We live in a world where we think too much, hide behind screens of various sizes, and proclaim that these words are our actions for whom we are and how we identify as our true self.
I have done a very good job of hiding my true self these last 18 years of being actively connected to the net. Yes, I’ve been active on the nets since our current graduates were just babies, dabbling with finding the perfect username and cursing at the dialup in the middle of a server battle for StarCraft. I’ve finessed a level of conversation with my prose to allow intelligence and banter to intermingle when all you see are characters and hear no genuine tonality and volume control.
But I tire of my fears and unrealistic ideals.
I can’t just be the name and digital words in front of you anymore.
I bumped into an old classmate from high school (actually, we confirmed the same middle school but apparently didn’t have any classes that would trigger a remembrance of the other) -I hadn’t seen him since we graduated and he looked EXACTLY the same (except the crow laugh lines were a little deeper). I honestly thought it was a miracle he remembered me -I felt I had changed way too much in a physical sense over the last 14 years since our graduation ceremony. But upon contemplation, people will remember people because of how you made them feel, and I’d always appreciated the humor and classmate camaraderie I share with him and others in those cliques (I was a floater, you couldn’t quite pin me – newspaper, orchestra, friends at all grades whom were both DECA bound and skaters, lots of drama people as our band hall connected us with their space). And it was nice and yet unnerving to talk to him. I felt like a child still -he was there with his wife, mother, and their two kids, and I was actually just about to get some sorbet while my boyfriend did his grocery shopping. I got derailed but in a pleasant way, though I had this… fear in me while speaking to him.
So I thought about it after leaving the shopping area (and no sorbet, I just felt too childish -and I shouldn’t have! I should of gotten what I wanted and called it a productive summer night!) – why did I have this annoying, irrational fear when I spoke with him? Because he knew me only in real life. I wasn’t connected to him via social networks so having an authentic real-life-only connection scared the bejesus out of me. Now, normally this isn’t the case. My day job is nothing but talking to strangers I’ll never meet via the call center and making a difference in these people’s lives. But they actively seek someone to speak to; this situation was a “oh hello!” passerby chance that, if it was someone that I barely knew, wouldn’t have really stopped to speak. But this classmate was always someone, in high school, whom I’d speak to for more than a casual moment’s length, so my inherent nature was to act on that old relationship foundation.
Was it the right thing to do? Yes, it was necessary to acknowledge him and connect in the moment. It reminded me that those relationships matter the most. When the internet breaks down and we have to leave our caves and coffee shops in the apocalypse of the Luddite, it will be the ability to establish real relationships that are transparent and authentic that make a difference for survival and the goal to thrive with others around us.
Still, I have this fear within me that I still only view the world in ideals and not in reality. Perhaps its the real reason why I struggle with weight loss, goals, and where I am meant to be in this life. It’s getting on the late side. Monday will be a coffee day with no shame at this rate.
Adieu for now. Thanks for stopping by.
PS: Would you like to have a letter written to you? If so, I will write you a love letter or a letter of encouragement or just a postcard of “whatever!” if you so desire. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll happily write you.