Quarantine Diaries- Social Media

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I, like so many of us, had big plans for 2020!

Big plans for my blog! BIG plans for my career! Big plans for my health and wellness, mental and physical! I knew exactly how it was going to go, I was ready.

This blog was going to be filled with Los Angeles and industry-related posts! With exciting tales of audition madness and fun events and tips and tricks for acting and all of it through a filter of mental health management and body positivity! Woohoo!!

Well…. we all know how that’s going! Best laid plans, right?

I’ve had nothing but time to write, but the truth is, I haven’t wanted to. I’ve been vacillating between two modes, neither of which have me wanting to sit down and write a public blog.

The first, and more common mode, has actually been pleasant. I’ve talked about being an introvert on this blog, and I’m also an incredibly introspective person (most, not all, introverts are!)  In the spirit of finding the blessings in a hard situation, I’ve been really leaning into the calm and quiet that I’m finding in these times.

I can’t do the work I love to do, and I’ve worked really hard the past five years to separate my worth from my “productivity” or, more often “perceived productivity.” I don’t need to stay “busy” to feel I’m of value as a person. I can’t recommend that journey enough. The happiness and peace that come with that release have been invaluable to me. As some brilliant person in Al-Anon once said to me, “You are a human being, not a human doing.” Love that.

I can also recognize how extremely, extremely lucky I am right now to have this freedom, make no mistake. I am not a healthcare worker, putting my life on the line to fight for others’ lives. I’m not an “essential” worker. I’m not being forced to choose between putting food on the table and exposing myself to a virus. We are ok financially, for now. These are tremendous blessings, I know this.

So, I’m really making a point to appreciate this time, which I likely will never have again. I am taking quiet time. I’m working on me. I’m reading books and taking classes. I’m playing games with my husband and binge-watching funny shows. I’m working out a lot- and for the right reasons! Which is very exciting. As sad as I can be because I miss my life terribly, I know that this is what needs to happen to protect people, and I know that this is also temporary.

However, not much to blog about, those days! If I am having revelations worth sharing, it’s mostly because I’m so IN it that I can’t even imagine sitting down and putting my thoughts in a coherent, sharable order!

My second mode has been a crushing sadness, I can admit. Some days it’s too much for me. The constant ignorance I see on social media sites. The entitlement displayed by so many. The disinformation spread like wildfire. The tantrums because grown-ass adults can’t do everything they want the minute they want to do it. The constant embarrassment of being represented by this administration. The lack of focused leadership. The hate speech. The racism. The complete lack of compassion for fellow human beings. Not to mention the stories I hear or read of how COVID is truly affecting people, from death to miserable sickness to small business owners struggling and afraid.

It’s heartbreaking.

Those days, mode two days, don’t come often. But they come more often than I’m used to!

Weirdly, the slow down has helped my mental health. I’m more balanced and generally peaceful than ever. I’m sure a lot of us could use more of this in our lives, generally, virus or no!

But those sad days are based on something real- that so many people in the world are this ignorant, this selfish, this childish, and often proud of it. And I’m being exposed to more and more of it because I’m on social media more!

The trick here is that social media makes us feel like we are connected to others at a time when we can’t really interact with people, generally. But I don’t think, for me, those connections feel super authentic, so I’m left thinking about the dumb things I see and not really feeling like I actually connected with likeminded humans.

I miss human interaction with other people who are positive, who think logically, who care about art and science and important issues our world is facing, who aren’t racist and xenophobic and homophobic and all the other crappy things I see splattered all over social media.

Am I in a bubble? Yep. Know why? Because I grew up in a town where people constantly wanted to fight over women’s rights and religion and whether gay people were “bad” and why it was “ok” to be super racist and how immigrants are “stealing” our jobs and a million other ignorant things (not everyone, but enough very LOUD people) that I got tired of it. No- EXHAUSTED. And when I realized there were places that I didn’t have to constantly fight for people to act with basic decency, I decided that’s where I would be. I would fight for change within a “bubble” that protected my mental health.

(Let’s be real though- LA is not perfect! There are jerks everywhere you go. But I believe like attracts like, and it’s just generally easier to find “my people” here.)

I’m still very aware we have problems to overcome. I don’t need evidence of it shoved in my face day after day. Some people prefer to be neck-deep in the fray. I say, go wherever gives you the most fuel to be your best self. For me, constant conflict depletes me.

Besides, I find very few people actually want to talk about something with an open mind, anyway. It’s just wasted energy 99% of the time.

So, this is why I haven’t been blogging! I knew it would come out more like a diary entry, like this. Nothing terribly useful to share, except maybe that someone else could identify with these feelings, and feel a bit seen. Connected. Less alone. That’s worth it, I guess. 🙂

Still, writing helps me organize and purge my thoughts, and this is my blog, so why am I so worried about writing perfect posts? I can and should write whatever I want, I suppose! If it speaks to anyone, great! If it’s just for me, great! Really, no downside here.

So, I’ll leave this post with this- I hope you are well, and you and your family and loved ones are healthy. I hope you are doing ok, mentally, physically, and financially. I know these times of uncertainty can be very scary. I hope we find a way back toward life soon- but I also truly hope we all learn something from this time.

No economy is truly “strong” if it can fall apart within weeks- perhaps we should explore these systems and adjust.

People aren’t truly peaceful or happy if they require constant distraction from their own thoughts- perhaps we could help each other find more peaceful ways of existence.

The planet has taken a deep, cleansing breath while we’ve given it a break- perhaps we can continue to do that in responsible, thoughtful ways even when we begin to return to old ways.

Maybe our old ways weren’t working- perhaps we could do better.

We’ll see, I guess.

Lastly, I hope you aren’t murdered by murder hornets or abducted by a UFO. Because that’s how weird 2020 is, guys. It’s a weird, weird, weird year…..

Hang in there!

 

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