|Keepin' it real can be really, really ugly sometimes, and also waterproof makeup is a lie.|
Well, Friends, there was a time when I was told that I am a big phony because all I did was post "happy, perfect shit" on Facebook. I don't think that person is in a position to know what I post on Facebook anymore, but I would have to respectfully disagree with them.
Yesterday, I had a very rough day. We all have ups and downs and I never expected anything different for myself, especially as I work to release everything I've been carrying around for far too long. And that's a picture of me from yesterday afternoon, between meltdowns.
Getting rid and growing involves spending some time sitting with some very uncomfortable emotions. I like to laugh and smile and joke around. In fact, I would prefer to add a glossy giggle to pretty much any uncomfortable situation instead of sitting here letting the ugly be ugly. Usually, I can so that.
The thing I find when I sit with ugly feelings is that I start noticing other ugly things, like that comment from that non-friend about how I only ever posted "happy, perfect shit" on Facebook. That has stuck with me and made me mad for years, ever since it was said, for a few reasons.
First of all, my knee-jerk reaction is a good old-fashioned schoolyard "Nuh-uh!"
But when I put a little thought into it, I have to say, "well, maybe so, but..." Maybe so, but I hopped on the Book of Faces in 2008. June. We were attending a good friend's wedding, and one of my goodest good friends from high school and his partner were telling me I should just go ahead and get a Facebook account already. I had resisted anything social media back then- MySpace, Friendster, all of it. The closest I was at that point was I had been a member of the FIRM Believers and I'd spend time on their forums, learning about fitness and the latest gossip on when the next Body Sculpting System was going to drop. That was the extent of my social media.
None of my friends in real life were FIRM Believers, though, and the siren call of social media hooked me. I signed up for my Facebook Account that very night, in my room at the Sheraton in Tysons Corners. And right away I noticed that Facebook could be a bit of a dramarama. So I decided that I'd be aggressively positive, for the most part. That was my mission, anyway. My Timehops from my Early Days of Social Meeds shows that I wasn't ALWAYS Poppy the Troll!
Another rebuttal I'd have to this "you only post happy shit" shit-person is that you know what, in the same way that if you're talking to me in real life, I let the four-letter words fly with frequency and a certain pizzazz that makes pearl-clutchers clutch their precious pearls and just singes the virgin ears of people with virgin ears to burn, when I'm writing, I'm a lot more judicious about the trucker-mouth. Because speaking is in the moment, but with writing, there's a bit of a delay, and so I self-censor, because as much as I am a proponent for liberating the Anglo-Saxon derivatives in the English Language, and as much as I adore their guttural bluntness, they do look a little harsh all typed out in print.
In that spirit, I figured that if I was taking time to post something on Facebook, I'd try to put a positive spin on it, because I have the time, and I didn't want to be branded one of those social media drama queens, just using my wall (it was a wall back then!) as a stand-in for a journal where I'd barf out all my frustrations.
Come to think of it, my shit-person Happy Shit critic had the staunchest propensity to use her wall, my wall, the walls of friends to barf out whatever drama was going on in her life at the time, and there. was. much!
I didn't want to be like that. I wanted people to smile when they'd see my name in their newsfeed. Because that's how I am when I go out in public. And to this day, I still think of Facebook as something of an extension of being in public. I would not walk into your place of business or my daughter's school or your home or probably not even walk down the street shouting about how pissed off I am about politics or current events or even be Debbie Downer all the time. I try. I have my moments. I definitely wallow in woe-is-me moments on the Book of Faces, and I have certainly hopped up on my soapbox, megaphone in hand. I try to keep that to a minimum, though.
These days, especially since Pandemic Purgatory, I've been a little more forthright with sharing my less than sunny moments. It isn't always sunny in Aprildelphia, after all. And I've struggled. I am struggling. The very nature of Pandemic Purgatory shut us off from being able to go places where I would have otherwise straightened my shoulders, put on a little lipstick, and wore a smile until I kind of meant it. I really do believe that getting out and getting out of one's head for a bit, even if you have to "fake it 'til you make it" with a smile DOES do the soul some good, because at least it keeps you from wallowing and being around other people gives you some perspective. We couldn't do that while we were in Pandemic Purgatory, and even now, our opportunities to interact with each other are curtailed from what they'd be in normal times.
So I started sharing my struggle with myself on Facebook, on this blog. And I have gotten some flack in my private messages for over-sharing. Not a lot. But I've gotten some. That's okay. I am sure that sometimes the things I post make people uncomfortable. Guess what. I'm uncomfortable living them. And I am completely honest in that I need a little support, I think. I need some perspective that it isn't always going to be like this, or that I'm not alone. And if by sharing the way I do, it helps someone else feel supported or gain a different perspective, or feel not so alone... or help them realize that they're not weird... if it inspires them to seek help for themselves the way I am getting help for myself, then I feel like I served a purpose. I helped someone. And the inbox-critics can pipe down, I guess.
So. I guess whether you think I'm a Social Media Whiner, or a Fakebooker, I'm going to keep on keepin' on, just like I am. Good, Bad, and Ugly.
But I especially thank those of you who are my friends and who cheer me on. You mean more than you'll ever know, and I am cheering you on from where I am, too.
It isn't always sunny in Aprildelphia, but I know that it cannot rain forever. I look forward to when the rain stops. In the meantime, I am going to keep on plodding along.
Thank you for being here.