Finding Beauty in Puncuation

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“I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. . . . It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period.  The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along.  But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.”     –Lewis Thomas 

Whitney’s Wistful Wednesdays

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I mentioned in one of my header pages that I’ve been a very diligent record keeper since I was a little girl.  Every few years I’ll get in decluttering mode and in the process will come across my box of journals, take one out, read several entries, and put the box back exactly where it was.

One year ago, almost exactly, I stopped writing in a journal.  It was at a point where I had a million things on my mind but absolutely no motivation and writing just became a burden.

Last week as I was setting up my home work space for my new class, I realized that last year’s journal was still sitting in a pile of books on my desk.  I picked it up, wiped the dust off, and opened it to see what the last entry date was.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

I don’t know what to do.  I’m miserable and it feels like that’s my usual lately.  Subconsciously I think I write with the intention that if someone reads this after I’m gone they’ll finally realize why I was so crazy. 

All I know is I can’t go on this way.  I have basically no quality of life, its just survival.  And I’m barely doing that because now I’m getting sick and starting to have MS symptoms.  I don’t feel like I can talk to Aaron about it anymore.  I’ve exhausted all my excuses for my behavior and I feel like I’m just crying wolf.  Nothing I say carries any weight, its just a lot of whining that just makes my family unhappy and scared to be around me.

I’m scared to be around me.

I keep thinking about my grandpa’s first wife who ended up in a crazy hospital and he divorced her and she never saw her kids again.  I’m really terrified I’m heading in that direction and I have absolutely no control over it.  This is not my choice. 

If I could choose, I’d be a loving wife and mother who tries her best but doesn’t panic if the house isn’t clean or dinner isn’t ready because spending time with family is priority.  I can hardly even see the things my kids are doing right in front of me.  I’ve just got blinders on to my own destruction.  I pray with all my heart that tomorrow will be a better day and that I’ll feel stupid for even writing this.

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Well I do feel sort of stupid for writing that, but I don’t feel stupid for sharing it.  Obviously that is how I was feeling at the time and I’m not feeling that way anymore.  Which means something I’m doing is working, or my prayers were answered.  Or both.

I’ve decided to share entries from my journals regularly and I’m doing this for several reasons.  Most of all its because rereading these unabridged versions of my experiences gives me a sense of continuity in my life, rather than compartmentalizing life into “the good old days” and “survival mode.  Days like January 14th pushed me to make changes and shaped who I am becoming.  I also have many days (like May 6th, 2006) that were wonderful, perfect days and were reflected in the way I wrote that day.  Those, I want to remind myself of.

Let’s hope that I can learn something from the bad experiences and not repeat them, and remind myself of the great days to help me get through the not so great.

I believe introductions are in order

When I started this blog I was also maintaining another more private, family blog where I’d post lots and lots of pictures of my kids, the funny things they’d say and do, and occasionally (or more than occasionally) the funny things I’d do, like become obsessed with Twilight for 5 years and re-post anything and everything Twilight (omg, did you hear that K-Stu and R-Patz are back together…again?!).  Anyway…

I had no intention of THIS blog containing things about kids.  I set out to find myself by doing a lot of soul-searching, self-analyzing and desire-exploring.  But I’ve very quickly realized that I have very little to say that doesn’t involve parenting, motherhood, homemaking, wifery and the like.  Don’t get me wrong, I have an opinion about EVERYTHING.  But when it comes to the things that really matter to me and matter in general, they mostly involve my family.  Its about time I didn’t use such vagueness in posts describing those who I love most (ie: “the daughter”).

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce…

“THE DAUGHTER”

Jade Ondrea

IMG_0167•Likes dancing, singing, prancing, skipping, anything musical, anything whimsical.

•Has an incredible talent for drawing and anything artistic really.

•She was born with an opinion (furrowed brow and all), and is a great negotiator, just like her mommy.

“THE BOYS”:

Aaron Everest (Everest)

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•The sensitive twin.  He gives the best hugs, complete with back pats.

•Formally known as “baby A”, he was born first, born bigger, and stayed bigger.

•He’s most recently developed the talent of headstands.

Calder Reed

IMG_1829 - Version 2•My midnight “cackler” with the uncontrollable laughter outbursts.  He’s got a temper like I’ve never seen, but he’s also got the world’s most contagious smile.

•He’s totally obsessed with anything space/rocket related.

