A new month, a new me. No matter how hard learning something new can be initially, eventually you arrive at a place where it isn't as much effort. You may not be an expert, but you're no longer a novice. I value and treasure daylogs for their record keeping feature, if I ever wanted to know what I was doing or thinking, I can go back and read up on it. The fact that I almost never do this doesn't bother me. I derive pleasure and satisfaction from the simple routine of waking up and knowing that I have something to write about today. I forget when I started this, but I used to make lists and post them. For a while I've wanted to write this, but lacked the courage to do so.
Last night I spent some time riding waves of E2 nostalgia. I don't remember what triggered it, but I visited homenodes and left messages for people who haven't logged in for over a year. I read Decaversary interviews, and I went back to the catbox archive just to see what the proverbial trip down memory lane had in store for me. Names and themes jumped out at me. Sometimes I wondered why I was so enamored of this place when it was so confusing. I should have shut up and written more, but at the time I needed the social outlet E2 provided. I found some old quarrels and stupid things that made me mad. There were names that tugged on my heartstrings and writeups that I'm glad still exist so I can read them with more understanding and a different perspective than I had back then.
Periodically I feel as if I don't belong here. I feel as if I should move along and let internet dust cover the embarrassment and shame I feel when I think about the time I spent here and how I spent it. A lot of the old hurt and bitterness I felt has faded. I find myself smiling at a group of people who were occupying the same space when there were times they made me cry and sent horrible messages to me that made me want to leave. I saw things grundoon had said and I found myself thinking about her hospitality and the friendships she nurtured while she was here. With the eyes of today I can view things that Halspal said differently. I think he meant well even if I wasn't always in a frame of mind to receive constructive criticism.
I saw a comment from GhettoAardvark that made me think, and I thought about a person who I used to talk to on an almost daily basis that left without saying goodbye. That stings less now than it did, and I'd like to use this space to extend some apologies of my own. A couple of people had to talk to management about me harassing them. I don't want to think about the way that I violated boundaries, but today I'm owning that and telling everyone I'm sorry for not respecting the wishes of others. I don't have an excuse, there's really not an excuse for inappropriate behavior, and I'm still not perfect, but I'm much better about this than I have been in the past. I think of myself as an open person without realizing that others may be more reluctant to share personal information and experiences they've had.
It would make me sad if E2 disappeared. Life would go on, but this place has given me friendship and hosted things I've written for more than seven years, leaving me with a debt to repay to these virtual walls. Writing is just something I do, whether it's here or elsewhere. I've tried other sites and writing on paper, it's just not the same even though I can see how writing on paper is of a better qualitity than some of the things I thought were worthy of server space. The reality is it doesn't matter just like a lot of life really just doesn't matter and the things I stress and worry about would vanish quickly if I found out a family member had two weeks to live as a friend of mine did. Her father went downhill rapidly, dying just days after a terminal cancer diagnosis, but I don't want to spend too much time thinking about death and dying when I have so much to be living for today.
Things I am good at and like about myself:
1. I take social risks.
2. I am warm, open, and inclusive.
3. I stand up for myself.
4. I can walk away from a disagreement.
5. I keep in touch.
6. People know where they stand with me.
7. I persevere.
8. I encourage others.
9. I see what others do well and remind them of that when they're feeling low.
10. I'm funny.
11. I'm cute.
12. I'm sexy.
13. I'm maternal.
14. I'm creative.
15. I get things done.
16. I forgive myself and others.
17. I love big.
18. I am loyal.
19. I'm classy.
20. I can be very kind.
21. I avoid burning bridges.
22. I can be the bigger person.
23. I work hard to provide interesting, quality content.
24. There is room in my life for people whose opinions differ from mine.
25. I am tolerant of others and try to respect viewpoints that are not mine.
26. I do not kick people when they are down.
27. I am vulnerable.
28. I build up instead of tearing down.
29. I don't care what others think.
30. I am generous.
31. I acknowledge my faults and work on lessening their harm.
32. I love myself.
33. I am a good mother.
34. I face my fears.
35. I cry and allow myself to feel feelings I would have repressed in the past.
36. I listen to music and think about what the artists are trying to communicate.
37. I inspire others.
38. I am approachable
39. I am grateful and express my gratitude.
40. I wrote this list even though it was very hard for me.
Last night was not good. Today I talked to a friend of mine about a lot of things. I sat there crying and let the tears fall while I listened to her no nonsense advice. I can see solutions where I saw obstacles before. I can learn and grow and come back to this list when I need these reminders in my life. This is homework from my therapist. I wrote out a list when I was with her that I'm supposed to be reading every day. For a while I was faithful, but then doubt started creeping in and I became bored while I questioned myself. Was I really a good mother? Do I really listen to people, or am I thinking about what I would like to say while they're talking? I'm too hard on myself in certain areas and then give myself free passes when I need to toughen up. I'm getting better at striking a balance there.
I want unconditional love so I try to give that to others. Unconditional love doesn't mean accepting injuries to myself or passively sitting there while watching someone behave in a manner that they shouldn't. When my self esteem was less robust than it is now I took a lot of things personally when I could have brushed them off. I'll probably always have thinner skin than I would like, but upon reflection, no one thinks less of the flowers of the field and their blooms are far more fragile than I will ever be. I'm learning that I can be feminine and have real power of my own. It's a heady and uncertain experience because I don't want to give people a false impression of who I am and what I'm doing online.
