Social Media Slavery

We live in an age where there is a firehose of information, and there is no hierarchy of what is important and what is not. Where the truth is often fashioned through a variety of digital means. Are you your avatar? Who are you in social media? What face do you turn toward the world? How much does it have in common with who you actually are?

(David Carr)

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Photo by jaychoi2770 at source.

Most of us take great care to protect the image of ourselves. We only show the good, crazy and epic parts of our lives. We show the glamorous side and we want people to know how great we’re doing. We’re all connected and the world is getting smaller by the minute and other peoples’ happiness becomes a burden and a source of anxiety, because: When’s my life gonna be this great?

It’s all void and fake.

There isn’t a single person on this planet with a perfect life. Everyone has regrets. We all have fears. We all have bad days. Our lives aren’t set up perfectly and we don’t have actual filters on our faces to make it out like our lives are wrinkle-free (even the best make-up fades away). It just doesn’t work that way. Please, don’t let yourself be discouraged by other peoples’ seemingly perfect lives. This unsubstantial perfection has no real link to reality. 

We’ve created a tangled mess of having everything on one hand and making slaves of ourselves at the same time on the other. We do so willingly and happily. We tend to overlook everything else and only see the numbers on our social media platforms. Slaves had to and have to have their heads cast down in oppression and in fear of punishment. We cast them down at our devices. We do it willingly and happily. They had to and have to go through life not being free to speak, do and be. We do so willingly and happily. We stop ourselves from saying things we think other might not like, we shelter our true feelings and nature in the same way. We’re self-serving slaves of ourselves, our devices and the illusion social media brings. We see each other as competition and are far from happy for others when they share the success they’ve had.

Social media is not at fault, though. We, as individuals, are.

Social media can be an excellent means to connect, entertain, educate and inform. It is a tool with great power to use for a greater good. We make it into what it is. 

Don’t let it be a source of frustration for your life. Share what you think others might find interesting, share your values and share stuff that you think someone might use or might benefit from. The word “social” is the opposite of “self-centered”. Try to find the positive in what others post, lift them up with encouragements and if you think your life isn’t worthy of a single post (even though I don’t think that’s really true), try to find inspiration in others. Try to find the light in what you see. 

You are the person to choose how you see the world around you and you’re the one in charge of what people see of you.

 

Social media is an amazing tool, but it’s really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.

(Felicia Day)

 

 

 

 

Savior in a World of Too Much

Most of us have so much, but appreciate so little.

One day, things we’re going as usual and the next, life as I knew it ended. My plans ran out alongside with my freedom and they took a Geronimo-style leap off a cliff and I found myself gasping for air in panic attacks that seemed to get worse by the day. My spine felt like it would snap from the tension and my head was void of all music that is vital for my life.

I started counting on days being really bad from now on. I started counting on not being able to sleep any day soon. I stared counting on being sleep-deprived and miserable form now on.

But.

Gratitude saves me.

You think it can’t get worse. You’ve reached the end of your rope and you have nowhere to go. Then, just when you think there are no blows to be dealt, you get a kidney shot that makes you collapse to the floor. It cant’t be worse, can it? Sure it can. It can always get worse. Someone will surely want to kick you when you’re down- no problem finding some of those.

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Photo by JayJayCookPro at source.

 

But it can also get better. As long as there is life in you, you can pick yourself up.

Gratitude will save you.

I believe that if you actively seek out the good in life, you will find it. It’s your job to now hold on to it and then tomorrow, find something else and hold on to your ever-growing list.

One of the problems I see with people around me in their search for happiness is the lack of gratitude for all the “little” things. I put the world little in quotes, because they’re actually quite huge. We take things like water, food and fresh air for granted. And those are just the stereotypical basics. They’re not just there because you deserve them and are entitled. You were just lucky enough to be blessed with them. And if they’re here now, doesn’t mean they’ll be here tomorrow.

I cannot even begin to explain how active gratitude saves me and how much peace it brings me.

