June 10, 2010

what started as The Rocket Rocker turned into Braindump

Some days I find myself reaching out for relationship on the internet, only to keep coming up empty.  I hate that feeling.  A vacant inbox, no Facebook alerts, blogs abandoned, nothing good to Google.  How dull, how lonely, how dumb.  Oh look!  An email!  From Urban Outfitters.  You know it's bad when you start reading your own spam.

Days like this I'm clicking around in my inbox, remembering fondly what it was to be caught up in mundane hiking, only sometimes interspersed with lightning storms, head wounds and rattlesnakes.  The AT was so far from anything civilized, climate-controlled, slick, shiny, modern or functional.  It was a little freaky, very earthy, and while I wouldn't describe it as survival, it sure made the concept of self-entertainment irrelevant.  Completely opposite of hulu or YouTube.  No chair-sitting (ever!) or double-clicking, zero access to stand-up comedy or tidbits of news or a friend request or noaa.gov (and baby, I missed you out there).  Our work and play were the same, we wore the same underwear for days, and even dirty fingernails felt clean if dunked in a clear stream.  In other words, life in a one-room house you carry on your back was inevitably simple.   

Now I poke around at flashy buttons and unread links looking for stuff, for constant somewhat-meaningless connections that make me feel tied in all directions.  I just don't want to end up liking it that way.  I don't think you need to hike the Appalachian Trail to realize this - at all.  I think we all know it.  It's just that the trail forced it out, wrung it out and left us happy in the back of a dirty pick-up with a cold soda and no cell service.  I want to remember it because it's so easy to forget.

There are so many great connections to be made out there in cyber world, and I don't want to come off as ungrateful for the good side.  It's just that...too much is wearying.  It has nothing to do with blogging or sending emails or pulling up four different ways of preparing the brussel sprouts I just bought.  It has everything to do with being bored or lonely and hoping what I find on Facebook can cheer me up.  Just the thought of that makes me want to throw my computer out my second-story window in slow motion and pour my heart out like water in the presence of the Lord.  Also in slow motion.  Making up stories as I go and carving something out of wood or marble.  The very opposite of something clever or mildly amusing coming to me.

I'll go for the essence of it, but I would never ever do that in reality.  This computer is on loan to me, and I don't even let myself bring it in the kitchen when I'm on allrecipes.com.  Just for the record, JJ.


  1. Love your blogs Betsy!!! I meant to tell you earlier that I read them! Hope that doesn't make me a little stalkerish :/

  2. I've never hiked the AT but I soooo know what you mean. I am on a computer or watching the tv so much and I feel bored, restless & lonely a lot of the time too. i get obsessed with finding the perfect sleeveless white shirt online or the perfect way to cook the leftover red cabbage that i don't know what to do with or i click on "find friends" on fb just b/c i need something to LOOK at or find. seth and i went rafting and camping about a month ago just for 1 day/night and it put everything in perspective. i didn't have access to any of this stuff and it was the best thing in the world...i felt peaceful and energized and alive, and i dreaded coming back to all of the "connections."

    thank you for writing this blog post and reminding me of all this! because it really is so easy to get caught up in all of it and forget how much better the simple life can be.

  3. Hey, I sent you an email a couple days ago. Yeah, it was short, but I still think it should count.

    Anyway, I empathize. I keep having to remind myself that my life is not in facebook, and that what I am vainly looking for is, in face, life. I've been tempted to delete and withdraw, but that's not a balanced action, either. Truth is, my facebook account is useful, if not vital. The internet is not evil, but it's only a tool. When it becomes something more to us...I think we get lost. (Not Lost.) Life is not like the internet.

    So conveniently, back to the proposition that is now months old: how abouts you and Dustan and me (or I) find some time to hang out in the real world?

  4. Hey Lib, rafting + camping sounds like a blast! The best days on the trail always included an unexpected water source big enough to swim in. :)

    Joel, when mom's gone we'll scratch it into the sched.


Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like a compulsive need to be liked. Like my need to be praised.