Monday, March 10, 2014

Can I like you too much?

I like facebook. A lot. I like seeing what my friends are up to in their lives.

One woman I know posts photos of the food she makes with her husband and I drool over every single one.
Another one posts photos of herself and her children, skiing and hiking in Vermont, and I wish I were more of an outdoorsy person.
There is the horse and goat lover who runs a farm outside of Charlotte.
The Zen priest posts her words of wisdom.
The two poets share their latest creations.
The Reiki master finds the best quotes about parenting and autism and stress.
A woman who started teaching the same year I did, back in 1989, is now the head of a school in New York State. I love looking at the photos of her beautiful headmaster's house, and the photos of the fabulous trip she and her family took to France last year.
Another former colleague who recently attended a conference on the adolescent brain posted lists of the some of the things she learned there.
A college classmate who lives in Oslo takes THE MOST AMAZING VACATIONS of anyone I know - Bali, Italy, Singapore, India, and many more of the most colorful places in the world. She is beautiful. Her husband is handsome. Their children are more of the same.
Several of my cousins and a couple of friends from church post Bible verses almost exclusively.
Then there is the former student who is now a model - gorgeous woman. Amazing abs.
My nieces and nephews and their partners in life, on trips, at home, in church.
The blogger who has begun a Lenten gratitude practice with some of her 100,000+ followers.
The friend out in Arizona whose beautiful daughter steals her food and her heart every day.
Her friend and mine, who now lives and works as an advocate for refugees in the Middle East.
Photos of weddings and newborn babies and art projects and performances...
No matter how much my family and friends post, I want to see more. I want to read more. I want to know more.

I could spend hours every day looking at their posts and their photos. I click on the links they put on their timelines and laugh or groan, alternately, at the blogs, websites, photos, videos, and articles I land on. I have clever, funny, generous, interesting, witty friends. At least, that's the side of themselves that they post on facebook...

I like almost everything my friends post.
And I want to like it all. You know, "like" it.
Hit the "like" button and add my bright blue thumb to all the other likers.

But how much is too much? Can I like their posts too much? Can I like my facebook friends too much? If I like every photo and every post, then I worry that my friends will think I'm a stalker and a creeper. Then again, isn't that why people tell their stories and post their favorite photos? Don't we all tell our stories because we want our friends and family to like us, to hit that button, to boost our ego, and let us know that we are seen and liked.

That's why I blog too. To tell my story, to share my photos, to get affirmation and confirmation that I'm okay, that I'm not crazy, and that I'm not alone on this life journey.

But that's not the only reason I'm on facebook. That's not the only reason I blog. I pour my heart out here because I want you to know that you are not alone, that you are not crazy, and that there is another person out here on the information superhighway trying to slow myself, my thoughts, and my soul down enough to notice the details and appreciate them. I want you to laugh and groan with me. I want us to find ways to connect with each other even though we can't always be together. I want to look more closely at the world around me and within me - and share some of what I see with you, my friends and readers. I want to share the good parts of my life, of course, but also the messy parts - the sickness and health, the better and the worst. I want to show you who I am, share what I believe, and offer you the opportunity to show me who you are and share what you believe.

Can I like you too much? I hope not.  Am I willing to be considered a stalker by liking you a lot? Yes, I am willing. After all, no one has ever liked my posts or my writing too much. No one has ever liked me too much. No one has ever loved me too much, too passionately, or too frequently. And I don't think that anyone has ever been told how liked and loved they are often enough.*

So here goes - I like you.**
I like you because you come here and read my ramblings.
I like you because (some of) you have come to my home and visited with me in person.
I like you because you walked with me through my kanswer journey.
I like you because you are your beautiful, funny, witty, present, loving, kind self.
I like you because you are generous and patient, messy and silly.
I like you because you are alive and attentive and affectionate.
I like you because you are my friend, my family, and my companion.
I like you because you are fully, uniquely, irreducibly you.
I like you a lot.**

* Except for people who have real stalkers. And I promise I am not one.
** Seriously, I promise. I'm NOT a stalker.

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