I Am the One and Only

For many people, the Internet’s the only place they feel ‘like themselves’ and, as a result, they act differently here than the way they would in Real Life. The problem with this belief however is two-fold: the Internet is still Real Life, and if you act against established societal norms ANYWHERE, there’s going to be trouble at some point down the line. This basic understanding underpins a lot of the interaction I have with people over time: there’s a Real and then Internet and it’s all well and good until you lose control of either one or the other. In the last week, I’ve watched Internet take over a lot of people’s Real concerns with a detriment that frankly doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It shouldn’t make anyone amazed either, because when you decide you want everything all at once?

There are always consequences.

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Wisdom. Just add Cat.

Why do these internet images hold so much sway with people? What is it about Motivational Cat posters that makes the visual so much more persuasive than the reality? Is it because in these small, bite sized segments it becomes easier to cope with what we are asked of? As life becomes ever more complex do people look to the instant, the moments to provide what sometimes decades of conventional wisdom has failed to give them? Mostly, I think people flock to the Internet as a coping mechanism because, albeit for short periods of time, it gives them total control of their destiny where often that right is anything but theirs to wield. You are the Mistress of your Own Destiny online, and can hold sway over a court that is yours to move and dictate with blocks and ignores.

That’s all well and good until the past catches up with you, or someone bucks the trend of just walking away and challenges your supremacy. What happens then? How do you keep your space safe and untainted? Well, you don’t. Because there is no sanctuary in life, only respite. There are no ways to cheat death, or anger, or love. They happen, whether you like it or not, and most importantly of all when they affect other people and not you? There’s a chance that you’re beautifully constructed life will collapse around you. The measure of us as human beings is how you deal with the angry, and the dismissive, and the adoring and inevitably with the end of all things.

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BOOM. There it is

You are your own Universe, like it or not. I may not be a religious person, but it is not hard to understand why God is so important in so many people’s lives, because when there is another person in your heart and mind? A lot of life’s issues become a hell of a lot easier to deal with. God is your conscience, your mentor, and your yardstick. It’s easy to grasp why, in the early days of man’s fragile existence on the planet, having someone else in your head to deal with change became beyond significant. It gave monks a focus to keep knowledge alive, it drove artisans to think freely for the glory of a greater good.

Having only your own mind as a guide is a dangerous process, fraught with potential peril. It’s easy to see why so many view the Internet as dangerous, when so few people carry a moral compass with them when they stare at a screen. Because all mortal desires are here, hidden under the surface veneer of social media. The Internet may well be your heaven, escape in the form of freedom of expression, but it’s also a thinly veiled version of hell. Real and Virtual are no different from salvation and purgatory, for many people. It all depends on where you stick your frames of reference.

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SHAKE IT OFF KING EDWARDS

I’m not your friend online. I’m some random woman whose blog you’re reading. You can try and think we’re friends because we may talk online from time to time, but only after years and years and YEARS of knowing each other is it probably fair to use that word as a correct definition. I think we need a new word for the people we know only virtually, that Facebook can’t hijack and pretend to use as some magical glue that sticks the world together in their Social Media platform. Don’t get me wrong, I’m genuinely of the belief that you can be mentally and physically close to someone you’ve never met, but that involves BOTH PARTIES acquiescing, not just one compensating for the other.

For everyone else, we should be vriends. Virtual Friends, who you see and smile and wave at as you travel from Site A to Website B every day. A clear distinction between the real and the created, that people can use and feel comfortable with in polite conversation. ‘I have so many vriends but none of them became a friend like you.’ Then you have a definition between one place and another, and everybody knows which platform they’re working on.

If only everything were that simple to change.

Blue Hour

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Today was tough, but I got there. It’s not as much as I’d normally do in a day, but sometimes it’s not about breaking records, just putting in the miles. Mostly, I like the routine that exercise gives me, because there are days like to day where I lose cohesiveness and need something to tether me to a long-term goal. I’ll spend some time next year talking about how my mental issues have affected my life, especially when it’s come to self esteem and confidence. For now, the need for a routine and progress is important.

It’s all about finding a balance, and there’s not a Lightsaber in sight.

