the story behind the picture

warning: this is not the most articulate nor put together post I’ve written, but it is just too ridiculous not to publish. And I kinda like it the way it is, so. 

Most things aren’t what they seem. Especially on social media. I’ve written about this topic often and it’s something that I think needs to be brought up often. We live in an age where we text rather than call. We “like” a friend’s new life event rather than actually catching up and talking with them. We post relationship status updates like anyone really cares. We care too goddamn much about things that are not important. Like at all. Listen, I miss the days where our phones had real keyboards and social media was this new weird new thing that only weird people partook in. Or even when we had to press the 5 button three times to get the letter we needed to type out. Let’s go back even farther, I miss the days where we went to the store to develop the pictures we took on our disposable cameras because we were too young and couldn’t afford the new fancy digital cameras. THOSE were the best.

One time I lost my phone, ok not so much lost it. I left it at a bar the previous night before and couldn’t get it back until they opened later in the afternoon the next day. But let me tell you, I remember that day vividly, even without documenting it with pictures or staying in “the know” on my socials, or even knowing what time it was. I remember sitting at a table at a coffee shop and actually looking around. I didn’t feel that burning need to fumble around with my phone to keep busy, and sometimes I get jealous of that feeling. 

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is real life is not our “social” life, and that social media is truly a whole lot of BS. I recently moved to a new city and I’ve been using social media more than I usually do, posting about places that I visit, mostly coffee shops that I go to write at. But the picture only shows so much, which really isn’t much. It’s really not that important to me, nor really to anyone else. But it is kinda fun documenting the places I go to, so, whatever. (You see the vicious cycle?) 

I want to tell you about the day I had today at a coffee shop I went to because honestly, it was just too ridiculous.

So, I get to this coffee shop that has awesome outdoor seating. It’s really nice out so I wanted to go somewhere where I could be outside. I’m really excited to find a picnic table off in the corner under some shade. The place isn’t really busy at all, but the sun is pretty hot so it’s nice to find some cover. My table is also under a large tree and next to some cool ivy and leaves along the fence. Anyways, I’m sitting here writing, sipping on an iced coffee. I soon realize that my ankles have become very itchy, so I pull my legs up and sit cross-legged. Then, I realize my back is getting itchy, I’m wearing a cropped top.  I am getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Why the hell are there mosquitos right now, I think. Stubborn and wanting to stay outside, I throw a light sweater that I brought on. I don’t want to leave this place, or move tables. This is literally the best table out of the sun. I continue to write, very aware of my itchy feet and ankles. After a while, I feel hungry and decide to order myself some food. When my food is brought out to my table I’m VERY happily surprised by the enormous size of my sandwich. If you know me, you understand.

This is when the story gets even better. I go to take a bite of my sandwich and I am quite literally swarmed by flies. At first, it’s just a few, maybe 3 or 4. But they are persistent bastards. Annoyed, I lay my napkin over the rest of my ginormous sandwich as I continue to casually take bites while writing. Soon more fly buddies surround me. I am swatting them away, trying to take bites of my sandwich realizing I’m getting crumbs all over my laptop keys from the swatting. There has got to be like 10 flies flying around me. I decide it’s best to close up my laptop and just finish my sandwich before I start to write again. Originally, I wanted to take my time eating and write at the same time. But these fucking flies, oh my God. I decide to lay a single salt and vinegar chip at the other end of the table hoping to allude some of them over there. Realizing this may not be enough incentive, I place my pickle spear next to the chip. They MUST want this, I think. It’s probably the most fragrant thing on my plate, anyway, I’m not a pickle person. I wait for a minute, taking bites of the quarter of my sandwich watching to see if the chip and pickle scam work. It does not. Maybe one or two flies are attracted to it, but it’s like the flies are talking to each other and inviting more of their friends over to me. I have flies landing on my fingers as I go in to take a bite. I’m looking around to see if any of the other tables are having the same issue. They are not. Granted, there are only a few other occupied tables and not all of them have food. I’m thankful that I’m tucked away in the corner so people don’t notice me flailing my arms and swearing at these goddamn flies.

Like I said, my sandwich is huge. It is cut up in 4 large sections and each section has 3 pieces of toast in it. AND, it’s pretty darn toasted. I try to eat it quickly, but the top of my mouth quickly gets completely cut up. I start to feel a bit helpless. I decide to Google how to ward off flies, and I found several suggestions. Most do not pertain to what I have available to me. However, I do find that flies don’t like certain essential oils such as eucalyptus and lavender. I usually carry peppermint oil in my purse, which I know is not eucalyptus, but I figure it’s close enough. Can’t find it. Damn. Ok, hmm, I do have some Purell. Thinking, ok, maybe they won’t like the alcohol scent, I give it a shot. I rub some into my hands, but no, I need to take measures further. I drop small gobs of it onto the thin napkin that is covering my sandwich. Then I squirt more into my hands and try to flick it around the table. Gah, I probably looked nuts.

