Oh Social Media...
So I have been struggling for a few years on whether or not to delete my Facebook account. I have taken a few breaks from it for various lengths of time, each time resolving to only look for a set amount of time or only at a certain time of day (10 minutes in the evening!)...This has probably only stuck for about a week at most before it becomes the thing I don't like again. Let me start a little further back though...
I have very little in the way of tangible skills. Just like in Tommy Boy, I went to college for 10 years and I am not a doctor (my Dad loves to make this joke. Would he be a Dad if he didn't?). Albeit, for the first few I was struggling in my alcohol and cocaine addiction, so not a lot of school was getting done (I had a .9 GPA y'all, that's no easy feat). When I got sober at 24, I went back to school full time to become a Social Worker, and I did...7 years later (really 10 because I had to get my license post-graduate and I had my child in that time so it took me 3 vs 2 years to achieve). I did really well in school, got into the school of my dreams even (I graduated with a 3.6, yay sobriety!!). I also had 100k to pay back (I may write more about that later). But I did have a valuable skill, not that you don't have to already have some in your chosen field to succeed, but I certainly felt more professional.
Backtracking again, growing up, I was raised on TV. This is not a sleight to my parents at all, I need to make that really clear. They did the best they could with what they had. Also they worked a lot and my mom was struggling deeply with untreated Bi-polar disorder, so it was probably best for all that it worked out this way. I don't think I'm alone either. A lot of us born in the 70s, 80's (wassup 83'), and 90's were latch-key, TV babies. Sesame Street and Picture Pages were teaching me about reading and writing, and Care Bears were helping my social development (hmmm, not sure how that's working out lol). TV didn't come with the warnings it does today about stunting development, in fact I'm pretty sure it was considered good for you, just like smoking. I want to be resentful I didn't DO more sometimes, but the truth is it happened, and no amount of me wanting it to be different changes it, so the feeling is mostly useless at this point. I have decided to move on, and that means discovering who I am without all the distractions, and without all the influence from the boob tube. But I will tell you, I have a serious case of what-the-hell-do-I-do while I'm busy not watching TV or getting on social media. I guess that is why I am here writing. I need to figure this ish out.
So, the pandemic, stay-at-home, has definitely led me back to the book of faces and other social media outlets, but I'm not sure I'm much better for it. I also have some wacky conspiracy-theory (are they though?) beliefs about subconscious programming from these sites. Coupled with my already addictive tendencies, it hasn't been super fun for me (or my children or husband) to look at social media during this time. Sure, there have been the memes and uplifting quotes that have helped me, but mostly, I'm stuck in the past or in judgment of my fellows. Y'all may be saints when it comes to this, so I'm not talking to you, but for those of us who like the ego-trip of judging others (purely for humor's sake), then hello, I am your people. Okay, so I love the pro's of social media, getting invited to stuff, seeing photos of my family and friends, memes(!), and cat videos. But I also have a phone, so I can get most of that through other means. I have mentioned in other posts that I really don't like nostalgia. The past for me was not the best time (especially high-school) and so rummaging around in all of it, even the very recent past, is tinged with something bitter for me. I think it is the fact that I'm missing what is going on now. I'm not writing, I'm not learning Italian, I'm not planning my next trip to Area 51 or the Grand Canyon, I'm not learning to edit videos in Acrobat Pro, I'm not looking into my baby's eyes or holding my toddler, I'm not engaged in MY life. And so I feel this pang of loss, of grief for what I've done. Another day, or however many minutes given to the media gods adds up. I'm 37, and there's a lot I'd like to do, and yes, wish I had done.
Being bored is supposed to be a good thing. I'm sure I heard it somewhere. Silence is where original ideas are born right (asking for a friend)? Last year I wanted to try new things, to actually learn some new skills, but I felt bogged down (it may be the lack of sleep with two littles), so I cleared out a lot of clutter. We got rid of about a third of our stuff, and I still feel like I could half it again before it'd ever be clean again. I'll tell you what, wanting to document and put our lives on YouTube has made me cringe a time or two after filming and seeing how filthy the kitchen or the living room still is. We need a system, but more on that later. I started taking a pottery class. I know this seems cliche, but I love art and I love working with my hands. And every time I go to a hobby store, I don't know where to start and I end up spending a lot of money on some paper and plastic crap. So I wanted a REAL skill. I signed up for the 5 week instruction course and you guys...it is so awesome. I learned how to throw a pot on a wheel a la Ghost, but much more appropriately than in the movie. I can glaze and do some slab work. Plus, I have a new favorite coffee mug (actually my only one after they all didn't make the cut on the de-clutter spree). I can't wait to go back. Working with my hands and making a real thing is pretty rad ('sup 83'), much better than Netflix (no offense). It is a very meditative thing and I have only begun. I have plans for a plates, fairy garden figurines and maybe even a garden gnome. Highly recommended. I also started a YouTube Channel. This is more involved than it might seem. Learning to edit videos and make them watchable or even interesting is a true art. Also on a birth video I spent a week trying to blur out ma junk! I do not need my vajay on the Interwebs. I have a deep respect for film makers and all that goes into a quality video. Patience, being tech savvy, and being willing to suck are all necessary when starting. I have some of that, so why the heck not. New skill, boom! Now we are onto permaculture and creating a sustainable food forest in our front yard. I'm also writing, but I wouldn't say I've taken the necessary steps to hone this skill (this is all leftover from what I remember of High School, hello, Dazed and Confused! Also my apologies for whatever writing style this is). Just trying to get my ideas down and make myself laugh a little. But , you know what, I'm counting it because, again, not watching the tube. A friend in the program once said, "small minds talk about people, medium minds talk about events, and great minds talk about ideas." I try to think about this when dealing with media, so I'm not getting caught up comparing myself to people on TV (self-gossip?) or celebrity gossip, but use it to generate ideas and savor events.
I want to do so much in this life, and I don't think I'm alone. I want to see the world and not get caught in the fear about how it can't happen, but focus on the steps necessary to overcome the challenge. Every time I put myself out there, even just a little, into the unknown, I get awesome returns. I don't want to wonder where the time went or spend my life resenting what could have or should have been. Such a waste. I may not be exactly where I want to be (ahh Hawaii), but I'll get there. I'm going to believe, that if I just keep living wholly, and spreading the love, I'll find my ultimate joy and purpose. Aloha y'all.