An Epiphany Before I Go…

That FaceFunny, it took an internet gif to save my life from the internet. I was watching this funny gif on Tumblr, in which a young man keeps getting photobombed by his dog. Apparently there are a lot of these gifs out there because it keeps happening. I’m scrolling through the comments, which were along the lines of how this dog was ruining everyone’s life because of the cuteness, and I caught myself irritably telling my own dog to go lie down.

To go lie down so I could look at a gif of a man interacting with his dog with love and joy. WTF is wrong with me?

In that instant, I got an entire snapshot of my life for the past seven years. Working too many hours, spending too much time on the internet. Hopping endlessly from Live Journal to Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr looking for someone to have a conversation with. Incidentally, these last seven years corresponds to the time my dog has been on the planet. His life is half over and I have spent a good bit of it telling him to go lie down because Mummy’s tired and she needs to chill out on the internet for, I don’t know, the next four or five hours. When the hell did I become that person? When the hell did I become my mother?

Baby HawkeyeWell, fuck that shit. No, seriously. I’m done. Sure, I’ll pop up on a semi-regular basis to post updates or share some thinky-thoughts like this one. I’ll wave at my friends on the internet and I’ll RT someone else’s good news. I’ll fulfill my current commitments to blogging and touring.

But I can’t be a writer if I’m always online. I can’t be a writer if I have put my life on hold. Writing is about living on paper–but you can’t do that if you haven’t lived in person. And I am not going to be the person who shoves aside the dog when he only wants a piece of my attention. A being who wants me to interact with him. I only have THIS dog once, and like a bright meteorite blazing across my night sky, I’ll only have him a little while. This dog. This horse. This man. None of whom care if I’m successful or how much I weigh, or if my hair is falling out, or anything–as long as I’m happy. And by God, I’m going to go out and grab my happiness by the horns, wrestle it to the ground, and bring it back to the ranch.

Because I’m DONE being the internet’s bitch. πŸ˜‰


14 thoughts on “An Epiphany Before I Go…

    • It is! It’s like an addiction! Part of the problem is we as writers are encouraged to have an internet presence in order to sell stories. You know what? I’m tired of feeling as though I need to curry favor with the internet to gain its approval. I’m going to write, damn it. I’m going to live, and love, and write and put it out there. And if people want to read it, great. (It would be even better if people wanted to *buy* it!)

      But I’m done groveling at the feet of the internet trying to figure out someway to get it to notice me, to magically transport me into the world of successful writers because that’s what I want more than anything in life. Not to make a million-gazillion dollars but to earn enough money to support my writing habit. Period.

      It seems, however, that I never have nor ever will be in the ‘In Crowd’. Well, when that happened in high school and again in college, I said screw it and marched to my own drummer. I have no idea why I thought it would be any different this time around!

      The hard part is I *do* enjoy conversations like this one. I love my internet friends. But yeah, I feel like the girl on the fringes of the cool crowd, trying desperately to fit in. No more. The internet can bite me. πŸ˜‰
      Sarah Madison recently posted..An Epiphany Before I Go…My Profile

    • Good for you! I’m going to do the same! I’ve just come back from the stable and from taking H for a shortish walk in the rain. I plan to take the BF out for dinner and a movie tonight (Thor! Woot!) and re-prioritize for the coming week. But sad face on your dogs being under the weather–email me if there’s anything I can do for you and them!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..An Epiphany Before I Go…My Profile

  1. That’s great Sarah, I wish you the best of luck. People make fun of me often or have some snide comment to make about my dogs and taking so much of my attention. Well, they are my greatest companions, they go everywhere with me, they lay with me when I’m sick or tired, They travel with me, they even take showers at times with me. They give me so much joy and all I have to do is be present for them and they are happy. I spend a lot of time on my own and by myself due to an injury. I too have found friends on the internet and spend too much time there because sometimes it’s nice to have a conversation with another adult. I admire your courage of taking your life back over and being present for those who love you. Love your dog because they are your biggest fan. Best of luck πŸ™‚

    • Love your dog because they are your biggest fan

      This. Yes!

      For most of my life (until I was lucky enough to meet someone who loves me as unconditionally as they do) my animals were my main family. No matter how hard I worked, I would still come home full of love for my furkids. Somewhere in the last decade however, I’ve become terminally exhausted. I’m working 60 + hours a week. I come home wrung out physically and emotionally and there is nothing left for me to give to my own family. Now, for the first time, I understand my mother. Believe me when I say that this realization is disturbing to the extreme!

      I’m going to tell you what I told a client of mine when he mentioned that his friends were giving him a hard time about spending so much money on his dog’s chemotherapy. I asked him how much he’d spent, and he looked shame-faced as he replied.

      “About $1500 so far.”

      “Okay.” I nodded. “So how many of your friends would spend $1500 on a plasma screen television set or $15,000 on a bass boat and brag about it? Why do they get to decide how you spend your money on something you love? At least what you’re spending your money on loves you back.”

      “Yeah! That’s right!” You could see him banking these words for later. “Yeah!”

      So, yeah. Hug that thought to yourself when someone makes a snide comment about the time and devotion you lavish on your dogs. At least you love something that loves you back.

      Sarah Madison recently posted..An Epiphany Before I Go…My Profile

    • *nods firmly* I think when I had no free time at all, when I was stretched to the maximum, it was easy to come home and waffle away several hours on the internet because I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.

      I know, however, I’m going to look back on these years with regret and wish I’d spent more time with the ones I love and less time working so hard. Writing has been a tough one–I need to write on a fundamental level in order to be me–but I also need to re-connect with the ones I love, to really be there with them in the same room, and not always have one eye on the phone, scrolling down the messages.

      Cutting back internet time will grant me back the hours I need to love my family AND write. And TBH, aside from the *fun* I have on the internet, it’s not like my absence will impact book sales. It’s not like my presence impacts them either! It’s all crapshoot as far as I’m concerned right now. πŸ˜‰
      Sarah Madison recently posted..An Epiphany Before I Go…My Profile

  2. Do you mind if I post this on my facebook? It’s so true. We spend so much time on our computers that we could be spending actually doing things. πŸ˜‰

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