Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Facebook envy and our online lives


What do we really know about someone's life? I've been thinking about social media lately and the effect it has had and will continue to have on our lives as it grows and develops. I remember reading something recently about something jokingly called “Facebook envy”, about how we can present our lives in one light on social media very easily. How people can interpret us as having either perhaps a perfect and wonderful life with nothing wrong or the worst life ever if all we post all the bad things that happen. I've been thinking about this as I travel, as I start fresh in a new country, as I post pictures and stories of my adventures. I keep worrying that people will think that every day is perfect and wonderful and that travel and living abroad is easy and always fun. I think those who have lived abroad realize that's not really the case, but I think about it anyways as I put my life, my photos, my stories out there. I think about being real, about really telling the story, about staying true and authentic, yet positive and appreciative of each moment. I think it's a fine balance. I think there's nothing quite like this experience to make you dig deep and really put yourself out there to the world. But you know, it's okay to have bad days. It's okay if Facebook doesn't always present the true story of our lives. No matter where someone is at, whether traveling, living abroad, living at home, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced, we can never assume anything about someone else's life. So, where will social media lead us? How transparent should our lives truly be? Where is the balance in this new world of electronic record keeping? I guess we'll see! Like I'm saying all the time these days...if nothing else, it'll be an adventure!
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

1. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
2. Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
3. Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
4. Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
5. Link up your post.
6. Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - moving to a new country

So I arrived in Germany two weeks ago today. New country, new language, new living situation, new food, new drink, new...almost everything. My last day of work before my leave also happened to be two months ago today. It's a strange thing to pack up one suitcase and leave your life behind and go to a place where you can completely re-create yourself and your life. And yet, wherever you go...there you are, right? It's true. I think that the essence of ourselves shines brightly when we are put in a new situation. That means the good, the bad and the ugly, but also the amazing. It's like throwing yourself into the deep end of the pool, shouting out for a life preserver because you feel like you're drowning, but then suddenly realizing, hey this water is warm and I like swimming. Oh yah.

A friend of mine told me that highs and lows of travel and living abroad are what make it such a rich experience. Your highs make you want to sing on top of a mountain like Julie Andrews. Your lows make you want to drown your sorrows in great German beer and then jump on a plane home where everybody knows your name and you don't have to think hard before ordering food. And yet, would any of us trade an experience like this? Of course not. You grow and you grow...much faster than at home. Sure, at home is easier, comfortable, safe, cozy, you're loved. But I'm learning you can be loved anywhere. You just gotta throw yourself in. Let yourself feel it all and then just walk. Walk and walk and explore and discover and let yourself be foreign. Let yourself be stupid and make dumb mistakes. Who cares? They don't know you. You can always use the line "I'm foreign." Works every time...mostly.



This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

1. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
2. Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
3. Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
4. Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
5. Link up your post.
6. Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.