37 Days, Facebook, and the "Real" Me
Hi. So, it's uh, been a while since I posted here. I'm quite good at ignoring things that come up, until I can't ignore them any more, so I didn't even realize that something had come up until last week, in a conversation with a friend.
Here's what I came to realize: I'm on facebook, and I have been *loving* that site. I had been invited to join before, but it took Patti Digh starting a group for 37 Days to actually get me on there. I was a member for a while before I started looking for friends and being active, and now that I am - I love it! Unschoolers are a very spread out lot, we have friends from all over the country - the world! - and facebook allows these luscious glimpses into what they're up to. It's a wonderful way to connect. I rarely do any of the applications, like throw stuff, send gifts, etc. I use it to post updates, and read others' pages. I've gotten to know some people better, and have even made new friends! I know it's not hip to say - but it's really cool! After I'd been on there a while, a cousin found me. My maternal grandmother had 15 kids, so just on that side of the family I have 51 cousins. I hadn't even thought about family! So, add a few of the cousins. Just recently, I was contacted by people from high school; they're planning a 26th reunion and are finding people. I have mixed feelings about that, school as a whole was tough for me - but sure, I'll add ya. Through that, I was contacted by folks from elementary school. Now that felt really weird, thinking about that time in my life. They posted some pics from back in the day, and I e-mailed the link to my sisters, who are not on facebook, but one of my brothers-in-law is, so we became facebook friends...
It started to feel weird, to have all these pieces of my life in one place. I'm OK with it, it's just... OK, here's the thing. I honestly don't know who I was in elementary school. Or, really, junior high or high school, either. I mostly felt lost and alone. I was very school smart, and had a desire to please, so I made good grades (until I sabotaged that sometimes). I was nerdy and socially awkward. My family didn't have much money, so I dressed funny - which I was totally unaware of. I just remember feeling separate from most things, feeling that everyone besides me had gotten some kind of handbook for living that I somehow got skipped over for. How did people have so many friends? How did they know what to say, and what not to say? How did they know what was IN, and be doing that very thing? I was clueless.
Man, seeing those elementary pictures was weird. It brought all those feelings up. I have no idea how people perceived me back then. I know I was laughed at - a lot. I also know a few years ago, I saw someone from high school, and I said something about how odd and awkward I felt back then, and she was surprised! She said, "Oh, my gosh, I always thought you were so stuck up! You were SO smart!" Huh? Me? Stuck up? I was... nothing. What did I have to be stuck up about?
So, anyway - all of these "me"s, all together in one place. Several years ago, my goal was to be myself no matter who I was with - I wasn't going to be one person at work, another person at home, still another with friends. I'm me! And I think I'm kinda okay, so I wanted to be ME. For years, like every area was separate. And I used to lie! Wow, I hadn't thought about that in a long time. I used to lie, used to hide pieces of myself from people. I haven't done that in AGES. I am me, wholly and completely, wherever I go. But - back when some of these people knew me, I wasn't.
And I remembered that I link to this blog on facebook, so it's possible some of those people could click over and read here... (eek!) I thought about deleting the link, but that goes against the whole being me thing. So I just didn't post. After I friended (? how do you say that?) my brother-in-law, I went back and read or skimmed over everything I had written on here. That helped me realize - I don't have anything to hide! This place where I reveal the true me and my thoughts is revealing someone I like a lot and I think is a pretty fine woman. The not-posting wasn't done consciously, I just kept finding other things to do. Until last week, and the realization that what I was doing was hiding.
So, here I am! And in a nice bit of timing, Patti Digh is asking people to commit to doing one thing every day for 37 Days, starting today. From her book, Life is a Verb:
Perhaps it’s something simple like cleaning out one drawer every day in your house for thirty-seven days. Perhaps writing one Haiku every day for thirty-seven days would break old patterns and help you see more. Or eating five fruits and vegetables a day or writing for ten minutes each day or walking for ten minutes a day or writing a postcard to a friend each week. Or pick one of the 37days Do it Now Challenges at the close of each of these stories and do it for thirty-seven days. Whatever it is, however small, do it. Just for thirty-seven days.
That’s doable. Decide on It, the Thing You Will Do. And then, do it.
Perhaps it is something you will stop doing for thirty-seven days. Stop hiding, stop spending, stop smoking, stop making excuses, stop blaming or judging, stop eating Raspberry Frosted Pop-Tarts® with Sprinkles (purely hypothetical example).
So, my thing I'm going to do for 37 Days? I'm going to reveal one thing about myself on here, on my blog, for 37 days, posting every day, starting today. Not exactly secrets, because some people know as much about me as it's possible for another person to know... just 37 things, about me. Revealing myself. Being me, wherever I go, including the wilds of facebook.
Thing about me #1 - (OK, I need to find a catchier way to phrase that if I'm gonna be doing this for 37 days!) What I revealed above. That my school years were awkward and scary much of the time, that I felt lost, that I felt alone and unseen, that I was laughed at. I don't talk about that much, and my facebook experience let me know there's still some healing to allow. So - now you know something about me you might not have known before!
I'm also going to be doing something else for these 37 Days, a more action-oriented thing. I'll tell ya about that later.
It's nice to be back.