At first, I was totally intimidated by many (most) of the people I worked with at SFMOMA. It was a dream of mine to work at that museum. It was my first professional job after graduating from college. I know how to keep my cool, and I tend to air on the side of indifference- my default in a nervous or anxious state, but I was in the company of people I was genuinely interested in, people I wanted to know about, their history. But, of course, there is nothing worse than appearing too eager. It was a situation in which I had to ease my way in.
After I'd assimilated, wearing what I wanted and not giving a f*ck, my new friends urged me to sign up for Friendster. "You have to." That was the line. "You have to!" It didn't appeal to me at all. Back then. Back in 2003. I didn't like it. I didn't need it. I didn't want it.
But I signed up.
"Yeah! You did it!"
Weird. Strange. Too modern for me somehow.
I have the ability to keep moving forward and not dwell on the past. At times the past haunts me in the same way I can be sure it haunts many, but I keep going. Friendster, and now Facebook, posting about my life, sharing details of my self, being connected in an often superficial and meaningless way, to people I never think about, has a bizarre subconscious tax on my life experience. It connects me to the past in what feels like an unnatural bond. When I am near Chicago Lake on a perfect autumn afternoon, after having hiked many miles, the last thing I think to do is take a picture, let alone a picture to post on Facebook. That gesture makes my heart sink. And I don't mean to judge people who do, people who write and post and connect and share it all. But I want to let it all go.
I want to change, and challenge myself, and to have fun adventures always, but I want to do it for myself. I don't want to train my brain to need my experience to be validated by other people, to only feel it is worth something if it is known to others. I prefer to try and establish more of my own rules, and forget more of the systems, and expectations, that can feel so heavy.
And, I guess, what I realize is that I am a private person. I love and hate attention.
I hope that I continue to make conscious decisions about how I live my life based more on intuition than on social norms.