OK, but is it really real?
Over the last few years I've been surrounded by pretense, false fronts, and ulterior motives. After a nice reprieve it came up again several weeks ago and I was protected from having to go along with it, thanks to Mr Perfect. (I'm telling you, he's perfect.) I'm going to encounter it again soon, (this time within my family) I have no doubt, but there is a plan firmly in place for emergency exit, stage left.
I'm so over people pretending, and at 40+, I've made the management decision that I don't have to feed this ridiculocity any more.
(Had to chuckle, I've got Pandora playing and she just loaded Shake the Disease. "I'm not going down on my knees begging you to adore me, can't you see it's misery and torture for me?" Fitting!)
Putting Pieces Together
I began questioning my facebook usage before our trip to TN a few weeks ago.
I loved stopping by facebook. You know, a quick check in, cheer someone on, encourage, offer prayer, a laugh, etc. Post a snippet of whatever is going on in my life. I figured it was a place to encourage and be encouraged. (And yes, it's different for everyone, and that's fine. This was simply my personal focus.) Especially for people who don't get out much (like me) this was a social outlet. Post something, and get some encouragement, admonishment, or feedback by way of a comment. That's the way of the facebook world.
Between my public and alias use of facebook, I've been on for a few years now. In these later alias days I've kept a tight rein on some friends whom I've met from various venues. Some I know in real life and some are virtual. There is family both old and new. Acquaintances both old and new. Relationships past and present. Friends I wish were family, and family I wish would fall off the face of the earth. Yes, a smattering of every point of the facebook friend continuum.
I have done the thing where others say it's superficial and I disagree.
That ship, however, has sailed.
Like I said, I had begun to rethink facebook prior to our Tennessee trip. Then during the trip itself I found I had no real desire to check in.
Well, because I was with my family, and we were surrounded by the sweetest and most genuine company on the planet. And even the company that our company kept had no pretense, no false front, no ulterior motives.
It clicked. The switch was thrown and the light bulb went on, illuminating the fact that I had not been living with 'real' for several years. (i.e. A wise woman I know uses the example that if every morning when you wake up and you're hit in the head with a frying pan, you begin to think that's just normal.) Anyway, I was surrounded with real. And, major bonus, the type of real with which I was surrounded was lovely. These were people who know what the believe, can back it up, and are following their belief with everything they've got.
At the end of our visit, 2 long days and 1400 miles later, we arrived home. "Back to reality." as they say. But was this part of my life really 'reality'?
Testing the Theory
After two days of laundry, a very full inbox of email, and a ridiculous number of blog posts to move through, I finally checked into facebook land. I knew that wasn't the time to read back posts, but I did post a test, dipping my toe into the water with one foot while keeping the other firmly planted on the ground.. One simple word announcing our return from vacation after two weeks of silence.
Two people noticed that I had been gone for a chunk of time, had since returned, and welcomed me home.
Very telling. Especially considering that this is a carefully chosen and guarded group of people.
Wrapping up the Test Results
This isn't the reality in which I am interested. Perhaps it is for others, and that's fine. It's just not reality for me.
I can see lessons learned there (I'm not under a one-way alias just because it's cool), I've learned about some great people there, and even found relatives there I never knew I had, thus tying up decades of loose ends. Blessings, yes. But there is another side to the coin. If I (or the subject at hand) isn't worth an email or a blog post, then is it really worth it? What, exactly, is being playing at? (In my particular instance, at least.)
Pretense. A lot of it. (See, the Prelude DOES have something to do with this!)
So anyway, why am I writing this? As usual, to think through my fingers. To fine tune the thoughts. To see with certainty that what fits together in my head fits together in print.
And it's cheaper than therapy.
And if it doesn't really fit together for others, I'm at peace with that.
After all, I can only manage my own reality. It's up to you to manage your own. :)