•He’s the one who “likes” everything about me when its time for bed (in all honestly, Everest is the one who started this, but Calder quickly caught on that he can stay up a lot longer if he butters me up.  He’s like Jade this way).

“THE BABY”

Lochlan Bradley

DSC_0103•His first sentence was, “I’m smart, independent, and capable of doing anything my brothers can do.  Back off.”

•That’s not true, but it may as well be.  He CAN say mama, daddy, Jadie, and “cheeeese” though.

•I bet he’ll be potty trained before his brothers too.

“THE HUSBAND”

Aaron Reed

IMG_3109 - Version 2•Love him.

•Love him.

•Love him.  Oh and also…he is an incredible landscaper, fine art sculptor, basketball coach, father, and the most patient man I know.  Did I mention I love him?

As I read through this, scanning for spelling and grammatical accuracy (which we both know is impeccable), I feel like the absolute luckiest girl in the world.  My family means everything to me.  Is it so strange that I still have a sense of longing to find something?

Yesterday, Aaron gave me the opportunity to have a “me day”.  Before I left he asked me what I planned to do, and I thought…go to the grocery store?  Mail in Jade’s basketball registration form?  Go out to lunch…oh, by the way Aaron, do you want me to bring you something?  I don’t know HOW to have a “me day”.  So as I went from random place to place, I found myself just talking to everyone I saw, stranger or not, and voluntarily offering an explanation for why I was childless today.  No one cared.  But I did.

Being out in public childless is like forgetting your purse at home.  Or even worse, forgetting to wear a bra.  I think from now on even on my “me days” I will bring at least one of them along.

The Privilege of Motherhood

From the top of the stairs: “Mama!”

“Yes?” I call from the kitchen.

“Mamaaaa!”

“YES! What is it?”  I say louder.

“I need to change my diaper, I have poopies!”  My 3 year old says, immediately followed by, “I need to change my panties too because I went potty in them.”  This coming from my 6 year old.  This happened twice.  Today.

I’m not surprised.  She’s had the stomach flu off and on all week.  So in addition to my 1 year old’s teething-related bowel problems and my 3 year old twins who are still not potty trained, I have changed, cleaned up, flushed, scrubbed, laundered enough excrement in the last week to fill up every bath tub in my house (I have 3, one of which is a large soaking tub).

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Astonishingly, I have been okay with this.  Of course its not a pretty site (or smell), but I watched this video again, after having watched it several years ago before I was quite SO up to my knees in all of this.  It hit me harder this time as I imagined what would it would be like for my children to be going through what they’ve been through this week without a mother to care for them.

A few days ago my daughter had been throwing up all day, unable to keep anything down and barely able to sit up.  She said she wanted to sleep on the couch upstairs (in the same spot she hadn’t moved from in 12 hours).  I sat beside her rubbing her back and pushing her hair back out of her eyes as she breathed weakly.  Finally I equipped her with a big plastic bowl and a sippy cup of water before going downstairs to be with my husband.

We sat at the kitchen table playing a lovely game of skip bo (that I won) and trying to enjoy the much needed silence during the rare time when all 4 kids were sleeping, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed her to be closer to us.  I needed to hear her breathing.  So I made my husband go upstairs, pick her up and carry her, her blanket, cup, and bowl down to our bedroom to sleep on the floor.

It was the second night that we stayed up most of the night rinsing out the bowl, changing clothes and sheets, bathing, and rubbing backs (third night if you count doing the same for the baby).

My one child who hasn’t been sick this week (so far) is the one who laughs, cackles even, hysterically and uncontrollably in the middle of the night almost every night.  Usually I enter the room in a fit of anger, only to have him calm my rage by stroking my face and telling me “I like your eyes.  I like your cheeks.  I like your hair.  I like your fingers…”.  I can’t help but laugh as I say “I like you too”.

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I’ve said it more times than I can count, and every time I feel a little bit guilty, but MOTHERHOOD IS HARD!  If anyone wants to argue with me that it is not the most difficult job in the world, feel free.  I will win.

But in the same breath I can say that I am SO lucky to be the one to take care of these children.  Everyone once in a while I get a glimpse of how in the WORLD God would think I can handle this.  I’m so grateful for the perspective that sick kids give me of my purpose.  It may be a thankless job more often than not, but this week I have gotten more thank you’s, I love you’s, and cuddles (from the one who can’t talk) from these little ones than I think I deserve most of the time.

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“Its a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it” and I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else but me.

We’re Off To See the Wizard!

