A friend texted me this week asking about my absence from social media.
In her last message she said "Cleanse. But don't be gone forever"
(She may be reading this right now saying "HEY THAT'S ME!)
I started to wonder what we did before Facebook. As I was cleansing and purging I found my answer. I hadn't cleared my email account in years. I found emails going back to 2007. That's right folks, we emailed each other. I clearly remember our first connections after that being Classmates.com. You could search for your friends from high school and reconnect. Then it was Myspace. But as I was smartly told 10 years ago "No one is doing Myspace anymore. Facebook is where it's at, I'll send you an invite". Then (for me) came Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. So many ways for people to see into my life. I think we've seen too much. Back then you would go to dinner with friends and possibly debate current events and politics. But today everyone declares every thought online. Behind the safety of tiny screens we swipe our instant reactions without a filter. Without looking into the faces of the people you care about it's easy to take their haphazard opinions and sum them up as a person. It makes you start to wonder what it was you loved about them. It makes me feel like we are losing a part of our humanity.
Most days I feel like John Coffey. If you aren't into pop culture trivia you may not know who I'm talking about. In the Steven King book and later adapted movie "The Green Mile" John Coffey was a wrongly accused man with a powerful gift. In his possibly most famous quote he says
This is exactly what it feels like for me. I feel tired and heart sick worrying about the pains of the world. Maybe this is all a part of my paranoia or my depression and honestly it doesn't matter. Because the cause doesn't negate the feelings themselves. Today, I'm so sad for the trans kids who will have to worry about which bathroom they use. I'm worried about families that will be torn apart by new harsher immigration deportation standards. I'm worried about women in the poorest areas being unable to get access to healthcare. I'm terrified for my family, my neighbors, my friends as the volatile climate in our nation continues to mount. And it's giving people this license to react violently in small towns across the nation. The planet, wars, famine in Sudan, genocide in Syria, nuclear capabilities in North Korea, and so on and so on. It's a never ending list of holy shit. And everyone you know has an opinion. My logistic driven mind gets frustrated with the ridiculous assumptions and absence of truth, facts and data.
So this is how I battle the ache and anxiety my heart is filled with. I close up shop. I've been listening to podcasts and reading food blogs. I have a stack of New Yorkers to read and my book list is growing. Mostly, I've been using puppy therapy. I cuddle up with my basset hound and my fluffy puppy and nap. I drink coffee with my parents. I have my cousins over for dinner playdates. I'm just trying to make the crazy noise go away.
I haven't disappeared. I'm still in the same place I was 2 months ago. I still have email and a home address. Invite me to coffee or dinner or text me from the restaurant bathroom.
I dont' know how long I will stay away. I don't know that I'll go back. I do know that our lives are really short and very precious. I don't want to waste another moment on reading vicious angry comments. I like the quiet