by Bri Castellini
NOTE FROM LB: For a couple of fine years, Bri Castellini (and her thoughts as communicated by her Bri’s Own World blog) was so popular that for all practical purposes it owned Fridays here at TVWriter™. Recently, a new job with more responsibilities – and at least one other personal bit of business – caused her blogging to slow down.
What was that personal business thing? Glad you asked, ‘cuz she’s here (at last) to tell us now.
I’m going to attempt to deconstruct two things today: the fact that I, Bri Castellini, am engaged to be married, and recent discoveries in therapy. Because it’s not a Bri’s Own World blog if it isn’t multitasking!
Thing the first: I am engaged! To my partner of 7 ½ years! I’m very excited, even though marriage is functionally meaningless in modern society aside from some archaic tax laws. I don’t care, though. I wanted to be married, and now I will be, to the person in the world I love and treasure the most.
Thing the second: I have discovered that I have an intensely hard time being sincere, everywhere but particularly in person, and becoming engaged has brought a lot of that to the surface because I realized I was dreading having to tell people in a way that genuinely conveyed my excitement without attempting to minimize the vulnerability through jokes and glibness. Even the title of this blog is glib!
Thing the third: the featured image on this post is a TIE fighter pancake my FIANCÉ and I made on our first date.
Thing the fourth: black lives matter, defund & demilitarize the police. This post will live on as evergreen content but it would be disingenuous of me to not acknowledge the day in which it is originally being posted. Educate yourself and donate what you can to relief efforts and bail funds to support the incredibly brave frontline revolutionaries. For education, I recommend this very thorough resource, and this one, as well as this video and this other video.
I will delete any comment about thing the fourth that is anything but 100% supportive. I am not interested in your both sides nonsense today or any day.
Over the years, I’ve gotten more comfortable with earnestness and honestly, but have continued to run scared from sincerity because of the symptom of vulnerability. I hate being vulnerable; emotionally, mentally, physically, professionally, [insert thing]ally. I hate it so much I’d buried the fact that I hate it, thinking for years that I was perfectly well adjusted, aside from all the anxiety and depression.
TURNS OUT! A lot of my anxiety stems from how hard I am on myself, which stems from doing so much work internally and externally so as never to be (or even be perceived as) vulnerable. I’m incredibly defensive, I’m argumentative, and I think my back muscles have been in the same knot since high school. Just one big knot. With vulnerability comes the possibility of failure, and thus the possibility of loss (of a job, of a friend, of an opportunity) and shame. To admit vulnerability would be to admit that sometimes I need help, which in my head makes me a burden, which makes my position in a professional or personal sense even more tenuous. I desperately don’t want to fail or be abandoned. I am, if you long-time readers will remember, in the business of losing best friends.
All this has trained me to keep my own emotions (I have emotions, apparently, and I’m supposed to feel them instead of repressing or solving them. News to me!) buried so deep that when I have something vulnerable to say, I shroud it in jokes and sometimes in overly academic blog posts to use them as productivity; proving I’m funny (I want to work in comedy) or thoughtful (I want to be impressive, so I have more professional opportunities to work in comedy) or on brand (audience is currency, audience prefers consistency, and I want to work in comedy). I have seemed to lose the muscle to be sincere because of this training. IS THIS BLOG POST MORE OF THE SAME? Yes. Leave me alone. It’s how I process, and change doesn’t happen overnight….
Bri Castellini is TVWriter™’s favorite indie web series maker in the world, period. She also does a lot of other things, or as Bri puts it, she’s a “Writer, filmmaker, adjunct prof, and human bulldozer from NYC.” Learn more at www.BriCastellini.com. Oh, and congrats to Bri and Quinn from all of us here at TVWriter™! (Don’t screw this relationship up now, kids!)