I went for a walk with the dogs today and it was cold as hell, but the sun was shining. I stood there, in the middle of nothing, looking at the shadow my body left on the floor, felt the winter sun on my back and smiled at all the little specks of glitter the sun left on the seemingly dead surface. I wanted to somehow erase my shadow so every little snow particle could sparkle away in the too-quick-to-fade winter sun. It was beautiful. I was grateful for the moment, away from the hardships and the workload. I simply was.

I took that gratitude with me through the rest of the day. I said thanks for the food I ate, the water I drank, for the warm house I was able to go back into. For so many other things.

I started the day with a crappy attitude and a bad headache. I’m ending it tired, sure, but also just a little more optimistic and with a more positive outlook on life.

Some say this is some random hippie mentality and that I’m probably on drugs, but I don’t care. Don’t judge something until you’ve given it enough heart to try. I’d much rather be called a hippie and see the world for all the good it has to offer than live my life in perpetual shadow and only see the misery. I cannot take negativity if I can have happiness.

Life’s too short and you don’t know when you might run out of things, experiences and people to be grateful for.

Sure, I’m still heart-broken and I can’t sleep through most of the nights. I’m tired and afraid. I’m terrified of the future. But I have my moments of peace, where my mind is full of nothing, but the time and place at hand and my heart finds an appreciative smile: I have so much to be grateful for.

 

 

 

 

For My Friends

This is a message for all the sweet, darling people in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, soul and mind. 

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Photo by Wokandapix at source.

 

To you, my family. You try to be patient with what some would say are whims. I know I change my mind. A lot. I know I may not see the world as you see it and I’m grateful that we don’t see each other as glitches in our family system- maybe just little blimps or eccentricity that drive each other crazy from time to time. I am so lucky to be able to say that my sisters are my first best friends. We are so very different, but there’s a love here that is unmistakable and will last a lifetime.

Little Miss M., you have helped 2016 be just a little more entertaining :). We haven’t known each other very long, but it sometimes seems like I’ve known you my whole life. You are so much fun and your free spirit has helped my own fly just a little more. I found my inner fun-music-freak again and it is all thanks to you. You reminded me of what it feels like to dance. Besides all that, we share a project that keeps bringing us closer and I want to thank you for the opportunity of not only being your friend, but your business partner. You are very dear to my heart and I’m grateful for your friendship and all your wonderful support.

To my lovely distraction, D. I have known you for the shortest time, but you’ve helped me weather some pretty dark moments and you probably don’t even know it. I hope you find your real worth and maybe I’ll be able to be a little source of that. I hope to keep challenging your viewpoints to the point I drive you crazy and I hope you continue to do the same for me :).  I’m glad to know a person that reads music the same way I do and I’m grateful for your very refreshingly bossy and argumentative presence in my life. Even if you don’t want the world to see it, I do see your heart.

My darling N., we’ve already deducted that we were crappy friends to each other last year. I don’t really see it that way. We’ve both been busy as heck, working on our lives, living a good way away from each other. But I’m always here for you and you know I’m always sending you soooo much light and love. You are wise, you don’t judge and you always have just the question to ask and make me think and think again. You have been and are invaluable to my life. I hope you know how much I appreciate and respect you and the strong person you have become. I am in awe of your work ethic and your compassion and empathy. Plus, you have chosen someone equally as awesome to share your life with: K., you are one of the classiest people I know. Your poise and proficiency in all things to do with life, inspire me to do just a little better. I love you.

B., you, alongside N. and K. form my Disco Galz. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend nearly as much time with you as I would have liked, but I want to you to know that you have a spark to you that is unmistakable and uniquely you. You make me laugh just by looking at me and that’s simply wonderful.

My darling S., we’ve been in each other’s lives for so long. You’re funny, dangerously quick to make an opinion and free of spirit to the point it scares me :).  We’ve both come such a long way and even if we don’t speak for a long while, it’s always completely natural with us. No matter where your head-space is, I want you to know, I won’t judge and I’ll always have your back.

A., we live very different lives and have very different viewpoints on life, but we share a mutual respect and love. You have such a kind heart and I hope to help you be the light you need to be for yourself. I want you to know it’s never too late. Never, ever. You are worth of all the beauties this world has to give. You and your wonderful family members are unmistakable highlights of my life.

