My mind has been frantic lately. At a pace it's never gone before and nothing substantial has changed in my life.
Why do I feel this way?
There's been other moments in my life where I've felt super stressed, but I've always been a person who could shut it off and get a good night's rest. I've never felt pressure in my chest from anxiousness and really make peace with situations as they come pretty well.
The past few weeks I have had an actual physical pressure in my chest from anxiety. Over what? I have no idea! I woke up defeated, negative. And yeah, somedays you wake up less grateful than others, but this was different. I'm not one to wake up "defeated," but I was.
My mind and body were go, go, go.
I don't know how people keep this up for months, years, life times.
This weekend, I disconnected. I listened to music, I talked with my family, I got outside. I didn't think once about my "next steps," or my Instagram following.
I just had to write this, because I feel like so many of us get all twisted up in this social media age, when really- if we sit back- social media doesn't matter at all. Not even for your business. Yes, you might get more foot traffic here and there, but honestly- what's good is good. You will be successful in the real world if you're great at your craft or profession and you don't need any kind of help/following/Facebook page to validate that.
I just wanted to tell, who ever is reading this, you can completely reject things that our culture offers us and deems normal, if it doesn't feel right with your soul. It doesn't make you out-dated or weird. It actually probably makes you more whole.
I'm just scared to death, when I go or you go and we see that light at the end of the tunnel, instead of beautiful images of my real-life people who were there for me and eager for hugs and eye contact and your real life people who craved your connection, we're going to have OTHER people's little squares in our highlight reel.
Doesn't that terrify you?
Doesn't it scare you that while you're looking at other people's adventures, you're missing the adventure right there in your living room?
It really terrifies me.
People claim "community," on Instagram and I see it. I really do. I see people rising together for certain causes and attention being brought to things that matter and ya know, real-life friends are indeed made through social media. BUT lots of us don't get that part, but we still claim we have community through the device in our hands. We get 40 likes and have a moment of togetherness, but does that really give you that rich feeling of community? It doesn't do it for me.
When we had our second child, I faced a long period of a very dark time. I was so overwhelmed every single day and at the end of it all, I would zone out on my phone. Seeking success and community, when all I really had to do was call the people who mean the most to me and I mean the most to them and I bet that time would have gotten brighter a lot quicker. I'd talk about my hard times, but in a reflective tone via Instagram captions, so I didn't sound so depressed, but really, I was down and I was so isolated. But you would have never been able to tell via Instagram.
You can feel this isolation with 100 followers or 1 million followers, BECAUSE Instagram is NOT real.
Nothing can replace real community and what it will bring to your life.
So reject it. Do life your way.
Be silly. Be Facebook-less. Wear the same shirt everyday. Dance with no music. Sing your replies to people. Make NO plans. Lay on your couch and don't do ANYTHING on a Wednesday (doesn't have to be Sunday). Stare at your children. CRY when you feel it, even in casual conversations with people you don't really know. Be weird. Be you! Reject whatever you have to reject to live your happy life.
We must reject certain parts of our culture if they don't fit in with the puzzle pieces of our heart.
I'm seeing it more and more clear each day;
The warm heartbeats within arms reach should matter more than the glow of the battery life of our device. The warm heartbeats within arms reach should matter more than anything.
When it's all said and done and we're laying in our beds, with just a few days left. Do you see yourself with your phone in hand? Posting and DM'ing? And then going peacefully?
I'm sure the answer's "no," but are you living life in a way, so that that isn't the outcome?
I hope to be in a familiar room, that many of my loved ones are familiar with as well from all of our times together. I hope to be surrounded by books with the words that brought me to tears or moved me in a better direction, I hope to have a plant that is still alive, I hope I can still bob my head and wiggle my arms to some Bob Segar or Stevie Nicks. I hope to be fueled with memories of real, tangible magic moments of human connection. And most of all, I hope to see real people surrounding me. Real smiles. Real reminiscing discussions. Real laughs, until the very end.
So, I'll be here. Pursuing the connection with the warm heartbeats around me and rejecting things that are "normal," for my own peaceful being.
You deserve that too!
I just wanted to tell you that it is OK to reject things to make your life more whole.
Inspiration: This piece of writing was inspired by the memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie and oddly enough, the new Jerry Seinfeld on Netflix. I pulled one ringing message from both of those pieces of art and that was rejecting certain things that society tells us are the end all, be all, in order to live a simple, abundant life, that really isn't too serious.