My sweet little girl has been chosen to be in our local high school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”!  A prouder mother there has not been.  Was Halloween a manifestation of things to come?

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This is the first time in the 7 years that I’ve lived in this town that the high school has included young kids in a production.

Last week we got a flier home from school “calling 15-20 elementary school-aged kids K-5”.  As soon as I asked her if she wanted to audition she shrieked “yeeesss!”  Did she know what an audition was?  No, but come on, its the Wizard of Oz.  Not to mention she wants to do everything that could possibly be available to her (Pleeeease mom can I do soccer?…Mom I want to do piano SOOO bad!…I think skiing sounds fun).

I explained to her that she’d have to prepare a song to sing and without hesitation she said “I want to sing Do Re Mi”.  So we got grandpa on the phone and asked him what the chances were of him providing us with some piano accompaniment (my daughter comes by her talents honestly).  The chances were good, because just a couple hours later I got an email with not one but TWO different speeds of our song 🙂

She spent the next couple days practicing and practicing, but when I asked her to practice in front of dad she sheepishly declined.  And same with Grandma.  It looked like she was chickening out, but I asked her to keep practicing anyway just in case she changed her mind.

Audition day came, and she was still hesitant.  It wasn’t until 5:30pm (before the 6:30 audition time) that she decided she wanted to do it.  So we showed up and I was surprised at the number of kids that were willing to sing a solo in front of people!  Most of them were older than her, but I thought most of these kids must have been forced to come by their moms.

That wasn’t the case.  Most of the parents weren’t even aware that their children needed to come with a song prepared.  I wonder how many of the kids even knew they’d be asked to sing.  But regardless, my daughter is only 6 and she was going up against close to 50 kids up to age 11.

While the kids were on stage learning their audition dance number, the parents were filling out “bios” about our kids.  I debated whether to include my own and my parents’ credentials in HER “experience” because I thought maybe it would tip the scales in her favor.

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We all spent most of the time out in the lobby watching the kids practice “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” over and over (and over) and waiting to be called into the auditorium.  When it was our…hmm…her turn, we entered the auditorium doors and as I walked briskly to the front my daughter tripped and fell in the aisle.  I don’t think I realized what a stage mother I am until this point, when I worried more that this would hurt “our” chances than hurt her ankle or something (she was fine by the way).

We got to the front of the auditorium and the 2 directors (one male and one female) and 1 student director motioned for her to take the stage.  She hesitated, and the male director told her she could stand on the steps instead if she’d like.

As soon as I turned on her music, any sign of nerves disappeared and she shone like a bright little 6-year-old star!  I was so proud.  And I was even more proud (almost to the point of tears) when Mr. director said at the end of her song “You have absolutely nothing to be nervous about, you have a BEAUTIFUL voice.”

When I didn’t hear anything 24 hours later, I assumed that they had made their decision and it didn’t include my daughter.  But last night, while I was awake taking care of my suddenly sick with the flu daughter and 1 year old teething infant, I checked my email.

“Welcome to Oz!” the subject said.  “We would like to extend an invitation to your daughter to join us as a Munchkin in this performance.”

I just cannot wait to sit in that audience and snap pictures of my little munchkin.  And the best part is, they didn’t even need to know about my parents’ Broadway career 🙂

She’s in the pink cardigan.

Do you have some sort of business woman special?

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I haven’t been this excited (or this nerdy) about something in a very, VERY long time.

Today I registered for an online training course to become a digital legal transcriptionist.  Yes, its a real thing, even though as I typed the word “transcriptionist” it was automatically underlined in red as a misspelled word.  I do NOT misspell words.  That is why this is the perfect job for me.

Let me tell you how I came to find this potential career of mine.

After a long fight with myself, I finally decided that it would be best if I visited a therapist.  My emotions have been so up and down for a while but around Thanksgiving is when it got really bad.  I was feeling hopeless and useless and just ready to throw in the towel.  It scared me because I’d never felt THAT bad before.  So I made an appointment.  I owed it to my family to try to find some sanity in this crazy season of my life.

So far I’ve been to visit him 3 times now and during the last visit we talked about the importance of me finding something in my life that could give me a little perspective.  He suggested getting a part time job and asked me what my skills were and what I may like to do.  Hmm…well let me think.  I worked as a hostess at 4 different restaurants, a line cook at a Subway-style Mexican restaurant (“Welcome to Moe’s!”), a checker at a grocery store, and then I started having kids.  And kept having kids.  Do I want to go back to work with a bunch of teenagers who may or may not have dropped out of high school yet as a 30 year old woman?  Let’s keep thinking.

