Tabula rasa

Manifest Mondays are where I chat exclusively about writing and the writing life.

I decided to give up social media this month. I’ve done it a couple of times before. The first time – and obviously, first impressions stick with you – was the month I wrote “An Idol Story,” which I subsequently used for my writing sample for my MFA application. So that story – and the whole idea of social media detox – holds a very special place in my heart.

The second time felt insincere and though I did complete it, I didn’t feel like I got anything done that I wanted to. So with social media detoxes, you need to have goals and things to do to fill the time.

I’m not surprised by how much time I spend on social media. I am trying to cultivate a brand, a particular tone, a voice. But sometimes, it feels like I’m screaming into the wind. I was intrigued by this idea of micro-influencers that I was reading about the other day since I’m not keen on racking up high numbers on my profiles. Numbers don’t mean shit unless there’s something behind them. I want the genuine relationships, even if it means having only 100 followers.

I lost all sense of self the last two weeks of April. I didn’t want to do a damn thing, and I didn’t, even though I knew I should have done a lot more than I could have. I curled into the fetal position and went through the motions. I was hating on life and myself. It was so poisonous. I am my own worst enemy.

We’re heading into May and remain without gainful employment. I don’t know how many times I can be told I’m “overqualified” for a job. I’ve been advised to remove my masters from my resume but I’m proud of it. Why shouldn’t I put it on there? It has no bearing on whether I can do the job or not. I went after my MFA in Writing because I needed to know what was out there. I’m dependable, reliable, and will always give 1000% to a job. Shouldn’t that count for something?

I read somewhere that a lot of people are intimidated by higher degrees. A lot of hiring managers probably didn’t even go to school to get where they are, so their own opinions of schooling reflect in their hiring. That’s sad. We’ve been such a focus on higher education and we’re turning out overeducated baristas who can’t even get an office job because someone thinks they’ll jump ship in a month. That’s been said many times before, by other people in different ways but the truth hurts. I’m proud of my education. It made me the person I am today. I won’t be shamed. Period.

Because I fell apart last month, I wasn’t arsed to write at all. Not even free write. I read a little, not enough though. I hate that. I feel like I could be writing a lot more but my demons come calling and I can’t do anything but feed them. When I’m on walks with my dog, I clear the fog in my head and think to myself, “there’s a story here, somewhere.” But then I tell myself, I refuse to put a character through half of what I’m going through. It wouldn’t be fair. I bear this mantle myself.

But I do feel like the ice floe in my head is broken. I feel rejuvenated, a blank slate for progress. It may be because I gave up social media, but I don’t know. I get pumped and then lose my resolve.

I am constantly reminded that I am a writer. There are flashes of scenes in my head, works-in-progress leaving voice mails in my head.

I suppose I should return their calls.

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