So You Ditched Facebook
So you ditched Facebook?
Well not entirely.
I did and I didn’t.
You never really realize how much personal information is actually out there until SOMEONE you don’t know happens to stumble upon you and starts roaming around parts of your life that you never even realized existed on the internet. Once that happens and it gets pointed out to you, you tend to take a REALLY long look at those parts of your life. Then you have to make the decision if you REALLY want for that stuff to stay out there for the world to see. OR if you want to take those parts of your life and put them in an archive somewhere so that you can revisit them if and when you need to. I chose the latter.
My Dad has ALWAYS hated Facebook. So much so that he has called it “Ass Face” for as long as I can remember. He swears up, down, sideways and back that it is nothing but evil in the fullest sense of the word. We are also talking about a man that refuses to text as well. He is a back to basics kind of man, simple is good for him. It works, and you don’t mess with something that works. Facebook, is complicated, its evil, and it has the potential to ruin lives, that doesn’t work for him.
He still sometimes mocks or teases us to this day about taking photos or videos. Every once in a while you will get the mocking tone that goes along with the statement, “Better be sure to upload that to Ass Face for all the world to see.” We all usually roll our eyes or walk away, but at the end of the day he was right and he knew it. We weren’t taking 17 different versions of the SAME posed photo for our own saved album.
You never realize how much it takes over your life until you are sitting at your parents trying to visit with your Momma’ and she is scrolling through her Facebook feed laughing at a joke after you just told her that your childhood friend’s father passed away. It became a complete distraction, and no one even really remembers it happening. It just kind of became the norm when Smart Phones arrived, and we let the world of Ass Face in turn take over our lives.
I used it for the longest time as a creative outlet after my second divorce. I spent A LOT of alone time at night scrolling through prayer groups, praying woman groups, and divorce forums. I found a lot of strength in reading inspirational quotes & writings, and it could totally be seen when taking that walk back through those years of my life in the posts that graced my wall during that time.
GLM and I talked for a long time about me deleting my Facebook, and I had excuses as to why I couldn’t in the beginning. I have to many pictures I wouldn’t want lost. What about my business? What about my friends? The school? Coaches? Out of State Family? How would people know to contact me? What would I do about Facebook parties? How could he not see that it would impact my entire life, my business? It would literally rile me up to the point that I would have anxiety about it and almost be in tears before the conversation was over.
Well he was having none of it. Want to know what he had to say about that?
“Rebecca, you can make all the excuses you want to, your life was just fine before Facebook was ever invented. People ran SUCCESSFUL businesses just fine before then, they kept and saved photos just fine before they knew what it even was. They read books instead of meme’s, and Bibles instead of forums. They went to ACTUAL prayer groups & churches. They held ACTUAL parties in their homes Rebecca. You know what else they did before Facebook? They didn’t sit on their phones and read everyone else’s status’s to one another in a room. They lived life JUST fine. You don’t NEED Facebook just to run a business, keep photos, or have memories. That stuff will continue all on its own. I promise. Now you can do what you want, but I agree with your Dad on this one, Facebook is just more trouble than it is worth most days.”
I couldn’t even disagree with him. I mean I wanted to, but the point was mute. He hit the nail dead on the head and there wasn’t any arguing with him. So right that minute I made a deal with myself. No more posting important stuff on Facebook and we would see how many people even noticed it was gone.
Guess what happened folks? None of you even noticed…..
I mean the ones closest to us knew what was going on with our lives. We had multiple birthdays, anniversaries, athletic banquets, dr.'s appointments, concerts, proms, homecomings, new houses, promotions, A TON OF ATHLETIC GAMES FOR MULTIPLE SPORTS, family dinners, multiple children on honor rolls, vacations, dentist appointments, multiple surgeries, fundraisers, family days at schools, multiple volunteer times, endless hours of training's, donations, family chaos, car accidents, and the normal bumps and bruises along the way and not a single one of you that isn’t in my inner circle had a CLUE what was going on with my life!
You know what? I WAS FINE with that! It didn’t even hurt my feelings one single bit. The world kept spinning, life moved on, and NO ONE CARED WHAT COLOR KitchenAid I got for Christmas even if it was the most perfect gift ever because it was my absolute favorite color!
Want to know WHY no one cared?
Cause’ it didn’t go on Facebook for the 355 - likes, the 245 - loves, the 111 - I can’t believe how perfect it is, the 125 - he’s a keeper, and the 11- I hope you keep him for the rest of your life & the 2 – He was SO meant for you.
None of it mattered to me anymore because OUTSIDE of the Facebook world I was still living my life just fine and we were all doing JUST great. No it wasn’t perfect, and I wasn’t roaming around pretending that it was. Our family was barely hanging on by threads and prayers, but life was STILL moving forward while everyone was consumed with what was happening on Facebook. While no one paid no mind to what was happening out here, I paid no mind to what was happening in "there."
So I started my 10 year journey backwards through posts, pictures, tags, and memories. I don’t care how strong of a person you are, or what cloth you think you are cut from – sometimes certain things cut deep no matter how much time has passed. I won’t tell you the journey back through the last 10 years of my life was an easy one, or that cutting out certain pieces while saving and deleting others is something that I recommend for everyone.