This week I racked my brain for something I could put to good use (besides dance) and suddenly as we were binge watching the show Suits, it hit me.  I need to be a Court Reporter.  I love typing and drama.  The next day I called an attorney friend of mine and clumsily asked him if he had an opening like that.  He explained that they didn’t actually employ their own reporter but gave me the name of someone to call.  Well, to be brief, the 7th Judicial district (the court district that I live in) houses 10 counties and employs ONE court reporter.  But that’s beside the point.  To be a Certified Court Reporter, I’d need to be CERTIFIED.  So I started looking into it.

In my search I came across a job opening that was hiring for Legal Transcriptionists who want to work from home, can type 70+ wpm (oh please, I’ve got this in the bag), and have an AAERT certificate.  Huh?

I looked up AAERT: American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers.  Apparently there is a whole association of nerds like me.  I contacted their membership liaison, Sherry, and had a very nice conversation with her about the joys of a career in the field legal and medical transcription, which she’s been a part of for over 30 years.  After learning about my “situation” she encouraged me to check out a certain website that offered a great training course to prepare you to take the AAERT’s certification exam.

And here we are.  I am now enrolled in the International Institute for Transcribers and Court Reporters’ Legal Transcriptionist course.  For the next 6 weeks, I will be learning all about secure, organized file storage, homonyms, ei vs ie words and their exceptions, the proper uses of the comma, colon, semicolon, hyphen, italics, and dashes, as well as medical and legal terminology and so much more.  I just want to say, you had me at organized file storage.

Is it possible that thinking about learning more about the proper use of the English language and then getting to type it out really fast is actually make me love my children more?  I feel like a real adult!  I may not be able to sleep tonight thinking about my foot pedal and headset arriving in the mail next week.  Maybe my shrink was right about getting some perspective.

The Pen Pal Challenge

Freedom!  You’d be amazed what you SEE when you no longer have something blocking your periphery.

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I made the long overdue decision to “cancel” my Facebook account.  I say “cancel” because on the final page of the cancellation process it says “to reactivate, simply sign in using your username and password”.  So I guess the only thing holding me back from permanent deactivation is that I still remember my username and password.

I did, however, remove the FB app from my phone and the bookmark from my computer toolbar.  My biggest problem has been how easy it is to stay signed in 24/7.  My phone has almost become an extension of my arm, permanently attached, my eyes glued to the screen.  Yesterday I made the comparison between my addiction to screen-time and a bug to a fluorescent bug zapper.  And its equally detrimental.

The day that I decided to make this change I posted a status update alerting people to the impending deactivation.  Ironically, the majority of the feedback I got was that people wished they had the courage to make that change, but that they were scared of how much harder life would be.  They’re too addicted to it to imagine their life without it.

So I issued a challenge.  I DARE you to cancel your account and write me a handwritten letter.  If you are brave enough to just take that step, I promise your life will not be lacking anything.  In fact, taking those blinders off has allowed me to SEE my children more in the last few days than I have in months.  Not just because I’m looking at them instead of my phone, but because the things I read and see on Facebook poison my outlook on almost everything.  Suddenly my patience isn’t so short and my opinion of myself isn’t so terrible.  When you’re not spending all your time comparing your life to everyone else’s, you’d be surprised how great your life looks.

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As I’m writing this, I got a phone call.  It was from a friend that I see rarely except in my news feed.  She said “I went on Facebook to ask you a question but I realized you weren’t there anymore!”  I explained the situation and she said “Good for you!”  She said she thinks about doing that often.  She asked me to help her out with an activity and we set up a date and time.  We had a short but nice conversation and now I have plans to be a part of something!  How fast that worked.

I’m excited to see how my life changes now.  I have no intention of losing touch with the people who mean the most to me, I’ll just have to work a little harder.  Who wants to take my dare?  Even in this fast paced, technology filled world, its still really nice to get mail.  I love the feeling of actual paper.

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Adventures in Babysitting

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In case the mother of my most recent babysitter happens to be reading this, I first need to say you have raised an amazing young woman and she is exempt from any  “criticism” 🙂  Moving on…babysitting from multiple POV’s.

As a Parent looking for sitters

Fortunately for our family, for the majority of our married life with children we’ve had family very close by and haven’t really had to find a sitter.  Not to mention we live in a town where there’s not a lot to do on dates so there’s rarely a need.  But when we DO go out, we usually enlist the help of my wonderful MIL.  She knows and loves our kids and respects our house as much as we do, so not only can we count on her to take care of the KIDS but I trust she’s not going to be stealing from us or inviting boyfriends over while we’re gone (right, mom?).

