grand gestures and finding balance

Seems there hasn’t been a way, yet, for me to strike a balance with my online life, my personal life, and my needs (and unique logistical limitations) as a single parent. Many of you know I have tried without success to just cut out all online socializing. This leads to an exaggerated loneliness in my otherwise simple but rich life.

What I’ve been looking for is a community like I had back in the 90s with misc.writing and Playful fun, writing challenges, intellectual stimulation, limited commitment or investment, and total control over when and where I interacted at all. It’s possible that google+ may turn out to be a decent replacement where Facebook, tumblr, blogging alone, or twitter all haven’t been just right. For now, though, even that space isn’t working.

So many times in the last year I’ve made these grand statements, exploding off the scene with sincere commitment. I “twittercided” a few times (cancelled my account entirely). I announced my departures from here, from tumblr, from everywhere, in an attempt to hold myself accountable. While the shame of changing my mind in front of all of you won’t stop me from changing my mind, it might cause hesitation that wouldn’t be there if I just slunk off quietly on my own.

Many people advocate for making changes just by making them instead of talking about them. The fact is, talking about changes is part of how I make them. It’s been steps forward and more steps back.

I’ve just come through a major physical move (May), work changes (complicated but settling down), personal life stresses (custody sharing, no matter how amicable, is difficult) and I haven’t felt grounded. On Thursdays, most weeks, my former husband starts his time with the girls. This has become a time I need more support than usual. I’ve been depending with success on these online communities to help with that stress and hurt. I’m anxious about giving up that source of support.

In the end, my sense of self is my touchstone. Knowing myself and being true to myself is how I get through any difficulty. Lately, I haven’t known who I am, or, rather, what my needs are based on my authentic and true self. That has been the most troubling of all of this. I know everything will be okay. It always has been and it always will. But not knowing in the deepest sense what is right for me based on my strong sense of who I am is something I need to fix.

So, I’m giving this “grand gesture” another try. I’m going to see about not going online for socializing for a while. If I add much more space and metaphorical air into my daily life, I hope to return to my center. Once I really get back to Me, I suspect I’ll be back to socializing online because it works so well for me.

This is a picture of me that I took just before writing this. I took a posed shot and then caught myself in my typical stance as I’m looking at the computer (head in hand). I thought that would be a decent closing image.

troll? no. interested? yes.

A Facebook friend recently said I was a “shameless troll” in response to this question I’d posted:

Let me put it this way: If men really like women just as they are, how do you explain the mass marketing success of the private area hair waxing and removal and the must-be-thin-no-jigglers and the must-look-“good”-as-defined-by-mass-marketing phenomena?

I disagree I’m being a troll with this question, or that I ever would be an Internet troll. Wikipedia defines a troll as someone posting inflammatory content with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. No way that’s me. I certainly welcome emotional responses if the topics deserve them. I ♥ heated debates, discussions, arguments, conversations.

When I post content that might seem inflammatory my intent is never to just stir up the muck. I want to make my own position clear and learn what other people’s positions are. Or, I’m seeking information from other people about their perceptions. If people get into name calling and hitting brick walls not listening to each other, that’s unfortunate. But it’s absolutely and totally a price worth paying for the meaty substance that can also come from “hot topics.”

So, no. No troll here. Just me, believing in the power and pleasure of direct and blunt conversations.