Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Overexposed...

** Thanks for all the emails and pm's of support I am getting on this. I feel like I am beating a dead horse here, so hopefully I can get back to superficial chat after this! **

I'd be lying if I said being all over the online community didn't bring me some sort of joy and new relationships. I loved meeting all the BYOM girls in Chicago last weekend (and I plan to see them all again, that's definite). I love that Rita is in our life just because she and Heather connected on KNK (way before I thought it was okay to meet internet people in person, but a lot has happened since then for me to think it was okay. Like Rita. Like my mom meeting and marrying Jim. And so on.)

That said, I am starting to feel like maybe putting myself out there is exposing more than I want to. I started on KNK and that was simple. Then I joined several DT's and am involved in those communities. A couple things happened in the last weeks that made me rethink it all...

ScrapFaith... I know what I signed up for with that and I convinced myself I was supposed to do it because everything fell into place the way it did. I have tougher skin than many and I don't know how hard Emilie would have had to search to find another agnostic or, gasp, an athiest. So I am the agnostic and it would seem that since I didn't pick a religion to attach myself to, I am thus unattached and have a void that needs to be filled. I've debated this, talked to others and decided that this needs to be said for me to be true to myself (even if I am already so over talking about this!):

I have no void and I did not join that team to find some answer. I have my answer and I am only out there representing my experience because no one else is. It has always seemed like the scrapbooking industry heavily leans towards Christianity, with an occassional nod to our Jewish friends with Hannukah or Rosh Hashana. No one has been out there saying, "Yeah I don't know" and that was the role it seems I am to play. Please don't think I mean "Yeah I don't know, please lead me to the way" because that isn't it. I think that the truths of the universe are way beyond the human mind and we can only grasp as much as we can. I mean, I can hardly handle college level Calculus and yet all the truths of the universe are supposedly within my reach within some four walls? Personally, I can't commit to that. I am proud to say that I don't have all the answers, but I do have some. The answers I have I share with billions of other people of hundreds of faith. I think you have to do your best to be the best human you can, because really that is all you can do. I think you have to be a good person and live an honest lifestyle. I think you should do good and give of yourself. I will never be a Christian because I simply cannot commit to certain vital principles of that faith, and that's okay. Do I believe in God? That's tricky. Cognitively I know it is so naive to believe that whatever complex being created DNA, amoebas, cancer, peace, feces, sunshine and terrestrial life is sitting around, as Bill Maher puts it oh-so-eloquently "To act like my daddy in the sky" and listen to my hopes and prayers, but it feels good so I do it. I don't pray daily but I will bust out the emergency god when someone is sick or when I am scared or when I simply need strength and hope and that is okay because I say it is. God or no god, your call. What you think is what you think and it is just as okay too. It's all good as long as you're trying to be good...

Anyone who wandered over from ScrapFaith or is itching to show me a way...Please do not contact me to make a case for your answer or your faith. I am genuinely happy that you have found something that makes you content and fulfilled, but this is not up for debate. That site is there to show that women of whatever spiritual life can coexist, respect each other and see the similarities that exist for us all and I am not going to make myself feel like I need to listen to the arguments of others just because my position is so different from everyone else's. You simply can't respect my standing and then follow up with a "but consider this..." because it makes your show of respect an empty gesture. I say this with love and because I need to stand up for myself.

That was the heavy stuff, the personal stuff that has made me want to shut my laptop and my mouth. The other stuff that made me rethink my online involvement... superficial drama. I get sucked into it and it makes me feel ick. I wish I had never heard the words "HOF gate" or "See you on the River" because of how awful I started to see other people and myself. I dabbled in some drama on another board on behalf of a bestie and found myself trying to set someone straight who, while very much needing to be set straight by someone, probably didn't need it from a total stranger like me. That person led several of us to a couple boards which are capable of manifesting the most bitter hatred between strangers. I feel like I've ruined it all for myself, I liked it when I thought we were all there to love and support each other and I need to pretend that no world exists outside of BYOM, SO, AC Bailey, RSC and Scrapfaith. I've made a conscious decision to go back to that place.

Next debate: How do I separate scrapbooking my life and scrapbooking being my life? I am working on less scrapping, less MB drama and more reading (and when I've read enough, more writing). It feels like this must have been a predictable SAHM pitfall, creating a person other than "Dylan's Mom" by trying to be Ms. Scrappin-all-over-the-frickin Place, but I should focus on balance and all that goodness. Tune in to hear how that goes, but I will be finishing my first book since making that decision (Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann) in the next day and that already feels sadly momentous...

7 comments:

Laura Vigliarolo said...

If your happy then those close to you should be happy and accept it don't worry about what others believe you should believe, who knows they could be wrong.

Brandy said...

Hey Brandy! Wow! What a post! Glad you got it all out there. And just know this: I don't really care what you believe. It is purely up to you and as long as you are happy that is just peachy with me. After all, you are the most important person you need to please. It is really sad sometimes that others impose their beliefs on others. Glad you are choosing to stick around. I love reading your posts on the MB and I enjoy your blog. :)

Heather said...

whew! I'm a little delayed here, but wanted you to know I read it... nothing to add that we haven't already talked about though. you rock, as always. balance will always be hard, no matter what part of our life we are in...

Emilie Ahern said...

Oh Brandy! I know exactly how you feel. Since I work on the inside I see some pretty horrifying stuff in Scrap-World and it makes me want to throw in the towel. I even boycot a certain high;y popular sb manufacturer's product because I know personally what terrible people the owners are. Sad.

But the good news is, I just stayed in contact with the genuine people who ARE there for support and stay away from the beastie catty women. And now I am happy. The catiness can exist, but not in my circle of experience.

I recently blogged about this crap as well. Check it out when you get a chance...

http://aherncentral.blogspot.com/2007/11/scrap-world-sadness.html

Kory Dordea said...

I meant to reply to this more than a week ago, but I totally am so proud of you for putting yourself out there AND for standing up for your beliefs! You are more woman than I am! I am also an agnostic and feel the exact same way that you do, BUT in the christian-predominant world of scrapbooking I usually keep it pretty quiet! Good for you Brandy!

I also know how you feel about the mb drama and I have taken a step back from all of it too and have been trying to focus on my life off of the internet!

Holly said...

O girl U have me in tears. Your true honesty is amazing here.. Im with you and feel that we all have our ways of believing etc... Your words really *lost for words* But you get th epoint. U have touched me and I know that in the end I dont have a certain religion. I just know that in the end God/Jesus is out there watching over me and my family and others who believe...

jennifer said...

hmmm - I am a total stranger and i guess you really don't care what i think. but i will say this since you have left your comments section open and i assume that means everybody? here goes, yes i am a born again christian but i have never sensed a favoritism in sb world in my favor. maybe because things are in my favor, i am blissfully unaware of injustices toward others. i am willing to pay more attention to that. i like the fact that you write with such authority and intelligance. my faith? i take it for granted because i FEEL it so naturally. i don't think so much about God, he just IS for me, good times and bad. i wish you well in your life's journey. it's funny, i feel like christians are made fun of so often and looked down upon, it's odd hearing things from your point of view. thank you for making me THINK. love the pictures and dry humor on your site. - Jennifer