Watching & Sketching

I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess in the past couple of months. Some if it has to do with politics and the recent presidential election. Some of it has been more personal than that. But whatever the reason, I’ve found myself over the last couple of months feeling much more guarded than I ever have been in my adult life.

I won’t start listening to a podcast until I can verify that the content is “safe.” I’ve been avoiding television shows that may (even tangentially) mention politics or current events. I’ve been slipping into reruns of the sitcom Taxi, I Love Lucy, and The Brady Bunch. Simply because I know they do not contain content that will make my mind go “there.”

And with wide, open arms, I welcomed the conclusion to The Gilmore Girls this weekend. My friend Jeff wrote these words on Facebook and since they really capture what I’m feeling about the experience I’m just going to quote him:

I needed this, I needed this so much.

I have tears on my face, actual ones… not just metaphorical tears that I say happened when I thought I should feel emotions like a normal person would, but actual salty H20 is leaking out of my eyeholes in response to external stimuli. I also drank two cups of coffee while watching it because it just doesn’t feel right to go through this without coffee in hand – which reminds me that I should go to the store and get donuts with sprinkles, tacos, tater tots, and more coffee before I watch Spring. I may be a little hopped up on coffee. I’m definitely hopped up on coffee.

For almost ten years I’ve been looking at old home movies of dear friends and now they’re back again. We get to catch up and share what’s happened. Everything is different but everything is still the same. It feels wonderful.

One of the exciting things about art is that the delivery method is just as important as the art itself. (And I fully realize that some people wouldn’t even consider Gilmore Girls to be art…we can save the ART vs ENTERTAINMENT discussion for another day.) I’m not sure these four final episodes would have hit me in the same gut – or that my gut would have even been available to be struck – six months ago.

It makes me wonder how many pieces of art (or entertainment) I’ve come across that I wasn’t in the right place to receive. Or how many times I’ve dismissed work as “not my taste” when perhaps a more truthful dismissal would be “not my taste…right now.”

 

two guys talking about Facebook, one guy responds with a heart emoji

Too Connected.

I am too connected.

I have written and talked an awful lot about how the online world has been really good for me. I have credited the diabetes online community with saving my life, I have been really lucky to have published a few different podcasts with audiences that have become some of my  best friends. So I’m not trying to say that I don’t understand the value of connecting online.

What I’m trying to say is that at this moment in my life, I feel over-exposed.

And this is my own fault. I’m the guy that get’s notified on my phone, iPad, computer, and wrist-watch every time a stranger “likes” a photo I’ve published to Instagram (and the guy that cannot talk himself out of linking the word “Instagram” in his blog post about social media burnout to his Instagram account just in case someone reading isn’t following him there).

I wrote yesterday about how I feel like I’m drowning in diabetes awareness during diabetes awareness month. And maybe some of my feelings in this post overlap with that sentiment. I guess November is that weird month where my passion for advocacy and my love for community collide in an overwhelming blue wave of diabetes information that will pull you under if you don’t keep one eye on the shore.

Tomorrow I’m going to go hiking. I’m headed to Alamere Falls near Point Reyes with my boyfriend, Steve. It won’t be gadget-free; we’ll need GPS to get us there. And it won’t be diabetes-free; there is no such thing as a real vacation from that. But I am hoping to be able to take one really deep, long, inhale that won’t have anything to do with a presidential election, post interactions, re-tweets, or comment threads.