I’m sitting there just hoping it works. The hand flicking did momentarily ward some flies away. Ok, awesome, I’m so clever, I think.

Well, that was a very short lived thought. The flies are back almost immediately. I sit there, STILL with the first quarter of my sandwich in hand, on the verge of a frustration outburst. I dig back into my purse to see what else I have. I find my EOS peppermint lip balm, you know the sphere-shaped kind. I twist it open and lay it next to my sandwich. Nope. A fly lands right next to it. I put it back. Then almost too excitedly, I find an empty container that held these tea tree chewing sticks (toothpicks.) I think, YES, I found my answer. Tea tree has a strong scent. This seems to work, kinda. The flies don’t like landing on it, but they still manage to fly over it and onto my Purell saturated napkin which is still covering my sandwich. I also find some lotion I took from a hotel that seems to have a lavender scent. I rub that on my hands, on my napkin, and a little on the outside of my plate before I leave it open with a little squeezed out next to my sandwich.

I have done my best. I’m sitting here surrounded by random items from my purse, hands reeking of Purell and lavender with a tore up mouth and itchy feet.

Holy hell. I give up and let it just be. I try to eat my sandwich quickly, and just let the flies swarm me. I watch as they mock me while landing in the puddles of Purell happily.

Eventually, I take my last bite. I pick up the chip and pickle at the end of the table and put them back on my plate. I’m pretty sure I let out a loud “alright, that’s done,” get up and put my dish away into the dish tub outside.

I wipe all the crumbs away from me, and just like that the flies disappear. I sit there and write for probably another hour, unbothered by any more flies. By hour 2 though, my ankles have become increasingly itchier. Even though I am in a good rhythm with my writing, I decide it is just time to leave.

And that’s that. If you only saw the nice happy picture I took and posted on my Instagram, you would never have known everything that went behind it.

And that is social media, folks.

img_6618.jpeg

Living in the moment

I find my fists clenched when I think about my future, what it looks like, playing out scenarios in my head. It’s when I feel my fingernails dig into the inside of my hands that I realize I am trying hard to grasp onto something that is not, and may not ever be real. Holding onto this pretentious reality does give me the feeling of hope, and I keep my fists clenched. I think I want it, I like the feeling of it. I feel a part of this far off reality, and  I am doing all I can to stay in it. But soon, I notice the hold in my thighs, the curl of my toes, and the clench of my jaw. I begin to feel my tense muscles ease as I become aware of them.  I let out a breath as all my muscles relax and I sink back into the bed I am lying on, the fan vibrates the wood floor, the heating unit hums with the music that is playing softly from my speaker across the room. I lie in my real reality as my daydreams fade out of my mind like smoke. As it clears, doubt stands before me, even as I close my eyes. He stands there like a brick wall, tall and strong. It’s when I try to shove him away that I notice he is more like rubber, strong and sturdy, he sways slightly but bounces back into his place. Hope and doubt live in the same room, and I feel like I need to get out of there. It’s in the corner of my eye where I see a way out, away from doubt, away from hope. They both present me with questions that I don’t know how to answer. It’s in that corner that I find the truth, or what I think it should be. I walk around doubt and make sure I don’t raise my gaze too high in fear I’ll catch a glimpse of hope and get lost in it like a plane in the clouds. Walking forward toward what is, now, is the only thing left I can think of doing.  I find the place where I can live far enough away from the two that I almost forget they’re there. It’s in the now, that’s where I choose to be.

I guess you notice it when you look up

I had a mountain. A big one.

I have a city. A big one.

Right in front of my eyes, I’ve watched things manifest.

I’ve always said I wanted to move to Colorado, live on the side of a mountain, and wear flannel every day. Well, I did that. All of it.

Then, I said I wanted the city. I wanted to feel small among all the cool people of Denver. And well, I feel that. It’s hard not to.

Looking out, I get perspective. Quite literally. I’m lucky, where I live. Where I have been. What I have been able to do.

I want a mountain. So one was sat right in front of me.

I want a city. So it becomes my skyline.

I want something new. So, my everything becomes new.

