Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's A Lonely Island

I know it’s been some time since I’ve posted a blog, but believe it or not I’m rather active online.  When I say active I should probably clarify, I’m active on social media.  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are checked as often as 10 times a day.  I’ve discovered that this has become quite the problem for me, it’s a massive distraction, which is one of the reasons I’ve been considering leaving them for some time.

We live in a world where phone calls, and letters, and even emails are obsolete.  Facebook messages and tweets are how we keep up with each other’s lives.  This has advantages and disadvantages.  For instance, I live in Colorado, and my family lives in Kentucky.  I’m able to post photographs and news stories I find interesting on Facebook, and they are able to then connect and see what I’m doing.  I have friends who literally live all over the world, and regardless of time zones we are able to keep up with the others life, and communicate.  I also run a business strictly online, and if it wasn’t for Facebook I wouldn’t have a lot of the customers I’ve gained in the past year.  So there are some definite positives to social media and being connected.

There are also the disadvantages of this type of communication as well though.  Recently the disadvantages have outweighed the advantages for me.  When your life isn’t following the “normal” path that is socially acceptable it can be difficult to see how others’ lives are so different than yours.  I would say that 97% of my friends and family have at least one of these things going for them, they’re either married/in a serious relationship, have jobs they enjoy, and/or have kids.  I’d like to point out; I have none of those things going for me right now.  Some of the reasons for that are my choices, but some reasons are beyond my control.  I’m not going to get into those reasons, and why I can’t change them right now, but know that I can’t simply “fix” them.  I’m okay with being single right now, I’m okay with not having children right now, and I’m even okay with working jobs I don’t necessarily enjoy just to pay the bills till I can find a job I do enjoy.  My life is moving in a different way than other people’s lives are, and as I’ve said in the past, I’m okay with that.

Sometimes though it’s difficult to see the posts all over social media about someone having another baby, or how happy they are with their spouse who is wonderful, or how fulfilling their job is.  Sometimes seeing those things, and knowing that you want them and don’t have them yet, is painful to see.  That’s the place I’m at right now.  I love my friends and family, and I love that they’re happy, but I also hate how seeing them happy makes me feel jealous, and unhappy in my own life.

I really am glad that my life has not followed the traditional road, but sometimes I wonder if the traditional road would have been easier.  Easier to explain to extended family why I don’t have a boyfriend (and let’s clear one thing up, just because I’m single and happy doesn’t make me gay!).  Easier to wake up and go to work when it’s something you want to be doing, not something you have to do to barely get by.  Easier to not feel like the creepy lady smiling at the baby at the store, when you have your own child you can smile at instead.

Yeah, yeah, all things come to those who wait…and things happen in their own time for every person…and when it’s meant to be it will be.  Save me the platitudes, because honestly it’s all right for me to feel this way!  There is nothing that says I can’t feel jealous sometimes, or unhappy sometimes, or even angry sometimes over the fact that those things aren’t part of my life.  It’s only a problem when you feel like you can’t talk to someone about it and so it weighs on you, becoming toxic.

I admit that because of all of these things, I’ve become distant to many people in my life.  I don’t stay in contact, and separate myself both physically and emotionally.  In essence I have put myself out on an island with those I felt like I could talk to, and relate too, because they were in the same situation as me.  Eventually though I ended up on that island alone.  I hate that, and I want to fix it, but I fear that I’ve burned too many bridges in the process and can’t repair some of the relationships I let go of.  I’m also afraid that I don’t know how to change.

I’m not deleting my social media because this would only separate me further.  Maybe it’s time that I stop checking it 10 times a day though.  Maybe it’s time we all stop comparing our lives to other people’s, and saying if it doesn’t match up then it’s wrong.