Finding out who you really are …

I read an article this morning by Anne Lamott that latched onto my molecules and won’t let go.  Anne is one of my most favorite writers anywhere, ever, in all the world, because she’s honest.  She’s so honest she makes me flinch sometimes.  And I love it.  The article is here if you want to read it. .  I’m not usually a purveyor of O Magazine, but hey, Facebook.

Which segues directly into what Anne did for me this morning.  I’d been thinking for days … weeks, really … about tweaking my friends list to make it a little more honest.  Who has 350 actual friends, let alone wildly imaginative totals like 1,600?  Or 6,000?  I’ve seen those numbers and recognized them for exactly the popularity contest they represent, all the while knowing that there was no good reason for my own list of acquaintances to hold upwards of 400 names — at one time even topping 500.  As with everyone on social media, there were at least 400 explanations as to how all those names got there, some of them not valid enough to warrant their staying.  Anne’s ruthlessly straightforward article finally gave me the kick in the butt I needed to perform surgery.

Forty-seven excisions later, the list is starting to more closely line up with what my daily/weekly/monthly interactions on Facebook look like.  There will be further cuts, but my brain already feels freer, lighter … more honest.  It irks me when someone sends me a friend request and then never says hey.  There were a lot of those.  Of the people left, 58 of them are family.  They don’t have to like me, in fact it’s highly probable that some of them have hidden me due to my intermittent political yammering, but it’s unlikely that I’ll be deleting any of them.  Family is family.  The other 251 consist either of people I’ve shared a relationship with in this life, or beautiful souls I’ve met via Facebook, and it would be impossible to say which group I feel closer to, even though it’s unlikely I’ll ever have a face-to-face meeting with most of those in Group Two.  It was revealing to me that when I scrolled through the list to get a count of family members, I had to stop repeatedly and think “Is he/she a cousin?  No.  Hmm.”

Anne’s beautiful article is entitled “Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be,” and this quote is so liberating I may print it on a card and put it where my eyes will land on it every day.  ” … you are probably going to have to deal with whatever fugitive anger still needs to be examined—it may not look like anger; it may look like compulsive dieting or bingeing or exercising or shopping. But you must find a path and a person to help you deal with that anger. It will not be a Hallmark card. It is not the yellow brick road, with lovely trees on both sides, constant sunshine, birdsong, friends. It is going to be unbelievably hard some days—like the rawness of birth, all that blood and those fluids and shouting horrible terrible things—but then there will be that wonderful child right in the middle. And that wonderful child is you, with your exact mind and butt and thighs and goofy greatness.”

I realized some time ago that it makes me angry when other people tell me who I should be.  Spitting cursing angry.  So I don’t let people do that to me anymore.  By the same token, I found that having people lurking on my Facebook page who never talked to me, never shared anything with me, never gave me anything of themselves to hang onto, get to know, be interested in, made me the same kind of angry.  Fair or not, my antenna picked up judgment.  And I decided I didn’t need it.

Facebook, as pitiful as it may sound, is a huge part of my social life.  And now it feels a whole lot warmer and friendlier than it did when I got up this morning.  My page is just that — mine.  It’s good to be Queen.  Thank you, Anne Lamott for being an honest, vulnerable human being and for gifting me with the wisdom you’ve gained from your joyous take on life.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

    Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:52:24

    For some reason I cannot sign in at your blog to make comments. I’ll see if this works.

    Just wanted you to know I really loved your piece on Finding out who you really are… Very well written and strikes a chord in my heart. Hugs!



    • Judy Smith
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:55:17

      Linda, have you clicked the “Follow” button? It’s over there under the little box with all the flags in it. If you follow the blog, you’ll get an email when I post something new. Or once a week. Or never. You have the power!

      I’m so glad you liked this piece. Hugs back to you, always.



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