The public persona of social media… and the demons they bring out.

I love Facebook and social media. I love the power that it has harnessed to bring people together – find long lost friends, share with people half a world away, make it feel like you never missed a step. I love blogs that let people share stories and inspire people, sowing love and peace.

But I really dislike how much self-hatred it can impose. You see all the amazing vacation photos and blog posts about how awesome life is – you’re friends with the supermom! You know – the woman who works full time, has three kids under the age of 7, hand makes the birthday party invitations for 35 people, weighs 123 pounds soaking wet, decorates her home for every holiday, has a successful (at least from what you can see) marriage, has time to Instagram every meal, professional family portraits done on a regular basis, and just overall has the life we all just wish we could have?

It makes me feel terrible, sitting here, staring at the dishes on my desk as I type, looking at the Christmas lights we never bothered to take down in the living room (Okay, okay, I’ll admit it – we didn’t take them down because we liked the way they look where they are!). My one child went to bed in her clothes because I was to tired to fight with her to take them off.

A group I am in on Facebook is 8,000 members strong. It’s a place to talk about being healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and any other form of health out there. It’s an awesome group. Super supportive, full of positive energy, and a very safe place to open up to the people about health successes and failures, challenges and obstacles, and come up with a plan to over come those. I consider myself a relatively healthy eater – I could definitely make a few changes, but all in all, I don’t snack much anymore, I don’t drink as much soda as I used to, I make a conscious effort to move around my office more, though my job can be relatively sedentary if I let it be. My mom even told me once recently (and for anyone who knows me and my relationship with my mother around the topic of my weight and health knows how huge this is) that she doesn’t think my physical health has anything to do with my eating habits, as she has seen the way I eat and doesn’t think the two are related.  And yet, when I look at this group I am in, rather than feeling uplifted, I become depressed about all the issues I’m not resolving. Today I got home from work, and rather than doing anything productive or helping my husband with the recent home renovation he started, I fell asleep on the couch. Not because I was lazy, but because I had just come home from swimming 26 laps at the local pool and was exhausted.

It just feels like in order to get the life I want, I have to give up the life I want. I don’t understand how to make the puzzle pieces fit.

We Are All Humans (or, In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings)

Why does it take a disaster of some sort to bring people together in times of need. Don’t we all feel better when we rely on other people? What would be so hard about doing that on a regular basis? It frustrates me that people need to be motivated by some kind of devastating event (ie., Boston, Sandy Hook, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene, Columbine….) to come together and behave… well… human. The phrase “Can’t we all just get along??” comes to mind.

I can’t even begin to express my frustration levels right now. And then, to top it off, the Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket? REALLY? REALLY??? What kind of prick takes advantage of devastation to push his/her agenda?

And now, rumors are flying that one of the deceased in the attach was an 8 year old child. A CHILD. Who was probably thrilled to see the Boston Marathon, and cheer the racers on. Innocent. Not old enough to understand the danger he was in until it was probably too late.

I can’t even begin to put into words the anguish I feel about this. I want to yell at the bomber, to comfort the injured, to hug the families and to take care of those who need it. But what I really want is for we humans to realize that we are all in this together. Whatever language you speak, god you worship (or don’t worship, whatever works for you), food you eat, or race you run, we are all humans. We all have struggles. It shouldn’t have to take events like 9/11 to make us realize this.

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”

~Philo of Alexandria