You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. We’re the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.Chuck Palaniuk, Fight Club
You would think that someone whose online moniker is inspired by Fight Club would have remembered that I am not a beautiful or unique snowflake. That I will never be a millionaire, a movie god, or a rock star. And yet, there was a time when I thought I might just be special enough, unique enough, to become that beautiful snowflake.
In 2001, I bought the domain for SpaceMonkeyX.com. At the time, I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I was Jack, the Narrator, from Fight Club. I wasn’t sleeping, sometimes literally staying up all night. I was in a dead-end job. I felt no emotion about anything. I was just walking through life, working all day, coming home to watch TV all night, then back to my job the next morning. I had nothing to really live for. I was just existing.
SpaceMonkeyX.com was my attempt at self-guided therapy to work through some of the problems I had. It was just a journal, documenting the things that were going through my head. It’s going to sound cheesy, but thanks to that blog, I have become the man I am today. I’ve overcome many of the issues I had in my life (there’s still work to be done), and I have since found love, found a career, have become a parent, and have grown to be more comfortable with myself and my place in this world.
After a few years of this emotional work, I had reason to think maybe it wasn’t too late to be famous. I had gained the confidence to start a freelance writing career that was going pretty well. I was often featured on many big name websites and many of my articles were very popular for a day or two online. Bonafide celebrities were retweeting my articles, some even responding to me personally. I got more writing gigs and it seemed like I was on the verge of becoming more than just a Regular Joe. This was my chance. I was going to hit the big time.
But that never happened. It took me a while to realize that I’m a mediocre talent at best. I am not special. I am not unique. I am Jack’s complete lack of untapped genius.
I retired the first SpaceMonkeyX.com in July 2020. I hadn’t consistently written anything on it since my freelance career dried up in 2015. I was busy raising two kids with my wife and working a full-time job. I still had problems, but I wasn’t comfortable talking about them online anymore. Instead, I built up a social media façade and enjoyed getting those constant hits of Serotonin with every Like and Comment. However, like any drug, the social media Serotonin only works for so long.
Today, I create not for the paycheck, not for the Likes, not for the ‘Gram. I create for myself. It’s a good thing too, because my mediocrity is only amplified online. I send a tweet and I’ll get 5 Likes if I’m lucky. I don’t have celebrities retweeting me anymore, I do not have a million followers, my micro-blogs have never gone viral. I put out a podcast episode and the only people who listen are me and the bots. I have not gotten a sponsorship from a mattress company, a meal-in-a-box subscription plan, or a premium sock manufacturer.
No one’s paying attention to me.
No one cares what I have to say.
And that’s ok.
So if I’m not worried about getting famous, if I’m not worried about going viral, why relaunch SpaceMonkeyX.com? I’ve been on Twitter since 2007. I’ve been on Instagram since 2012. That’s a lot of myself that I’ve put out into the world and it could all go away tomorrow. I don’t want my online footprint to be at the mercy of clueless billionaires. I might as well do this for myself, just like I do all my creative endeavors. Besides, with the social media landscape splintering right now, keeping up is like playing Whack-A-Mole. I’m not going to put an effort into a shiny new app that might not last a year. I’m just tired, ya’ll.
If no one’s listening, why post anything online at all? Because that’s what we do – we search for connections. We reach out to others. Connection, even if it’s rare, is still connection. And it feels great to know that there might be someone out there who is on the same wavelength as you. But the only way to find those people is to put yourself out there, to send out your own signal. It doesn’t have to be great; it can be mediocre. But it’s still worth sending out.
So, instead of putting all my efforts into a social media profile that could disappear because a billionaire is having a bad day, I’m going to put more of my efforts into this site that I control. I’m not leaving social media entirely, but I’m going to make this site the home of the things that are important to me. If no one’s going to read my tweets or listen to my podcasts anyway, I might as well have the freedom to post what I want, when I want, and hope that someday, someone will want to hear what I have to say.
And if they don’t, that’s ok.
Because I am not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
I am the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.