An Ugly Creator Afraid to Create
I’ve spent my life struggling in pain, and making promises to myself was the one thing that saved me
I’m not photogenic, and I’m not entertaining enough to get away with being fat and below-average-looking. I mean, I am not hideous, but this face has seen better days, as has my body. After decades of stress and mental illness, I have sad baggy eyes and crooked yellow teeth from smoking for 30 years.
But I want to be a podcaster and YouTuber — a creator — but I just can’t stop my mind from overthinking and convincing me that I am too damn ugly for video.
I guess the biggest hurdle for me is that I never got over the fact that my teeth have been ugly my whole life, and boohoo, I have never been able to afford to do anything about it. When you are broke and mentally ill, there are things more important than veneers and braces, and I guess I never thought it would become such an issue for me.
I had planned on seeing a dentist for some bleaching, but then a pandemic happened, and dentists will only see me for an emergency.
I talk a big game and try to convince people I don’t care how I look and what people think about me, but deep down, where the voices mumble, I am a scared little boy, crying because no one likes the ugly duckling.
And shit, I know I’m not ugly either. I can look at myself in the mirror without shuddering, and except for my chubby cheeks and mottled complexion, I like my face.
I want to create and perform. I thought being a writer would be enough for me. Writers don’t ever need to show their natural face, but I want more. Ever since the first video I watched and podcast I listened to, I’ve dreamed about being internet-famous.
Fickle, petty, and shallow, but a boy can dream. For as long as I can remember, I thought there was something special about me, and whether that is entitlement talking or just the dreams of a guy who refused to die because he felt like he had something to offer the world, I want what I want.
Have you have ever had something so terrible happen to you that you had to make promises to yourself to convince your brain to keep on surviving? Amid the suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation — and in the grip of the deepest and darkest depression I’ve ever suffered through, I promised that ugly-crying little boy inside me that we would show the world just how special we were.
Does that make any sense?
I hate feeling weak and entitled because I’m truly a selfless person inside and out. I don’t like doing things where I am the focus or where I have to spend time and money to promote my wants, but I can’t help thinking that the something I’m looking for maybe the very thing I am most afraid of doing.
My wife told me the other day that she can’t think of me as a 53-year-old because I still seem to be searching for what I want to do with my life. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I am constantly starting and quitting, looking for the thing that could give my life some meaning.
I’ve started a hundred businesses and many more projects. I’ve forged partnerships and groups only to leave them in shame later on. I’ve never been able to find the one thing that would satisfy the promises I made to myself.
At first, I thought it was traveling, but I don’t like leaving the house. Then I thought it was writing — and although I love nothing more than sitting and typing my ideas, and can’t help but think there is more I should be doing.
In some ways, I am mature. I am a wonderful father and husband who gives everything to his family. I am honest and charitable. I am humble mostly and prefer to help others instead of focusing on my own whining.
So why am I like a teenager trying to figure out life? Why can’t I settle on one thing and why do I spend my time constantly running around looking for something that will make me happy and fulfilled?
Why can’t I be happy with what I already have?
I like myself for the most part, but in some ways, I wish I was different. I wish I knew what I should do with my life and I long to know my purpose. I have to believe that I’m here for a reason because otherwise, all the pain and suffering was for nothing, and I went on living, believing the lie that I was special when I wasn’t.
I don’t want to believe that my life has no meaning because if there is no reason or rhyme, I have no more will to live.
Fifty-three years and I still have no clue what I am supposed to do.
So you see, when I say I want to create and perform, it’s only because it may be the thing that I have been searching for. If I don’t try, I will never know if I am special.
I know I am fortunate to have children, a wife, and a roof over my head. Some people never have that. But I made promises, and I’ll be damned if I don’t try everything looking for the one thing that will give me purpose.
I know I sound selfish and self-absorbed, but I guarantee there are a million of you out there that feel the same way I do, only you are too afraid to say it. We all want to think we are something special, like celebrities. We all want to believe we are living with purpose for reasons we will figure out one day.
If I am stupid, so be it.
I’m a creator, and I want to share my message with the world. I want to share my experiences in the hopes that my struggles can help someone else.
I want to get in front of that camera and be myself — damn the yellow teeth, baggy eyes, and chubby cheeks.
I want to be something special.