they say this place has changed,but strip away all of the technology and you will see that we all are hunters, hunting for something that will make us okay.
Those are some of the lyrics to a song called "Needle and Thread" by Sleeping At Last. Sleeping At Last always speaks to me, particularly on brisk autumn evenings as I drive in my car, but lately the line "...strip away all of the technology / and you will see..." has been trying to lure me out of my recent slumber (so to speak), subtly like the sun's first rays that creep across my face in the morning. That line may be the key to beginning the climb out of what I've been feeling for a while now.
...been feeling that lately. Thanks to recent deep conversations with dear friends, I've been able to begin to put to words some of this parasitic discontent that I've passively played host to and dwelt with for too long now. The bottom line is, I want more from life. More for (my) life. More of life, in general.
I've been auditing my life in the last couple weeks. And before I begin pointing my finger at a few areas that might be the source of this discontent, I thought I'd start with the line from Sleeping At Last...by stripping away the technology. I spend (read: waste) far too much time with the TV on, usually to ESPN, and also to Discovery Channel, or any episode of The Office that's playing, syndicated or new season. I've shared this with a few people, and every time I say it I realize how ridiculous my life is: I watch so much ESPN and listen to so much sports talk radio that I can carry on a completely fluid, knowledgeable discussion about Phillies baseball with a diehard Phillies fan and not miss a beat. You should know that A) I hate baseball; B) I've never watched a Phillies game until this past World Series; and C) seriously, I hate baseball. It's a terrible sport.
Another thing. I can't tell you how much I check Facebook in a single day. It's shameful. Checking statuses, updating mine, praying that I get tagged in a sweet picture of me doing something awesome and impressive. And the time I spend on Facebook is still modest compared to the time that other people I know spend on it playing games, taking quizzes, stalking their friends or crushes...
And we do it all because, after all, "Facebook helps me stay connected to people." You know what? I quote Matthew McConaughey from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: "Bull****" (gotta try to keep this a PG blog, you know). It's bull, and you know it. Yes, Facebook casts us a larger net. We legitimately can connect with ten times the amount of people than without. Yet the connections are as deep as the kiddie pool I tried to dive into when I was in 6th grade.
Truth be told, I felt more connected to people before I had Facebook my senior year of college.
I felt more alive when I wasn't watching TV.
So I'm closing my Facebook. Not because it's "evil," but because I simply don't need it. I'm turning the TV off because I have books to read, poetry to write, music to listen to/practice/write...I have a hundred other avenues of creativity to explore.
There is life to be found every day for me, yet the glow of the computer screen and the TV have been hiding it all from my eyes. I've learned to take the easy way out every day--the stress of work, the strain on my mind and emotions all have led me to being content with shutting my brain off. And for some of you, that's exactly what you want - to turn your brain off. And I'm sorry...I'm just not OK with that.
Nowhere in the biography of any great poet or musician or writer or leader or world-changer does it say, "...and he was content to shut his brain off after work and watched a lot of TV, because he needed a break from the stress of his day."
There are many elements that comprise the difference between mediocrity and greatness...I'm trying to just start to weed the first mediocre ones out.
So as I continue this struggle to remember who I was, what it is I care about, what it is I'm dreaming and hoping for, I leave you with more Sleeping At Last lyrics:
so slowly i'm losing who i've sworn to be. a promise in pencil that years have made so hard to read. i've spent my life building walls brick by brick and bruise by bruise... a birdcage religion that whispered me to sleep.
but time is spinning silk that coils ruthlessly; with the devil's patience, it binds my hands so quietly that soon it becomes a part of me.
so soften these edges and straighten out my tie. and help me remember the hope that i have compromised.
please be a broken record for me.