yesterday I was thinking about this quote I read a lot, how “on the internet, everyone edits the sad parts and only post exciting stuff that is happening in their lives”. and of course it’s true, but when/where is that not true. in real life people do the same thing. it is very hard to allow yourself to be sad.
yesterday also, a bunch of coworkers were saying how they’ve cried at work – mainly because of clients being rude. only one of them said that they opened up to someone else about it. all the others just said they went to the bathroom – which is my safe place to cry at work too (it happens more often than you’d think).
this story isn’t much related to ‘allowing yourself to be sad’, but it made me think about something else, because at work we are expected to do the exact opposite: to “pull yourself together” and to “live through this”, only if for another 8 hours before succumbing into sobs.
however, most people spend 10 hours working (which involves going to and back from work, plus lunch hour, that could be an escape route for crying, but so many times it is also another form of peer pressure).
you are the fartest from the real you at work than in any other place in life. because posture is expected and there’s this idea that failing is inexcusable, etc. and if we spend 10 hours at work and 7h/8h sleeping, there’s not much left, considering all the other shit we have to deal with.
managing to find “time for the true me” and at the same time work somewhere I don’t like at all and do not feel challenged (a.k.a. not being me for hours) has been one of the most difficult things I have been constantly fighting the last 3 years or so. i am not alone in this, of course. all people i know are fighting with the same thing in different ways: working at dead end jobs, dealing with time management, having a good salary but working in a toxic environment, etc.
so, of course in our free time, when there is something remotely different from the 9-5 routine, which goes from finally baking that cake you’ve been craving to the concert you’ve been waiting years to go, we want to register it and share with as many people as we can (which the internet provides in ways not possible before). it’s about validation, somehow. i am more than what i do at work. i can accomplish things and have interests. i am fun and alive. there is nothing wrong with validation.
the problem seems to be when the doing of stuff is only there for the purpose of sharing and showing how interesting your life is – which is why people get so pissed when there’s someone recording the whole concert for youtube or something. take one picture, it’s okay. maybe record that one song you want to show to your best friend. but it’s not necessary to liveblog it. validation is fine, but don’t do things only for the sake of it.
control is very hard when it comes to the internet. i am currently trying to be away from it when i’m at home, because at work it is my only way to escape. i am hyper aware of FOMO and how frequently I refresh my e-mail and Feedly pages, but so far I have not been able to remove the anxiety, quite possibly because I am so dependent on it for 8 hours/day already that I feel like it should extend to the others hours of my day.
finally, we share the happy parts as they are (#nofilter) and don’t show the sad parts. but what i’ve been realizing is that editing the sad parts is what everybody does and i am not so sure there’s a way of sharing those on the internet or in real life without transforming it into art, because it envolves a “going through” process of thinking and transforming and building something new (and a deep connection, by yourself first) with your sadness.
we can share happiness as is, but we need to justify our sadness.
to ourselves? to other people? to make sense out of it?
sadness only for its existence is hard to share – it demands empathy and closeness and vulnerability and a connection, which is rare and not all people have it – and foremost, however important and necessary it is to have someone to listen (cathartic even), nothing is truly going to be resolved without your action. and an art work is you taking action, your expression of that sadness, via a different language that is easier to people to understand even if some bits of it. and is not only for other people, you can express to yourself in a different language too. because things are harder than just speaking about it out loud or writing it literally as it happened.
with art it’s possible that we can all relate to the experiences through some indescribable sensation that a story is within the art work and that are dots there that connect with your dots (and my dots). and that’s a beautiful thing to live by.
listening while writing: My Sunday Mix