A couple things are going on in my brain that lead me here.
1. I read Dave Eggers' new book: The Circle.
2. I hear stories about people feeling lonelier because of Facebook. I feel it myself sometimes.
3. I am trying to head in a new direction. I think the Universe might be trying to push me.
1. Dave Eggers who I love so much, I wrote a 13 page love letter to Tad which doubled as a book review of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and mailed it to said author. I haven't heard back yet. But I'm waiting. John Denver wrote me back. Madeline L'Engele never did. I'll take those odds. I'm very hopeful. ANYWAY. His newest book, The Circle, is basically about what could happen if we let our online lives take over our real lives. And it is scary. You know me. I'm ON Facebook. I don't just check in. I'm ON there. And I think I'm a bit addicted. Like any addict, I'm like "Yeah, man, I can quit anytime..... can't I?"
2. People have said things either to me or to someone else (who told me) that convey that they see my FB posts and sometimes feel like their life/relationship, etc. does not measure up to mine. Believe me. I feel the same way too. We all look at each other's amazing vacation photos or partners' romantic gestures or beautiful and smart and well-fed/well-adjusted children and wonder...what can I do better? I love FB because I love people. I am an extrovert to the extreme. I feed off the energy of others and it makes me feel good and alive. I like using FB to feed into that energy, to share things and be shared with among friends both near and far away. It's a great tool. And much of the time, I just really enjoy it. But the other side of that coin, for me, is that feeling of not measuring up. Or the feeling of being left out. Seeing people who have publicly shared time spent together or had a dinner party or just shared some lovely experience or sentiment is great. Yay friendship and love! But sometimes we look at those pictures and post and we and feel left out, uninvited, like we don't belong somehow. I get this sense (most likely from growing up in an alcohol induced party a lot of the time or being an oddball in my schooling years--mostly likely both) that I need to be part of everything or else I might just not exist for people. And then I want to yell "I EXIST! I'M HERE!!! INVITE ME OVER! :) Actually I should do that. It might be amusing. That takes me back to #1. That's sort of what happens in The Circle. If you don't have your online presence, you don't exist. And if you don't conduct it properly, you hurt people. I can't have that. I'm working (which will bring me to #3) on being more present in each moment that I'm in and FB doesn't really help me do that at all. It's an addiction. And a time sucker. And it makes me feel good some of the time. And it makes me feel bad some of the time. Like cigarettes.
3. I am moving in a new direction in my career. I am now suddenly not just a youth specialist but I am working towards my certification as a sexuality educator. And I do this work for youth with disabilities because these are two areas about which I feel passionate. I'm turning a corner and I like how it feels. I want to be more present, like I said above. I want to go out and feel good that I'm out (as opposed to bad that I'm not with my kids) and then I want to be home and be glad that I'm home with my family (as opposed to out with others). I want to start paying attention to my need for creativity. I am writing a book and I want to WORK on it. And instead every night, I peruse FB. I watch TV. I do other things too; I talk to Tad. I knit and sew. But I am trying to remove some distractions. I miss my guitar. I miss singing. So I'm going to try to spend more time doing those things. And then just paying attention to the world... like the sunrise this morning. Did you see it? It was delightful. And playing a game with my kids. And being around the people who happen to be around me.
I have this terrible urge to be everywhere. To do everything at once. Which makes me a great multi-tasker. But I know, I know....that's not a good thing, they say. So I'm going to try and be a better single-tasker.
Tonight is a Black Moon. And a Super Moon! That means it's the second New Moon in one month and it will appear much bigger in the sky. The Black Moon represents new beginnings. So tonight I'm going to bundle my kids up after dinner, and we'll go out and look at it. And talk about something new we want to do.
And in light of me wanting change. And presence. And to experience my current experiences. I am going to take a one-month sabbatical from Facebook. To see how it feels to not check in on that venue.
I'm going to blog. And I'm going to WRITE! And hang out with people. And you probably have my email address or my phone number or both if you need me.
I want to feel even more alive. I'll let you know how it goes.