Recently, a friend of mine posted a status on Facebook about why we write online -- are we telling our stories and sharing pieces of ourselves or are we just reacting to the things around us, everyone feeling like our two cents is somehow important above the cacophony of people who feel the same way.
I physically recoiled a bit, because no one wants to think of their words, their voice, as noise in the crowd.
But, as I've learned over time, when I have such a visceral reaction to something, that usually means it hits too close to home.
(And yes, I'm aware that I'm doing it now, to a point, but we all have to start somewhere, right?)
I keep trying to make this post about something more than me -- the #yesallwomen hashtag, for example -- but then I lose my words, struggling to say something of note, something new or perhaps not new about a reality and an existence that sits so closely to my own experiences and my frustration with the people in my life who comment that "their best isn't good enough" when they openly troll my social media (because obviously, I'm just wrong and refuse to see the error of my ways, or something).
But I fall flat. Because it's just a reaction, a burned out one at that, one that other people are speaking so much more eloquently than I'm currently able.
So, I guess, I need to get back to me in my words a bit.
It's the first day of summer break for the kids -- I mean, technically, it was Friday, but they never had school on Fridays anyway -- and next week they will be in science camp so I'll have my mornings back. Right now, they're playing around me as I try to churn this out, partly because I feel guilty that I haven't blogged really anything of substance since the Starbucks post, partly because that rattled me, and partly due to all of the stuff about misogyny and rape culture in the wake of the UCSB shooting that came out and was far more succinct than I think I ever am ... I just didn't have much to say.
Except, I do.
I have a lot of stuff going on in my life and while I'd love nothing more than to lay it all out here for you, I'm finding that I need more privacy than I did in the past. And while, honestly, privacy is something that doesn't really exist if you have any online life at all, I guess maybe candor might be a better word. A lot is in the air and there are so very many changes, but I fear speaking them because, well, things always change and speaking them makes them real, makes them true. That is, until they aren't.
It's complicated, this thing, this life. Adulthood. Relationships. Parenting. All of it.
And I don't have it figured out as much as I guess I put on, or as much as some people assume. I'm still treading water here, like I have been for years, watching boats and sights of land come and go while never being sure if they're real or saltwater-induced mirages. I may end up drifting to a shore, or I may be eaten by a shark -- or hell, maybe a pod of dolphins will come, shield me from the shark, and guide me to safety. It's been known to happen.
Meanwhile, I'm still learning to swim. And when you watch someone learn to swim, it can look a lot like drowning, the flailing limbs inducing panic and anxiety and tension. It's messy and kind of crazy and there's water freaking everywhere and you're always on the ready to dive in, to help, while also knowing the importance of not doing so because how else will they learn?
It's like that. Sometimes my head goes underwater. Sometimes I even choke.
But I believe in my buoyancy. I believe I will always resurface, maybe gasping for air, or maybe with just a new appreciation for the life that exists under the surface.
And I guess, maybe, I should write more about that.