This is a quote by American director David Lynch, and right now it paints an accurate picture of my current headspace.
Something has happened to my brain, and my impulse is to blame social media, or rather, the garbage that is projected from people who use social media. Paired to social media is also this election cycle. I am down, down, down and depressed about the whole thing. So much spin, so many lies, so much coddling for the candidate you love.
And where am I? I’m standing in the center of a tug of war, watching the flag bob back and forth, with people whom I love on both sides, and I’m all, “How did we get here?”
While reading the news feels like the responsible thing to do as a voting, free-thinking citizen, I’ve determined that it’s only made me feel worse. The negativity is heavy and I can feel its claws in my neck.
I am choking.
When I returned from the monastery in July, I possessed a deep sense of peace and hope. I loved the disconnection from the outside world, and it took a full week plus a few days to feel like I was back in my own skin. It was delightful.
Now, more than two months later, there is a paperweight on my back so heavy that I cannot see anything beautiful. I can’t think, I can’t smile, and, worse, I can’t create. My soul is void of potential because the muggles finally got me down.
Friends, I need to take a substantial break from social media, primarily Facebook. It’s a cesspool of despair and I don’t see it getting any better, not even after the election. We’re all so mad, so worried. Some of you hide it better than others, but I sense it still.
There are several reasons why I hesitate to leave Facebook and the primary reason has to do with our extended family and birth families. Facebook is one way we stay in touch, but I believe we’ll find other ways to do so. This blog will still exist, so there’s that. Plus, Instagram doesn’t stir any rage, so I’ll continue to post images there (but not cross-post them to Facebook).
Leaving Facebook altogether gives me pause because there are dozens of lives I enjoy watching from the periphery. Some of you are having babies and some of you are getting married. Some of you are making big life changes that have me rooting for you from afar. I love seeing it all. But since there is no way to sift through the muck, I have to step back. The muck overrides the merry.
Finally, and this is purely selfish, my photography page has served as an avenue for advertisement. The menial income is nice, but it still is not enough to pull me into the ugliness.
Truly, you guys. I’m over it.
It will take supernatural strength to break the habit of checking Facebook daily, but I’m at a point now that recognize how necessary it is. It brings so little joy and so much heartache. It is not good to feel anger towards people I love, but that’s what this election cycle has done and Facebook has fostered it.
My goals in stepping back from Facebook are twofold: 1) That I’ll rest my mind from stressful matters, and as a result 2) Give room for creativity to grow. NaNoWriMo starts in less than a month and I want to be well-prepared to start writing a third novel. If nothing changes between now and then, I will not be ready.
I will still write on this blog and peruse Pinterest (a creative safe space) and flip through Twitter on college game days, but you will see me less elsewhere. That also means I’ll see less of you if we aren’t connected in other spaces. I used to enjoy social media for the way it connected us, but something shifted this year. It’s ugly, friends, and I don’t enjoy the way ugly makes me feel.