Have you ever been utterly lost?
I’ve learned heaps these last few months. For example, a 1988 RV is not an off road vehicle. To be fair, the road didn’t mean to be that bumpy and our RV (aka the “Santa Maria”) didn’t mean to be that dynamically impaired. That ride provided us with a small glimpse of what a 4.4 magnitude earthquake would feel like; dishes flying, no cell service, children puking, adults searching for the tangible paper map from the 1990’s that the previous owner blessedly left behind. It was epic.
About 10 miles from the Candaian border, we had a gut feeling that we had taken a wrong turn. We were pretty sure that Canada wouldn’t accept us since it is COVID season and we have a stupid amount of children.
So we did what any amateur RV enthusiast would do; performed a 19-point turn and waited for a local (like a talking moose named Bullwinkle) that could give us some direction. We were flexible on the name of the moose, but some divine intervention was needed.
After about 4 ½ minutes, a truck drove by. Of course it would be a truck; a large, bold, sturdy reminder of our inadequacies. It was white like a prince’s steed.
We vehemently flagged him down. “Hey. We are looking for this lake?” Had we gone the wrong way? Yes. Yes we had.
With our suspicions confirmed, we re-routed and continued on our journey. Thankfully, we had already performed the 19-point turn so that we didn’t have to do that in front of our newly made “Truck Savior’s” rear-view mirror. Because that would be embarrassing.
It is said that after 6 years of torture, Galileo came out of prison, stamped that earth with his foot and said “Still it moves.”
Anyone surviving these last few COVID months and enjoying some Social Media may have felt this same way. We may have realized at some point that we had taken a wrong turn and as a result, we aren’t where we want to be. We may be somewhere that we shouldn’t be. We may need to ask for help. We may need a 19-point turn. We may need a pause or even a social media fast. We may have shattered some dishes and felt like puking from all the negativity that social media can bestow.
This U-turn usually follows a pattern.
1.Fiery Indignation at the sheer volume of opinions, none of which are fact, all of which make the speaker feel like a blazing beacon of truth.
2.Solemn acceptance that Social Media “is what it is”.
3.Recognition that I can’t be what I need to be with social media.
4.Strong fences make great neighbors (realigning your friend list with people that are not assholes. This means hiding or unfriending some and reaching out to the lights of the plant to help brighten your life).
5.The pause, the realizing of your reality.
6.The intentional step away from the mess that is social media.
When you decide to reemerge onto social media, you may stamp the proverbially “Interweb ground” and say like Galileo did “Ya. It still moves.”
It’s still here. It still connects us. It still has the good, the bad and the ugly. It still opens up our world. It still needs boundaries. It still requires intentionally redesigning your personal algorithms because you don’t want to be a zombie to the algorithms Social Media assigns for you.
Be the light. Be the good. Keep shining. Lift others. Respect the 19-point turns that life requires. Be humble. Love first and always. We are stronger together. And don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
Also, don’t off road in an RV with no shocks.
That U-Turn gave us this unexpected perfect moment.