Friday, April 7, 2017

Thanks But No Thanks

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

You discover you were switched at birth with someone who is now famous. What do you do?

It was submitted by:


What ifs are dangerous.

Those little creeping thoughts bring with them quite a bit of existential anxiety. You start with “what if” and end up with “I should have…” and pretty soon, instead of actually looking at what you have in front of you or what you can actually accomplish, you get caught up in all the things that could have been had you just made a different decision.

It’s a recipe for disaster—a base of what ifs with 2 cups of shoulds and a half a teaspoon of vanilla extract whipped until creamy pretty much always leaves you with some frothy, peaked existential dread. And, I’m not about that life.

Albert Ellis based his entire psychological theory and career on the idea that living in the past and reflecting on what could have been or where a person “should” be at a certain stage almost always leaves you feeling inadequate, incomplete, and with a host of issues. The point of his kind of therapy is figuring out there really isn’t a scorecard for being a successful human being. Even the definition of personal success varies from person to person. So what if a high school friend was married with his own home and a money-making start-up by 30? What the fuck does that have to do with who you are and what you have accomplished? I certainly try not to compare myself to others on social media that way. Social media has been a contributing factor in anxiety and depression lately because humans, in general, have that tendency to compare in order to judge our own path and with social media you rarely ever see more about that person than they want you to see making your Facebook timeline the ultimate competition. And, for what? No matter how many pics of her smiling baby Jessica posts or pinterest projects she wants to do, we all know she’s changing shitty diapers and banging Levi, her own version of John Bender, even though she’s still married to Brad.

I’m okay with the fact that I’m 35 and still stay up to 5 a.m. most days. So does my child. We’re backwards. We have our own schedule, and I don’t even get a fuck that we get judged for it. No, I didn’t meet the goals I set for myself when I was 16, and I’m finally understanding that it’s perfectly fine—I’m not even close to the same girl I was then. How can I expect myself to want the same things? Life happens and sometimes you just have to roll with it instead of pushing hard to get back where you were. It’s a Sisyphean effort at best. Life is going to fucking bowl you right back down that hill first chance it gets, and there’s not a helmet or knee pads in sight.


What would I do if I found out I had been switched at birth with a celebrity?

Pretty much a whole lot of nothing.

My first question when I received the prompt is what exactly would it change if I had found out news like that…

I know what it wouldn’t change. It wouldn’t at all make my childhood any different. It wouldn’t change the man I was raised by regardless of if he was my actual father or not. It wouldn’t change where I was when I was raped at 13. It wouldn’t take that pain away. It wouldn’t take any of the hurts away, and in reality, someone had to go through that. One of those babies would have lived my life regardless, and I know after living it that I was strong enough to make it through mostly sane. Switching lives wouldn’t automatically mean I would have had it any easier or that I would have ended up famous myself. Would it mean I might have more money than now? That the struggle would be less? Maybe, you know, and I can’t help but yearn some nights that I come into some unforeseen nest egg that leaves me less concerned, but what would I trade for having a little more money? What sorts of struggles would I face that I don’t have to worry about now?

Just leave me with my quiet life. Yes, it’s been hell. But I’m pretty happy standing at my kitchen sink watching the dogs play in the backyard at 5 p.m. still in my pajamas with coffee cup in hand. I’m ok. Some days I’m more than ok. And, I really don’t want to imagine myself anywhere else than right here watching Bob’s Burgers at 4 a.m. with my son and rolling my eyes at his terrible gamer jokes.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog

The Bergham Chronicles

Bookworm in the Kitchen

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Simply Shannon

Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

A Little Piece of Peace

The Angrivated Mom

When I Grow Up


  1. I applaud you for not getting caught up in the 'what ifs". I'm afraid my curiosity or maybe it's my imagination gets away from me sometimes so I do follow them (especially when I found out an old boyfriend sold his start up company for bazillions and now spends his days sailing the world). I think the problem comes when we get stuck in the "what ifs" and can't let go of them.

  2. Yup - you ARE o k. I totally agree with your viewpoint and wondering if the past would have been different

  3. Love this and the fact that you are at peace with who you are now.

  4. "What if" is a scary path for me to go down too. I've had some bad life experiences, but they've all shaped who I am and I wouldn't want to change that.

  5. Love this! I'm also a night owl although I'm awake during the day as well. I have just given up on sleep altogether. Night time is the only time that I am completely alone and I'm not willing to give that up for sleep!