Breaking Glass

Most years, before my birthday, I sit and work out whether I feel anything has been achieved. This year it’s an odd satisfaction within me as I sit here, typing the phrase ‘yeah, you know what, this is getting somewhere.’ The potential for everything to change in a heartbeat has never been so obvious, permanently sitting behind an eyeline well aware of what is playing out in plain sight.

A lot of this really is ridiculously unfair. People dying who shouldn’t be, could be saved, must be remembered. The good, oppressed and marginalised by those who think freedom is their privilege when it is everybody’s right. Somewhere in between is everybody else, doing their best, struggling to make it all work. Some people are failing, others succeed, and all of this, like it or not, is as it has always been.

Except, in all of this, there are the beginnings of revolution.

I feel quite flabby right now, both literally and metaphorically. Lots of bits of my body are changing, places that have been fat spots for literally decades. There’re areas of working practice that also need work, and those will be addressed starting today. Eventually, everything does find a level, and with enough thought and consideration, you can untangle even the most difficult issues.

It is time to move on from introversion, which for a while this year nearly derailed me completely. Lockdown has taught me many things, the main one being that nobody is listening, most of the time. The trick is to just keep talking and eventually, stuff sticks. Being aggrieved that people aren’t, or they don’t thank you, or all this other shit is unnecessary energy expended. Just keep on, keeping on, going forward, doing the Thing.

In time, it all works out just fine.

The people who really care still do, are here to support and are, willing to help propel forward plans that are less belief and more confidence with every passing day. Knowing that this is a righteous path also helps, but never should that feeling prevent you from being the better person. Everybody has something to teach you, especially those who think they have nothing left to learn.

There is a storm coming, and many people will not weather it well.

So Here We Are

Whenever two or three people I know and follow, on Twitter, get together and have a conversation, Twitter actively attempts to involve me. Even on Tweetdeck, that interaction appears unavoidable. With my tech hat on there are clearly very good reasons why doing this is a good idea for the growth of the platform overall. Talking is, after all, the point.

However, it’s a lie, clear falsehood. It’s the equivalent of what used to happen in the playground at secondary school when someone wanted gossip to make them the centre of attention. I am well aware of the level of interaction at play on any given day, and these people would not, do not include me. It is an attempt to drive passive engagement, and I detest it.

It also drags me into issues I am often already trying to avoid.

This is, I will freely admit, the reason why some people I really like are at present muted. Mutes don’t stop the direct @ when someone talks to you with your username. Crucially it doesn’t remove likes or retweets being visible on Tweetdeck, at least initially. It allows me to acknowledge those who are my more enthusiastic supporters, who refuse to engage directly (for whatever reason).

However, of late, it means that certain discussions and arguments are unavoidable, however hard I attempt to curate. Part of this journey is realising I cannot fix everything, and I would be foolish to try, because the energy expended by doing so does and has deflected me from my path. Many people have commented on the downsides. I am going to take their advice too, because they care about me personally.

I know this not through here say, but through personal interaction.

It is apparent to most now how important virtual interactions are in modern life, and being able to place a measure of control on what takes place is as important as keeping your real life manageable. Watching other people make the same mistakes you have does make you want to wade in and point out the hypocrisy. It is not worth the effort.

Asking people if they need help is a better way forward. It requires far less assumptive reasoning: if someone says they are struggling, then that’s your cue. Again, it can’t (and won’t) help you save everybody. That remains the impossibility that it takes a lifetime to shake and will, if you are that person, wrack you with guilt when it becomes apparent you missed someone else’s cry for help.

All you will ever do is your best.

What bothers me the most right now are those people who depend on the Internet for their livelihood, who know what good can (and does) happen here yet continue to malign it because it gets them attention. We all know someone like this, and I watch people do this daily, in the hope it might illicit some sympathy. That’s not how this works. We see right through you.

By far the most successful people on Twitter are ignoring the fact they’re not being successful and just doing what needs to be done. When your creativity and enthusiasm shines through, amazing things happen. I’ve only just discovered this revelation, and it is still sometimes a bit hard to balance with everything else but the results are, it must be said, transformative.

Stop talking a rubbish game, and start changing your outlook.

Beautiful

Yesterday, I was tested. Asked some big questions, answers were confidently offered, then explored. I know who I am now. Not owned by the past, weighed down by events or expectations. This is not history controlling future or present. There is, however, some work to be done with exposure therapy, but that’s not a problem.

Everything else is in flux.

Normally, such readjustments to the World view would be a source of panic: last week’s initial session caused a lot of event and emotional displacement. This week, that’s minimal, mostly because there’s not the fear of exposure that was initially the case. Anything that has happened before is not the issue. That’s why I’m here in the first place.

Those were the things that made me require maintenance.

stuffyoushouldknow

It is a unique but hardly unusual set of circumstances that caused schisms in the first place. Not knowing how to react, what was right or wrong, lacking the basic instruction manual for human behaviour. Over all this time, the fundamentals are now finally being grasped. I know how to ask for help, say sorry, when to stop talking. Now, the reverse actions need to take place.

Most importantly of all, a lot of my fictional work has suddenly became redundant.

Many of my narratives were created, I realise, as deeply personal coping mechanisms, in which I would lose myself when stressed. These are no longer required: returning to them is difficult, and in at least one case makes me feel physically unwell at present. That was last week’s revelation; this week’s is that as it stands, I now really don’t want to go back to anything that old again.

So, what happens next?

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That’s a really good question…