Here I am again, after a long absence. Right now I’m having one of those lives where things conspire to nickel and dime away your time. Contractors working on the kitchen and bathroom (since Oct 29th…but let’s not go there). Making art. Writing (book 3, which has a couple titles on the shelf). Dealing with holidays and my own anxieties and ups and downs. And for the first time in years, a cold.
But now I have a lot of time to think, as I force myself to occasionally look for jobs and wonder if I’m going to be stuck doing customer service again, which I despise. I was thinking about loneliness. I know it’s a horror for me, but I think sometimes people don’t really understand. I feel like so many people experience it, even people who aren’t alone. Physically, I am alone. While not working, I can go 3-4 days without seeing another person. A week without speaking to someone other than the cat. I have to force myself to get out of the house (if the weather were better, it would be different, but going out into the cold….).
So how can someone surrounded by coworkers or friends, or family, be lonely?
They can be, absolutely. But my thoughts of late make me wonder if social media is to blame. We have people right in front of us, sharing their love and understanding, and yet we want more. We want the acceptance of strangers. We wants clicks and likes. We want to win the intrawebz.
I belong to a black cat group, and more than once I’ve seen people bitch that their cats’ pictures don’t get as many likes.
Seriously? I mean, I post pictures of Spirit because he’s adorable, or funny, and I want to share that. I don’t measure his worth by how many likes he gets online. His worth is his love for me, his cuddles, his toebeans, and his overall derpitude. And that’s a cat…people pull that crap with their human kids, too.
But, I do get how sometimes you think something will go over big, and it doesn’t, and that disappointment can lead to feelings of isolation. I get it, too, but you have to recognize it for what it is. It feels like loneliness, but is it really? Sure, I’m happy if my artwork gets likes, but likes aren’t sales. And the likes you don’t get? How many of those are literally friends, like people you’ve met or hung out with? Maybe that never showed up on some people’s feeds, because…facebook algorithms. Or they scrolled by it fast. Or, like me, some people don’t actually “like” every single thing they look at. Friends do post things that I either don’t get because it’s not a business I’m in or a joke I can relate to, or they may have been sharing to someone who finds it relevant…I might not click that at all.
So, before you really get in a funk, put it in perspective. (How funny it it that I’m putting this on a blog…MORE INTRAWEBZ, KAREN!) It may feel like rejection, it may feel personal. It may feel like no one’s paying you any mind or cares about what you care about, but..is it really?
And for those of you on the other end of the spectrum, who aren’t so easily bothered by these things, keep your friends close. Check on them. Yeah, you see it posted all over, but don’t preach it unless you live it. It matters, and it means a lot to them.
Happy Holidays, and I won’t be such a stranger, especially as book 3 aka I’M NOT TELLIN YOU YET takes its final form.