My 10 Most Popular Posts (so far)

real popularity SOMHi friends,

I’ve written over 100 posts in the past 3.5 years. So I thought it’d be a good time today to look back on what I’ve written. I’m going to list from the oldest to the latest, what my most popular posts have been.

Next week, I’ll show you my least popular posts.

If you want to support my work here, become a patron on Patreon!

I can’t tell you why these were more popular than others, because, for example, This Is My Time felt like a personal triumph, but no one barely looked at it.

  1. Woo fucking woo–my first post!
  2. Just Enough Light–my second post!
  3. A trip to woo-woo land–that one time I went to see an angel card reader
  4. I need your help/How can I help you?–This was a month after my contract had ended. I’m pretty sure this still applies almost 2 years later as a freelancer. AND this is my most popular post!
  5. how to be your own motherย — Mommy issues!
  6. the astrology of my family — I’ll be updating this today because I got something about my father wrong (appropriate for Father’s Day?)
  7. it’s time to move on, it’s time to get going — a tribute to the late, great Tom Petty
  8. the greatest wound, the greatest healing — existential loneliness sucks.
  9. hell is living with other people — my almost complete history of terrible roommates
  10. Digging Up Old Roots: An Elegy — buh bye, Christianity

If you’ve been with me from the very first post, thanks for being on my writing journey with me. Especially if you’ve been a long-time patron of mine, your material support has meant the world to me.

Wherever you picked up to come along for the ride, I appreciate you. I hope you have a great week and a beautiful Summer Solstice.

Share in the comments what your favorite post is from the sun opposite moon blog!

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month.ย 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thank you so much for your support!ย  ๐Ÿ’˜

 

 

 

Advertisements

a reluctant hot take

women and cats SOM

 

I’m usually not a “hot take” writer, but it’s about that short story from theย New Yorker, “Cat Person” by Kristenย Roupenian. It was a story that was buzzing on Twitter over the weekend. I listened to her tell the story, which I suggest you should do.

It’s a timely piece, as we’re going through a revolution of how women are seen and treated. And, it’s a well-written piece. It reminds me of being in grad school–I read theย New Yorker for a whole semester. It was good to read literary fiction again.

If you haven’t read or listened to the story, you should stop here because there be spoilers ahead…

One thing that has been sticking out to me about this story is our relationship with technology. When I started my novel in grad school which I have completed the first draft for during #NaNoWriMo, I was trying to wrestle with a story of being enchanted by and then ghosted by a man via our blogs. The novel went a completely different and to me lovely direction, but I want to get back to that topic next year.

What I realized after reading “Cat Person” was how analog I am in a digital world, especially in the land of love and relationships. But I always thought it was something I was doing wrong. If you want to count me not understanding how to be in the 21st century as wrong, then I’m hella wrong.

But really, though–it’s about how we communicate, or don’t effectively communicate with each other.

I’ve been on social media since I was 18 years old, starting with sixdegrees (RIP). I’ve had countless friendships and a few relationships or situationships–through that site and other sites. It seemed like an outflow of what I was doing offline with people–connecting on viewpoints and hobbies and passions.

Right around when I was basically fed up with dating or whatever I called my love life, the smartphone came around. “Cat Person” has so much to do with texting, and I am not really a texter.

Here’s a big section from the story that stuck out to me:

Soon she noticed that when she texted him he usually texted her back right away, but if she took more than a few hours to respond his next message would always be short and wouldnโ€™t include a question, so it was up to her to re-initiate the conversation, which she always did. A few times, she got distracted for a day or so and wondered if the exchange would die out altogether, but then sheโ€™d think of something funny to tell him or sheโ€™d see a picture on the Internet that was relevant to their conversation, and theyโ€™d start up again.

This really stuck out because it described what the story calls a dance, but one that actually makes me quite dizzy and ill. It’s the 21st century form of the chase, except the gender roles have been reversed.

(And, by the way, I hate gender roles, I hate “the chase,” I hate all of that proscribed bullshit about how people should relate to each other since it’s so heavily steeped in misogyny and patriarchy anyway.)