There have been times when I've been flirty and said things I regret to others. I shouldn't have done that and I hope people can forgive me for sharing things that I wish I wouldn't have in a private context. I no longer believe that men and women can be friends and now I'm much more careful about who I talk to and what I'm willing to discuss with them. I don't owe people answers to impertient questions and I'm very sorry that in the past I've been someone who has annoyed and offended others by being curious about their life beyond an online context. A friend of mine told me something that really hurt my feelings, but I can see the truth in the comment. I don't know how it is for others, but sometimes I feel as if I'm expected to know how I'm being perceived and regarded when I have no way of knowing what others are saying about me behind my back.
For some set of internet users I am the older woman who probably comes across as very confident and self assured. I am offering an online experience and I revel in and enjoy experiences that I find to be ego boosting, sensual, dynamic, powerful, and earthy. I am free to be who and what I would like to be as long as I am willing to bear the consequences of my actions. I'm more guarded than I would like to be, but I feel as if this is for my own protection. I discuss what I want, when I want, as long as I feel comfortable discussing it and I don't mind flirty banter as long as it does not approach an invisible boundary that I've set up. As long as it's out in the open and public, then I feel as if it's contributing to a larger discussion, but going private is another matter.
I think there is a great danger in confiding things to another person if those are the types of things you are not sharing with your partner if you have one and this is what I really wanted to write about since I have trouble admitting that I'm part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. There's a lot I would like to write about that I don't and I have to think about how I'm going to proceed going forward. A part of me wants to write from the heart, but this may not be the place for that. Reading the things that I did last night made me rethink how I use E2. There are a lot of people that I've lost touch with, today and last night I was mourning some of that attrition even as I realize that people grow apart and E2 may not be filling a need in another's life as it is mine.
I would like E2 to be a part of my life, but I can't really decide how much of my new routine it's going to occupy. The daylogs really help me so I'm thankful that I have a place to put them and cherish the feedback I get from others. I'm confused about the future of E2 and where it's going. I don't mind if the writing disappears, to me that's not the most important aspect although I've spent countless hours getting lost in a sea of softlinks, drifting among the eclectic islands that define this place for me. I can get things here that I can't get anywhere else. I have a history here. I know people here. There are people that I miss that I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to say anything to again which leads me to this final thought.
If you are interested in keeping in touch with me outside of E2, send me your contact information. I'm not on Facebook and I have a feeling that most of the people here won't care for who I am on Twitter as I have a different agenda there. Twitter started as a footwear platform and turned into my baseball hang out place so it occupies a special niche in my life just as E2 does. I turned to baseball when I was writing about a shortstop and I'm not done with him yet so I stay on Twitter and do my thing there to get information about him. I've also developed a lot of close friends there and I need people who are affirming and conversational in my life which is why I have such a hard time with the empty catbox.
I don't want to chatter just to talk. I've done that and I'm not proud of it. Someone I follow on Twitter posted a tweet that resonates with me. I'm going to do what I'm going to do regardless of what others think. I'm done trying to win people's approval and affection across the board in my life. If what I'm doing isn't working for someone, then they need to come to me and talk to me about it unless they've already done that and then they have to decide if I'm worth keeping around because I can't change who I am on a fundamental level. I feel as if I've been insincere in the past. I've tried too hard and that's never a good look. I'm successful on Twitter because I let people come to me instead of trying to hunt down others.
I have issues, I'm in therapy, right now I find myself in need of affirmation and encouragement. You may not have that to offer which is fine. This is a place where I can come and write or chat or hang out or think about things and hear from a collection of people who have the capacity to completely blow my mind. There are times when I take the intelligence, the passion, the wisdom, the fire, and the complexity of the people here for granted. I've left for periods of time and have thought about just walking away, but now I'm making a commitment to myself that I don't want to break. I'm still working out what this is going to look like going forward, but giving myself this time and this space can be good for me since I learned that I can write about whatever I need to whenever I have that need.
I feel better having written this. I write for myself and appreciate the fact that I'm allowed to do so here. I wish some of the people that I have come to love would return, but if that's not part of their journey, I release them. I pray that they are doing well and if not, that their burdens will be lightened shortly and that they will learn whatever lesson they needed to from the experiences they are dealing with right now. I want to respect the right of others to leave here without reminders from the past, however if there is someone who is gone that would like to hear from me, or others, I would like them to have that opportunity as well. I'm really tired right now. I spent a lot of the morning crying the sort of cleansing tears I wish I could cry when emotions feel trapped in my chest, I think I'm going to try and lie down before I pick the girls up from school.
The tragedies of the world, from earthquakes in Nepal to Jews in Israel to the protestors in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, life is short and life is rich. It is fleeting, momentary, yet lasting when we review the memory books each of us carries in our hearts and minds. People can leave my life, but there are those who will always have their own sacred home in my heart. To love and to be loved is the majority of what life is about and I'd like to think that meeting me has helped more than have said good riddance. If you would like contact information from me, please ask. I'm going to make more of an effort to be the kind of friend that I've benefited from having in my life going forward. Thank you again for reading, for reaching out, for writing your own things, each of us has our own way of contributing to our existance and I'm adding the small tokens that add up to larger investments later on in life.
My head hurts, but somehow, I'm happy. I hope you are too, and if not, I pray that peace will be yours when you seek it.
P.S. I'm going to find something to laugh about today. I laughed pretty hard reading old catbox threads and I'd like to thank ascorbic for keeping the archive going despite my lack of financial support over the years. He has a link to his site that allows contributions and if you feel moved to do so, I would encourage you to send him a token of your appreciation.