Thursday, August 30, 2012

Being Real

This blog I am about to write has been a long time in the making.  I have been tortured and haunted by it for months, so I am going to just write it down and put it out there.  It is not meant to offend anyone, but it may.  This comes from my heart.
I looked yesterday on Facebook and saw that I had reached a staggering count of 505 "friends". Wow!  Amazing, right?  Wrong.  I have been burdened by this for a long time and I only now just started to realize what I have been doing to myself.  Yes, I used the word burdened.

 It has been a burden.

I have an addictive personality when it comes to some things, and Facebook just happens to be one of those things.  I can't stop looking at it. I read everything on it, multiple times a day. It is really kind of voyeuristic.  I can peep into other peoples lives with very little effort on my part. It is a fraud.  There have been good parts that have been uplifting (like pictures of kids and stuff), but on the most part it frankly disturbs me. 

I have learned things about people whom I thought I knew, things that I realized I didn't want to know.  This mainly would concern "friends" positions on politics and social issues. I am the kind of person who cares deeply about these things and I can get stressed out about things that I know I have absolutely no control over in any way.  But that does not stop me from masticating on it for months on end until I can to come to some "happy" place.

I don't say anything, or at least I try very, very hard to restrain myself and not say anything so as not to be contentious.  Contrary to what some people might think, I do not have a desire to be contentious with anyone. I have worked very hard in my adulthood to come to this place, as it has definitely been one of those weaknesses to overcome.  I am not there yet, but believe me, I have come a long way. You can ask anyone who went to high school with me, and they can attest to this fact.

But I look on Facebook, and I am bombarded with bull crap. I don't fight back. I don't say anything. It makes me angry, and then it just makes me sad.

I don't want to be a person with two personalities, the church Kelly who puts on the church face and then when I am online, the claws come out.  I want to be me, all the time, 100%.

I don't want to have secret animosity towards people, because in public we put on a good face because we are not allowed to talk about these things face to face, but then online it is all out war.  I can't take it anymore.

I want to clearly tell everyone exactly who I am.

1. I am a Mormon.

     - I love my religion. I have a deep and abiding testimony of it. It is everything to me, the most important thing that I have. It is more important to me than my marriage, than my children, than my social standing.  God comes first. Period. Fortunately for me, my husband feels EXACTLY the same way.

2. I am a Conservative.

     - I have a deep and abiding love for freedom. I will not apologize for this or feel bad about it. Government is not the solution to our problems. Government IS the problem.  Any political belief that I have will fall consistently within this framework.

3.  I am a Homeschooler.

     - I take responsibility for my children and their education. Yes it is hard and I wish there was an easier way, but there is not. I don't want any sort of government program to help me in this journey I have embarked on, so don't even bother suggesting it. I will politely smile and nod my head and continue on my road less traveled. But please feel free to send your kid anywhere you want to because I could care less.

So yesterday, I did the most liberating thing I am capable of doing at this juncture in my life... I went through my friends list and started a great purge. I knew every single person on there and consequently, I really like pretty much all 505. But as I looked at each person individually, I evaluated what my true relationship was with them. Was it meaningful? Was it helpful? Was it uplifting? Did it have some kind of purpose?

When I was in high school, I had no close friends at all. I was quite isolated because of the choices that I made and  because of who I am.  I was the only active Mormon at my school in a very Southern Baptist North Carolina.  This probably had a lot to do with it, plus the fact that I was pretty obnoxious.  I have always had an insecurity about friends.  Because I never had any, I have tried to overcompensate in my adulthood. My priorities have been a bit skewed.

Facebook has only exposed my insecurities. I was desperate to have as many friends as possible in as many spheres as I could conjure.  What surprised me was when I reconnected with people from high school on Facebook, how many would actually be my friend when they didn't say two words to me in my school years.

It dawned on me that people are just as insecure as I am when it comes to this issue. How many friends can I get? Do I have more than this guy or that schmuck over there?

A voice kept whispering to me that it just didn't matter, but I was feeding on my insecurities. 

But I did it yesterday and I feel so much lighter.  As it stands right now, I am at 164.

This is probably still too many people. And if there are "friends" that I took off, it doesn't mean that I don't like them or that I am mad at them. It just means that I am saving my space for people who add something to my life right now.

I have gotten lazy at fostering and nurturing relationships with people. I don't want to be that way anymore.

I know I should probably just delete my account and not go on anymore, but I think I need to wean myself off of it. Plus, I feel like the 164 on there are people who know me and will be okay with me just being me. I am unfettered. I won't have to be contentious, I can just be real. And that is who I am.


likeschocolate said...

I total understand. I have been shocked to see all the mud slinging . I watched 2 sisters in my ward fight with one another. Why ! Must be satan. Funny how people feel comfortable to jab one another over Facebook but would not have the courage to have the conversation in person.

Lindh Family said...

This post really resonates with me, Kelly. You did a nice job of putting your feelings down and I hope this journey brings you peace. I love reading your blog and getting to know you better through it. Keep up the good work.

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