My conundrum: Reflecting on REJECT

Immersing oneself in the study of society and culture has an interesting way of illuminating realities you haven’t really noticed before. Or kinda noticed but failed to acknowledge its weight.

Looking back through all my posts from this Venture, I notice how often I bemoan social media.
How much it exhausts me.
Detracts from my life.

But I live in the world.
During this era.
Social media is a part of the postmodern age.
Like single-use plastics and smog and centuries-old discourse that espouse hate.

People live social media-less lives.
I desperately want to be one of them.

And…

Pretty much none of my Tribe lives in my current city. We’re scattered around the country (and globe) nowadays. So if the alternative is feeling less connected to them, then I haven’t really an interest in severing the few ties that continue to bind us. I’m not the best at keeping up with people, especially when time is sparse, and sometimes keeping an eye on snippets can suffice.

Plus, my job necessitates I participate in a variety of social networks. I have presence on most everything in some capacity so I can peek at someone’s digital footprint when necessary.

And…

This month I’ve taken steps to REJECT Facebook.
To remove it from my life.
To consult Instagram less.
To select my news from the New York Times rather than some automated feed.

Lately, more than ever, I’ve tried to be active about the standards I keep. In my personal life. In my professional role. In the clothing I purchase. In the words I share. Because selecting something means REJECTING another. So I damn sure better be aware of what that choice (or lack thereof) means. Beyond myself and the immediate repercussions of that choice.

REJECTING has been a lot more about curating. About selecting. Which is funny because that was last month’s blog which in turn felt like taking ownership.

Sometimes our VOWS are similes. Sometimes they’re exactly what we need.
Occasionally they show up in ways we expected. Meanwhile others it’s a sort of filter you see through.

Next month we round out our last dichotomous pair with INFORM…


Check out Steph’s #VOWreject post here

Mildew 1402 & What It Taught Me…

…About Treasures / Treasuring / What We Value (#VOWtreasure):

If you asked me a year ago what I would have taken from my apartment if I had 30 minutes to save what mattered, I think I would have had a very hard time picking. I would have wanted all of the clothes. I would not have left without my books. You would have had to pry the flaming canvases out of my hands.

A month ago, when that scenario actually played out (except that I was told nothing was safe to take and I had as much time as my lungs could breathe toxic air), I took two cast iron skillets, a potato peeler, a mandoline, and our boxes of Spanish sea salt–the supplies Kev and I use at least twice a week to make tortilla. I took the rocks we collected from the black stone beach in Iceland. I took the shells I held while I cried into the ocean two summers ago. I took a literal jar of dirt from my hometown that has been everywhere in the world I have since I graduated from high school in 2007. I took the pair of my grandpa’s socks I stole from his drawer years ago and the bear claw and turquoise necklace he gave me. I took the charms my dad gave my mom the year she graduated from high school. I saved the vintage leather jacket my sister passed down to me.

There was so much I couldn’t take of my grandmother’s. I hate that I did not even attempt to save her sewing basket. But every time my heart starts to ache, I can hear her telling me that I did not need something physical of hers–she’s hemmed right into my soul. She told me (in real life) not to shed tears over the loss of my artwork, because she was crying those for me.

…About Choice / Choosing How to React (#VOWchoose):

Pema Chödrön once told a story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather was telling the little boy about how sometimes it felt like he had two wolves fighting inside him. The grandson asked the old man which wolf wins. “Whichever wolf I choose to feed,” he said.

We can perpetually apologize, or we can choose to say, instead, thank you. We can feel guilty for accepting help, or we can pay it forward. In times of trauma, we can ask the victim, what can I do, or we can just show up with supplies for bolognese and pour them a glass of wine. We can let the anger loop, again and again, or we can choose to invite it to sit down with us and have a glass of red.

We have a lot of say in what happens to us.

…About Rejecting / Responding & Not Reacting (#VOWreject):

I hope some day all this makes me softer. That I look back on this with more laugh lines because of it. I hope that I lean into the sharp points. That I stay on the mat.

…About How All That Remains is Enough (#VOWnarrow):

Because I didn’t lose my entire life; I lost stuff,
and home is not a noun or a place–it’s a verb.


Check out Linds’ #VOWtreasure, #VOWchoose, and #VOWreject posts