In my last post about the book I’m reading, I said:
“It's made me think about the times where my goals were within my reach but my motivations were misguided and when success was not living up to my ideals, I sabotaged the progress. I think it is not easy to change those ideals or motivations but I feel better equipped now than I ever was before and that's really cool.”
I want to elaborate:
Growing up and into my very early 20s, I felt invisible. Bad parents/guardians, siblings, never being my best friend’s best friend, unhealthy relationships or always being the girl a guy spent a lot of time with before they met the girl they ended up marrying and so on. As a result, I worked really hard to build a life that FELT like I was someone. I had thousands of connections. I had a big IRL social circle, a thriving fitness influencer Instagram, a growing audience on twitter, and thousands of Facebook connections. I never struggled to have plans on my free weekends whether that be platonic or romantic there was always something.
In late 2014, I posted a joke on Facebook. It got a lot of replies fast so I felt it was best to delete it ONE HOUR later. A “close friend” had already screenshotted it and posted it to a Facebook group full of very short tempered members who mobilized pretty quickly to fully cancel me. I deactivated all my social media, and thought I’d lay low and wait for it to blow over. During that time, all those people who had filled my time and made me feel visible were gone. Nobody reached out to check on me, make plans, or anything. Radio silence.
In this dark time, I did the only thing I knew how to do! Return to the comfort of invisibly. The success I seemingly had in becoming someone people saw, was built out of misguided attempts to make myself feel seen but not be seen. I was using people as a means to an end (visibility) instead of forming connections with people that would be REAL.
In the past few years since that time, I’ve focused on doing what I like to do and have met several people who share those interests. I’m nowhere where I want to be or even as comfortable with people as I was when I was making false connections but something special HAS happened.
Yesterday, an artist I really have loved my whole life died. Sad but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. However, a small but incredible group of IRL and exclusively online friends all reached out to see if I was okay. I thought about that last night and I don’t even know when it happened but when my world was crashing down, I didn’t have anyone. Now, my circle is small but incredibly strong. And always there.
It is special to know that through success or failures there will be people who value you enough as a person to ride them out.
All of that said, I’ve been thinking about this West Elm Caleb controversy and how people that use dating apps are making many false connections every day with people who are a means to fulfill an end & it’s no surprise that on both sides of the equation you’re dealing with someone who cannot fully value the individual they’re engaging with because success or failure there will be someone else lined up to take your place. Whereas, if you meet people through shared interests and build up a connection overtime, there is nobody like that person. There is a cost to your actions and a reason to continuously show up and be the best version of yourself.
COVID-19, for me, drew a line in the sand. Friends, families, and lovers all over the world discovered their values did not line up and it uprooted their lives during one of the hardest times to survive. The importance of having strong princples as a foundation for every decision has never been more important. The avenues to sabotage those efforts, have never been so easily accessible.