I want to write a review of THAT Star Wars movie at some point, mostly because I’m finally comfortable in my mind of what I want to say. The thing is, I didn’t come out of the cinema raving, far from it, and I’d like to be able to settle my qualms with the narrative I was presented with.

Oh, and at some point we have to talk about SPECTRE.

The Long Road Home

Today is Monday, and as a result it’s when my exercise regime begins for 2016. I don’t care that it’s not New Year, I don’t need a resolution or a motivational cat poster. This is about finally getting my body back into my own hands, before I hit 50 in October. This is not the time for pissing about, people. We are going to be fitter, healthier and happier than we have ever been for longer.

Yes, there will still be cake, but not for the first four weeks of the year, because January has always been an abstinence month for me. I’m not making any big changes in my life here, this isn’t a huge wrench or a massive long term plan. That’s been going on for over a year. This is me pushing myself because I want to, and I’m now fit enough so I can.

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Right now, I’m not doing any upper body work at all other than press ups, which I will fix, along with putting more cardio work into my equation. Part of my aim is to improve my lung capacity (I’m asthmatic) so that I will be less reliant on drugs in the long term. I also need to work on my stomach, which has never really had enough attention after two kids lived inside me. But that’s already too much information you don’t need. I want to post my workouts and commentary for myself on how easy/hard things have been, as a motivator not simply for writing but progression too.

Mostly, you can come and watch me get even healthier than I already am.

On Most Days

It’s never just about me. If I’m doing parenting even approaching properly, then I should NEVER be talking about my kids online. If I’m maintaining an even halfway personal relationship with my husband or a friend, that’s nothing to do with you. I am an immensely private person, when all is said and done. And still I share at least a part of myself 24/7. That’s all well and good when there’s the energy to do so.

But then you have days like today when I can see the pile of stuff to my left that I’ve promised to do/send/write/organise and it doesn’t move. Instead of just getting on with it, I procrastinate. I go MEH. I use Twitter as displacement, and that’s all well and good until another day passes and I have not moved forward. So, this is me, writing paragraphs to tell myself it’s okay. You can’t do everything, all the time. You can’t be that person. And that’s absolutely fine.

You know what matters most. Get that done first. After that? Be honest with people. Tell them the truth, establish that you’re not coping and then move forward from that point. Do stuff to anchor yourself to this moment so you don’t start going backwards. Then, after that, small steps. Most of the crap other people put in your way? You don’t need it. Just be you. Take off the harness. Think outside the box. Be confident you can cope.

I’m okay to go.

Is It Real…?

I have a problem with the Future.

It’s not the lack of shiny silver suits or real working hover boards, before we go there. It’s the belief that some people actually want robots to do everything: you can check whether your current employment is under threat, and the discussion of what robots can do for us will keep raging on undoubtedly for decades. My issue is very simple: if you’re in a service industry? You’re not replaceable. Yes, I’m looking at you Banking. If you’re going to sell me online services and try and stop me ever visiting your Branch? That’s fine and great, but when I need to actually pay in money don’t get the hump if I actually want to speak to a real person. I don’t give a flying fuck about queue times, I’d just like to see my money be counted properly while I’m there. Yes, I could put it in the machine. However I don’t trust it, and that’s something you don’t try and work out of me, it’s a thing that needs to be accommodated. Because if you want to look after my money?

I shouldn’t feel bad because I won’t do what you tell me is easier. You accommodate my needs, not the other way around.

I used the counter service today, and I shouldn’t have a member of staff standing inside the branch telling me I don’t need to. I can clearly see you took away a staff place and put an automated machine in its place. I understand where your future is going, and honestly I don’t like it. So, I will continue to queue because that’s the reason I actually go to the Bank. You know, to talk to a real person and not interact with technology, because that’s not the future I either want or desire in my High Street.

Make it so I can pay money in at home and this problem goes away. Until you do, Barclays, please don’t think I want to bank quickly or efficiently. I’m going for your people, who seem to be losing increasing amounts of relevance in the game plan. Some of us exist in the Future every day, and would dearly love certain sectors of the service industry to not be so keen to remove the personal touch with so much enthusiasm. In fact, if you wanted to save our High Streets? There needs to be more humans involved and not less.