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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mat At My Heart Doesn't Say "WELCOME" Anymore

Recently, a dear kindred spirit took a break from social media.  We've all been there.  I admit, I've thought about that more than once.  I tried to do it myself a few times.  I kinda suck at it.  Soon, this blog will be ten years old.  The more I reflect upon my past experiences with the Blogosphere, Facebook, Tumblr, MySpace, Twitter, etc., the more I realize that I depend WAY too much on other people for my self-worth.  I care too much about what other people think of me.  As a result, I am always unhappy.

That's a sad realization to come to.  Don't get me wrong.  I've met some wonderful, wonderful people.  People, that as you know if you know me at all through these words I have been putting together here for nearly a decade, I care about to the very depths of my soul.  The problem is that I put too much of me "out there".  And then I get crushed by the smallest thing.  It has taken me a long time, but I realize that I am a sad, messed-up, deluded person.

I've known it for a long time, but social media is really bad for me.  Really bad.  It is a constant drain to my soul.  When you open yourself to "friendship", you open yourself to seeing things you don't want to see, hearing things you don't want to hear, feeling things you don't want to feel.  For someone like me, someone who is overly empathic, this is soul-sucking poison.  I've measured it lately, and the truth is, there is nothing on Facebook that has edified my soul in any way.  In fact, I have wasted too much of my time worrying about who I've offended or what I've said, when really, I haven't done anything to warrant questioning myself.  I am always too quick to take the blame when I haven't done anything wrong.  I apologize when I shouldn't for fear of losing friends.  Friends?  It's laughable how pathetic I am.  Truly.

The dear soul who took a social media sabatical is really the only one who will truly understand what I'm trying to express (probably quite poorly) here.  But until my heart and soul heals from this horrific last year, which it obviously isn't doing as well as I thought, I need to retreat.  I must, or I lose myself.  I need to love myself the way that I love everyone else.  I deserve that.  I deserve to be free from drama, illness, jealousy, envy, financial worry, stress, anger.  And all Facebook does is constantly remind me of all these things that I need to stay away from. 

It's funny how you get to the point in this social media circus where if you don't make a daily post of some sort, somewhere, people forget you.  My friend was saying that snark has replaced constructive discourse.  People don't really have conversations anymore.  They snark at each other.  He who snarks best wins.  He who has the funniest picture wins.  Well, I'm not snarky.  I'm not all that funny.  I'm not pretty, or witty, and nope, I'm not gay.  I'm just a wife and mom.  Who once had a mom blog and made the mistake of trying to find her identity there. 

What I AM is someone who deserves to be loved just because I breathe.  I deserve to be treated with respect.  I deserve to know that what I think matters, that what I care about is important, that what I say does not fall upon deaf ears.  I deserve the kind of respect that I bestow upon others.  I have never demanded it.  I never stand up for myself.  I let people walk all over me as I walk away from conflict.  Until now.

Today, with a quiet roar, here on my little soapbox, in my safe, little corner of the world, I say enough.  My heart is not a doormat.  And for now, I'm pulling the Welcome mat up from social media.  I don't know how long I will last.  But I need to try.  Because right now, all it does, every fucking day, is break my heart.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Pua! I completely understand. I too worry about my posts and who I offend with me just being me. Which is a shame. I've written countless posts and backed out without hitting submit because I'm worried about being judged. And forget my friends' list dropping by 1. I obsess about who it is, and what I might've done to cause it.
On another note.... I do think all that funny, pretty, and witty! I love your posts :) But I get why you did what you did. Here in your blog, its on your terms. You won't get judged here. And those who are jerks just don't have to come here if they don't want to.
Hugs to you Pua! Please know that ever since we've met I've admired you! I think you're an amazing writer, a wonderful wife, and have an amazing family. Those are the things that will follow you!!!

Now, since I don't know how to leave comments, lets see if this works!! Julie

7:46 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Thanks Jules. The feeling is mutual. I knew the minute we met that we would be friends. :)

As for my FB posts, I don't really care who unfriends me. I don't write for them. I don't keep watch on my friend count. BUT, I did recently get unfriended, for reasons unknown, by someone who I thought was as important to me as I was to them. I don't know why, but as always, never wanting to offend, I reached out for answers, only to get completely blocked without a hint as to why. THAT has me heartbroken. I know I shouldn't be. I know I didn't do anything wrong. But I am tenderhearted beyond explanation. I'm not sure I can change that, nor do I think I want to. I am who I am, flaws and all. In an effort not to become jaded, I've pulled away. For that, I make no apology. I knew the people who love me and care for me would know where to find me. That's what matters. I found a "home" here in the blog world, where, as you say, it's safe for me to be. Things have changed in that world. People have left for the more "instant gratification" of FB and Google +, but have forgotten where it all started. It saddens me, but I can't change that. So, in an effort toward self-preservation, I'm taking a break from the incessant mindless chatter of FB. Thanks for being who YOU are. I like that. No, I love that! ;)

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be here for each and every post :)You can be you for me! That's exactly how I want you! But I normally comment on your blogs thru your FB link... I don't know how to do it here, but since I'm sticking around, I need to figure out how!! Julie

4:09 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Ricker said...

Thank you. I've been feeling the exact same way about fucking Facebook recently. I've tried to distance myself from it, and mostly I'm posting just on my author page, because frankly the endless snark and sniping and parade of (often justifiable, admittedly) moral outrage has me feeling like I want to drink every night and, since I'm a poor grad student, I have to stay within a severely constrained budget. (This I know you get.) I don't want to go there and end up feeling like crap because, honestly, I just want to be a little happy every so often.

(And whoever blocked you can kiss my left buttcheek. Which, I know, is snarky, but still.)

4:49 PM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Aww Jeffy. We've been together since the beginning, I think. You'll always always be, not only one of my favorite authors, but one of my favorite people in the world.

P.S. - I'm excited to hear more about those..um.."naughty bits" stories on your horizon.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous TK said...

I left facebook atleast a year ago...at first I missed it but now, I can't even imagine being on it. What a waste of time and effort. I enjoy coming to your blog and seeing what is new. I like the well written stories...but feel bad when you are down. Don't worry about what people say and think...you are good people!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

You're a wise, wise soul Mr. K. I'm sure much of that is in your genepool, but I've loved the very part of you that has always been a free-thinking, non-conforming spirit. You wouldn't believe how very much alike you and your youngest male cousin are. That always makes me smile.

Thanks for the kind words. Coming from good people like you, it means the most to me. Never fear, the down stuff passes. But just a few days without FB, and the truth is, I feel pretty good already.

In fact, I feel so good, I'm ready to post about Charlie's recent opinions about zombies. Oh, that Charlie. ;)

11:34 AM  
Blogger Seth Hancock Photography said...

I did the same thing the later part of last year. I got tired of having to keep up with things, the flame wars and the incessant stupidity from some people. Then I realized something, I don't have to have those people as my friends and I have no qualms with deleting friends, unfollowing their posts or blocking people. Some people take Social Media way too seriously and if you make it more of what matters to you then you can survive. I am enjoying my time. Then again, I am spending more time on Twitter and Google+ than on FB and that may have something to do with it. :)

12:34 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, Seth. Hey, thank you for asking after me (Averie). I was touched, truly. Means a lot to me. You and Lisa (and Sir Albert of course), I want to stay in contact with. I know big things are on both your horizons. And, I've completely fallen in love with your work, not to mention you and your wife. Good, good people. I'll always be grateful to Scott for giving me (us) the opportunity to meet you, Zack, and Levi on that beautiful summer morning. :)

8:12 AM  

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