I don’t know if it’s the universe. I don’t know if it’s my thoughts. I don’t know if it’s God. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence. But everything I have wanted, in a way, finds me. Definitely never in the way I expect, nor necessarily want. For sure not in the timely manner I hope. It usually finds me hanging upside down, hair reaching for the ground, cheeks drooping into my eyes. It finds me and tells me to turn right-side up. Eh, it’s more of a yell.

What is it? Perspective?  Hope? Dedication? I couldn’t tell ya. I’m sure some book will tell me it’s the manifestation of my thoughts. Or that is the compound of all the little things. Or it’s the doing, or plan, of a greater being.

I don’t want to make it sound like everything goes my way. Because the same way things turn out for me, my horrors are just as present. I know what I don’t want, and that is exactly that what I get sometimes.

Maybe it’s just being aware, like hyper-aware of circumstances mingling with my thoughts. Manifestations find me in a way that makes me wonder, did I do that? What made that happen? Like, for real?

It’s comical, really. I have been feeling off lately. Off in the kind of way that is indescribable. I’ve been busy. I’ve had a lot of fun. I don’t let myself get too high in the moments. More figuratively than literally.

I’ve found myself content, and to be honest, it is a foreign feeling.

It’s so foreign that I actually feel myself trying to hijack the good part of the feeling. It’s like I know something’s going to be wrong, or something’s going to happen, so I prepare myself to be worse off. I fucking expect it.

But then I see the city line. The long, tall towers reflecting the moonlight onto everything else.

I get the perspective I need. In such a way that it knocks me out of my shoes.

benjamin-voros-575800-unsplash
make a wish…it might just come true

 

 

Mountain Time

My car radio has been set to the time of a place in a different time zone. For a year. When daylight savings time came around, I moved the hour—not to my time, but to the one I intended to get to. When I needed to know the time, I’d add two hours from what the clock read. Everyone who got into my car tried to change my clock, but I wouldn’t let them. “I’ll be there soon enough,” I’d say.

Call me nuts, but intentions manifest into reality.

Because here I go, heading to the time on my car radio.

The illusions we treasure.

People don’t say what they want to say.

People don’t say what they need to say.

People say what they think they should say, and people do what they think they should do.

So what does that make us?

Short answer. Delusional.

We live in a world where we are told we have total control, but do we really? Did you tell the person you just fell in love with, that you love them? No. Because who in their right mind could fall in love that fast? Better hide it wait for a more reasonable time to share your feelings. Saving face is what we live for. God forbid we respond to a text message in less than a minute. The person on the other end might actually think we care.

We’re all fucking crazy.

We live in a world where we feel more connected to–more empowered from– our phones than actual people. And even then, we use our phones as a crutch to lean on so we don’t have to expose our vulnerabilities.

This selfie says, “I’m doing great! Actually, I ‘m more than great. I’m doing better than you, and look how awesome my face looks today!” That’s what we want people to see–to think. That we are fine, when in fact, fine is the word keeping others at bay from us. Don’t get too close, under the bullshit is a whole lot of ugly that we don’t like looking at. So we give it a new face. One that shows only what we want others to see, what we think they want to see. And what’s really messed up about it is…it’s easy.

We keep our phones on the table during dinner. We stare at our screens when we are in a room full of people. We are sitting right across from each other, but we might as well be miles away because we can still ‘like’ each others pictures–each others lives. We look at our views through, a pretty decent, cell phone camera. Our phones have literally become the middle man of our life. When did we become complacent with shit like this? When did we find more enjoyment in posting on social media, than we actually do taking the goddamn picture.

I can’t preach like I’m any different though. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat more than I should. I feel the connection to the world that exists in the imaginary cloud. I feel the urgency to share the good moments of my life. I contribute to the illusion. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it all. Because really, who the fuck cares what I had for lunch? Short answer. Not even me.

It’s stupid the amount of pictures of food I have on my Instagram. It’s stupid the amount of selfies I have of myself–like just me, close up, blurry background.  Honestly, who the fuck cares about what I look like today. Short answer. Not even me.

So why do we do it? Why do we let this imaginary world be our reality?

Maybe because it is easier to face than the truths of our lives. Definitely.

It’s easier to click a share button than to actually go do the adventure written in the article. It’s easier to read about how your relationship might be fucked, than actually LOOKING at it. Hell, it’s easier to end a relationship because of what you read, than actually reading into the person you’re sharing the damn bed with.

People are real. The warmth from our bodies is real. The words we say are the result of our thoughts so why don’t we make them mean something. We are limited in the ways we are able to connect with this world, and express ourselves to others. What we say and do is all we have. But these days we don’t say or do anything.

Except click an imaginary button, that who really cares about? Short answer. Nobody.