I know after reading my title you are going to tell me that nobody can control my emotions. I can see you clearly, in my mind’s eye, struggling to refrain from yelling, “Stop saying the Internet controls your emotions, nobody controls your emotions, but you, Lady!” I know. It’s true and thank you for not yelling at me by the way. I appreciate your patience. I really do.
I should have written the title more like this : I Hate When I LET The Internet Control My Emotions.
Because I do let the Internet control my emotions more often than I’d like to admit. I see an adorable kitten snuggled up to a fox, sleeping with a dog, and I feel my heart breaking with the adorableness of it all. I read about war and starvation and young girls getting raped and I feel so angry I could explode and then so sad I could cry myself into oblivion. I try to make a picture appear inside a box on my blog and it won’t work and my email keeps locking me out and I could pull out all of my hair in frustration. Darn you Internet machine! Why can’t you be easier to use?
People hurt my feelings by unsubscribing from my blog or from my Twitter feed or by just ignoring me all together. I find myself thinking, “I thought we were friends…?” People write mean things in the comment sections of blogs and mock the writers courageous enough to share their heartfelt, often tragic stories. People cling to imaginary cliques and spew angry words and stab at each other with letters and punctuation. It’s ugly. It’s sad. It’s mean. It’s boring. Still, I feel it. I feel all of it.
People go on better vacations than I do and cook better and clean better and look better and teach better and spell better and dance better and paint better and there is always someone doing it better and faster and smarter…I feel small and fragile and unsure. I wonder if I am even functional and if other people just live better than I do? Where do I fit into all of this? It’s all so amazing and overwhelming. You are all so amazing and overwhelming…and beautiful. It’s exhausting. I can barely keep up.
The Internet makes me laugh. The funny people are so funny. I could laugh until I cry or my side splits open or my face hurts so badly from smiling that I can’t smile any longer. The jokes! The laughter! The awesomeness of having a friend who lives in Malta or Australia or London or Virginia…it’s so exotic and exciting and intoxicating. It’s so big. The world is all there, right in front of me and it is funny, and warm, and inviting, and joyful. It’s Bigger than me and I am a part of it. I am connected. I am loved by people I may never meet and I love them back just as deeply. I tell them my secrets. I tell them my hopes. I tell them my fears…and they accept me. I feel all of the happiness. All of it!
I feel so much hope when I read about a brave little girl who overcomes the obstacle of gunfire to go to school or how people all over the world donated money to help someone get cancer treatment. I see people taking steps toward fairness and justice by writing about hard topics. I see people standing up for one another and doing things that make a real difference. I see people overcoming adversity and setbacks and triumphing over evil and making so much out of absolutely nothing. I am in awe of you. All of you. I am inspired too.
I feel pride when my friends brag about their children being kind and smart and silly. I see pictures of my family growing older and getting stronger and building lives. I cheer on people I have never met in person who are publishing their own books and making art and writing songs. I admire people who get up everyday and go to a job they truly dislike so they can put food on the table and still have enough energy to find the humor in their circumstances and to blog about it because they want to make sure nobody feels alone in this world. They are good people.
I feel proud of my human brethren. I celebrate their victories. I dance when they dance. I sing when they sing. I cry when they cry. I feel it. I feel all of it. I feel the connectedness and the loneliness. I feel the sadness and the joy. I feel the anger and the indifference. I feel it all.
I hate when the internet controls my emotions. I hate when I let the Internet control my emotions, but sometimes it does. Sometimes more than I care to admit.