The Real World Is Calling
Like most stay at home parents with small children, my world revolves around snacks and naps. I consider it a big day socially if I’ve interacted with more than four adults in any given day. I’m counting my oldest’s Montessori teacher, my barista, and my husband in there. It’s fair to say I don’t get out much. So, also like most stay at home parents, I turned to social media as a connection to the outside world.
The place I now call home is relatively new to me. We moved to the area about 18 months ago without ever having set foot in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t know anyone or have family nearby to rely on for regular adult interaction. It was admittedly a little intimidating, but I’ve moved a lot and was up for this adventure.
With the genius of the internet I could keep up with friends and family all over the world. With social media, I could even find new friends while holding a sleeping baby. In my sweatpants. Without brushing my teeth.
I would scroll through Facebook and learn what old friends were up to and who was witty or entertaining and who had just lost their mind (don’t lie, we all have those people in our feed…).
I would open Instagram to get peeks into other people’s lovely lives. I even went so far as to try to pick up other moms and become friends. Turns out I’m not very good at it.
Twitter was always good for a laugh and quick read when I only had maybe two minutes before one — or both — of my children came into the bathroom to keep me company.
In the fallout of the fake news storm, I feel the need to clarify lest I get snarky messages about social media as a news outlet: I’m a geek and still get my news from *actual* news sources from multiple and varied outlets.
It was a connection to the real world without ever having to schedule or schlep tiny humans into the real world. It was perfect.
Or was it?
It turns out that the last year I’ve spent using social media as a connection to the real world was only keeping me from the real world.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I have felt drawn to act over the past seven weeks. In all honesty, I’m still not sure what that action should be or where it will lead me. I don’t think I’m alone in this uncertainty either. I think many of us are steeping in the need to do and lacking clarity of what that is at this moment.
So I’m starting small. I’ve been trying to spread kindness, love, and acceptance where ever I can. I’ve smiled at strangers more, bought random people’s coffee for them, and even pulled together all the clothes my kids don’t fit into anymore and sent them to a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
Now doing bigger things doesn’t seem so intimidating and I’m actually pretty excited to get started.
I’m going to cut back on scrolling through my phone in the hopes I find a group of fun and interesting people. Instead I’m going to engage. I will be spending more time and energy in my community, in my kid’s school, in my political party, in charities that I want to support, and in the real real world.
This is the time of year that people make all sorts of resolutions and call on their friends and family to do the same. I’m not going to do that here because I don’t know what that resolution should be. Instead, I’ll leave you with this quote from Mahatma Ghandi:
“You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.”
You can follow Emily on Instagram for daily stories and her thoughts. ❤