I have only very recently realized that there is a major shortage of good babysitters out there.  The few times that we have had teenagers come to our house, I come home and find it messier than it was when I left, no diapers have been changed, and I’m $20 (or more) poorer.  More like $50 after gas and dinner.  Was it worth it?

My question is, for those of you who are in this stage, do you make obsessive-compulsive lists for your babysitters of what you want them to do?  Or do you expect them to just use common sense?

I feel like getting a babysitter puts me in a really weird position.  I still don’t feel old enough to be calling babysitters; I used to BE the babysitter not that long ago.  So when someone arrives at my house I still feel the need to communicate with them like we’re on the same level.  I hate telling them what to do because in a sense its like telling your peers what to do.  Plus I think they should just assume that if they make food they should wash the dish, or if there’s a messy diaper, it probably shouldn’t wait til I get home.

Me, as a Babysitter

When I was in middle school, my mom made me take a babysitting course that included CPR training and certification.  I’m not sure if this was just a house rule, or a state mandated law.  But I returned home from the class a qualified babysitter, ready to approach “clients” with my skills.

I was told that it was appropriate and appreciated to tell the parents how much you charge, when you’re available, and to ASK THEM what they want you to do while you’re there (ie: dishes, laundry, bathing, diapers, etc.).  If you happen to have kids toys or books, bring them.  Kids always love not to have to play with their own boring toys.

I had lots of different babysitting experiences, some for parents who already had an extremely tidy house and just needed someone who would fix dinner and make sure the kids were alive (although this was never all I did, even if it was all that was expected).  Some for parents who had a very specific list of tasks to accomplish before they got home (Wednesday: bathroom cleaning day, Thursday: laundry day, Friday: clean the wood floors day).

It seems to me that parents are not teaching their kids HOW to have responsibilities.  I think that most parents of teens, when they hear that somebody needs someone to watch their children, automatically volunteer their own teenager.  The problem is many teenagers think that babysitting is the easiest job in the world because all they have to do is SHOW UP.  Heaven forbid they do something besides turn on cartoons and text on their phones.  I never ever expected to be paid to just sit at someones house and not do anything to help them.  So my point is, if you don’t feel qualified to be a babysitter (or don’t think your teen is qualified yet), DON’T TAKE THE JOB.  It shouldn’t be the world’s easiest job.  Just like parenting, it should be a job you “show up” to and take pride in

As someone who has been “babysat”

Children are impressionable.  Just because they are young doesn’t mean they won’t remember what you do when you’re there.  I still have vivid memories of experiences I had with babysitters, good and bad.

When my parents got divorced my mom had to get a full-time job and was forced to find a full-time babysitter.  She hired a woman named Mickey.  My 7-year-old-memory of this experience may not be accurate, but this is how I saw it.  I was dropped off at Mickey’s house every morning before school, I walked to school with her kids, and returned after.  Here are my 3 most distinct memories of my experience at Mickey’s house: I used to have to take naps on her living room couch while she watched Oprah and soap operas right next to me.  One time her kids were all going to see a movie with their dad and she told me I wasn’t allowed to go.  I cracked my chin open on the side of her pool and as I waited for my mom to come pick me up and take me to the hospital, she kept yelling at me to stop crying.  My mom says Mickey was a very nice lady who made a good impression on her so I guess you never know.

I had one babysitter during a summer in North Carolina with my dad who invited her boyfriend over while she was watching us.  My friend Bryan came over to play and we caught the sitter and her boyfriend making out.  When she saw that we were “spying” she made fun of us and then dared us to kiss.  I was 8 years old.  That was my first kiss.

Everyone else

I’m very aware that especially in today’s world everyone has an opinion.  Everyone is a professional on every issue.  So there will be someone who reads this and thinks “if you have such a problem with babysitters then take care of your own kids”.

May I remind you that I am a 99% stay-at-home mom.  The other 1% is the date or two that I go on each month to keep my marriage in tact (which is rare these days).  Because as much as I love my children, there will be a day when they leave the house and my husband and I are left with whatever remains of our relationship (which I hope is every bit as blissful as it was when he proposed to me).

I’ve come to realize that you can love your children with every bit of your heart, but still need a moment or two away from them.  And the truth is that they need time away from you too.  It doesn’t make me a bad parent to leave my kids with someone else once in a while.

