I had a moment last night, while brushing my teeth, then lying in bed, where I almost got up, turned on my laptop, and systematically deleted every online account and presence of myself on the internet. This would have included cancelling and deleting the Kickstarter project I have happening right now as well as shutting down production on that film completely, telling Andy that I was done with podcasting and did not have it in me anymore to continue. I thought of going through every Facebook post and Instagram photo and deleting them, deactivating twitter, erasing every piece of me on the internet that is within my power to remove. There was even the thought of throwing out my laptop and phone and, hey, why not move to the woods or live in a hole in the ground. There was an overwhelming desire to escape, to break out, to make a drastic change. I don't think I'm alone in these thoughts because people my age--at least the ones that are paying attention--recognize that there is just. something. not. right. about where we are as a people.
There were a number of factors that led to this moment of anxiety and irrationality... I feared that I was an idiot for having started a Kickstarter at all (and most the time I still think that, which is why I'm not even allowing myself to look at it today), for ever thinking that people believe in me or give enough of a shit to ever trust me enough with their money to make something. I feared that even by asking for $5000 to make a piece of entertainment that I was being a selfish, foolish, self-absorbed American doing absolutely nothing useful in the scheme of things. I feared similar things about the new podcast, that it was just silliness, pointless, self-focused, and wholly without value. I am the kind of person who CAN NOT do things half-assed or without good reason. Intention is built into me in a such way that I can't remove, which can be both a gift and a weighty curse, so if I fail to see the value in what I am putting my time towards, then the scary thoughts start to pop up, convincing me it is all for naught and that I am hopelessly off track.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I am frightened and confused by this world. I have moments where I am overwhelmed with simply not knowing what life is supposed to be, how I am supposed to act, how I am supposed to absorb the constant changes of the culture I am in, whether I am supposed to go along with those changes or stand up against them, being terrified that I was such an incredible fool to have had a daughter and brought another life into this disaster of a world, knowing that the world in which she will become an adult will be even more terrifying than this one.
Removing myself from the internet and shutting out friends and cancelling the projects on which I'm working would not be the answer. I realize that, but it sure is tempting sometimes to daydream of such things. But what is at the root of those thoughts? Why is it such a satisfying concept to think of ridding oneself of all this social media noise and digital distraction? What is it about all of these new platforms that simultaneously makes one thrum with excitement if they are buzzing or getting attention, but also can make one feel undeniably, inescapably sick inside? Part of it, I think, is the fear that other people have their shit figured out more than you do or that other people have more exciting, satisfied, content, interesting lives than you do (none of which is true). There's the question that perhaps your friends don't give a solitary shit about you, that they've only used you because you were able to provide them with something. When the time comes for you to ask for help, when you cry out that you are dying inside or desperately asking for not Likes, not Comments, not prayers, but tangible, in-the-flesh help from another human and there is zero response, that can take a fucking toll on one's sense of self-worth (unless you're a well-balanced person who can let that stuff go. I'm not).
This post comes out of hurt and fear and I recognize it is wandering all over the place. I also recognize that I am perhaps not in the most emotionally healthy or grounded place at the moment, and believe me, I'm praying through that, thinking through that, processing out loud through that right here. I can only hope that by being brutally honest I can help someone else discover even the tiniest truth in their own heart which helps them be more honest. I don't know what the hell life is supposed to look like, but I want to know so badly, and I've been trying to figure it out for 20-odd years. I don't even know anymore what it means to be a Christian, and I don't have any desire to resemble the majority of the Christians I know or even be categorized as the same as one of them. It is hard not to think that the world is worse than ever, that our country is worse than ever, that the culture is becoming more tolerant of horrific things and the Christians are becoming watered down and tolerant right along with them (and I, too, am part of the problem).
I want to cling to God. I want to remain in the faith, even though I don't fully understand it. I want to believe that He knows and is in control of what is happening even though from my view it is wildly out of anyone's control. I am so imperfect, and so uncomfortably aware of that. I fear my life has no value, even in the eyes of God, and that is a devastating place to be.