Beyond this tech-heavy period and the fair and equitable treatment of women, this short story resonated with me because of how real (and really flawed) the characters were, and how real the situations were.

I was reminded of being in that dizzying dance with someone–pre-smartphone. I had a relationship while I was in college with an older man, this futures and commodities broker from a yuppie part of town–and I had met him in a chat room. I can’t even remember how we got together. I just remembered going out and drinking in his yuppie part of town, going back to his place, rinse repeat.

It was fun, even though clearly he was not my person.

Eventually, as I got a little closer and wanted to be just a tad more serious, and maybe the turning point was helping me move after I had to take a leave of absence from college, he ghosted.

I never blamed myself for that (I just wanted my Maxwell CD back!). Also, I’ve ghosted a dude–and this was still pre-smartphone.

But in other instances, especially lately, I have, a lot, like there is something really, really wrong with me. It’s not something that’s obvious. It’s just this dull, heavy weight that I drag around, of being some sort of misfit.

Yet through this story, I realized that in terms of how I communicate with people, I’m still stuck in the past where the internet enhanced life, not where it became life.

Back in college and soon after, being online wasn’t as prominent as it is now. You couldn’t drag a desktop computer with you. Online life and offline life were two distinct things. Online life connected you to offline life. But now, being online is so much more easier.

There are smartphones, tablets, smart watches, laptops, and notebooks. On a larger scale, we have the Internet of Things with wearables, smart thermostats, smart sensors, smart TVs, and remote doorbells and cameras. Bluetooth anything and everything. Through mobile apps, people can always know where you are.

We’re so much more accessible and have so many more forms of communication, and yet miscommunications and disconnections happen so much more often.

I’ve tried to adapt. I’ve been on dating sites and that’s just a lesson in being ignored or disrespected. But connecting with people in general just seems…fleeting.

Yesterday and today, I was talking to a friend about this story both on a literary and cultural level, and it was all just coming together, the realization of that dull, heavy weight that had been dragging me down. There was so much more clarity about the last 13 years of my life.

Although Margot, the main female character, is not at all like me, that section I shared above made me realize how much I’ve done that very thing–of trying to keep conversations going, of trying to contort myself into someone I’m not, just to get or keep someone’s attention.

Things fizzling out aren’t necessarily my fault. Sometimes, it’s that men generally really do suck at communication–that’s been an issue since time immemorial.

The Twitter account @MenCatPersonย posted screenshots of men reacting to the short story. It showcased that not only do so many men fail at communication with women, but also fundamentally and obstinately fail to respect, understand, and appreciate women, which, I would dare say, is a major theme of this piece.

But layering on the technology piece, there was something that really rang true about how Margot and Robert were communicating and not communicating.

It wasn’t a line-by-line fit (I’m twice as old as Margot, so I’ve got a lot more maturity under my belt), but the spirit of it: the incessant waiting for intentions to be made clear, the self-doubt and constant questioning of one’s own intentions, the trying to make things fit when they really aren’t supposed to, just waiting for a reply or a phone call–all of that will haunt me for some time.

Granted, how Margot and Robert treated each other was nowhere near optimal (which is putting it lightly), and Robert, with being older, he should have had more experience in treating her better–ideally, anyway. But the gender and power dynamics that were happening, especially at the end of the story–again, I will be haunted.

What this story did for me was liberate me from being hurt or upset when communication drops–especially with men. I won’t be blaming myself to see what went wrong, trying to comb through every word I said.

Also, if I, being an early adopter of social media, can’t seem to get it right online (and sometimes offline), then how can I expect others to do the same? It’s a bit of a crapshoot, and it’s because this is all so new still, and we’re still trying to get the hang of online communication.

Just this year, I feel like I’ve found friends that are really there, as people. Even if the geography stinks, as it tends to do when you find friends online, it still beats forced solitude.

So, I may be stuck in a pre-smartphone mentality for the rest of my life, but it seems the better way to be. Although I am online most of the day because I write, I do try see people as people, who have feelings, hopes, dreams, and regrets.

