I’m so frustrated with my family. I haven’t really talked to them since my last surgery with the exception of Christmas and a weekend in California. All I want is for them to ask about my surgery. Ask me about how things are progressing. It doesn’t happen. Why? I know my Mom and Step-Dad don’t read this blog, so it’s not like they have any idea how things are. My Step-Mom probably reads this, but I don’t know if my Dad does. Do they care? Do they have any idea how important my voice is to me? Do they care about how excited I am with the progress? Do they read this and assume that they don’t have to ask? Do they only read it if I share it? What would they do if I no longer wrote on my blog? Would that force them into actually asking me things?
Which brings me to a point that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I dislike social media. I dislike blogging in the sense that, you can read what I write and that’s it. You might think it’s weird that I would say that, but it’s true. I truly believe that people read what I write and then don’t talk to me or ask me things when they see me, since they assume that they know everything that’s going on because they’ve read it. I don’t write about my thoughts and adventures so that you won’t have to ask or talk to me. I do it as a form of creative therapy or a sort of release, I guess. I know there’s people that I don’t talk to or have seen in a really long time that read this, and that’s fine. I’m happy that they’re reading it. I hope it gives them some insight into my life. My frustrations are directed towards those that I see or talk to on a regular basis.
Please understand that I want to talk about things in person. I want you to hear my voice. I want to share my thoughts and feelings in person. It’s more personal and relatable that way. I want to have an even more meaningful relationship with you. Right now, if you don’t ask me anything, I assume that you don’t care. I assume that somehow you don’t understand how life changing these last two+ years have been for me. Is that correct? Is that even a fair statement? I know it doesn’t apply to every one of you, but if it causes you to think, well then that’s a good thing. We need to talk to each other more using our voices and words. Not texting, not social media (unless your on voice rest!) :). We need to be more personal with each other.
I spent a short weekend down in California a couple weeks ago with my Dad and Step-Mom and my Dad and I barely talked to each other. Why? He spent a lot of time playing a word game on his phone. Have I done something? The whole weekend felt weird. I felt like it was a burden to them for me to fly down there, there was a such a disconnect. We honestly haven’t really talked much since we were in Denver together. I don’t know what happened.
I spent a day and a half or so at Christmas down at my Mom’s. I was sitting there the entire time waiting for her to ask me how my surgery went two weeks prior. Not one time. I was so confused and disappointed when I left. I haven’t really talked to her since, partly because of my phone restriction, but also because I think I’m harboring some resentment. I’m tired of being the one that has to call all the time.
I need someone to talk to. I need someone to listen. I need someone that’s going to ask me things and won’t accept a generic answer of “fine”, “ok”, “alright”. I need someone that I can share things with. Someone that I can ask questions of. Someone that wants to sit down and talk for a while and won’t mind me just talking about my recent experiences. I hate being bottled up. I have a voice now, let me use it!
I’m so happy that Russell, Suzy and I were able to get together for dinner on Monday. I’ve missed them greatly. Hopefully it won’t be as long until we see each other again. That was a bit random, I know.
My resolution this year is to simply be a better friend to my friends. Make sure that they know I’m here for them. I’m going to ask them how things are going. Push them to do the things that they’ve told me they want to do, but need someone to give them that nudge. I want to be able to mentor them if it’s something that I’ve been through or learned. I want them to know that if they EVER need someone to listen, I’m that guy. I want them to know how thankful I am that they’re in my life. I don’t want to take them for granted.
It’s my birthday on Sunday, and I don’t have anything planned. I still feel bad for what ended up happening last year at Maggiano’s. Phil and I are having a bro-date all day Saturday and into Sunday. Me thinks that we’re going to have a splendid time!
Anyway, enough for now, I’m exhausted and I think I rambled on too long.
One thought on “Hearts Without Chains”
I understand where you are coming from, but not from the sense that I don't get enough people contacting me and caring for me, but from the sense that I am the one who has been told time and time again that I don't reach out enough. For over two decades, my folks have been telling me I do not call them enough to see how they are. It's been a constant struggle between us. Does it mean I don't care? No, but if what makes my folks happy is calling them or facetime with them more often, then that is what I should do to make them happy. I am still the same asshole son who doesn't call enough. I am, however, lucky that I have a wife who keeps me in check and reminds me of my filial duties. I have been that son who doesn't call enough and am to a certain degree, still that son. I have to change that and I know it's been baby steps ever since.
My problem is that I talk and listen ALL DAY LONG. The last thing I want to do when I get home is to talk more. There are people who deal with inanimate objects all day long and they crave physical interaction with organic beings. On the opposite spectrum, you have me who has to deal with endless interpersonal drama and on my down time, I just want to be left alone. Our personal preference notwithstanding, we should still reach out to our loved ones and let them know we care. I am guilty of not expressing that enough and I think selfishness has a lot to do with that. I agree with you that social media has evolved into a good cop-out for positive social expression. It almost seems like as long as you express your congratulations or condolences on Facebook, no other expression is necessary. Caring for your friends and family seems like a chore now, and that “to do” item can be checked once you post something on their facebook. We all know that much of that type of “reaching out” is merely superficial. It sucks and I absolutely agree with you. The constant updates on social media and their respective posts and responses seem to have morphed our cyber interaction into a act of placating our friends in socially expected behaviors. Rather than calling Nani yesterday to wish her a happy birthday, I just posted on her facebook. Now in retrospect, I should have called her.
I don't think what you are asking for is unrealistic. I do think what you wrote here in a good warning to everyone that personal interaction is a truer expression of your affection (except Nude selfies. We all love nude selfies). I have not been a very good father, definitely not a good son and not a very good friend. I realize that much of what I have been doing was placating what is expected of me. It's only making me more selfish and that has to stop. You gave me a lot to reflect on and a lot to think about.