My Life Between Facebook Posts
I’ve been a member of the cult favorite, Facebook since about 2005. Originally it was just used as the typical emo, pessimistic rants and ravings of a troubled twenty something, with small flashes of hope and humor. However, my posts were few and far in between. When I did share, I posted too many cryptic song lyrics and took too many selfies. During the beginning of my life on Facebook I was trying to figure out who I was, coyly and obviously putting myself out there, and just passing the time. Today, the dreaded “You have memories,” notification is just a glib reminder of how annoying I was, and how I encompassed the meaning of the term “Bitter Betsy.” I should’ve coined the term, “Melancholy Melvi.” It’s quite embarrassing when I read some of my old posts, but I can’t go back and I’m not sure I would if I had the chance. That Melvi, she was angry, lonely and kind of a drag to be honest. However, my posts were only a small part of who I was. Then the big move happened.
When I made the big move to Lancaster County back in November of 2012, Facebook quickly became a steady figure in my life. Imagine an almost thirty year old cat lady, living alone in a brand new state, completely lost. Spending her nights watching DVR’ed Ellen and The Big Bang Theory while curled up on the floor with her cat Barlow. I had no furniture, no friends, and no family. All that was holding me together those first few weeks was just a tiny spark inside me, barely holding on to its light, my crazy cat and FaceBook. Facebook became the only and best way to keep up with all my family, coworkers, friends, and “friends.” It was a necessary evil for me at the time. I got to catch up with people I grew up with, people I used to work with and watch the family and friends I had just left back in Charlotte continue living their lives without me. I posted to remind people I was still alive, was exploring new lands, and to remind people I was fearless.
The thing is, my Facebook posts did not define me or share my entire story. You get bits and pieces of the parts of my life I wanted you to see. I did not share all the times I cried myself to sleep, because I thought that I had just made a mistake in leaving Charlotte behind. I did not post photos of my empty apartment, while I sat on the floor with an unbalanced meal and my cat. I did not talk about how hard it was to be alone, truly alone with no one to hug and tell me I was going to be okay. I didn’t want my friends and family to see that part of me. I wanted them to think I was strong, independent, adventurous, and was living my truth. My truth was insomnia, depression, gluttony, weight gain, loneliness with bouts of regret.
It was one of the hardest times in my life. I had a rocky start but I finally found my way, my place and my people here in Lancaster County. I created my very own family of a handful of people I owe everything to. It seemed as if they knew I needed them, because on days I would get home from work late, cold, tired and holding back tears they would invite me over for wine. They welcomed me into their home and fed me home cooked meals, and made me laugh until it hurt. When I needed help, advice, or got sick they were there with an ear, a cocktail or homemade soup to get me better. Their friends and family, became my friends and family and I made it through the darkness unscathed.
Today, my life is completely different from what it was when I joined Facebook, and even when I first moved up here. I’m not as lost, I’m married, birthed an adorable little chunker, and I’m doing okay. I’m grateful for the struggles and lessons I’ve learned along the way and I still enjoy scrolling through Facebook. I love that I can watch the people I grew up with raise their children and listen to their stories. I love when I’m having a bad day that I can count on one of my buddies to post an adorable puppy video or hysterical political satire meme. I’ve been reunited with my paternal family who I’ve gone almost my whole life not seeing. I also love that I can share pieces of my life with one click, to my family and friends across the globe. Even though I share positive, funny or happy moments of my adorable little family, I need you to know that that isn’t my entire life. My life is not defined by my social media posts.
My truth, my story and my life is what happens between my Facebook posts. The long day of driving for work, exhausted and annoyed by bad drivers and irrational customers. The times my husband and I bicker about what we are eating for dinner and which route is the fastest through town. (My way, always my way) The adorable moments I share cuddled with my husband watching our stories after the toddler is asleep. The little walks we take with our daughter around the neighborhood, discovering flowers, plants, and bugs. Especially the moments she is throwing the most amazing tantrum because I won’t let her have a popsicle for breakfast or the dog is sitting on my lap. Those moments are mine, and will not be documented for a “like.” I don’t share the bad days on my personal Facebook page because those moments and stories are mine and Melvi’s.
I get to take a breath and compile my thoughts, good, bad or comedic into stories that I share with you. If you know me personally, you won’t hear me talking about breast feeding, hemorrhoids, wobbly bits and terrible toddler escapades on my Facebook page. I leave those pieces of my life here, on Mondays. I open up my heart and soul for those of you who actually read my stories. I will always share my truth here. So, with that in mind, I need you to remember when you’re following someone on any social media, whether they are famous or not that that isn’t their entire truth. Their life isn’t always well lit, organized, and happy. Life is a mess, its hard, stressful and the beauty and light find their ways in throughout the day if you let them. Their life, my life and your life is made up of those moments between Facebook posts; do them on purpose and make them count. Share what you want, post those beautiful baby pictures, hysterical videos and memes and keep some of the beautifully chaotic, messy truths for yourself.
Living my truth; good, bad and indifferently,