Creating space.

I tried to create space by unplugging. While I often praised others for disconnecting from social media, I’d habitually talked myself into selling more and more hours to it. But that was changing.

It’s now been four days since I last logged onto Facebook or, more dramatically, Instagram. The first day was hard; every day since has me wondering when I’ll look back.

I solve problems differently now. When I think about activities or my face or my clothes, how they will appear on Instagram is no longer a question.

I move in silence. All the things I do and places I go remain unrecorded, at least in real time. There are no spontaneous reactions to my choices.

I hear my own voice more. So have some other humans. Mass communication has been replaced with targeted messages. If I want to talk to someone, I can’t do it subliminally anymore. I have to reach out to them express, direct.

Today I don’t miss social media. But it is uncomfortable being so in tune with myself. Signing off makes it harder to be mindless, to temper my emotions, to distract myself.

Earlier this week, I told my coworker that I wanted to be mindful, but only sometimes. I said that I still needed moments to be mindless. I’ve since changed my mind. My “passive” time spent scrolling through images of familiar faces was feeding my thoughts, whether or not I chose to acknowledge it. It’s time for me to control my emotions by embracing them. I need to be plugged in…to me.

Oh, I gave up alcohol this week too. At least for the time being.

I haven’t set I timeline. There’s no telling if this is a one week thing or a forever thing. I’m thinking not forever, though, as it would be pretty hard to convince folks to read this blog otherwise, ha.

Instead, I’ll refrain until it feels right or I’ve reached my goal. Until I’m so comfortable with myself that social media is merely a thing I use and has no more power to use me.

Laughter is good for the abs.

Lately, I’ve been spending an awkward amount of time around folks in their early to mid-twenties. As someone who’s just two years and two months from her thirties, it makes me feel ancient and amused.

There was literally a point in a conversation with my coworkers where I was talking about “us millennials” and got a rude awakening – they’re Gen Z. Shock and awe.

I should’ve known based on the number of concepts I’ve had to explain to them lately. Why Gucci Mane and Petey Pablo are important figures, how your day job loses significance after three years being a model employee, and how all post-college milestones are a grand myth engineered to train you to be overly critical of your own unique progress.

I feel old, but I hope these young folks appreciate me the way I appreciate them. The more I talk to them, the more I realize how much I’ve grown, especially since my quarter life crisis. (I try not to talk to them about it – preparing is futile.)

Anyways, things got much more interesting when I went to the mall with my “niece.” Biologically, she is my niece, but at the ripe age of 24, she’s more like a baby sister. But sassier.

You know those moms you see getting berated by their daughters for dressing like a grandma? Those moms who ultimately end making a few questionable decisions and misusing new colloquialisms in an effort to be “cool”? That was how my niece made me feel on this trip.

First, she took me to a bunch of stores I’d never entered before like Vans and Zumiez. What is this new skater, nerd culture that was spreading? And why is NASA, at its least effective, suddenly a clothing staple? Was it because of that one Ariana Grande song?

But could I buy a NASA shirt and join in? No! “One word: Amazon.” My niece took me from store to store picking out cute clothes and then telling me I should order them online. Why buy those hot pink biker shorts in store where you can confirm the quality when you can spend $10 on a three-pack of an off-brand’s version, have them shipped in two days, and pray they aren’t made of tissue paper?

Also, should I be buying Champion brand clothes now? I could’ve sworn that was one of the cheap sweatpant brands, not high fashion. Ultimately, I ended up just buying a few dresses. I thought it’d be safe, but I still fielded loads of critiques. My niece has the gift of being both good-natured and savage at the same time.

The mall trip was only half a bust. Our shopping lists were no shorter, but we still managed to leave a few dollars lighter. Yet somehow we had loads of fun. At least I did finding ways to pick her brain and annoy her – picture a long car ride listening to a new female rapper just because I thought she was provocative enough to hold my niece’s interest. (My niece was uninmpressed.)

There’s a fun challenge being friends with people several years younger than you. You know things they don’t, but they know a thing or two you don’t too. Half the things you think are important, aren’t important to them yet, or never will be, and reminiscing is wasted on them.

But that’s what’s so great about my young friends: the differences. The differences pop up so often they’re impossible to ignore, so being with a youngin’ is like a journey of discovery. I learn about their world, they learn about mine, I learn more about mine.

And then we end up having a lot of fun. Because eventually none of the things we thought were that important – even the Toonami lineup in 2001 – end up being all that important. We’re all just living.

P.S. The irony of me calling adults in their twenties “youngins” while also being an adult in my twenties is not lost on me.

all i want

i don’t want your words of flattery

you tell me i’m beautiful as if i never see it

and remind me that ambition is sexy

i know

i know any man would be lucky to be with someone who shines as bright as me

capable of conversation, challenge, and creation

i’m one of a kind

in this, i don’t need validation

in fact, there’s only one place where i’m lacking

a space you can’t comfort me

a void you can’t fill

i remain afraid that despite all i have to offer…

i belong to no one

water

You might say I’m like fine wine

But I’d rather be water

Refreshing, healing

Giving you LIFE

Some people crave wine

Indulge and overindulge in it

And when they’re done, what is it they NEED?

Water

I’m not talking the kind that’s tainted

I’m acid-, cocaine-, and sugar-free

I’m not addictive, baby

You want me because

I’m more than a temporary fill

I make you look good

I keep you healthy, strong

I wash away the dirt and the hurt

But most of all

I quench your thirst like nothing else

So hold onto me

Most don’t realize how goddamn special I am

Until they lose me.

Mary Jane

You’ve done everything but hit it
Dreamed about her
Put your lips on her
Tasted her

Naively, you thought that would be enough to curb the craving
It only awakened it
Now you remember why you gave her up
The high
Always
Comes
With a price

In the moment
The urge is nearly uncontrollable
How bad can it be, really?

You know it’s wrong
At least that’s what some say
But it feels safe
Comforting
Familiar
For a while

Then suddenly you’ve gone too far
You’ve unraveled
You’re desperate to turn back the clock

But there’s no turning back
There’s only starting over here
And staring the beast in the face

You’ve paid the price
Now make sure you remember the feeling
The fall
Maybe it’ll make it easier to quit her for good

Go ahead
End the cycle
She can’t heal you anyways
You’re not her type of broken.