That’s all I’m sayin.
PS: special thanks to Kezia for putting up with my craziness and allowing me to take photos when all she wanted to do was head home and crash after a long day. Here she is desperately trying not to burst into laughter because I wanted her to give me a brooding solemn expression :p
We lose a lot of things as we grow older. And as traumatic as losing hair and waistlines is, I think the most tragic loss is the ability to trust. From a loud, outgoing teenager with a large circle of friends, I went to being a practical hermit talking to barely anyone all day with a social life of negative 20. My excuses were a busy life, no common interests, bad weather, no car and so on and so forth.
But the truth is, I gave way to fear and stopped trusting. Because I got hurt. Too many times. And I convinced myself that no one cares and there is no one left. Essentially doing the age old blunder of letting the mistakes of a few affect my relationships with people who had done nothing wrong.
And I tell you people, big mistake. Because fear made me lose out on the awesome people who were already in my life. It hit me last night. Even though I have this blog for more than a year, apart from a couple of people I had never really shared it with anyone who knows me. With the resolution that this year I am going to intentionally change my life, I took another step and put it up on Facebook. And within the hour there were comments from friends, old and new. Who I havent seen in years. They took the time to visit here and say kind words.
Overwhelmed. To say the least.
“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be yours’ – Beverly Clark from Shall we Dance “
The movie may not be especially memorable but this quote resonated with me. I guess the statement speaks to the social animal within all of us. One of my closest friends and the only one who puts up with pretty much all my crap was visiting me on Christmas weekend. It was a lovely, lazy, sleep late, eat much and chatter lot kind of 4 days. Now that I’m back to work and dreaming and ruminating, I realized I kept telling her mundane bits and pieces of my daily life.. like what I eat for breakfast and how the grocery guy is a cheapskate or the prices of onions are hiked up. And as usual she responded to it as if I was telling her I won the Nobel prize. Ever since we have been friends we have usually discussed the hefties like philosophy and impact of art on life and psychology and relationships. This, however was embarrasingly banal. And it stopped me short.. why was I doing this?
And HBO had the answer .. because I live alone. Now dont get me wrong. Its by choice that I do so and for the most part I enjoy the freedom and control it allows me. But at the same time, I am human… and by default ..need social ties. Or more precisely need a witness. Because one day it might happen that no one knew what my life was like.
And suddenly, I truly appreciated the genius of Facebook.
PS: to those who post updates about how their dog pooped for the first time, I shall never scoff at you. Even silently.