Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Unfollowing friendships

So today is that day. I’m not even going to bother checking my timehop today because I remember how raw my feelings were when I posted on Facebook and Twitter about my dad passing away.

Three years ago, I really thought I had many friends on social media. Maybe I did… but I know that I had not a single “friend” show up at the funeral. Not one. And when I was hospitalised later that year, I also had zero visits from any “friend”. 

That year was one of the worst (second only to my divorce year in 2008), but at least I learned some things.  Mainly, I learned to fall out of love with my twitter followers. Not everyone is your friend… And that’s ok. I cut out a large percentage of my followers and don’t speak to any of the Cape Town “twitterati” anymore since that year. I have zero desire for any more tweetups. My life got a little bit more offline and, these days, I do share a whole lot less. Then again, I also have a lot less drama in my own life and very little interest in other people’s drama.

The internet is still an amazing place with lots of potential for magical connections. I still have close friendships with people I’ve never met in real life (through StumbleUpon mainly). But a real friend shows up in real life. A real friendship requires action and time. A real friendship has more than 140 characters.

I still have quite a few “friends” online and offline that I know aren’t real friends. We are friendly and nice to each other but I know that I only have a few people that I can call up at any hour and rely on them. Lord knows I am so very done with unreliable people. And I cut them out much more easily (and quickly) these days.

Anyway, I guess I’m still angry at the people I was friends with at that time that never showed up for me. I’m not quite over it and I suppose I will have to let it go. But it’s made me much more aware of who I can trust and perhaps also made me a little too aloof with new people.

It’s my self defence system, I guess. When I am your friend, I will give 100% of my loyalty and I have to know for sure that you’re not going to bail on me. So I wait and see and check people out for a long time before I “commit” to the friendship. Not many stick around for that but it’s ok for now.


People are hard work.


edit. thanks to cath jenkin for linking to this article about our "online generation." in short... this is just how we are... but it sucks sometimes.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Remembering stuff

I'm really not a fan of remembering death anniversaries... but this one has been lingering on my mind for a while... so I guess I just need to address it.

On Tuesday, 26 May 2015, it will be three years since my dad passed away.


I'm not sure how I feel about it. But I guess I'm sad.
Sad that it doesn't really matter... and sad that it really really does.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The tree in the forest

Last night, the tourist posed that question to me about the tree in the forest in one of our many many engaging conversations. I cant remember the context, really, but I can remember my unspoken thought: if I cant see it, it didnt happen. Some times I can be very literal (#injoke).

Something happened to him earlier that day and I had joked that I wouldn't believe him if he didnt have pictures. Pics or it didnt happen is basically the millennial version of the tree in the forest question.

 And while struggling today to come to terms with the fact that he has now left the country (2 hours ago or so), and then trying to summarise my emotions in an appropriate, but not too sad, facebook and/or twitter post.... I came up with: "If it's not seen or heard or spoken, did it really happen?" Which I didn't post, of course, because no one likes vague booking.

 But the sad realisation is that, for me, external validation is everything. If my thoughts aren't vocalised or expressed in some way and has some kind of feedback, positive or negative, I dont feel like they're real or worthy of anything. And that really sucks, on multiple levels.

Firstly, it makes me super addicted to all kinds of social media. I am not so proudly aware that I'm on at least ten active websites... the excuse is that I spread myself around so I dont become "too much". But I am "too much" or, more honestly, I actually feel "not enough". For many of these profiles, it's not really about the validation. Sometimes I just want the chance to see my thoughts written so that it feels real. Just thinking them is not enough...

Secondly, it makes me very vulnerable to manipulative people. I hope I've had enough of these types of people and I've become better at just not engaging with them anymore. But it's still difficult to walk away and not feel guilty that I cant save everyone.

And thirdly... man oh man do I worry a lot about what other people think. I sort of hoped that I would grow out of this by 35 but it's a pretty stubborn belief. I've learned to stop caring what random strangers think about me... but it's still important to me that I dont look like too much of an idiot to the people I know.

The only good thing is that I'm aware of all of this now.

And with all of that... I still have to somehow document how important the tourist was to me. There are very few people in the world that I can spend so many days with and not get bored. He's one of the easiest people to talk to and super nice, funny-ish (I was teaching him to be funny :P) and pretty smart too.

He was also pretty intuitive and an excellent listener. I will miss everything that he taught me about myself in a very mischievous way. His very sarcastic and teasing sense of humour helped me to look at some things that I didn't really want to look at. But I'm learning... and I'm grateful for the mirror. Also... literally. (#injoke)

Anyway... I will miss you, tourist.... until we meet again.
Today raba.