My love/hate/love relationship with facebook
A few years ago I went through a divorce. Not fun. And it was strange but during that period of time, it was interesting how I found myself less and less able to post anything on facebook. All kinds of reasons possibly but mostly having to do with self esteem, I guess.
And then, slowly, as my mind started waking up and I started feeling better, I found myself posting more and more things again. And that’s when I realized that facebook can be good for you. It can be a way of feeling strong again. And proud. And to like who you are. It’s like a mini-easel, a continuously evolving self portrait. And it’s good to be able to look at yourself and understand yourself and accept yourself and love yourself. Because if you can’t love yourself, who else can, right?
I definitely have issues with vanity. Blame it on catholic school but who knows. It probably runs deeper than that. I know people who post constantly: pictures of themselves anywhere and everywhere. I know people who post just terse little witty phrases and barely interact with anyone. Just throw funny little lines out there for the world to feed on. I used to think both of these groups of people were the most blatant vanity artists but now I think not. I think we all have our own way of contributing to the world.
It’s actually pretty scary sometimes, to me, the power of writing. When I start writing about something it often happens. Like the phrase ‘abracadabra’ which literally means ‘I will create as I speak,’ I believe in the power of our words, writing, talking, expressing and that if you craft your words carefully then you will create your world carefully.
During pivotal moments in my life, writing and talking aloud to myself or my closest friends has led me to some amazing and scary but transformative changes in my life. It’s guided me through two divorces, traveling all over hell and back, raising twins and more. It’s helped me to understand my deepest desires and to figure out how to live side by side with them, but not at their beck and call.
I have a lot of shame around facebook. I think that… if I write too much, am I being selfish? Vain? Am I wasting everyone’s time? Who wants to read this? Why do I think my thoughts are any more important than anyone else’s? They’re not. That’s not the point.
Here’s the point. I write a lot of crap on facebook. And I used to be one of those people who would judge other people for writing crap. And, occasionally, I still do. But the reality is… sure it ends a lot of marriage. Sure it involves a lot of bullying. Sure it’s a big time waster. But it also can do great things. Like pick up your self esteem off the ground and give it a good shake and help you move on. I use facebook as my personal self help therapist. I pick and choose what supportive friends I want to read my shizzizzit and then I go for it knowing that the universe will probably support me in my endeavors. And even if it doesn’t, I know the friends I have well enough that they will tell me their honest opinion of some of my drivel without being hurtful about it.
I know a lot of people who don’t write much on facebook. And that’s fine. You don’t have to. There is no law about how you should use facebook. I’m just saying that I am one of those people that writes a lot and I’m going to stop feeling ashamed about it.
They say that self talk can help you a lot. That people who talk to themselves aloud when trying to find something missing (like keys) are much more likely to find them quicker than someone who isn’t speaking out loud to themselves. The same with problems. You can solve a lot more if you just talk yourself through things. Whether it’s reminding yourself that you’re still beautiful despite going through a breakup or rooting yourself on to eat that live beetle on a youtube television show to entertain tweens on ‘Good Mythical Morning’ by saying ‘I’m the boss I’m the boss boss boss boss boss boss boss BOSS BOSS BOSS BOSS BOSS’ until he downs the insect.
I have several friends who talk a lot to themselves. I do that, too, but I also just write a lot to myself (and on facebook) about whatever nonsense is floating through my brain at the time. It helps. Maybe some of it I decide not to post because it really is truly god awful boring or trite or cliché but most of the time writing, for me, is like taking a snapshot with my phone.
And I do this not just for me. I really do this also so that other people maybe will do the same. I want to see and hear and imagine the other little moments that my friends are living through. That way, I get to live so many more lives than just my own every day.
Lately I have been writing a LOT about being single. My biggest hurdle in life at the moment. Sure it would be nice to be in a relationship but I know, I KNOW, the reason I am single right now is because it’s where I need to be. I have lived virtually my whole life with this nagging feeling (ok we’re talking dating years onwards) that I have to BE with someone in order to be complete and it’s only in the past few years that it has finally dawned on me that I have to get used to – not actually try to find a way to revel and relish – the fact that I’m single. Alone. Solo. Yup. So that’s what I write about. I write about it until writing about it becomes old and stale and not much of a shocker for me anymore. I write about it until I stop feeling guilty and ashamed about it. I write about it until I’m actually proud of it.
I write about how it sucks. I write about how it can be fun. I write about how I think it’s funny how so many people are married and happy but yet also how so many married people I know wish they were single. And so many single people wish they were married. The grass is always greener. I write about how men tend to get into relationships faster than women after break ups and that psychologists think this may be because men tend to need to be in a relationship to be able to express their emotions more (whereas women tend to have a wider support system of friends who can help with that). I write about how overeducated women tend to have a harder time finding someone because of many social factors but one of the most obvious being that they are not willing to settle for traditional roles that include subservient positions where having an opinion might pose a threat to some men.
The point is I write about whatever floats my boat rather than holding onto things and stewing about them too long. I get it out so that I can move on and keep experiencing the world anew rather than getting stuck in one spot.
So here’s what I’ve learned lately. Sorry but this is how my mind works. Blame it on facebook and twitter sound bytes (although I don’t use twitter, I am well aware of how it’s rubbed off on all of us).
- Stop being in a hurry. In fact, go slower than you think you should.
- I met a girl once who said she liked being bored. I want to be that patient again.
- And what I’ve figured out is that if you slow down enough, you can feel it. you can feel what the right thing is that you need to do. In that moment, that day, your life.
So the theme of my life lately is slow down. Stop being in a hurry to get to the grave. I know. Morbid and sick but sometimes you need to think about the sick stuff in order to appreciate how good you have it right now. For years and years and years I have honestly detested sitting in my house. You don’t know how long I’ve hated it. It’s REALLY hard for me to sit at home.
Which doesn’t make sense because as a kid I used to LOVE sitting at home in my room. I could entertain myself for hours and hours and hours just laying on my floor, rearranging and occasionally reading the books on my shelves, staring out the window, playing with my dolls, organizing my trinkets, taking the makeshift cement blocks and unfinished wooden planks that I used for shelving and arranging and rearranging the configuration to just my liking, making schedules and lists of timeslots in which I’d plan what subject I would study for between 3:45 and 4:15 (English), 4:15 – 4:30 snacktime, 4:30 – 5:30 (American history), 5:30 – 6:00pm (TV time).
But then… okay, slightly depressing music in the background now… I got divorced and became a solo parent and then being in my house suddenly felt a bit odd. Like an empty space was floating around in the air all the time and I could never fill it up enough. Never enough friends over, never enough loudness in the house, never enough. Fast forward through depressing bits…
Now? I’m finally fine. I finally actually relish it. I finally have stopped thinking (for the most part) about what the rest of the world is doing on the weekend and I just focus on what I’m up to and how I want to spend it. I stop worrying about making sure I have somewhere to go every Friday or Saturday night. I just go somewhere if I wanna go somewhere goddammit! If I want to sit on my ass all weekend, so be it. But I don’t worry all that much because I know eventually I will get the social itch and make plans to go see somebody and do something. But it really is just more than fine hanging it at home with my kids who, really, won’t be kids all that much longer. Sure they’ve got a several more years before they move on but I know that will move fast.