Now that Facebook seems to have become a part of my everyday life, I look back and wonder at this journey. I started my Facebook account last September or October as a way to keep up with some scrapbooking friends. Then I "found" my best friend from college on FB. Next, my best friend from high school. Hooking up with these pieces of my past was exciting - and scary. I wasn't sure what reception I would receive or what (if anything) might come of it all. I'm still not sure. Very recently I have been "friended" by many of my current colleagues from work. It's a social experiment of sorts to see what business use we might make of online networking. Intriguing - and scary. It has opened up areas of my life to people who, until now, have only seen a very small part of who I am. And I've been pondering what that means to me and how or whether it will change the way I view FB and my interactions on that forum. As I'm musing on all of this...
I have a few blogs that I follow regularly and a few not-so-regularly. One of my all-time favorite non-scrapbooking blogs is "Ordinary Courage" largely because every one of Brene's posts are thought-provoking and resonate with me. They are the prompts for journal writing and pondering. And her most recent post was just as timely and meaningful to me. Brene writes about her journey into FB and meeting up with people who were friends of a version of herself she had long since left behind. In the post, Brene says:
Part of midlife is scooping up all the different versions of yourself that you’ve created to please folks, and integrating them into one whole, authentic person. This is tough work for me. I’m so good at assessing exactly who I need to be and when I need to be it. It’s really too bad that "alternating" eventually sucks your soul right out of your body.
WOW. That is right where I am in life. Trying to take all those different versions of me and fit them into a single, fully integrated, whole, authentic person. Integrating instead of Alternating. Not just "Rachel and Becca's Mom". Not just "the attorney." Not just that version of me that the situation of the moment requires. All of me. Scary. Exciting. Maybe even freeing - once you actually get there. And so now I'm pondering the whole concept of integration. Am I prepared for my scrapbooking friends to get a peek at the professional me? Am I prepared for my professional colleagues to see a little of who I am outside the confines of the office? Am I prepared for those faces from the past to see me in the present... and how far I have come from that shy, awkward girl who kept her head down and nose buried in a book in order to avoid painful social interaction? I'm pretty sure I'm ready. Which means I'll just continue to be "me" on FB. No changes to suit the audience. Cool. One less thing to stress about. Thanks Brene.