I’ve decided to back away from the social construct that is Facebook for a while. I’m tired of how good it is at masking how isolated so many of us are. It’s particularly dangerous for me since I can literally stay home and not talk to anyone other than my husband and kids for days on end. It can veer towards the unhealthy very quickly. My natural state leans towards the melancholy and depression runs deep in my family. While people are proclaiming how they are searching for their bliss, there are lots of times that I am dangerously close to only treading water and going through the motions. It’s okay, and I don’t say this as a cry for help. I say it with the same mater of fact tone that comes with sharing that you have hypertension or diabetes. It’s just one of the things that makes me who I am. In order to stay healthy I have to pay attention to how I’m feeling, eat well, exercise, sleep enough and everything will be okay.
In a few short days I will turn 39. I am nearing the end of my sabbatical from work life. School and a new career are right around the corner. It’s an exciting time for me. I’m still young, but like the old saying goes, once you realize that you are still young, you are in the twilight hours and enjoying the last moments of it’s warm glow..or maybe I just made that up in the churning wheel that is my imagination.
I’ve been off of Facebook for about a week and I’ve read three books, taken two day trips with my family and have begun to enjoy the silence that has started to replace the constant din of hundreds of opinions and memes, written by other people for the sole purpose of succinctly explaining exactly how the masses feel in one sarcastic, cynical sentence. I’ve had the opportunity to read and absorb news at my leisure and to form opinions away from the outside influence of people who reside outside of my day to day circle, and whose thoughts, I frankly don’t really care about. It feels good to reclaim the notion of not giving a shit about what other people think, and the freedom makes me feel more like myself. I wouldn’t say that I’m a follower, but I subscribe to the concept of good manners ( which I believe still exist!) and I do tend to operate with a certain level of consideration to those around me. I don’t like to offend people, which would be a shock to the girl I was 15 years ago, and it gets tiring feeling consideration for those who probably have no thought of me. Well, let me rephrase that, I don’t like to shock people unnecessarily, and if I do, I’d rather do it to someone’s face. It’s a strange paradigm. I do get tired of reading bullshit ideas, regurgitated canned media blurbs about how one should feel when you join the grown up gangs of “liberal” or “conservatives”. It makes me laugh to consider how these ideologies remind me so much of a less cool version of “soc’s” and “drapes”. It’s all so silly when you think of it through the lens of high school cliques and gangs. All of the old players are still there and it makes me yearn for the simplicity that was supposed to come with the dawning of the milestone age of 40, where you are confident in yourself and who you are and are able to shake off the opinions of people that don’t matter. I think that perhaps the old paradigm has shifted and social media has made it easier to reside in a sort of arrested development, where it’s easy to get caught up in what Suzy Q is doing and how other good and respectable folks are spending their time. In the end, who cares what everyone else is doing and what everyone else thinks, just as long as you can feel good about how you spend your time and you end your days feeling satisfied that you are at least living on your own terms.
I’m rambling, but I’m trying to get reacquainted with the concept that an idea can take more than a few words to communicate. If you’re reading this off my posting on Facebook and we are friends, please forgive me if I’ve not commented on any of your postings or photos. I’m not trying to blow anyone off, just looking for a little quiet and peace. I’m still interested in how people are doing, what funny thought you had while in line at the bank or how that snarky waitress pissed you off when you were out with your friends, the only difference is that I want to hear it in your voice and watch the expressions on your face change when you tell me that you wanted to scream or pull someone’s hair out. I want real human connection, not a numbers game where we get to pretend that we’re popular and relevant because our likes and friends count tell us that we matter.