no Google e Microsoft e ter ajudado a construir uma empresa, a Lemon no Vale do Silício. Brilhante né?! Seria, se o trabalho no Google e na Microsoft não fossem um estágio de 3 meses de verão, se ela fosse co-founder da empresa citada ou alguma coisa mais efetiva por lá.

Eu conheço muita gente nessa vida, meu DataEu é bem sofisticado, gente de todo canto, de diversas áreas, rico, pobre, gente que passou por variadas situações e tem muita divergência de opinião e visão de mundo. Tem gente que trabalha (trabalha mesmo) no Google, pra Amazon, startups brasileiras incríveis, empreendedores que são reis no Vale do Silício, que estudam ou estudaram no MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Erasmus de Rotterdam (considerada a melhor escola de empreendedorismo do mundo), gente que representa o governo francês na União Européia, diretor de multinacional, vice-presidente de multinacional, milionário, multimilionário — infelizmente não conheço nenhum bilionário -, etc. O que quero dizer com isso?

Conheço no mínimo umas 50 pessoas 10 vezes mais importante e com história que realmente vale a pena ser explorada, mas não são, ou por opção, ou por falta de oportunidade.

Quando eu conheci a Bel Pesce, eu realmente fiquei empolgada para ouvir o que ela tinha para falar. Eu amo gente foda, gente que fez coisas que nunca fiz, que consegue cativar e ser reconhecida, enfim, eu gosto de gente brilhante.

Li o livro dela, achei bacana, bem escrito, nada glorioso, primoroso ou fora de série, mas atende bem a proposta. Comecei a ver os vídeos, a segui-la no twitter, a acompanhar no Periscope e foi ali, bem no meio daquela vontade de consumir um mundo do qual não tive a oportunidade de conhecer, que tive uma frustração bem grande.

O conhecimento que ela passava era tão profundo quanto um discurso da Dilma, mais raso que o nível que chegou a Cantareira. Algo como: “Essa empresa é top, é show, o que eles fazem é muito 10!”, “Empreender só depende de você”, “vá atrás dos seus sonhos”, “faça meta do dia”, sobre o negócio dela: “um negócio disruptivo, inovador, disuptamente novo”. Foi ali que fui atrás para entender quem era e porque ela tinha se tornado quem era. Essa conta não fechava. Deixei pra lá, não sou obrigada a consumir o que não quero e quem quiser que consuma. Ponto final!

Segui a vida… até que no início desse ano fiz um post questionando os “empreendedores motivacionais”, porque de repente eles se multiplicaram como pólvora na internet. Eu não aguentava mais meta do dia, frases motivacionais, usei a expressão “essa geração Bel Pesce é legal mas a gente precisa mais no nosso dia a dia”. A crítica não era a ela, mas ao modelo replicado exaustivamente por diversas outras pessoas que se inspiraram nela.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/startupbrasil/permalink/982039795201064/

Foi uma muvuca só. Aparentemente as pessoas tinham muito para falar sobre isso.

Conheci muita gente incrível por causa disso, inclusive uma das pessoas que me ajudaram a estruturar o atual projeto que estou trabalhando. Até brinquei que se desse certo, eu faria um post “Como a Bel Pesce me ajudou a ganhar meus primeiros milhões”.

Eu fui chamada de invejosa, diversas vezes, e coisa pior. Vieram dizer que a conheciam, que ela é um doce, e que era muito feio falar publicamente de uma pessoa. — ? Mesmo essa pessoa sendo uma pessoa pública?! Ué?! — O Murilo Gun, outra pessoa questionável, me chamou de “Bruna alguma coisa” em seu podcast e assim por diante.

Foi nesse momento que percebi que a Menina do Vale tinha virado, graças a ela mesma e sua constante autopromoção, um mito. E como todo famoso fruto da internet, de suas legiões incontáveis de fanáticos seguidores, é praticamente impossível questionar sem que os fãs da pessoa venham argumentar que você esteja criticando porque está com inveja. \_(o.O)

Recomendo a leitura do texto do Rob Gordon sobre isso.

Vi no Facebook de uma Amigo

A Bel vende e sempre vendeu o produto que ela construiu chamado “Bel Pesce”, todas as suas empresas são para fomentar esse mesmo produto. E ela faz isso de forma magistral.

Há mérito nesse imbróglio todo, nunca foi isso a ser questionado, o ponto que muita gente sempre levantou e que nos próximos meses ainda vão levantar é como uma pessoa pode se vender como suprassumo do empreendedorismo e inovação se o grande feito dela seja apenas e justamente ter feito sucesso por ensinar outras pessoas a empreenderem, e só.

É o mesmo que eu vender cursos caríssimos para ensinar outras pessoas a ficarem ricas, contando que fiquei rica, ensinando outras pessoas a ficarem rica e esse ciclo não tem fim.

E vou além, por que cargas d’água a gente escolhe líderes médios que tentam vender ilusões, fazem desserviço ao empreendedorismo dizendo que são e acontecem e que empreender só depende de você, cobrando e cobrando caro por cursos, palestras, chaveiro, hamburguer e passeio no Peru?

Enquanto a maioria dos empreendedores brasileiros abrem hamburgueria com R$15 mil reais num trailer com o dinheiro que passaram os últimos 65 anos juntando.

Se o problema for falta de referência, posso fazer uma lista de dezenas de pessoas realmente interessantes de serem admiradas por empreender honestamente e inovar disruptamente (existem grandes projetos no Brasil inteiro, principalmente no Norte e Nordeste).

Agora, não sei se a Bel aprendeu essa lição. Mas aprendemos, todos juntos, que estudar no MIT e estagiar no Google não ensina a abrir hamburgueria através de financiamento coletivo.

Hamburgueria ‘Zebeléo’ não vai ter mais financiamento coletivo, anuncia Bel Pesce


Obs.: Um dia ainda quero ter a oportunidade de me redimir da inveja que sinto, até lá, vou continuar questionando processos, ações e pessoas que estejam em desacordo com as minhas crenças, valores e princípios.

Obs².: Fiquem tranquilos que me policio diariamente para ser melhor que minhas próprias críticas.

Obs³.: Ofensas serão deletadas.

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