Wednesday, July 22, 2015
More and more I realize that you just never know what people are really like, or what they really go through in their lives. I think that contrast is more and more apparent as we become more reliant on social media. Most of us tend to paint these rosy little pictures with our status updates and our Instagram pictures, and I'm calling bullshit on most of it, my own included. I'd like, just for one day, or a week, for everyone to just be REAL with what they post. Not for the airing of dirty laundry, that's not my intent. But just because so many of us, myself included, hold ourselves up to these ridiculously high standards of achieving perfection, or at least appearing to the outside world to have achieved that. It can be a daunting task to scroll through my news feed some days. It's not real, it's not factual, and it's not healthy to be so inundated with snapshots of fabulous adventures and 'look-what-we-did-isms" even under the best of circumstances. But when someone struggles, and there are more of us out there than any of us realize, as the events of the last few days have shown me, it can be very damaging and hurtful. Now, you'd think I'd have some sense and separate myself from social media if I think it's the root of all evil, but that's the thing. I don't. I have some amazing relationships with people I either met or reconnected with via social media, and my online support system is actually way more helpful to me most days than my "actual" support system. I just want it to be real, and helpful, and sincere, and honest. The way I want real life to be. My bad.
I have undertaken an experiment this week, speaking of social media, in which I'm branching out in my professional life as an educator as well as my amateur life as a writer. Hah, writer. I don't think I've ever called myself that before. I'm not sure how the experiment will go, because I've given myself a fairly short deadline under which to function, but I'm cautiously optimistic about my ability to work well under pressure. It's not going to make me rich and famous, but I just might get enough to buy a pair of back-to-school shoes and the ability to put a notch in my belt. Cross your fingers.
Fleas are the devil's minions, and I can think of absolutely no good reason why these vile creatures exist. Give me snakes, mice, spiders, any day...hell, I'd rather face a herd of zombies right now. I love our dog, but I wholeheartedly blame his low-slung belly and the fact that not a single one of the commercial or prescription flea repellents keeps the damn things off of him. And so, we bomb yet again, hoping beyond belief that the effects on the fleas are quick and devastating.
I had my second-ever pedicure yesterday. It was just as unpleasant...wait, no more so...than the first one I had. The first one was tolerable because I was with my sister and her bridal party and there were more things to worry and stress about that someone messing with my feet. Yesterday, however, was my attempt to make good on a belated birthday gift for my sweet mom. Next time, I'll just get her a gift certificate and save myself the unpleasantness. I know, I know, some people love them, and maybe under different circumstances, I could, too. But in an already uncomfortable mood, I need a little more than a stone-faced, uncommunicative guy who taps my foot and expects me to guess that I'm supposed to put it in the water, or take it out, or who takes my purse to a chair across the room and gestures to a chair expecting me to magically understand that I'm supposed to put my toes under the nail dryer, when all I could think is "WTF IS that thing, and where do my toes go?" I don't know if he was lacking English skills, social skills, or a sense of humor (or all of the above), or maybe he was just pissed off that I had forgotten to shave my legs.
Newsflash: I jump to conclusions. I make assumptions. I use my sometimes-flawed deductive reasoning skills to concoct all sorts of theories about people, and the less information I have or the less things make sense, the more I do it. It's worse when I'm anxious about something, because, guess what! Turns out jumping to conclusions is connected to anxiety and panic attacks, both of which pop up to bite me in the ass at weak moments in my life. So it makes perfect sense that in an emotional state, I'll assume my BFF is pissed off at me when she's actually just in the grocery store. It's not in my nature to accept "it is what it is" under the best of circumstances, so asking me to accept that in a heightened state of stress is just as far-fetched as asking me to sprout wings from my hiney. I'm not proud of it, and it causes stress in my life more often than not...but I'm waiting patiently for the time that I figure the exact situation out based on nothing more than thoughtless comments or fleeting actions. It'll happen. I'm optimistic. ;-)
My final thought for this Wednesday is that we should simply let go, as much as possible, of the things that make us unhappy. It's easier said than done, but I refuse to go through life dragging chains and baggage with me. In contrast, the things that bring us joy, peace, and happiness, even if they don't happen on a predictable or consistent basis, should be grasped quickly and held onto as firmly as possible. Life is short, and unpredictable, and should be lived, explored, and appreciated. Get your joy where you can.