I finally did it. I took the bold step that I have known was coming for a while. I have no friends. Well, no Facebook friends. I got rid of everybody. I sent everyone a message with all of my contact information. I still have an account where you can message me and find me. But I have no friends.
Why? Why this drastic step?
Do you ever feel like your life is headed in the wrong direction and a course correction is necessary, no matter how painful? That is where I am right now. I have come to some realizations in the last little while, but I have lacked the courage to follow through.
My first realization is that I need to live life. I have been sitting here for a while watching life pass me by. I have been a passive observer, instead of an active participant. This idea really came into focus last year when I attended a book club, where the book was called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". It was a memoir that basically said what I just did. The author was a spectator of life and decided to do something about it. I had felt this in my heart for a long time, but it was solidified in the pages of this book. I knew it was true. I knew I was guilty. Life is passing me by way more than I would ever want it to. I want to live life and have awesome experiences. I know it will benefit my children and family, but I am not planning on doing it for them. I am going to do it for me. They will see my good example, and that will be a positive consequence, but it is not my motivation. My motivation is purely selfish. I only have one life. I need to live it and be a part of it.
Does this mean that I will be hiking the Inca Trail to the pinnacle of Machu Picchu? Probably not. But can I hike the endless trails of the Wasatch front, listen to the birds sing, learn the names of the trees and plants, rediscover the wonder of bugs and snakes, and drink in the beauty of God's creations? Yes, I can. I can do that every single day. I can get on the ground and play with my kids, read more books that will take me to magical places and expand my mind to ideas I have never considered. I can step out of my front door and stop by to see a neighbor, call an old friend, write a letter. I can make a real, tangible social network in my life, based on real relationships that take work and thought. I have been so lazy and passive.
This gets into my second reason for unplugging. I have realized that the more "connected" I am in cyber-space, the more disconnected I really am to people in my life. A high "friend total" does not measure my worth or popularity in life. My real friends, the ones I really care about, and who really care about me will be in my life. If my relationship with someone was never strong to begin with, then they will go their way and I will go mine. It is not like Facebook was really strengthening anything to begin with. I can't be best friends with everyone and I can't stay in everyone's business. It is cluttering my mind. I am here. If you need me, you can find me. But I am going to start really focusing on what is in front of me...the people who are in my path now. I don't know what relationships will endure, but the ones that do will be based on concrete things. This is going to require effort on my part and I will put the effort in where I feel that I should. And for all my friends, I will just have a whole lot more Christmas cards to start sending out every year.
There is one thing I know about myself. I have an addictive personality. I grew up in a house of TV addicts. Hence, I am most definitely a TV addict. This is the next step in my life. I just really need to unplug everything. I have done that before with TV and it really does make a difference. But just like TV, Facebook and things of that nature fill the void. I make no plans, I set no goals, and then I feel deprived and need to fill it in with something and TV/Facebook do the trick. It is unfulfilling and depressing and I just need to cut the cord.
My kids are really starting to do stuff, cool stuff. I want to lead the way. I want to be right there with them.
Now that I am unshackling myself from all of this nonsense, I am going to live life from the driver's seat, unfettered and unafraid. That is, once I go through my withdrawal phase. It could take a while.