Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Ask Baba Yaga: There's Got to Be a Way to Exist Without Constantly Inflating and Deflating My Ego

Transcript after the jump. 

Dear Baba Yaga, 

The first reaction I have when I meet men is to think they find me attractive. Shame inevitably follows as I feel unwise to have such an ego. I have trouble doing anything fluently when I think people are looking at me, even though they are probably not looking. Even when no one is around I'm plagued by thoughts of myself and delusions of how I must appear to others — somehow special in a good way, then in a bad way, and down the rabbit hole and back. There's got to be a way to just exist without constant overinflation and underinflation of my ego. Do you know how I can kill my ego?

BABA YAGA: This rabbit can't; be killed, it lives in yr tunnels always. But the next times it does its running: you can (laugh heartfully at its smoldering tired feets and look away , go & study the Other things in yr tunnels & make them a sight to see. For the rabbit is only one of many creatures running through you, & the Others move more slowly and gracefully in their limbs.

Previously: "I Seek Comfort From Others Because I Am Uncomfortable With Myself"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

16 Comments / Post A Comment


Baba killed it once again!! This series is the tops, and when it comes out in a beautifully illustrated book, I will be in line for a copy.

ETA: I read the headline and thought, "Yes! Baba please tell me. And I was not disappointed."


absolutely huge. just stellar@n


I really needed this today.



Jocasta Carr

This is beautiful and spot-on advice. I can relate to this letter writer and the answer is definitely to a) learn to laugh at yourself (i.e. give yourself a break and get some perspective) for self-obsessing and overanalyzing all your interactions and b) focus on other things, both within yourself and in the external world. Remember what you like about yourself and what good qualities and habits you want to cultivate regardless of how they impact how other people see you or whether they like you. And just do stuff out in the world - things you like and find interesting that you can do with other people, even things that are focused on helping others. I still struggle with all of this for sure, but it just helps to get out of your own head as much as you can.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Anyone who refers to feet as "feets" is OK in my book. Let's hang out, Baba, and drink tea and discuss things.

Faintly Macabre

Ughh, I could have written this letter. One of the few things that's worked is, when I start feeling really self-conscious, to imagine that I'm in a giant semi-opaque bubble that people's glances sort of bounce off and that includes at most whomever I'm interacting with. It's silly, but it's usually enough to stop self-consciousness spirals.

I also used to pretend that I was a honeybadger and not give a shit, but since I'm unfortunately not actually a honeybadger, that didn't work quite as well.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Faintly Macabre One thing I do when I am feeling self-conscious is to realize that everyone else probably is too, and no one is probably even noticing my weirdness because they're all concerned that I'm noticing theirs. If that makes sense.

279th District Court

That was beautiful and all kinds of awesome.


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