I’m in a funk. I want to nap instead of write. I want to eat a whole box of Cheez-Its and binge on Doctor Who. I went to the gym hoping that I’d find some mental clarity and inspiration and be able to finish today’s post. Instead, I came home and wiped the little bit I had written off the page. Maybe it’ll be back another day, but I’m just not up to it now.
I don’t want to give up on writing this project and I won’t. But the desire to do it isn’t there today. The inspiration isn’t there. So, I googled “writing prompts” and . . .
*sorry, got bored with the googled list so I just ran to the store for Cheez-Its, I’m back. And I think I just realized why I am in a funk…
One of the things I had jotted down when I began this project was “Internet is my frenemy.” And actually, that seems to be especially true SINCE making that note! There are people in the vastness of this world who are welcomed into my home via my laptop. They pop in at the gym via my phone. They come and go. And, for the most part, I love them, or at least like them. There are trolls and you have to do your best to weed them out before they can do real damage, but sometimes you can’t. Sometimes, you don’t know who the troll is because they never make contact with you, but they hurt someone you care about.
I have a friend who had trouble with trolls yesterday so, I’ll tell you about Missy. That’s not her real name. She sees beauty in the strangest of places. She loves the villains in movies, books, and tv shows. She has pet rats. She’s absolutely adorable and priceless to me. And we probably will never meet. But, she popped up on my tumblr feed one day and I swear I could feel her soul. I just somehow knew that here was someone really amazing. You can’t just start a conversation like that, “Hi, stranger on the interwebz, you’re amazing!” At least, I can’t. So, I didn’t. I just watched her posts and occasionally commented and became more and more convinced that she was special.
She mentioned one day how weird it was that there are people online that you don’t know, but you just form a bond with them anyway. I said it was like going to the corner grocery store and there’s that one cashier that you would rather wait in a little longer line just to have that momentary semi-anonymous interaction with. For whatever reason, you want to share space with that person and you walk away feeling better that there are such people in the world. I feel better knowing that there are people like Missy, people who like the weird and see beauty differently. Even if I don’t see the things she does, I love trying to. Those are the kinds of things that make me a better writer and a better human being. I’ve always been a color-outside-the-lines person at heart. I don’t want to be just like anyone else. And I like beautiful people who help push me even further outside the norm. Missy does that, in little bite-sized random posts about fandoms.
Unfortunately, there are some people who are so hell-bent on normalcy that they won’t bother to try to see anyone else’s views and will even condemn them for the way they see the world. Loving a villain in a fictional story does not mean you want to see that kind of abusive or negative or evil influence in the world. But they can’t cope with that. If you like something evil, you must be evil. Well, here’s how not evil she is: she took it personally. She felt like she should have to change for them. Or at least tone it down or even take a break from social media so that no one else would be bothered by her and the things she loves, and so she could have some emotional breathing room from feeling like she should filter herself. Someone who truly wants evil doesn’t care that much.
Some idiots out there who are so narrow minded that they have to bully someone they don’t know over something they don’t understand, hurt someone that I care about. And because of the nature of the internet, we form these bonds with people that we don’t really know in person or that personally, but we most certainly know them in real life. She pops up a few times most days and I appreciate it every time. I am very truly glad for her posts. This limited, slightly removed form of friendship is full of it’s own nuances of intimacy and downfalls. I can’t really be there for her aside from a few messages here and there, but I put my heart in those messages. I can’t really knock on her door and give her a hug. I can’t really do anything but love her from afar.
So, here is this digital world where I’m trying to find my voice. It is full of wonderful people whose voices mean so very much to me, who help shape my life and attitudes in ways that none of us will ever truly know the extent of. And it is full of people who try to silence the voices of those that I most crave to hear from. At least if you’re careful and you are very, very choosy, the blessings of the internet will far outweigh the curses. The internet, after all, is where so many of our friends live.