All I’m saying is that if you are marketing yourself as a babysitter, whatever your age, you’d better be prepared for the requirements.  And parents, teach your children (before they become know-it-all teens who are unteachable, like I know I was) the life skills they need to become a babysitter BEFORE you unleash them into someone else’s home to take care of their most precious things.

 

How social media has changed the way I think

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I was 14 years old and my mom finally let me sign up for my own AOL account.  Suddenly a whole new world of socialization was opened up to me!  I could actually TALK to people I was way too scared to talk to in person.  I had so many “friends” who I knew better by screenname than I did by their actual name.  One in particular was A Musolini, a boy who never talked to me at school but we would spend hours chatting online.

Eventually our relationship moved to the next level when by the grace of my freshman English teacher we ended up with our desks next to each other.  It was my last class of the day and it made every morning worth getting up for.  Sometimes we exchanged actual words, but regardless I knew as soon as I got home and heard the sound of the dial up modem, we would be besties (a word I wish didn’t exist, much like selfies, totes–as in totally– and hashtag).

This went on for months and by the start of the next school year he had a girlfriend.  I was heartbroken as I was sure our online relationship counted as dating.  It was at this point that I got my first taste of social media fiction when he promised me ONLINE that he was going to break up with his new girlfriend for me.  Of course this didn’t happen but when we finally hung out OFF the internet for the first time, the rumors quickly spread that I was a home wrecker who would do anything to get what I wanted.  Apparently, reality and my perception of it via instant message were two very different things.

I have many MANY stories to contribute to my theory of why social media, and its ability to embellish the truth, is the root of the destruction of interpersonal relationships.  I even wrote a 10 page research paper on this during college before Facebook was even popular, when Twitter was just another word for ignorant rambling, when the only way to share pictures was to take your roll of 35 mm film to Walmart for printing.

I have however realized that I communicate much better through written word than verbally (a talent I inherited from my mom, who inherited it from her mom).  Not to mention my typing speed of over 100 wpm is astounding.  It’s gotten to the point that I’m constantly editing my own thoughts before they come out of my mouth, trying to make them sound as original and interesting as possible, while also sounding natural and not rehearsed.  Many times after I say something outloud I think “Oh man, I should have saved that one for a Facebook status!  Now it won’t sound as clever because its old news.”  I stand in the shower and each thought has to go through revision to be social network ready.

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If everyone else is as OCD as I am about how their thoughts come across in writing, its no wonder that depression and anxiety rates have risen drastically since the onset of social media.  I have a friend whose husband works as a PA in an office that specializes in mental health.  He says that the majority of his patients when asked if and how often they spend time on social networking sites respond that it is their primary source of socialization.  Realizing that these patients who struggle with severe chronic mental health conditions are also socially isolated, one of their fundamental sources of treatment is to minimize or eliminate their use of such devices.

Like many teens in the 90’s, and most likely every decade before and since, I idolized certain celebrities.  I dreamed about meeting them and went through the conversations we would have in my head.  But they were untouchable and unreal to me; of course these dreams would never come true.  That was okay with me and not at all a source of self-deprecation.  Now, not only can you more or less communicate with your favorite, untouchable celebrities, but its as if every normal person on the Earth can put themselves in an idyllic and praiseworthy position.  That is what everyone seems to reach for with every status update or youtube post.  Now we not only have famous people to be jealous of, but hundreds of “friends” posting pictures of their perfect families, vacations, and accomplishments.

I am no exception.  Each time I post to this blog or anywhere else, I hope that somehow this will be my big viral break.  There are plenty of people just like me who started out as stay at home moms and then ended up on Oprah or Jimmy Kimmel/Fallon or the YouTube awards, whether it was for their musical talent, writing capabilities, or something their dog can do.

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The interesting thing, and why I say this has all changed so much of the way I think, is that I have been writing in a journal since I was in 5th grade.  Almost religiously.  I keep a box full of all my old diaries on the highest shelf in my closet collecting dust.  No one has read them and probably never will.  But I wrote the same way and the same kinds of things that I’m writing now for all to see.  I also have a row of large photo albums and scrapbooks on that same shelf full of pictures from the first time I got a camera til the last time I developed film.  So why does it make a difference now how many people see and respond to these things?

Maybe we like who people think we are on Twitter better.  And if our perception of reality really becomes our own reality, then as long as people “like” us, I guess we are liked.

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