10/7/14

What About Now?

Have you ever heard people talk about near (post?) death experiences where they felt like they left their body and floated above themselves . . . noticing how weird their boobs looked from 20 feet above their body laying flat on their back or ruing NOT putting on clean underwear that morning?

These people - who I have to presume are scared out of their bodies (see what I did there?) - tell often-romantic stories about how the world slowed down and they saw their loved ones and the EMTs and how they pondered their life real and imagined and the fact that it might be over.

Know what they are really thinking? Ugh. This is how it ends? I never even bothered to figure out what the heck The Tree of Life was even about (see what I did there?) and I had a casserole in the oven and tomorrow is school picture day and my husband is going to let the kids wear whatever they choose.

I'm not even sure what I'm rambling about . . . So enter this piece from The Atlantic. It is part "rise of the machines" and part "we really are liars who try to present our best selves but the truth says otherwise" but, for me, it was more about the idea that there are two of us living and walking around. Our "real" self and our "best" self and the only thing that separates the two (a boundary getting thinner and less armed all the time).

So I actually played a game on hot Sunday evening in August . . . which me is the "more accurate" me (real vs. best). How did I play the game? Deep, deep introspection and meditation. I kid - I just went to my digital life . . . and you can too!

I combed through nearly 1,100 blog posts (didn't read them all - to be clear) and I perused nearly 44,000 Tweets, and I looked at nearly 6,000 photos of the last decade of my life (largely photos of my daughter - I am seldom caught/found on camera), and I even dug through years of Facebook stati and photos and interactions.

My conclusions?

1) I used to share way, way too much about my real life.
2) I don't care nearly enough about being my "best" self.

The truth (if I can be honest with you for the first time in over 50,000 digital interactions) is that, by the late days of 2014, there is not very much of either version ("real" or "best) of me floating around. I've circled my own wagons. I've been relatively quiet. I am getting older and more mature.

But that was not the game - the game was which version do I try to share and the answer, to the delight of half of you who bet pay stubs on it . . . I am trying to project my "best" self. TRYING.

I noticed a few things:
  • I am a funeral and four books off completing all my PUBLIC goals for 2014 (I have hit 11 of the 14 private ones and the other three are NOT happening). 
  • I am spending more and more time in the real world doing real things with real people and trying to be real in those moments and experiences.
  • I am a lucky and blessed person with many people who (quietly) suffer me and loads that truly care for and about me. 
Those are the real parts of me that I don't really talk about or make a thing digitally. MOST of what I share now are ramblings (I'm about 50 blog posts away from just throwing up a picture of a teenager at the mall and labeling it "Damned kids.") and redirects or music or movies or books that I enjoy. I don't talk about food, running, relationships, parenting, faith, etc. nearly as much as I did. Instead it is just superficial things like what song I listen to each morning or why I love bananas despite their high hypoglycemic index.

So, there you go. You, dear readers, are stuck with my "best" (which is mortifying to say) self. The real me is out there. I promise.

Also, rest assured . . . if I get in a wreck this evening I'll float above my body, resent my boobs, and know that my clean underwear has served me as well as it can.