I could be one thousand miles away but still mean what I say
I’m going on a short vacation for my birthday and I’m really excited about it. Practically gushing about it, I’m like, SO excited and telling everyone I know that I’m going. (I even told one of my clients today and she said, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me? I have a son, and he’s single, it would’ve been lovely to set you two up… he got accepted to Harvard, you know.)
The question always inevitably comes up, though: Who are you going with?
Which is strange because, um, hello! I’m going to Sedona and I am so stoked about its beauty and spirituality and God’s CREATION, I practically feel like I’m going to meet Sedona, herself. Like, that is THE purpose. But of course, the question has a more appropriate answer.
No one, I’m going by myself.
This would be a totally adequate answer for someone not wanting to appear like a lunatic. Although, by the looks I get when I respond with this answer you’d think I just said I was going with an alien. But the truth is, here you go…
God. I’m going with God.
All my planning and budgeting and arrangements I’ve made internally and privately all have “Sedona Vacation w/God” written all over it. But, that sounds crazy (and kind of suicidal) and I don’t need more people spreading rumors about me relapsing *eye roll* so I just say, I’m going by myself.
The truth is, I get burnt out on people. This sounds terrible because it is. But not like, my friends. My friends are undeniably the BEST people in the whole entire world. I know because I hand-picked them all by myself. Perhaps I missed my calling as a director of an art museum but I am curating the best collection of human lives and I’m grateful to call them my friends. I like them. They can stay.
But the meaningless scrolling through superficial posts on social media… blah. I tire myself out. I have the casual online acquaintances, writing friends across the globe, strangers that stood up for me when a feminist group attacked me for mentioning I was Christian (this really happened! And I identify as riot grrrl, I’ll have you know…), old coworkers I never really talk to but we’ve toiled together which in itself creates a bond most people don’t understand, then the randoms from school (am I the only one that has a million people from high school on social media that actually LIKES the people she went to high school with? Seriously, I noticed all of us still keep in touch and part of me doesn’t think that’s normal…) I also tend to add people I hear about on podcasts. That is weird and that is my fault but that is what I do so now you know how creepy I am.
But ANYWAY then, on social media, there are the most outright undeniable strange-strange-STRANGERS. The people that maybe caught me on a particularly lonely day and I noticed the possibility of them being ISIS or a murderer was probably low because of the number of mutual friends in common, so I add them. Occasionally, these people shoot me a happy face or thumbs up but no conversation or “getting to know” each other ever happens.
Maybe because I’ve been paying more attention to who is actually posting what, I’ve become alarmed that I’ve let absolute strangers into my comfy little online world full of ridiculous memes and thought-provoking articles and animal videos (puppies rule my world). Sure, even people I actually know post ridiculous things as well, but I know them so there is some context to their obnoxiousness.
Anyway, all of the random adds seem foreign and not like me. SO I started cleaning up my friend’s list.
There are different categories of people on my list.
People I know.
People I used to know.
People I don’t know and don’t want to know.
People I don’t know but want to know.
So, I’m removing all the people that I don’t think I want to know (this is a vague and unscientific way of saying: I don’t think I have anything in common with right-wing Christian misogynists that somehow ended up on my friend’s list) and letting the people I want to know stay. But, that brings me to a point of insecurity because as I look at the little square images with strangers faces in them as I paw my cell phone, I think: But, would they want to know me?
And the people that I’m removing, am I missing out by not getting to know them better? Are they missing out by not getting to know me?
People tire me out. Like, this is all taking way too much of my mental space for one evening. I like my friends because we basically “took up by the river one day” and belonged to each other. I’m not hard to be friends with. I genuinely like people. But days like today, when I ponder the meaning of each of us and how we connect, am I worth knowing? When I start asking questions like this I know it’s time to get away.
Oh silly me, that’s just me…
Then I proceeded to brush some stranger’s teeth
But they were my teeth, and I was weightless
Just quivering like some leaf come in the window of a restroom
I just really can’t wait to get away to Sedona with God. I can’t wait to hear what we have to talk about.
Meanwhile, think about it: Do you want to be my friend? Then, let’s hang out. Like, next year.