I wanted to write some words and realized I wrote them already eight months ago. Here they are, edited a bit, as a nod to both the loss of Trelvix and the graduation of TJ.
"I don’t understand why you are so sad about someone you know from the internet."
You don’t need to know the whole conversation. But that was the last line of it, spoken by a coworker.
It’s so very hard to explain the concept of internet friendships to people who don’t understand them, because they have a mindset that only allows them to see the internet as a thing; a source of information, Facebook games and pictures of kittens. What they don’t see is the communities that exist within. They don’t see the people.
Someone once asked if we think of the internet as a thing or a place. The person who did not understand my grief for a person I never met would think of it as a thing.
But for me, and probably most of you, it is a place.
The internet is a bar, a living room, a kitchen table, an all night diner. It’s a gathering place where people meet to talk about sports and politics, about life and love, about music and art. It’s a place to tell jokes, to laugh, listen, learn and yes, love. We forge relationships in this place. We make friends. We meet people we intend to spend the rest of our lives with. We take those relationships and sometimes bring them into a physical space, meeting in groups or couples and when we do that, it always feels like we have just moved the conversation from one space to another. It doesn’t feel weird. It doesn’t feel different. It feels as right as talking to friends always feels.
The internet is a place. It is a hospital waiting room where we pace awaiting news of a birth. It is the pub next door to the funeral home where we gather to swap stories about someone who shared their life with us until the end. It is a graduation party, a wedding hall. It is a stadium where we all watch the same game at the same time, it is a convention center where we sit down to watch and talk about a Presidential speech. It is an auditorium where debates are held. It is a cafe after a movie opening.
It is, indeed, a place. And the people in this place are very real.
I lost a friend. It does not matter if I ever met him.
Because the internet, it’s a place. Real people exist here. We make friendships. We start relationships. We share our pain, our joy, our happiness and sorrows. We make each other laugh, we help each other in times of need. Sometimes we travel to other states or countries to meet each other for beer and food and fun. But we never have to travel far to be with each other.
Because we are here. In this place. In this vast living room called the Internet.
This is not something you can explain to someone who sees the internet as a thing instead of a place.
At least I have somewhere to go where people understand.
I may be an atheist but I still consider myself a spiritual person, and TJ is most definitely my spiritual leader.
It started with the decision to go ahead with plans to quit my job. Real plans. Concrete plans, with a time frame. Not some silly fantasy about leaving the pit of despair. It’s real. And I am not panicking about it.
I was confrontational at work today. While that may not sound like a good thing to you, it is to me because I back down from every confrontation in a misguided effort to keep the peace and make sure everyone is happy and peaceful. Something happened today that irritated the fuck out of me and I confronted the person who did it instead of just bitching about it to myself and feeling crappy about it all day.
I have a tendency to second guess myself and/or not trust myself. This morning I wasn’t sure if that thing I wrote about Slap Shot was good enough or interesting enough and normally when I feel like that, I would ask several people what they thought of it and then make my decision based on their opinions. Today, I said fuck it and just went ahead and posted it because I liked it.
I just spent $200 to go see a band. I never do things like that. I rarely spend money on myself without freaking out about it long enough until the point becomes moot. I figured if I spent the night thinking about it, the tickets would be gone in the morning and then the decision would be taken out of my hands. And then I said “What the fuck. Why don’t you ever do anything for yourself?” And I grabbed my credit card and went for it.
I didn’t work out tonight and I didn’t automatically think OH MY GOD ALL THE WEIGHT I LOST IS GOING TO COME BACK BECAUSE I SKIPPED A NIGHT. And I ate two slices of pizza. And I’m ok with that.
I’m pretty ok with myself today.
I forgot to do my favorite part yesterday and it’s important enough to do it this morning.
It had to do with my sister and this post. Most of it is personal. You may not know what it took for her to write that out and put it out there. And she herself may not see it, but she’s come a long way in the past year and I’m proud of her for getting up and moving forward.
Had a girls breakfast with my mom, aunt and sisters. Played with the new camera. Napped. Watched a movie and half while Todd slept off the effects of overseas travel. Made a decent dinner. Ate some ice cream. Hit the treadmill. Felt really proud of Team Burrito Babes. Snuggled while watching awful Sunday television.
My favorite part of today was today.
I forgot to do my favorite parts from yesterday but I think it went without saying.
1. goat cheese
today was fucking draining so I’m guessing number three on this list can’t be written because it will happen when i’m finally asleep.
"I mean, what would you do if you were in your car and all of a sudden there was this huge cow tongue coming in the window?"
"I’d spread my legs!"
No matter how much you love vacation, it’s always good to be back home.