Sometimes it’s easy.
Words just come to me.
I’m funny… or clever… or deep… maybe emotional.
Sometimes I can tap into something that creates a spark in others and that’s what I’m usually looking for.
A coworker once told me “that thing you posted on Facebook the other night, my wife and I laughed and laughed at that… you’re funny”. That simple compliment paralyzed me for quite a while. Every post I started to make would leave me frozen mid word. Was it funny enough? Was it clever enough? Would people relate to it?
What if I just wanted to post a sarcastic comment about something that happened locally? Would people on the other side of the country see the sarcasm or would they take it seriously and try to bring down my feed with their arm chair quarterback comments?
This morning I desperately wanted to post that sarcastic comment but I settled on sending the article prompting this to my siblings and let it be done. It got it out of my system and my Facebook feed won’t get my contribution this morning. It rarely gets contributions these days. Something about my written quick witted nature broke when I left the platform entirely a few years ago and it didn’t come back when dipped my toe back in the pool. I still have funny or thought provoking things to say, I just lost that rhythm on there I suppose.
So this blog gets my attention instead. True, it’s a bit more involved then a simple post but perhaps that’s a good thing. More intention goes into this as it isn’t updated with thumbs fumbling across an iPhone screen. I don’t get thumbs ups, or care faces, or hearts or angry faces. It’s probably best that way. That constant need for validation gets you no where… but the ability to put out some words into the world that might touch someone in a more meaningful way than something they run across while scrolling during their work break does get you somewhere.
Emotionally, at least.
This thing about things like dropping hilarity into the feeds of all of my friends not coming back when I returned to social media is a thought that runs through my head at times. What is different about me now? Something has changed as I don’t need that validation I mentioned earlier. I don’t need coworkers to tell me I’m funny or 57 people (most of whom I haven’t seen in person since the post-graduation party at the local go-cart/mini golf plaza in 1999) to tell me my new haircut is “fire”. Did the pandemic do this? Did time away from social media do this? Did encouragement and support from my husband who loves me despite my flaws do this?
Did I do this?
It took almost 3 years to get to the point where I don’t need that to feel liked. Now I’m at the point where I need to figure out who I am. That thought slapped me in my face as I followed Rocky through the woods on Sunday. Who is the person he sees and loves, because that person existed long before Facebook. Who is the person my new coworkers are getting to know… from 2 time zones away. Who is the person who doesn’t spend her professional life running large events at a convention center or helping to put concerts on a stage? Who is the person struggling daily to learn a new job because learning a new job and a somewhat new industry at the age of 40 is similar to learning a foreign language long after college.
I’m probably still funny. I’ll hang my hat on that.
I think a lot of us need to rediscover who we are. Over a year at home has surely stunted our growth a bit. Our old selves stuck somewhere around March 14, 2020 waiting for the calendar to turn to March 15, 2020.
We need to go back, pack them up and bring them along for the ride.