Posts Tagged ‘ facebook ’

Living vs. Vicariously

Before I start making points, I’d like to make one thing absolutely clear: I’m writing about this topic because it’s something I’m working on being better at, not because I have anything figured out and want to sit up on my high horse coaching you peasants how to live.

Good? Good.

I write a few weeks ago about how I seem to have a certain quota of input that I can handle before I cross the line from inspiration to discouragement.

In that post, I make the point that spending too much time online leads to me never creating things.

I’ve been spending a lot of time plugged in lately, and while I wouldn’t describe my creativity as at an all-time low, it’s definitely suffering.

And the lack of productivity frustrates me, so I look to the internet for inspiration, still finding none, perpetuating the loop.

However, I find that as soon as I get offline my brain wakes back up. It may take a few hours, but the longer I spend unplugged the more I find I have things to say (that aren’t just the petulant whining that I catch myself defaulting to after a particularly un-creative spell.)

When I unplug, I’m more observant. I remember more. I glean more meaning from the books I’m reading when I’m not constantly interrupting myself to check Facebook or Tumblr.

I always get so angry at people who interrupt me while I’m reading, and yet I interrupt myself all the time. It’s stupid.

The longer I stay unplugged, the more opinions I have, and the better my reasons grow for having them. I find myself more grateful for the little things in life, and I spend less time feeling sorry for myself because I’m not currently travelling or having an adventure.

Unplugging reminds me to live Right Now.

The great thing is that the best adventures I’ve had are the ones which never made it onto the Internet because we were all living too much to bother documenting the moments.

I think that’s what it boils down to– living in the moment instead of living vicariously.

I can spend all the time in the world researching and planning for travel, but unless I get offline and actually go somewhere, it’s useless.

Vicarious living only gets you so far, and if you’re me, it only gets you bummed out.


Let the World be Quiet

Frequently, I have no idea what to blog about. Oftentimes when that happens, I want to run around outside to clear my head and hopefully be struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration.

Lately I haven’t been doing that though, because I’ve been living in Lake Oswego and I haven’t met the neighbors, and they might get freaked out and think I’m a crazy person and then give the LO police department something mildly interesting to do, like come to my house and make sure I’m sober and sane.


Tonight when I didn’t know what to write, I decided to indulge my desire to go outside and think about what to write, since I’m in small-town Redmond where my neighbors either can’t see me and wouldn’t care if they did because gosh dangit they should be used to me by now.

Earlier in the evening, my dog was sitting on the back deck, bolt upright, ears perked forward, apparently listening intently to the family of frogs. “That’s pretty cute,” I thought, then sat down in front of my mom’s computer to scroll through Facebook and listen to my latest music obsession on YouTube.

However, the Internet never ever inspires me. I’m not sure why, but I only ever get ideas from real life and conversations with people.

So I went outside and looked up at the stars.

“What should I write about?” I asked, not expecting an answer.

The frogs chirped happily away, not knowing or caring that I was having writer’s block. Frogs are prone to chirping at night in the springtime.

I stood listening to them for a moment, struck by how musical frogs are. I am prone to forgetting how musical nature is.

Remembering to shut up for a second and listen for sound in the silence is something I’m very bad at– I always have been. I was talking out loud to myself before the frogs interrupted me, reminding me that my voice isn’t the most important voice in the world.

My voice is just another lil blip in the cosmos, and I need to be quiet sometimes and enjoy the answers in the silence.


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