I have reached this fantastic age of my life where I no longer feel the need to be validated by likes or comments on a social media post – and it feels just as great as you might imagine it would!
I’m out here doing these fantastic things.. and guess what? My Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat don’t know about it! Rather, the people who “follow” me don’t know about it. And I get this sort of satisfaction knowing that not everyone who has ever had contact with me knows about my journey. It is less so to seem mysterious, and more a time for me to spend reflecting on life. Truly I think I am happier when I am off social media. Those lame articles we read about comparing ourselves to others and feeling depressed because we’re bombarded with curated images of people’s lives are truly hard for me to look at. I guess I don’t want to play a part in the “fake happiness” trends, and rather rely on real life relationships where I can freely share good and bad stories about my journey.
I’ve had… well, 2 friends actually go out of their way to ask to see some pictures of my time so far (with the exception of my boyfriend). Just two! It’s kind of crazy and helps me put some perspective on the social media craze. I do not want to be that annoying girl bombarding everyone with pictures, but of course, I will send them and tell you all about my experiences if you ask. But sometimes I think it’s a guise: a few friends have asked me how things are going, but I find myself wondering if they find my stories interesting? Do they even care? Are they asking like it’s a check mark on a paper because that’s what you do when someone leaves? Do they actually think that I’m doing is as cool as I think it is? Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ll ever know.
I find myself thinking again about this same friend who has occupied too much of my time. The friend who started ignoring me when things were going well for me, but bad for her. I think social media played a role in that fight because that’s how she started ignoring me — not liking things I’d put online when she’d like everyone else’s posts, ignoring messages I sent her, not answering when I’d call but replying with one word texts… I don’t like the power social media gave her in that fight. People are braver being a screen, and when I don’t respond (because I can’t respond to those types of messages), I am now the reason why we aren’t talking.
But I think the beauty in my life right now is that I have the power to choose who is in my life and who isn’t. I think the more distance I give home, the more clear things become with everyone in my life. I really don’t care how anyone has spun the story — however you want to frame things, I know that you started things and I know you do, too.
I am tired of having “Facebook Friends,” who are my friends in the virtual word but not in real life. I’m tired of people trying to bring me down and when I share what’s going on with someone else, hearing: “maybe they’re jealous?” as the reason. Yes, maybe they are jealous and that explains why they treat me the way they do, but jealousy has been a really vicious, nasty thing. I want people in my life who are supportive and kind, and genuinely care about you. I want to be happy for my friends unconditionally when something good happens in their life, but I can’t shake this feeling of faking happiness for things because when I share something good about my life, I get put-downs and “why are you even trying?”‘s.
I really think the whole point is that I am trying to better myself and find out what makes me happy. I was asked by some students if I believe in the American Dream, and this is a topic that has come up on my blog before and something that has caused me a lot of pain in the past. All I’ve ever known is “we don’t have money for this” and “we don’t have money for that.” And I think I translated me being successful as me achieving some “American Dream” and I just truly don’t see it that way anymore. I am a unicorn – the first woman in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and have a career from it, yes, but that does not mean I have achieved some life dream. I’m only 24, and I have so much more living to do. My whole life will NOT be planned around that degree and I will not hold that job for the rest of my life (case in point: look at me today!) I still feel like I am figuring myself out, and I’ll fall back into the same old depression if I go back to my job in my old city. Surely, there’s more to life than
graduating college -> getting a job -> getting married -> buying a home -> having kids
I see so many other young people who believe in that way of life, and I see the comfort and familiarity in it… y’all, I just don’t see my life unfolding in that way.
I could write a novel about this.