Last week, in frustration with everything that had happened in the world, and horrified to see the ways that my “friends” react to tragedy*, that I decided to take a Facebook vacation. It was kind of funny, because Klout told me the “goodbye for a while Facebook” post that I made had a large impact, or a lot of people that liked/commented on it‡.
Since that happened a week ago, I feel like I’ve been doing better things with my time that leave me with a sense of self satisfaction or happiness that posting or lurking on Facebook didn’t. A “like” doesn’t really mean anything at all, and I wasn’t really engaging with the people I followed online much, past pressing a thumbs up button.
Here is a short list of things I did while not using Facebook that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
I was pretty sure that at the end of this week long break I would be running back to log in and reinstall Facebook on all of my mobile devices, but that’s seemingly not the case. I know eventually I’ll log back in. I’ve got friends I don’t get to see half way across the world, people who’s lives I won’t know about if I’m not subscribed to their feed, and other people I like that are just plain FUN to interact with, but for now it feels good to get away from the heard and do some stuff that fells nice instead of just annoying.
*quick to make things political or turn in hate for the wrongdoers and everything about them (including skin color or religion) instead of love and hope for the survivors
‡ Yes, I left Facebook, but I didn’t leave every other social networking site. I hate Klout too, but not enough to delete my footprint from there or not sign in every once in a while.
µ Okay, so none of them responded, but I’m pretty sure that trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
¹ I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, it’s been “on the list”, but working on my resume gives me a deep down uncomfortable feeling. Last night I decided to face it and do it anyways!
This week I was speaking with someone who’s job it is to make me better at communicating effectively*. He and I were talking about some issues I have had at work, and he said to me “You’re so zen that …” and then his voice trailed off while he tried to think of an example to tell me why he thinks I’m so zen. Just that fragmented sentence, by itself, makes me ecstatic. Even if he is the only person to see it, I’m really happy to be recognized as a person that embraces their inner zen, because I’m all about that…
I haven’t written here for a long time. There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is based on thumper’s mothers advice, which is pretty solid, and I try to keep in mind most of the time;
And … whenever I had sat down to write (because I used to write habitually), it wasn’t nice. Mostly, it wasn’t nice to me, and I didn’t know what to do with that, but I didn’t want to put it on my website, and this account is embedded onto danielliepold.com, so I just left it alone most of the time, and put up pictures every once and a while.
I was worried about the garbage that was streaming out of my consciousness. I kept at it, wrote a lot of drafts, and eventually just gave into updating the notes application that I keep on iCloud, to write as needed, but it’s been an odd journey to get back to being able to publish content publicly.
You see … back around late 2009, when I created this account, it was a conscious effort of rebranding myself. I had been posting and blogging semi-publicly under the name synapse collapse on live journal since I was 20 years old (or 2002), and I wasn’t always a solid guy there. I didn’t like the brutal honesty that being young and naive and overconfident for all the wrong reasons had going for it, and I wanted to start from scratch with all of my experience but without the baggage of my shortcomings. TWOD (or danielliepold.tumblr.com) seemed like a good place to do this, and for a while it went pretty well. And then, reality struck. After the job I quit my day job to pursue dried up and my good luck streak went in the alternate direction, I opted to shut my mouth when things got tough, because I had a reputation to keep up. I was convinced that branding myself as a positive writer & artist was more important than talking about what was going on.
Seriously, that first undocumented chapter was pretty freaking dark. I was still hopelessly in love with my best friend who had already moved on and on and on. I was making the same mistakes over and over and not learning. I was destructive. I was chaotic. I was unhappy. I kept silent. It was pretty bad … in addition to not talking about it on the internet, I didn’t really talk about it in person either. I just turned off, and expressed what I could to the people that really wanted to know, but I didn’t have the words, and was really disappointed in myself, but didn’t want anyone else to know how bad it was. I just shut down. I’ve challenged myself to write about it, and get lost in thought just thinking about it. I’m pretty happy to be here to talk about it though. Happy, and blessed.
Eventually, that chapter passed (the best thing about being alive? the bad chapters always pass with time), and not too long afterwards I decided to leave Arizona. Did that magically make everything better? Nope. I left behind all of my closest friends who loved me without end, and walked into a land of (almost only) friendly strangers.
The thing about moving is … while you can move your body, while you can move your things. You can surround yourself with new things and new people in every direction, you still carry your own baggage everywhere you allow yourself to take it until you learn to let go. Sometime last year (in 2012), I figured out how to let go of that girl I used to love. We don’t really talk much any more, so I haven’t told her, but I really don’t need to either. I’ve also learned some far more important lessons. I’ve forced myself to study and research forgiveness. I’ve kept closer track of my vices and not let them control me. I’ve tried harder to let the people that are in my life know how much I value them, because I’m worthless alone, even if I do spend a lot of time in my own head.
This year, I’ve decided that I can’t continue living my life without caring about the things that the rest of the world thinks is important that fell short of my metric of excitement; I’ve been making lists, keeping my promises, making plans, and sometimes even following though. For the longest time, I felt that creative expression was the paramount of my existence. When I lacked the drive to make that expression a reality, my existence seemed to be a failure. I’ve been re-reading through my favorite books on thought, quality, and creativity through a lull in my creative expression, and while I don’t know what it is, I’m coming to grasp with the idea that there is more to my existence than mere expression. It’s like a lifted weight off of my shoulders, thinking that I’m not worthless when I can’t finish a painting that I like, or make an album I would want to play on repeat, or write a book I could call re-readable, that there might be more to being alive than just making those things happen. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up. It just means I can stop judging myself for all of the times that I’m not proactively aspiring to my next masterpiece, because other things are important too.
So, I’m over being concerned about the “public perception” of Daniel Liepold. I’ve stopped worrying that what I write on the internet is going to stop me from getting a job. I can’t sell a painting to save my life right now, so I don’t care if my writing effects the way people feel about my art. It’s time to start living, breathing, doing, unabashedly like its 2002, but maybe without being quite so much of a little kid.
*Can I just mention for a moment how incredibly happy I am to say I have someone like that in my life? For real. And on top, he’s a quality dude that I respect a lot. A LOT, a lot. Anyways … it’s not so bad.
I’ve been working on some new music for the fist time in a long time, but in the process of digging through my sample collections I also found some dark electronic music (in the vein of Coll) that I didn’t do a darn thing with when I made it back in 2008 because the sky, most certainly, WAS falling.
Anyways, here is a collection of songs I’m making available for free streaming / download on soundcloud, I hope you enjoy.