Monday, November 25, 2013

Pulling Out the Social Media IV Drip

I left all forms of social media a few years ago. I deleted (not just deactivated) my Facebook account. Twitter, gone. LinkedIn, gone. Etc, etc, etc. My part time job, and at times full time job, of being a constantly plugged-in social media participant ended.

I needed a break from the silence filler, the busy hum of my own narcissism, and worst of all the Comparison Game. Everyone – and I mean everyone – had a better life than I did. Better fashion, happier relationships, sweeter cars, more exciting jobs, and they obviously ate the most brilliant food ever created by the looks of their photos.

I struggled with the thought of leaving all of it behind. I wondered what would happen to me and if the world as I knew it would crumble. It was a brave move to make on my part, especially because my dream is to someday be a speaker and a writer (which, ironically, I was at that point). How else am I supposed to gain a following and grow in popularity without these apps?!

Nonetheless, I clicked delete on it all.

Despite many concerns for my mental health as I made this choice, my friends and I were still able to continue our friendships; I still got invited to events and I didn’t experience an astronomical shift in the universe that I assumed would happen.

The biggest question I got was not a genuinely curious “why did you go off of social media?”... The resounding question was “why did you unfriend me?”

My choice to pull the Facebook and social media IV drip out of my arm wasn’t because I was trying to make a statement to anyone. It had nothing to do with anyone other then myself.

I needed the break.
I needed the silence.
I needed to know it was okay to be me without an outward facing audience telling me how much they liked my photo or status update.

Over the past three years I have been grateful for that decision I made even though it flies in the face of cultural norms. That part has been the hardest pill to swallow, actually. Going with the norm is easier and would have required less of me. However, the break gave me margin to explore who I am, what I am about, and I have learned to accept myself without anyone else’s commentary or opinions. I have been able to push through my biggest fear that I am not enough as I am. Not Sarah + anything. Just me.

Turns out I like myself a lot (most days). I recently reengaged certain social media apps but my interest in them is so minimal that I can't be bothered by it. It simply isn’t a value to me. I’m sure at some point in my career as a communicator I’ll be required to have all the bells and whistles of whatever the new media demands are, but I’m hoping to hire someone to take care of that for me.

I’m happy with me. And I’m glad to turn off my iPhone tonight and enjoy the present moment of what’s happening around me with no photos or updates to prove I had a great time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Numero Uno

My first post here. I should let you know I have been dreading this moment for a long time. I imagine most people launch a blog with fantastic ambition and a belief they will be known or get famous or perhaps just have a place where they can be further affirmed in how awesome they are - and I am sure they are all awesome people. But this launch is a different sort of experience for me.

Years ago I had a blog and I have a fairly solid number of readers. I felt I had good things to say and I wrote almost strictly from my own life experiences and learnings. (By the way, I will use words here that are not actual words but I like them.) Then I hit some snags in life and I choose to take myself offline. And by "snags" I mean hitting one of the lowest, darkest bottoms of adult life. It was not pretty. I'll be sharing more about that in other posts.

I was grateful for the time off; I needed it. I engaged my fears, met new friends, found tremendous support, and healed. Recently, however, I have been getting a nagging feeling deep in my gut that I am supposed to start writing through the medium of a blog again. Call it God, call it self-induced belief, call it what you want. In any case, it's been clear that this is what I'm supposed to do.

So here I am.

My discomfort at starting up again comes from a deeply seeded lie I need to be in the "perfect" place in life to have a blog. You know, with all things going well, everything cheery and rosy, and with positive, powerful things to say. The truth is that I've been stripped of all the things I thought gave me a platform or any sort of importance.

All I can say right now is that I feel as though I am submitting myself to the universe and writing from a place of need.

Of lack.
Of loneliness.
Of haunting unknowingness.

There is one thing that exists in me that brings me to this place, though. As you can gather, my last name is Auda. I am told the original name is a much longer Italian configuration that my great great grandfather changed when he migrated to Ellis Island. I have heard all variations of puns on my name (pronounced "aw-duh"). The one that strikes me most is the term audacious.


The dictionary listing for the term is this:

au-da-cious - adjective
1. showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks
synonyms: bold, daring, fearless, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, heroic

My name is literally the first four letters of a rather powerful term. And despite the lows of my life, past and current, I have never lost my audaciousness. I see my own fear regarding this blog and I am intentionally choosing to act differently because that is the truest part of who I am. I refuse to allow my fears of not being enough or perfect to dictate how I live my life. The fear is present, and that's why doing this is important.

This blog is audacious. I am audacious. I will share about the sheer audaciousness of my life here. Welcome to my new adventure, I hope you stick around.