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I haven't been here in a long, LONG time. And I can't say that I am apologizing for that, because I think that the time away has been good--for me, and maybe a little for you, too.

I've been Facebooking a lot, and find that I am probably better taken in small doses--little snippets of life, updated in more manageable bites, about more mundane stuffage.

However...there have been things on my mind lately--things that demand a broader examination than a wall post or a tweet can handle. Whether you find it good for you to read or not is up to you--mostly, I'm writing for my own edification, and my own need to express some of the new things I'm thinking about. In itself, it is grotesquely self-indulgent.

But then again, what expression ISN'T self indulgent? ;-)



I've been thinking quite a bit lately about some of the things that have happened here, in the past, and how they continue to float, mostly unbidden, into my brain on occasion. Mostly what I think about is how completely and hugely they contrast with what I experience now. Over in my other space, I am surrounded mostly by family and friends from my younger days (some as far back as the age of three!), and I have come to realize how that kind of closeness, that way of being known, is a completely different animal from being known just as words on a screen, sprung fully formed from an online reputation and/or a series--sometimes a lengthy series--of postings which reveal and hide all at once.

I have never been flamed or have flamed there.

I have never been called a name, or called anyone else a name.

No one has ever felt the need to warn anyone away from me, nor have I felt the necessity to stay out of someone's space because of who they have on their friends list.

There has never been one single solitary speck of drama.

And I wonder--is it because I've grown up and into someone more mature, more adult, more reasonably advanced or enlightened?

That would be nice to think, wouldn't it? That I have EVOLVED in some way.

But is it really that? Or is it simply because these are the people who knew me before I became who I came to be known here?

Is it because I am older, or is it because the expectation is that I will continue to be who I was when I was a child?

And doesn't THAT give one pause...? Doesn't it give one pause to think that who you were in your tender years is someone more lovable and more pleasant to be around than who you believe you have grown up to be? Because, really--what is the point of growing up if growing up means that you have become someone you never wanted to be, or aspired to be, or believed it would be better to be?

What is the point of evolving into a pure pain in the ass?

All I know is that, whatever it is, whatever caused these things to happen, I like it. I really, really like it.

I go back and over some of the things that have happened here, in my journal and in the ones of others that pertain to their interactions with me, or back in the B'net days, and I think, Who IS that? I mean, really...who IS that? Who is that person who needs to be so RIGHT? Who is that person who is so angry and unhappy all the time--so much so that there was something in me that needed to make everyone around me angry and unhappy as well? Who IS she--and dear godz, how could you STAND her?

And, more humiliating, there is so much shit here about why I was that thoughtless and cruel, so much useless and ridiculous self-justification and so many non-apologies and foundationless defensiveness. I mean, really--what was that all about? Let me just say, here and now, that the reason I was the way I was was because I came to believe, probably because of the way I saw myself here, that I was the center of the universe. This universe--this tiny, insignificant world of ones and zeroes that swallowed me up whole and spat me out, into a person who would be unrecognizable to those who have known me all my life, and even to myself.

I was that deluded. I was that arrogant. I was that stupid.

So when I started Facebook, and started hanging out with the people I knew in elementary school and high school and college, it was really much more difficult to continue to believe that because, really...you can't fool those people. They knew you when. They knew you when you wore geeky clothes and ate peanut butter and jelly in the cafeteria and made an utter fool of yourself in algebra class. They saw you when you fell down the marble stairs and showed your underpants. They know all your teachers. They know all your other friends. To them, you are flesh and bone, and you have a past. You are not, fully formed, sprung from the head of Bill Gates or whoever else invented you the day you stepped a baby toe online and decided to be a firebreathing dragon.

Or a dybbuk. Or a gorgon.

And I'm not saying, by any stretch, that these relationships that you have with them are more real than the ones you find online, because, let's face it, I met my husband online, and it doesn't get more real than that. My relationships here are real to me.

But the thing is...with these people who know me in meat space, and have known me for about a million years, I am more real. I am realer than real. And while that means I can't get away with being the most fantastical creature you have ever known, as charming as all get out and of heroic proportions, neither can I be the kind of shit that I can be--and have been--in my relationships here.

They wouldn't buy it.

They wouldn't tolerate it.

They would probably laugh their butts off at me.

And can I just tell you what a RELIEF this has been? To know that there is no pressure, no drama, no expectation that someday someone is going to say something and Belle is just going to entertainingly DETONATE, creating a weeks-long flame war that makes everyone sick to their stomachs and makes their heads ache with the utter ridiculousness of it all?

And you know what?

It's self-perpetuating.

The more I am expected to be this real me, the more I am this real me, and it's pretty easy and fun and satisfying.

And I keep saying "real me", but I have to say that that can come off as some kind of massive justification as well. That the "real me" is not the drama queen I was around here, and not the dangerous person I was deemed to be. But that's not true, either--I still get angry. I still get annoyed. I still rant and rave and have a bad day from time to time. I can still be a drama queen. But for the most part, what I'm coming to realize is that, in the perspective of seeing myself as part of a whole, rather than as the center, those things are really trivialities. Really unimportant. When you're on Facebook, and on one hand you make this screaming post about how annoyed you are, and then talk about what's for dinner...well, it's kind of the great equalizer.

The cyber leveler.

I don't know...in some ways, it has been really healthy to trivialize myself. To shove my life into little posts, some about absolutely nothing. There are some who would probably despair of the fact that it seems that I've lost my passion or something. But I haven't--I still feel just as passionately about a lot of the same things as I always have. I just don't feel the need to foist that off on other people anymore. And most of the time, it's pretty funny about 15 minutes after I just let it go and stop being such an arrogant jerk. In the grander scheme, it works out a lot better to realize that I'm really not THAT important, and that I'm still capable of falling down the stairs so that everyone can see my underpants...but really, how often do you want to do that?



I'm embarrassed by a lot of the stuff I've written here. I'm sorry for a lot of the trouble I caused, and know that I will probably never know forgiveness for it. That's OK--I don't know if I deserve forgiveness (and really--what do any of us "deserve"? Forgiveness is a gift, and an act of grace.) But the truth of it is...while some of it still stings, what stings me now is not some of the things that have been said about me, but the kind of me that I was when I was having those things said. Because, really--there is no excuse. Not one. Not a single thing. And I have my old friends to thank for bringing that to my attention--not my old friends from 10 or 15 years ago, but my old friends from 30 and 40 and even 50 years ago.

Because they don't let me get away with a thing. And because, really...if someone can love you when you're in high school, they're probably going to love you forever, and believe in you, and, most important of all, see how far you've come, while at the same time still seeing that scared kid staring out of the corner of your eyes. The one who just wants to fit in. And in their enormous generosity....

they let you.

Comments

moropus
Mar. 10th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Hi!
anahata56
Mar. 10th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
Hi, you! I've missed you!

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