fear of missing out

I need to write. Like need. to. write. Like when you need. to. eat. pie. Or when you need. to. go. pee. It feels urgent. It's been awhile you see. I write every day. Website copy. Ad campaigns. Doodles on the whiteboard in my kitchen. But those don't scratch that need to write. It's like sniffing the pie. Or having two people in front of you in the bathroom line. Almost there. But not close enough.

So for the sake of needing the fuck to write. I'm going to just go right here right now, stream of consciousness, no editing. (Except spelling. Because I'm a grown up.) And so unapologetically I'm just going to write until Cat Boyfriend beckons me away with his adorableness or the stream simply turns to a trickle. I'm going to write like I'm fearless, but of course I'm really, truly not. I don't flinch when I walk into a spider web for any reason other than I'm afraid of the tiny 8 legged bug that might now be loose in my hair and doing god-knows-what so very close to my face and that scares the shit out of me and so I avoid the places where those webs might be. Not fearless. Not at all. But I'm going to write like I am. Like I'm wearing wordy kevlar. I might swear. In fact I'm pretty sure I already did. I'm not going to worry about who might read this, or even what I might say. I don't know what I'm going to say. At the end of all of this I may have finally revealed my plans for a fashionable nose warmer called The Shnozzenwarmen, the kids version being called Cozy Nozy. At the end of all of this I may tell you who I have a crush on, and this time it might not be Matt Damon. I am going to tell you, fearlessly, that right now I'm carving my way through a pint of coconut milk mint chip ice cream. I won't finish it. But you bet your ass I'm going to go as far as I can. Because commitment.

But there's commitment and then there's the fear of missing out. Coconut milk mint chip ice cream, I am committed to eating your delicious guts out for as long as I can. But at some point, you're no longer going to feel wonderful. And in fact, seeing that commitment through to your waxy, cardboard bottom might make me throw up. I'm committed to you. But I won't vomit for you. Not tonight. But the fear of missing out on those last few scrumptious bites, it's a tasty temptress. I could push through. I could do it. The fear of missing out compels me forward sometimes. I'm not going to blanket statement anything about the fear of missing out. At times that fear can be the final piece in the equation that leads to new experiences and memories, or prevents lethargy and bed sores. But usually I've found I have to let go of the fear of missing out, and make a different decision.

For the last two years I've produced the Portland Listen To Your Mother Show alongside the witty and ridiculously organized Carisa Miller. I will not be returning to produce a third season. I know what I will miss out on, and each little bullet point will tug at a section of my heart and will own at least 37 tear drops from my leaky ducts. I'll miss ...

  • Being a part of this giant squishy hug that is the national Listen To Your Mother movement. All the honesty, grit, humor and love bravely shared in front of a live audience, and then again on YouTube which, though isn't live, never dies.
  • The thrill of hosting auditions and the pain of choosing the cast. No, I won't miss that pain. I take that back. But I will miss the rush of a 12 hour day and watching the tissue box get emptied, a story at a time.
  • The. Cast. All those strong and inspiring arms that will no longer be mine for the hugging. Maybe they'll let me just stop by and be a mascot.
  • The Laura to my Mary, Carisa Miller. I have no words for this. There's no one on earth I'd rather stomp through puddles on a trek for sponsorships than this woman. And now she has a puppy! The heart ache worsens.
  • The sponsors! It isn't easy to love a giant multi-national corporation, but it IS easy to love local to Portland small businesses who see the significance of sharing our stories. They're my neighbors and friends, my bar where I sit to work, my favorite dress shop where one day I hope to have Sarah design me something gorgeous for an undetermined event of memorable proportions, they're where my babies were born, they're the delicious cupcakes I eat, they're a nod to my favorite city and the people that make it so. 
And so here I am, pretending to be fearless, making a decision to stop doing something I love, without any reason other than this: I'm ready to do something else. A new project. A new craft, perhaps. I may have mentioned this already, stop me if you've heard it, but I need to write. Need. To. Write. But the truth is I have no idea what kind of writer I am. I'm not a blogger. I don't want to submit my pieces to HuffPo and hope they get picked up and go viral. I'm not a character or a persona, an image I need to maintain to keep that which I write tied to a central theme so others will follow along and become invested in my story or seek out wisdom from my "now let's try this on" kind of life. I'm not that funny. But I am honest. And I am open to newness, perhaps slightly addicted to upheaval, and definitely subject to distraction. 

I have my dream projects. But for now my dreams are where they must live, because as it turns out, the soft and fluffy wonderment of dreamland requires cold, hard, super real cash. So for now I will focus on what's in front of me: the privilege of telling brand stories for small companies with big heart, the two short people who are rapidly gaining ground on my 5'4"ness, the exploration of loves both old and new (I can't quit you, Matt Damon), and the practice of not missing out on this rich and rewarding life that I've been granted. 

fearlessly yours,

Kelli Martinelli

at the top of Mt. St. Helens because fuck it, why not. 


Cyra said…
I know just what you mean about the writing. The words can get under your skin and fester if you don't let them out.
Unknown said…
To be clear ...you must write? It's infectious.life is simple... Be you, do you, find what makes you happy and persue it. You're obviously a beautiful, intelligent women who's smile brings joy to her friends .. PS Matt Damon is taken, but that doesn't stop you from dreaming big:) have a great night and good luck with your future
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dawne said…
Telling stories is a gift. We have lost the art of storytelling in our lives so hearing someone who HAS TO BE ONE is exciting. If you're gut tells you to move on to something new and different, trust it, the gut is almost always right and takes you to some pretty amazing places.

good luck
marlynn said…
I get it. The need to move on from something you love and do something else. I also understand the need to write, beyond marketing material and edited articles for other people. Can't wait to see/read about what you do next!
Wow you guys. Thank you so much for the kind words and the support. If anyone wants to give a little nudge or suggestion as to where you think my words might find a way out of me next, I'm all ears!
Unknown said…
Love this writing style! So honest and real...

Cassandra from www.chicforgood.com

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