I had major writer’s block this week. I’d love to write about how much I hate Labor Day weekend and the encroachment of Fall but I already did that last year, I think?! I had a few possible topics but wasn’t particularly jazzed about any of them. I also considered that this week could be an announcement of the finale of the weekly Friday “F” words. I have now posted over Fifty blog posts. I’m not planning to be doing weekly posts for much longer. I intend to write one next Friday though, as I will be in NYC and will have attended a “fashion related” dinner during NY Fashion Week. I will want to write about that for sure.
So as I was considering writing about wrapping up the “F” words last night, I came across this on my FaceBook newsfeed: Late last night I had my “ah ha” moment for the week. (I usually have something solid in mind to write about by mid week.) I started thinking about the contents of the above newsfeed item when suddenly I had my Friday topic very late last night:
Some of Synonyms for Facade include: Disguise, Face, Fake, False Front, mask, phony, pretense, put-on, masquerade, cover, pretentiousness, sham, show, illusion, contrive etc.
Here are a few of THE ANTONYMS: reality, character, personality, naturalness, simplicity, genuine, original, truthful, real, sincere etc.
Well, first off, let’s admit it. Let’s collectively call a spade, a spade! Julia Roberts is a beautiful movie star. Even if she has no make-up on, she’s a stunningly beautiful woman. The rest of us “mere mortals” may not be so blessed. I don’t disagree that, ultimately, we “should” all love and care about ourselves so well that to show our inner soul is all we should want to do.
That said, the reality is, I think a lot of us (myself very much included) have succumbed to facades that allow us to function as best we can in this pain ridden world. Don’t most of us do whatever it is we “do” to function/cope as best we can?
I specifically recall going to my church to talk to my Pastor about the despair I was feeling during a certain period in my life. She told me, while preaching, she often looks out at the “bright shiny” faces in the congregation while knowing some of the vast pain existing in the people within my church congregation. I think there are so many people who bear so very much but don’t/won’t talk about the burdens they carry. It’s almost as if talking about personal pain is a social taboo. (I think especially with men). It’s unfortunate.
I think many of us hold our facades in place especially when we are faced with situations that leave us feeling O. O. C. (out of control). This may actually be exactly when our facades are most firmly in place, ironically. I believe I have been been close to hitting (maybe have reached?) my personal rock bottom a few times. For whatever reason, I think I clung to what felt secure to me. Getting up, getting dressed and presenting myself in the manner that is usual for me felt like a security of sorts. I must have some hidden viewpoint (I have no idea where it came from) that if you look good, you must feel good. I know it isn’t necessarily true but somewhere along the way, I must have incorporated that into my belief system. Maybe the simple act of dressing up and showing up offers me some sort of sense of self control? Maybe others turn to alcohol or drugs when life seems out of control? Maybe giving the illusion of being a super “fun” person despite life’s adversity helps people cope while harboring a lot of internal strife?
Many of my friends are now in this “middle life” age. Some of us are still managing our own children, “launching” children to school or the real world or are beyond the “kid” phase and are already into grandparenting. Some of us are truly in the “sandwich” generation. (Dealing with our own children and also our aging parents). Many of us are hearing about unexpected health diagnosis’ of our own or loved ones. And naturally, many of us have dealt with or will certainly deal with the death of our parents. What will we cling to? Perhaps our facades? Our “coping” mechanisms. That which we know and has provided us an anchor of sorts amidst life’s calamities.
Then on a related and relevant note, there is the FaceBook Facade. Facebook was one of the original “F” words I identified over a year ago that I think would have made a great stand-alone blog post. I began thinking about its coinciding relevance on the topic of facade. It’s facade and fakery in part but just in a social media context. I’m not going to accuse people who use FB of being “fake” but I think it’s fair to say that it can definitely be deceptive. Personally, I don’t not like it. In fact, I am a big FB user and could be an attention seeking user myself. I just need to occasionally remind myself that it’s a portrayal lacking in multi-dimension.
In thinking about it, I came up with several descriptors of various Facebook users as I see them:
The sincerest of the sincere: Those few amazing souls who actually have no hidden agendas and are truly the nice people in the world who both post their own stuff and who like and comment on other’s stuff.
The Complainers: The people who only post about their problems and the problems in the world.
The politically opinionated: The people who post all things political.
The “poster with a purpose”: The people who mostly use social media to get the word out about the causes they support. (I feel I am one of those)
The attention seekers: The people who post 5+ more times per day. Enough said.
The mostly passive participants: The people who will “like” other people’s status’ but only occasionally post something about themselves.
The voyeurs: The people who never post anything but read all of it.
The over posters: The people who post more than one post per day who are clearly trying to convey that they are having a lot more fun than anyone else.
The over picture posters: The people who post far too many pictures because they think they take good pictures and want to show off (yep, I’m guilty of that one too).
The Encouragers-The people who feel the need to spread platitudes on how to live the best life. I like reading the hopeful, positive comments but personally could live without some of the “Pollyanna-ism”. By the time most of us have reached 50+, I think most of us have accumulated at least some baggage. Some of us have trunkloads-I know I do!
In my opinion, the superiorly cool people are the ones who have no need for FB at all or those people who are on it but don’t even have a profile picture posted. I have not achieved that level of “cool” yet but aspire to be that cool or anti-estabishment some day! I have no idea how or when that may occur for me, but I can always hope that I may acquire that status at some point.
So, on this Labor Day weekend I wish to be (mostly) completely transparent. I am not going to forego my make-up like Julia Roberts has suggested. (I need my mascara as one of my veneers/masks). But, I am going to openly and honestly admit that I really think Labor day weekend is depressing. I do not intend to post any pictures on FB trying to pretend I am having a wonderful weekend when I am truthfully mourning the loss of another summer (and a good, memorable one at that). [It would be so much easier coping with the end of summer if I lived in California or Florida or someplace where the seasons were not so pronounced.] I will be putting my mascara on, reading Facebook posts (with my color coordinated cheaters, of course) about how much fun others are supposedly having and enjoying every last ray of sunshine I can capture. I’ll write next week when things WILL actually be better for me after having successfully mourned another summer’s passing.
Though not a major Midwestern Fall Fan, I do look forward to the return of turtleneck wearing season and Fall Fashion!!!
Is there anyone else out there reading this who feels similarly? What will you be doing this Labor Day weekend? What do you do to combat the end of summer blues? All comments and advice are most welcome!!!