Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Crossroads of Life and Facebook

A friend of mine, or I should I now say, frenemy, recently commented to me that I should have less engagement photos on my Facebook profile and more blog posts regarding single woman dating and it got me thinking about the evolution of people, and of Facebook.

Facebook coincidently began when I was making the transition from high school senior to college freshman. My freshman roommate, Arielle, who was and is still very tech savvy, made me a profile that I kept for a short time, then deleted because I thought it was lame. Even then I was very perceptive and could see the prospective downsides to having a page that anyone could see or comment on during my manizing years. It was the good ‘ol days and I was a loyal community webshots user that could control what flattering photos of myself and others were released, or what unflattering photos were not. However, much to my roommate’s suggestion, I finally hopped back on the bandwagon and made myself a profile. Mind you this was EIGHT years ago….

At that time, Facebook started with just a single profile page that you could post autobiographical information, comments and messages. Shortly thereafter, you could add photo albums and “tag” people. During this commencement of the non-professional photography phenomenon, underage drinking and living on our own for the first time was also commencing. My generation’s freedom and independence simultaneously developed as Facebook did.

As such, with just a quick glance of my 502 tagged photos, one can see the transition I have made as a young, wild college freshman to a more mature mother. Furthermore, with just a quick glance at my wall posts from 2004 until today, you can see there were none back then, since that was not a viable option on Facebook at that time, and now, most consist of comments regarding my son or being a mother.

So why this brief Facebook and personal history? Because as it is with everything in life, someone always wants to complain. I frequently hear people comment that they are so sick of seeing mothers post pictures of their kids, or pictures of weddings. Simultaneously, I also hear those persons being complained of, comment that they are so sick of seeing people post pictures of clubs and drinking, as well as hearing about the hangovers next day. Call me a hypocrite, but in the past year and a half, I have been on both sides of the spectrum.

What is ever so prevalent to me now is that my generation of young adults is at a crossroads in life and on Facebook. Mid twenty-somethings are at the stage in their life where they are figuring out who they are, who they were and who they want to become. I am going to assume that most people my age, by this point in their life, are finished with school and either continuing their education in graduate school, searching for a job, climbing the corporate ladder at their job, dating, becoming engaged, getting married and/or having babies. That is a very wide variant of life activities and options in my opinion.

This all means that on any given day, when I pull up my Facebook newsfeed, I have the option to read about how drunk Sarah was last night and/or see photos of same or hear about how sick Emma’s child was last night and/or see photos of same.

I can distinctly remember a comment I made just prior to me becoming pregnant that went something like, “If I have to hear about the ins and outs of my co-worker’s child’s potty training experiences, my co-worker should not be offended when hearing a story about how slam hammered drunk I intentionally got on the weekend!”

It seems to me that the grass may not always be greener on the other side, but the other side is always complaining that the grass needs maintained. No single, independent, employed partying mid twenty something, living it up on the weekends wants to hear about children and marriage on Facebook, and I don’t know too many married with kids Facebook participants that want to see pictures of sloppy self portraits from Saturday night. And I should know, I have felt both ways at one point or another. Please see the first 402 tagged photos of mine that are of me partying, versus my most recent one.

However, I can honestly say at this point in my life, if I have to listen or read about how drunk you were last night that you threw (which by the way I don’t care) then why shouldn’t you have to listen to or read about how my kid threw up directly in my face yesterday (which by the way, he really did). I see no high horse to either end of the spectrum, I just see the difference and recognize its there. And others should too before ignorantly making brash comments and ever so arrogantly assuming their side is better. It’s not. It’s just different. And so goes the progression of life…. And Facebook. A lot happens in EIGHT years.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stay Tuned

I have not used or checked Blogger in quite some time now. However, upon finally doing so, I noticed that I still receive several hundred hits per month. In lieu of those still checking in, I will likely be M.I.A for some time, with the exception of updates in regards to my new project.

A Book.

I hope to finish by spring of next year and am currently just enjoying the process. The book will reflect much of what is on this blog, in my usual, ever-so-charming tone and as well as my current life. No, its not an autobiography. I am well aware that no one cares about the particulars of my life.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Modern Mom

So here we are, 7 months since my last pregnancy blog and 3 months since my last entry. Life has certainly changed. And while I had promised to continue writing with some regularity, life has once again interfered with life plans. I should probably just do as my fiance says and not have a plan (or birth plan) because I'm only setting myself up for disappointment when things don't go as planned.

With what little downtime I have had at home, I was recently catching up with friends and blogs online. I was about to x-out of my old favorite website, Thought Catalog (for those of you not familiar, it's a website of blogs submitted by writers such as myself about anything and everything relevant and prevalent to mid-20 somethings). I was becoming quite bored with the website as I noticed most of the recent entries I had missed while birthing and raising my son were regarding binge drinking, dating, going out, and other activities that I'm pretty much completely out of the loop and uninterested in when I came across a writer who is apparently my age and currently unintentionally pregnant.

Obviously this writer peeked my interest and I immediately started reading every blog she had posted to the site. While I must admit that I feel her tone is a little too raw and cynical, it was refreshing to read an accurate honest depiction of what it means to become pregnant, intentionally or unintentionally so. The writer does not describe the butterflies and sugar coated bliss of becoming sperminated, but the conflict that many women my age feel. While I am and was overjoyed at the news of my son, I was also concerned with how I would negotiate who I was and who I was about to become. For me, it was important to maintain my sense of self and identity, while also adding "mom" to the many roles I have.

Prior to becoming a mother, I had hopes and dreams for my career as a writer and travel plans that no longer coincide with my new self. While in a perfect world the "modern woman" can do it all, a bit of yourself changes when you become completely responsible for another human being, and life plans inadvertently change as well. While I would never for any amount of money change having my son or starting a family, it is somewhat difficult and confusing to accept these changes because they happen so subtly regardless if you want them to or not. Is this necessilarly good or bad? No. But it's a reality that is rarely discussed.

Women my age who become mothers loss old friends, gain new ones and have major changes in hobbies and interests. Things I once found funny are no longer (Kat Williams stand up), things I never thought twice about are now disected and judged (MTV morning music videos), my idea of fun has changed, the things I care about have altered and I am no longer the person I was.

In retrospect these things are not so important, but it doesn't make it any less hard to realize that ultimately people I once had strong connections with have grown weakened or finding no joy in things I once so greatly loved. The trade off (my son and the love I have for him) far outweighs these losses but sometimes I just want to voice my frustrations out loud without feeling and looking like a terrible parent. The reality I know and read from the ThoughtCatalog writer is that many women feel this way and shouldn't be judged for same.

So there it is, my mom update. I will try and find some medium that can interest parents and non-parents in the meantime..