I know my words have impact, and I know people’s words have impact on me. Just because I turn off my phone or shut the lid on my laptop doesn’t mean everyone’s lives are frozen in time or that people sublimate into nothing.

Yet beyond words, beyond intentions, beyond thoughts, beyond feelings–there are actions. Actions are so much easier to go by than a fictional storyline of what could possibly be be happening.

There could be some other person, or an illness, or too busy at work, or…just being done and over you, but doesn’t have enough guts to say it…or is completely about you and doesn’t have the guts to say it (yet?).

And, the actions that truly matter involve kindness and consideration. People hook up and get together all the time, and then it doesn’t work out. But because we think we can just turn off our phones or close our computers, that person will just disappear, like you were talking to some AI bot or a ghost.

That mentality has to shift, and soon. It’s dehumanizing and painful to be treated that way, to be seen as expendable.

Relationships are messy because people are messy. I want to be with people who don’t run away from the mess but embrace it. So I’m grateful for this story because it reminded me that, for now, where I am in my life, those kind of people are rare, and I cherish them as such. Yet it’s sadly a chronic symptom of a culture we live in, a very lonely and isolated culture.

We’re really not that good at keeping in touch and letting each other go.

Wanting to get closer to people, whether it’s for a night or for the rest of my life, is not a bad thing–even if I have to risk looking stupid, getting ghosted, being snubbed. It’s still worth it. I don’t have to transform into anyone else to find someone who isn’t afraid of a little mess, of seeing me as a whole person, of seeing me as someone with autonomy and worthy of respect.

I’ll leave you with a tweet I sent out last night:

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month.ย 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! ๐Ÿ’˜

 

 

Sorry, I was NaNo-ing and working…

Dear sun opposite moon reader, ๐Ÿค—

I had intended for this place to be treated professionally, to write every week, as a commitment to my creative writing practice. But I got called away to other things, paid things. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

After the latest post, the greatest wound, the greatest healing, the following day, I was slammed with work for three weeks. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

But I was grateful because it was a scary time. I had a huge lull in work in October. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

This is also National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo is the hashtag on Twitter). โœ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐Ÿ’ป #๏ธโƒฃ

I finished my novel in 9 days total (50,182). ๐Ÿ˜ฒ ๐ŸŽ‰

I did NaNo last year and something similar happened. I couldn’t start until the last week. I finished the first half of my novel in 8 days. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Last year, I was a lot more sleep deprived. This year, tired but not deliriously tired like I was this time last year. ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜ช

So, TL;DR, bills had to be paid, a contest had to be won. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

The things I have wanted to write take up a lot of room in my heart, which means it takes time to untangle all the words and the meaning into a blog post. ๐Ÿ’—

I have work waiting for me tomorrow, which is a very good thing. But I have to think about my commitment to sunoppositemoon-motion–as in, it needs to be a priority. ๐Ÿ”

But it can’t just be a diary. It needs to be art, or at least artful. That takes time, to write about your life creatively. ๐Ÿค”

I definitely have stories. I just have to figure out how to balance the paying of bills with the art of my life–like most people. โš–๏ธ

So, as much as I can, I’ll try to double up here to make up the time I lost. โฑ

But tonight, I’m going to give my hands and my brain a needed rest.. ๐Ÿคฏ

Before I go, though–this month was so transformative. I worked out things in my life through my novel. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ

Peace lays heavy on me now, which is a wonderful way to go into the last days of being 39. ๐Ÿ•Š

Thanks for your patience and hopefully I can get back to writing here this weekend. ๐Ÿค“

Deborah ๐Ÿ˜˜

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month.ย 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! ๐Ÿ’˜

found poetry

I’m looking for old cover letters for a job application, and I found this random poem…I think, it’s my writing? I don’t recognize it, but it’s from my grad school days, 2012. I do like that new word I created…

inconsolable love

If you need anything, I’ll be inside my own sadness!

moonsmudge

I am raising a handful of Cains.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month.ย 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! ๐Ÿ’˜