Ok this is ringing in my head and I just need to write it down so that I can make sense of it all.
I just took the dog I’m watching on a walk. The air was misty. It had just finished raining. I heard the most beautiful birdsong echo through the trees, and nothing else aside from the rustling of the wind through the branches.
I don’t know how this is going to sound. I’ll probably read it back again a few times over and decide that this is meaningless, naive rambling. But who gives a H O O T am I right?
We are living in an age where image is the be all end all entity of our day to day existence.
I’ve been without a phone for a short while now and listen, I’ve gotta tell you… it’s annoyingly hard sometimes. I get so mad at myself because I try and remember that knowing what everyone is doing at all times of the day is not important, and is exhausting to keep up with anyways. I’ve always tried to tell myself this.
But it’s different now.
We rely on these images.
Maybe not everyone does, and maybe not to a crazy extent, but most do.
It’s strange, and sad at times.
Images can be both filled with emotion and nuance that captivates you, or they can be empty. Void of all sentiment, released into the ether solely to paint a false effigy of one’s life.
I’ve spent the past 4 years comparing, analyzing, interpreting, and creating images. I loved every second of it. There is nothing in my life that I adore more than studying film, and collaborating with the wonderful people at that school.
But it’s different now.
I’m not there anymore.
The only images I’ve been able to take solace in as of late are the ones I keep in my journal, encased and encircled by lines of poetry that flicker through my head from time to time. Perhaps because they’re real, in the sense that I put those images there for the purpose of weaving a poetic narrative. They are palpable.
That doesnt stop me from scrolling through every social media feed 3 times every hour. I wonder if this ever gave me some sort of satisfaction, or if it’s always just been a mindless act.
It feels different now.
Moving across the country is lonely.
Granted, I had family and a few familiar faces waiting here for me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I had to leave countless beautiful souls that I have met in every faction of my life who I saw almost every single day.
The leap from having a network of people who care for you, inspire you, and create with you (be it literally creating a piece of art, or music with, or creating meaningful memories with) to having virtually nobody is a jolting experience.
I went into this “life change” if that’s what we’re calling it, thinking that I would be fine. I rarely get homesick, but the truth is that in the past 2 months I’ve experienced more emotions than I ever thought was plausible.
It’s a constant grab bag of “Wow, today is amazing, this town is beautiful, I feel so lucky.” To feeling completely and utterly alone, like I have no one to talk to about the day to day happenings in this crazy new place.
Again, to say I’m completely alone here would be a massive overexaggeration. I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people here, but they all have their own friends, and ties here already and I feel like I’m still just awkwardly trying to find where I fit in. I’ve always thought myself good at breaking out of my shell and meeting new people.
But it’s different now.
People have their lives rooted here already.
It feels strange to drop in like this and expect people to be my best friends instantly.
It will take time. I’ll find my place. Patience.
“Ok dummy, so what does this have to do with images, huh?”
WELL, decidedly rude, self-deprecating inner voice, let me tell you.
When you jump from being surrounded by your friends, to being half a continent away from them, you feel the need more than ever to stay updated on what they are doing.
Perhaps its pure, unadulterated FOMO.
“I still want to be a part of this person’s life, so I need to like all of their posts.”
Perhaps there’s undertones of jealousy, comparison, the urge to prove you are having just as much fun as everyone else.
Who’s to say.
It’s also a factor of getting to know new people. Soz not soz babies, but if you’re one of my new pals of the past two months, you better believe I’ve crept through your posts.
How else are we supposed to get to know each other in this modern age??
I love the friends who use what they post to show little things that they find in their day to day lives. It helps me paint a picture of who they are, even if I already am close with them, it gives me a small sense of what’s happening in their minds, or what they find beautiful.
I depsise humblebragging, although I have annoyingly done so in the past.
I hate pictures that look too posed. The camera is attracted to things that look natural. It was created to capture real life, not your staged “instagram model wannabe” garbage. (Again, something i’ve been guilty of in the past.)
It’s becoming so infuriating to me.
Instagram used to be one of my favorite apps, it still is but it feels like more of a faux pas to say so these days.
I went through that cringey phase of being a young adult where you are trying to be the coolest, edgiest, most talented, best-looking person and constantly worried about mind-numbing idiocracy like followers, and likes, and acting like celebrities.
Who are we if we are all just carbon-Kardashian-copies?
It’s different now.
We are living in a post-factual, postmodern, maybe even post-postmodern world, and it’s like we have no idea what to do with ourselves.
For every picture, or written post on Facebook there are about 50 dumb videos. It’s sucking the life out of us.
The constant sharing, tagging, posting.
(quick side note: this does not include memes. Memes are lifeblood, and I never want to stop sharing them.)
Maybe by this point you’re thinking that this is a hypocritical mess, and that’s fine I guess. I don’t ever try to portray myself as something that I’m not on social media, but I’m sure that doesn’t change the opinions that others have of me.
I’ve moved 3 times in the past month and a half, and will be moving again at the end of this month.
The constants in my life at this moment are few and far between.
That’s not to say that I haven’t done some wicked cool things lately. I work in an amazing office with even better people. I’ve been introduced to some killer spots in the area. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Ireland for my work last month. I’ve had flings, many resulting in letdowns but they still happened. I’ve made friends by going up to people in bars and just saying “Hi, I’m new here, I don’t know anyone.” Which is a sentiment that feels both daunting and freeing when said out loud to somebody you’ve never met before.
It will all work itself out in time.
As I walked through the rainy air today, and listened to the birdsong ringing through the woods, I wished that I could capture it somehow, and share it with the people I love. It was a beautiful scene, the tall green trees with the fog flowing across each branch, as I felt the mist on my skin, and I knew there was no way to share the literal breath of fresh air that I was feeling.
I remembered that I don’t need to be plugged in at all times of every day.
That my friends back home are still my friends even though we may not speak often.
That family is an unmatched support system on bad days.
That it will take time for me to feel entirely comfortable here. It’s still not fully my place yet.
That things are different now,
but that it all will work itself out in time.