Welcome to Weird-Old-Ladyhood (OR Why didn’t I quit Facebook sooner?)

This morning, I deactivated my Facebook account. I’m still on social media elsewhere, but Facebook in particular really feeds my anxiety and negative feelings, so it had to go. I’m in the process of learning to do what I want and not just what will get me the most approval from people on the internet. It’s not that I don’t care what my friends and family think or that I don’t want to share my life with them, but I think the sharing I’ve been doing via Facebook has been tainted with approval-seeking and conflict-avoiding, and as a result, it’s been less than genuine. I’ve been writing more lately but keeping most of it close, and I’m starting to feel ready to share in a more real and honest way.

If you wanna see what I’ve been working on, I’m hoping to get braver about sharing things here, whether completed works or short snippets of ideas. When I have a poem or a couple lines that I like, I’ve been posting it on Instagram. Sometimes I post clips of songs I’m learning on the ukulele. I’m not a rock star or anything. I’m barely even a poet. (I mean, I am a poet in that cursed way that people with depression and an affinity for grammar tend to be.) But that’s ok. Right now, I am pretty much content with surviving.

Part of what’s going on here is that I’ve been rather deeply depressed this winter, and the past couple years have gotten harder, but this year has been the worst. I am sure the political climate has a lot to do with it, plus the seemingly constant stream of violence and conflict in every other public arena. I was staying on Facebook because it was supposed to help me stay connected with my friends and family, but it was also serving as a surrogate news source, especially when I was “too busy” to seek other sources. But instead of being a good way to keep abreast of the issues that my community finds important, Facebook provides me a firehose of bad news supplemented with the reactions of all my acquaintances. As I read my timeline (not just daily, but compulsively throughout the day, even when I really don’t feel like it) I feel the same heartbreak and rage over and over again, then temporarily soothe it with cute cat videos or tear-jerking videos of the good side of humanity. I’ve been emotionally overdosing, using news and memes alternately the way people mixed uppers and downers in the 80s. This is not mentally or emotionally sustainable. If you’ve ever bleached and dyed your hair till it felt like Easter basket straw, I’d say that’s my approximate emotional condition at this time, and Facebook is a direct contributor to that.

With all that said, I’m gonna wrap this shit up by resigning myself to being that weird old lady with the blog no one reads because why the hell not? Better to be that than the sad, semi-suicidal old lady pretending everything’s ok to get more likes on Facebook.

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Monday Night Nonfiction: Post Card from San Francisco

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I love San Francisco, but I always feel a little bit sad here. At first, I was sad because I wanted to live here and it wasn’t going to happen. Then, I was sad because I also love my home, and being away from it for a long time is hard for me. I come out here for a week or two at a time while my husband is working in town, and that’s two weeks away from my Mao, my yoga classes, my favorite baristas … my home. Wherever I am, though, it’s easier if I’m with Nimby because “home is wherever I’m with you.” So, as long as we’re together, I know we’ve got family taking care of our house and the cat, and everyone will be there when we get back.

Still, I find things to be sad about. It is an understatement to say there’s a homelessness problem in SF. Many of the city’s homeless are visibly ill, suffering from delusions, depression, mania, and addictions. I always wind up giving all my pocket change to one person and then walking around the city wishing I had a lot more pocket change. I know no one expects me to save the entire homeless population of SF. I feel compassion for them, and sometimes that feels a lot like sadness.

That’s not to say I’ve been depressed the whole trip — far from it. It’s been sunny with blue skies since I got here, and we’ve had a beautiful time. That little bit of sadness is ever-present, and it reminds me that I’m not sad about where I live or because I’m home sick. Sometimes I’m a little bit sad because stuff is so beautiful and it can’t last forever.

When I came out here for my 30th birthday, I had the most amazing week. On one of our last days, we went to this burrito place in the Mission for lunch, and it was a perfectly sunny day, and I took a bite of this burrito and got misty eyed (one tear!) about how fucking good it was. No, I wasn’t stoned. I just felt really thrilled and lucky to be alive, and a little sad because it was such a fleeting moment.

 

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