It’s hard to begin again, but I’ve been doing that too. Maybe for real instead of for fun. I’m not sure. I’m doing it sort of tentatively. Somewhat skittishly. But still. Bitterness isn’t an attractive quality (nor fun for the afflicted) and the only way to avoid it is (naïve?) hopefulness, so I’m trying. I’m slightly hindered by the fact that I’m regularly convinced that everyone is lying to me about everything all the time, but that feeling comes and goes. When I try hard, it goes more than it comes. That’s progress. And there’s something to be said for someone with matching baggage. It makes things a little easier. (Not to mention oh-so-stylish.)
I was actually on a big high for most of the month. Kicking ass at everything, having fun, going out, all that good stuff, and then in a terrible moment of obvious self-sabotage, I let morbid curiosity get the best of me, and did some e-stalking that sent me into a bit of a spiral on Saturday night.
I never claimed to be particularly smart.
I’ve written before about how I’m stupid in this way (here and here, for example), but self-awareness doesn’t lead to more intelligent behaviour. (At least, not in my case, which makes me wonder how I’ve stayed off the short bus this long.) Stupid Facebook. It’s definitely aggravated the problem. As if I wasn’t a big enough e-lunatic already. Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a major believer in so-called social networking. I’m just very susceptible to all the negative side effects. (I feel like I’m mixing too many metaphors here. Don’t you?)
It’s like rubbernecking, I guess. My friend Christy thinks so, anyway. She was very sympathetic about my idiotic e-creeping. “It's like a traffic accident,” she said. “Nothing good will come from looking, but you just can't help yourself.” She also said, “everybody gets theirs. Even if we don't witness it.” That’s patently untrue, but it’s a nice thing to pretend. Finally, her best piece of advice: “Don’t look anymore, though. Just look at YOU.”
In an effort to do just that, I’ve decided to force myself to be more selective in my e-behaviour. I’ve taken to deleting and blocking people from my “friend list” for instance. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. Some people (see my friend Neil’s recent blog about netiquitte) might think it's rude, but I’ve decided it just makes sense. I’m already such a pleaser. If I let that mental malfunction infect my online life as well, I’m doomed. So… FB Privacy Options, ACTIVATE! Goodbye fake friends (acquaintances from grade school, absentee formers, people I never really liked in the first place). Hello everyone else.
Something I do really love about FB and the interweb in general, though – despite the severe havoc it’s wreaked on my life in the past year – is how it facilitates things. Post a vague status update about feeling bummed, for example, and it’s amazing who pays attention. The people in my day to day life don’t tend to worry about such things. We see each other, I keep them posted, they instinctively know when I’m serious or not. (My friend K, for example, who I called in a post-stalk panic on Saturday, knew right away, just from my hello, that something was wrong, and totally stepped up when I decided tequila shots would be the best coping mechanism.) It’s the fringers, the people I like, but rarely see, who tend to surprise me with their sweet investment in my emotional well-being. When, for example, I wrote something in my status about being “ heartbroken”, I was immediately bombarded with messages from the most unlikely places. And it helped. More so than the sympathy of the expected, in a way. My favourite note came from a friend from high school, who I’ve seen maybe twice in the last ten years and who is currently living in Australia. He wrote, “Jen, you are great and your family doesn't understand you, but you have friends, and even when you think they aren't, they are thinking about you.”
That’s a small thing, maybe, but a kind thing. And it’s all thanks to FB and the world wide web. See, Luddites? Technology’s not so bad.
ANYWAY. In addition to the silly personal stuff, elliptically mentioned above, there are other beginnings worth mentioning. Sarah and I are hard at work at the redesign/relaunch of AGENCY, for example. She’s making it more beautiful than ever, and has taken on the role of lead designer, so expect to be impressed. Initially, I clung to all major tasks related to the magazine, it being my baby and all, but I’m ultimately no designer, and Sarah is very talented. It’s nice to have someone take the visual reins (not to mention some of the grunt work). We hope to put the new issue out before the end of May.
It’s hard to begin again. I said that already. But is that true? Maybe not. Maybe it’s not hard. Maybe it’s easy. Maybe it’s TOO easy. Maybe that’s what makes it hard afterwards. I don’t know. I know nothing. That’s my MO.
Ramble, ramble, ramble.
Here, with my stars out,