i, of course, began this year with a new resolve in regard to my blog. i want it to be more than it has been. there are so many options. i could focus on parenting kids on the spectrum, crafts, cooking, books, illustration….i can’t decide. i am just going to plunge in head first, and maybe a direction will find me. or not.
since the year began, a few things have thrown me off my game. i had to have a hysterectomy right after christmas, which went great. it was so much less painful than i was expecting. unfortunately i got a double ear infection right afterwards, and that has been excruciating. i started some intensive antibiotics last night, so fingers crossed i am on the mend soon.
** warning, i am about to get really long-winded here and blather on quite a bit about something that really shook me up. **
the other thing that happened, occurred in the virtual world of social media. a lot of people probably can’t imagine becoming emotionally involved with a group of people they have never met, might never meet. but i am sure some of you reading this probably know that it happens.
the wahm (work at home mom) community is especially virulent on social media sites, with crafters able to make connections with potential buyers. since you don’t need a background check to get in, the web has its share of con artists and thieves. the incidents of these scandals are depressingly prevalent, but still doesn’t seem to completely justify the drama that ensues in some of these virtual groups and bulletin boards.
my regular readers have probably guessed that i am not a super confrontational person. i don’t like drama in my real life, and i try to avoid it in my virtual life as well. as a southern lady, it goes against years of training to be rude, even in cyberspace. this is not true for many people i encounter.
when someone i know online becomes the center of one of these dramas, i try not to rush to judgement. innocent until proven guilty right? but unfortunately some of the accusations have been true, and a few times i have had to deal with the discovery that an online friend was not worthy of the trust i had bestowed in them.
when i joined the uu church ten years ago, one of the principles i pledged to uphold was that all people have inherent worth and dignity. it wasn’t hard for me to take this to heart, because i feel like it is my nature to find the good in people.
the tricky thing about this principle is that it doesn’t just apply to good people, it applies to all people. it can be hard to avoid pushing this principle aside when dealing with people who do terrible things, and it is a work in progress for me.
i also believe, that if the world tells you are bad, a failure, not worthy of care or respect, that you will probably start believing that is true. but if one person, or even a few, cling to the hope that something inside you is good, that you are worthy of care and respect, despite the mistakes you made, well then you might just cling to that and make some changes in your life for the better.
so, it happened that at an online friend had some troubles with her business. i am not sure exactly what happened, nor do i condone some of the things that it seems went on, but a lot of people were very angry, and their ire was infectious within some of the wahm circles.
i really felt like i needed to offer her support on a personal level. i know she knows that i don’t approve of the mess that she made in her business, but to abandon her to a mob of angry customers isn’t an option for me. even if she is guilty of all she has been accused of, as a human being, she deserves for someone to stand by her and offer support and kindness.
some other online associates do not agree with this philosophy of mine, and when they saw me stand up for my friend, turned their anger on me. the first few attacks i brushed off, what do i care if a few people i don’t even know talk a little trash about me? but when women i thought were my actual friends started to jump on the bandwagon, i was really hurt. after shedding many, many tears, i felt like i had a cinematic moment of revelation. i don’t care.
i live in a small town where i am a very square peg. i spend more time than i like keeping a lid on my true self (and political leanings), so that i don’t accidentally jeopardize my husband’s job. my only real social life is online (which stinks) and i am just not willing to pretend to be something i am not with people who should be my friends.
you know what? i am proud of myself for continuing to live my principles in the face of attacks, (virtual) public shaming, and disavowal from people i trusted. did it completely liberate me from social media, thus freeing up my time for much more important things? sadly, no. but it did liberate me from a few online groups where i didn’t really belong.
if you are still with me here at the end, i promise tomorrow’s post will be shorter and less…rambly. maybe a nice recipe? love to all!