K., you’re always here (if I need you or not :D), you’re always hungry and you always talk computer stuff and it’s annoying, but I wouldn’t give you up for the world. You’re easy going, funny and a part of my family. We have great love for the same band and their concerts aren’t the same without you. It’s epic how crazy you are and the stories you tell are hilarious to the point my stomach hurts. Just don’t go anywhere, O.K.?

Last, but certainly and in no way least. To you, my sweet S.. You are my rock. We’ve grown up together and our bond is something special. It always will be. You are literally the smartest person I know (and I hang around pretty smart people), you have the kindest heart and an open mind. No matter where life takes us and what paths we choose to walk down, you’ll always be cellular to me. Always. I am and will always be here for you.

 

I believe every person has a place in our lives that brings meaning. This is why I’d like to thank people I have known and have grown apart with, those who are here now and also those who have yet come into my life. I am so grateful to have such majestic lights illuminate my life. 

 

Between Surviving and Living

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Photo by Larisa-K at source.

Some years are full of positive wonder, excitement, new experiences and growth. I’ve had a few of those: there were seconds, minutes and hours that turned into days, weeks and months of learning and making all the right mistakes. Yummy, yummy years.

Sure, there are years that can only be synonymous to thriving. You know that you are fully and properly alive. You’re growing into who you’re supposed to be and it’s wonderful.

2016 was one of them. But only a little and only in the first half. Mostly.

And then come the days where you force yourself to open your eyes. Knowing full well that opening them will only bring you back to being worried. Back to being scared. Back to feeling helpless.

A lot of people say that 2016 was a REALLY (REALLY!) crappy year: for the planet, individual countries and communities and within themselves. I can’t say I disagree, but the optimist in me will always want to fight back. I try very hard to see the good in all the really crappy situations. Sometimes it’s hard as hell and sometimes it just comes naturally: the balance between surviving and living. 

Finding optimism at the end of 2016 did not come naturally in no way, shape or form. I’ve been worming my way through the days and sometimes I’m so sad, I just want to curl up in a ball of tears and cry until I forget the source of my tears, because my eyes now hurt more than my heart. Sometimes I cannot be the clown to cheer everyone up and sometimes I just need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay and that this, too, shall pass. I’d like to believe them. The huge lump in my throat and stomach won’t allow me and they won’t go away.

So, yes. Right now, I’m merely surviving. Trying to find the meaning and a means to truly live: despite and because of it all. 

The first few days of 2017 have been pure torture. See, sometimes there are things in our lives we can’t control and right now, my life is a web of obstacles. I feel like I’m swimming in a lake full of sticky, gooey tar. It’s getting into my eyes and lungs, but I know I still have to get to the other side. The other side is the only solution, but my eyes are stuck together and it’s getting hard to breathe so I have no real sense of where I’m going.

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Photo by Hans at source.

Yes, it’s hard, but the messy black stuff only really scratches the surface. Inside, I still hold the light. The light of hope that all will be okay and that I’m exactly where I need to be. I shall get to the other side: worn out and hollow, but with so much room to grow, because now I’m wonderfully carved out. I’ll have flushed out what needs to go and find space for a fresh breath.

This experience might wear me out, but I’ll be damned if I let myself become a shell of the person I’ve become. 

This, too, shall pass.

Falling into a sense of our lives being out of control and foul is really easy- scary how easy it is. Crawling towards the light (and forgive me for my cheesiness) is so goddamn hard- again: in a scary way.  Things really worth doing are hard: we seem to keep forgetting that.

If you’re like me and have found yourself surviving and doing it just barely, know you’re not alone. The world of social media or just the world around you in general might have you thinking that everyone around you has it so good and that you’re the sad soul trailing behind, leaving huge gloppy tar marks.  This is especially true for December when it seems like everyone is having a ball while you’re just curled up in one.

We all hurt and we all worry. Sometimes our lives bring us up and sometimes we take a tumble. Sometimes we get to experience the most kick-ass awesome, heart-striking moments and people. And sometimes we have to find the energy to survive. One day at a time.

It’s okay.

This, too, shall pass.