What I will tell you is this: For me it was a necessary process in my constant and ever-evolving journey in this life. I spent countless hours going through photos, saving most, deleting others, and untagging myself from those that no longer served a purpose in my life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t value that time in my life, or that I have forgotten. It won’t mean that you can just erase those things or that they just disappear because my name isn’t attached to them anymore.
It means it was a part of my life that helped get me to this point, and those moments ultimately helped shaped me into becoming the woman that I am today. One certain memory, photo, or post didn’t define who I would become on this journey, and I think that is where people get lost a little bit when they do finally stumble upon someone in Facebookland. They get stuck or caught up on something they see without knowing the whole truth of what it is they are looking at. They make judgement without asking questions first, and in turn it makes it much more difficult for themselves in the long run.
Make no mistake about the reasons if and why I deleted my personal Facebook page, I did it for ME.
I kept memories from those times along the way that mattered and shed the ones that no longer did me service. No longer gave me a sense of peace. Eliminating 10 years of your life takes TIME and PATIENCE, and there were times when I hit certain years, certain memories when it got PRETTY GRITTY and I wanted to quit.
Some moments I even did. I won’t even try to lie about it. Certain memories opened some pretty deep wounds that weren’t quite healed over yet, and in turn it left some pretty raw emotions to be handled. So I walked away and didn’t return until I was certain my heart and mind were in a place that I knew God had prepared them to revisit those times without getting stuck there.
That leads us to here, to right now. This is my time, and this is my story. Facebook no longer defines the woman I am, the posts and pictures no longer get to allow judgement from others as they no longer exist, and what you have now is my ability to not only tell my story MY way, but to make sure that the story being told is literally in MY OWN WORDS this time.
No one ever said that it was going to be easy. If anyone had told me that at 36 years old I was going to one day sit down, strip my entire life completely back to basics so that I could hit Ground 0 to finally tell my entire story, well lets just be serious for a moment shall we?
And yet here we are.
afterallthistime.org is MY domain, bought and purchased, and it belongs to me and so do all the stories I now publish to its blog pages.
In the background there are two separate books in the works, one that will follow the last 18 years of Mickayla and I’s lives and the journey that her and I have taken while my parents have helped me raise her. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am, they have given up their own dreams for their own lives countless times without question to help “parent” over and over again. Single-Parenting isn't an easy job, I fail daily at it, but I won't ever give up. Without my parents, OUR parents and their endless wave of love and devotion none of us would be where we are today. We are all blessed beyond measure to have the amount of love and structure that we do as a family, even if the rest of the world doesn’t understand what they see from the outside looking in.
The other book is my reflection on both sides of the Journey to Day 180. Walking backwards through the pain and heartache of that time and now being in a completely different place gave me an entirely outside perspective on how life was back then. What we could have done differently after, and what I was missing all those moments when I was searching for peace and couldn’t quite find it. My hope is that by the time that the book is finished, both he and I come to the same understanding. That sometimes life just happens, and above all else, the greatest gift given to all of us at the end of the day walks, talks, in human form as the coolest little man that we will probably ever know.
With any luck and a whole lot of prayer, the writing for Mickayla and I’s book will come easy, and I can finish it by late Spring/early Summer next year. I do know that the Lord put the seed in my heart a long time ago, but I never felt compelled to act upon it more than I have over the past couple of months. Like my Momma’ always says, “Everything comes in Gods Time.” He was finally ready for me to tell my story, and he knew that I was finally in a place emotionally and mentally to tell the story that has never been told.
Writing has always been my thing, the one thing I could find comfort and peace in. GLM was the one and ONLY person, other than my Littles, that ever had an entire journal start to finish written just to him. Yes, Notebook type stuff folks, and ultimately it will be the first book that I ever finish that will never be published. My only wish is that if it ever ends up at some garage sale 25 years down the road and one of you recognize the thing that you snatch it up!
So yes in a way I ditched Facebook, and if you want to find me you will have to look for me in the pages of these blogs. CALL me on the phone, OR come find me at my house. If I am not working, I am sure that I will be playing in one of my gardens or sitting on one of my decks reading a book or scribbling thoughts on a notepad about my newest blog or book. Most of all you will find me ENJOYING life without the confines of needing to post all the details out there for the world to see.
I will still use Facebook as a vessel to shuffle along my blogs to all of you, but I won’t have the app or messenger on my phone. So please don’t get upset or take it personal when you can’t find me so quickly anymore. Between work, kids, and writing I don't know how often I will update my blogs, but you can subscribe to them if you choose to, the box to do so is on the main home page. Otherwise I will post them to my page when I fine tune and finish them.
I hope you all find joy in the small moments, and I wish you well above all else. Where ever this journey leads each of us, I hope that every single one of us crosses paths multiple times long before it is over. Above all else, Thank You SO much to each and every one of you reading this that has been a part of this journey for the last 10 years. It has been such an amazing ride, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing where the future takes us.
Much Love to Each of You ~ Rebecca