Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 AM, Months Later

Life isn't letting me run.

As I'm tossing and turning in bed, kept awake by stress so needless as to almost be funny, I decided to delete my Facebook account. Not permanently, just for a month or so until my brain gets back to normal.

People joke about Facebook being 'stalker feed', our tool for keeping tabs on each other without knowing who is keeping tabs on us. I'm starting to get sick of logging on, checking up, wondering what's going on in the world while I'm exhausted and stressed. So, I thought, my account begone. If anyone actually wants to stay in touch with me, there's a million other ways.

But then I realized, I need Facebook for work. It's actually my job to be active on social media. I need to update campus pages. I need to be logged on for several hours in the middle of the day.

So much for that.

Why, you might be wondering, did I title this post '5 AM, Months Later?' Less than a year ago, I posted on Arbitribe a post about loyalty. I was caught between two friends at the time. One, who I had known for a long time, had been badly badmouthing the other, whom I hadn't known as long, but decided at the time was worth getting to know. The old friend had warned me against certain aspects of the new friend's personality, and told me repeatedly that giving them the benefit of the doubt would come back to haunt me. Honestly, I feel like I could copy that post verbatim right now. So here's the link.

In the end, I told the old friend to kindly mind their business and let me handle mine. The new friend had as of yet done nothing to hurt me, so I couldn't see why I should reject their friendship based on hearsay. But I would strive to be cautious.

Now I find myself caught between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It's a time when Jews are asking forgiveness and striving to be better people. Only I find now that, having been doing this for a month and having just discovered some new lessons about loyalty, I can't ask for forgiveness anymore. I've been doing it for so long. I feel, maybe, I've actually earned it, and there comes a point where the only person left who's being hurt is me.

And just a few days ago, I was challenged in loyalty again, in a major, major way. Only this time, it wasn't against someone who had done me no wrong. And it was uncomfortable. But I stood up for the person anyway, because, I figured, that was the right thing to do. It was a sour feeling and humiliating. I knew I was being walked all over. But, I figured, at least my conscience would be clear. It's last year's cartoon all over again. So here it is again, from Arbitribe:

I've been tossing and turning all night. But it's not guilt that's keeping me awake this time, it's anger. I know myself. I've been told that I need to learn to be more patient. I won't bring up that which is bothering me. I'll let it fester until it goes away. Maybe that's not healthy, but I just don't have the energy to fight anymore. I've decided to just plain old let. it. go.

What, might you ask, have I learned about loyalty?

I've learned that being loyal when things are good is easy. I've also learned, though, that loyalty is something that must be earned. Where does this put me in terms of Yom Kippur? How can I go into this DAY while holding active rage? I don't think I've ever done that before. Do I bury it? Do I shout it out? Do I ask G-d to excuse me, I'm having a bad day? I've never heard of that working. Maybe the anger will fry itself out so I can at least get to sleep tomorrow night. And, as a wonderful friend told me, I have to just focus on what makes me happy now. That'll have to do until I can actually take a hiatus from all things social media.

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