Pictorial proof... report cards... heart emojis... complaints... eye rolls...
These are but a few of the possible reactions we receive externally when we step out to say, or do anything. My mom used to always tell me “it didn’t matter what anyone else thought as long as I did my best, with my heart right towards God and man.”
Over the years, I argued her point in complete dispute. It did matter if I wore lip gloss, or got a perm, or wore tight jeans, or dated that one incredibly perfect guy...(rest well Chuck!) Now, at the young age of 48, I am a little wiser... and have to say:
Mom... I wholeheartedly agree!... sort of.
Technologically speaking, this is (to me) the most exciting generation of them all! We can readily communicate with just about anyone, at any time. Think... only 20 years ago, the thought of freely speaking with a person in India, without sky-high long distance bills, was unthinkable. Now, I simply tap a few buttons, and I can hand my entire computer or phone over to someone else, on another continent, and watch as they assist me in solving all of my tech dilemmas...in under 30 minutes!
The world has become an incredibly small, intimate community. This is both a wonderful thing; and a virtual nightmare!
Our opinions have become so visibly public ( and therefore, public property), we truly have to be more aware of our speech and presentation than ever before! Political correctness governs all conversations... and, don’t misunderstand... for the most part, I feel that is a HUGE improvement to societal intercourse.
Yet, doesn’t it affect the flow of my communications.. with others, and even within myself? Doesn’t PC operate as the ultimate censor... and doesn’t that, by default, somewhat alter the shape of truth over the long haul?
What thoughts will I allow my mind to entertain? We should always ask ourselves this important question... because I do believe our thoughts serve as the mold of who we become. But, guarding my mind has become so much more of a challenge with the ease of access to social media! Thoughts simply now, just rapidly stream into my hand through a rectangular window of light.
We are virtual friends with so many... (and, by default, virtual “what” with whom we are not friends?) A like stroke, or angry face emoji can set off a rain storm of reaction we may not always be prepared for!
This can, be both addicting, as well as anxiety provoking. We need an online presence to lend credibility to our product... ourself. We need to be so careful how we begin to build that... it’s like a huge house of cards!
You need a strong base... with a lot of support structure in between on your way up to the top... it must be factual; interesting; eye catching; unique/ yet not so preposterous you appear to be fictitious; colorful and varied; yet, boringly relatable... You must be cautious whom you link your name or image to... on and on.
Women of the ‘50s had the exact same pressures... (especially, it would seem: military wives... great job Nanny!) Fortunately for them, they just didn’t have the same pressure of all international eyes upon them!
This publicity phenomenon has greatly impacted all of us... it would seem especially the youth! Everything from my reading list, to my heart rate, to my chicken pot pie recipe is now open for public perusal and commentary!
So Mom, does what everyone else thinks matter now?
I guess yes... and no!
When Crispina initiated the invitation to join this blog adventure... I was excited, and intimidated!
I love to write. One of my recent , passionate goals has been to again be published, this time on a more global level! I was very excited to be part...
But, then the 6th grade me (I was incredibly tall and awkward... with zero fashion sense!) kicked in, and I wasn’t sure I could handle the what if’s... What if I fail... people hate it... no one reads it... I fail on deadlines... I can’t maneuver new technology... (Thank you Dalton/ incredibly supportive and talented IT Wizard!) etc...
Today, we stand at the completion of what has now become the first half of the project, as opposed to the originally planned completed end. I think we’ve had... (as my daughter Hope would say) BREAKTHROUGH!
I know I have had breakthrough; and for me, that is success! I conquered my middle school laziness! I have learned how to manage a blog engine! I’ve been able to put to good use my bizarre set of bug photos that everyone said I would never be in a situation to use! I am published! ( We are published! Congratulations TFIF warriors! Thank you Crispina, for this beautiful opportunity to create together!... Much love to you!) And... I’ve learned to think like a writer on an even more consistent level! I look for writing fodder and possible photographs everywhere I go!
So yes... I am so glad I conquered my fear. Yes, I have grown. Yes, I have shared words from the minds of incredible fellow writers. Yes, all those wonderful writing classes with my incredible writing coach and friend Millie Calesky have paid off! Thank you Millie! Much love to you too!
But on a broader, more public note... yes Mom... the opinions of others does count! I love the heart and mind of every reader... because I am a reader myself!
But Mom, you are sooo right! As long as I stay right before God and man in my writing... as long as it exhorts and edifies the eyes, ears, and hearts of the reader... it’s said in truth and love, with growth and healing in mind... I need to say it without hesitation; without the censor of other’s opinions!
Evaluation is so important in any process... the act of sitting down and weighing out result vs. cost... the act of asking myself, or others:
“Would or should we do this again?”
“Was this worth it?”
“Did we make a difference?
“Should we change things up?”
I like it when all the answers come up “Yes, Full steam ahead!”
I love that the answers can be “No, let’s just stop this, and move on in a new direction.”
For now... I’m in! Wagons Ho... and happily so!
I can’t wait for the second half of this venture!
Here’s to continued shared growth, breakthrough, and success!
Very Best to All!