When my world is small, my problems loom large. I discovered this many years ago but its import didn’t hit me until the past couple of years. During the recent times of unemployment and closely calculating my pesewas (look it up), I would be so broke that I couldn’t afford to take public transportation. When you can’t even afford to take the metro or put money in your car, you tend to be more stationery. You can’t afford to get to social gatherings, let alone pay for drinks, appetizers, small plates, large plates, movies, parties or concerts! So your social interactions that are mostly based on outings that require monies are limited to the point of being nonexistent. So then imagine if you will, I am unable to go out and am spending my days online searching through job listings. It’s church and home with very few interactions with friends or acquaintances.
For me, this is a small world. Normally, I am the one who jumps in my car, drives 45 minutes to a smaller town just to roam about, eat lunch and enjoy being OUT. I am the one who is trying to find festivals, go to the jazz lounge or hit up a hole in the wall ethnic restaurant. I am the one who is organizing themed brunches with fun games and tons of home-cooked food. I am the one inviting friends over for impromptu meals. And all of these – all of these require money. Whether it’s trying to get there or getting the items or consuming the items. Money. Money I didn’t have. Money I couldn’t find.
Like any sensible person who finds herself unemployed, lacking in funds and online; I turned to social media. In particular Facebook to “happy myself”. Okay then, we’ve got church, home and Facebook. If you don’t know, let me tell you that this makes for a very.small.world. And when my world is small, actions and words that shouldn’t bother me end up enraging me. I become easily annoyed, irritable and people piss me off to no end with stupidity that I can, when my world is large, brush it off. Now before you start opening your mouth to say something you shouldn’t, dear reader, let me tell you that these things other people are doing are stupid, inane, mindless, clueless and careless. They are ungood, however, the emotion that wells up inside me from seeing these things and interacting with these things is much stronger and greater than they would if my life were more balanced.
Things take on a greater importance when your life seems to be going nowhere fast. You don’t have balance. You don’t have anything to fall back on to help round out your existence – no comfort zones, no safety nets. At least none that you have used in the past. What do you have? God. Let me tell you, it’s faith building when you cannot see your way out of your calamities, whatever you try doesn’t seem to work and the persons, places, activities that you normally engage in to help you are not available. Your world shrinks.
Not only am I upset at my lack of career or personal movement, now I have people on the one form of entertainment that I can turn to, being negative. That becomes the proverbial camel-back breaking straw. I cease to care what people are thinking or feeling. I become easily irritable with no tolerance or understanding for fools. I call them as they are and that’s not always the most politic course of action. But when your world is small, you feel as if you can’t afford a SINGLE ounce more of anything ungood.
The smaller my world, the larger in magnitude and stress will be those things that are actually “small”. The less capable I have been to accept, shrug off and try to work through other people’s drama. I don’t have time for it. I don’t have emotional stamina or capacity to deal with that mess. My tolerance is nearly stretched to the breaking point and all it seems to take is one idiotic remark on my Facebook post to set me off.
I don’t like that. In fact I hate it. I am on tender hooks – “prickly” as one Attending said in referring to me during a particularly rough patch during residency. I’m already sensitive to life, now I become raw. I don’t enjoy it. I would rather it never happen. Unfortunately it has. So what do you do? I prayed, read The Word and prayed some more. Finally I took a step that I had been contemplating for months. I deactivated my Facebook account. As to what happened after that, well, you’ll just have to subscribe to this blog so you can be the first to read it when I write about it. The minute I did that though, I felt lighter.
So what was my final answer other than get extra close to God? Get far away from the very thing I thought I needed to keep me “happy” but was part of the culprit in worsening my mood. What do I take away from all of this, dear reader?
Chaley, if your life-pond is small, every fish seems large, so be careful you don’t end up killing or throwing away every fish because you think you don’t have room. You may have to remove some fish to a holding place and others you may have to toss but remember that you are dealing with a perspective and an illusion. When the pond gets larger, you will see that your huge sharks are actually happy little gold fish.
Let me ask you, how small is YOUR world?