- - 27 November 2019 -

Past Lives & Goats of Cyberspace

I had a bet with a good friend back in the mid-nineties.

The first one of us to be lured by the sorcery of this thing they called ‘the internet’ would owe the other a fine bottle of wine.

She caved.

But I watched over her shoulder as she surfed and sent her first email. I was there when she pushed the button. I owned my involvement and shared the wine.

Who knew this internet thing would catch on. Apparently, it’s a keeper.

It was a great bottle of wine.

And now it is the time of today.

Facebook account number one: first attempt. I create account. I take 3 days to decide on a cool profile pic and settle on a young me petting a miniature goat. I forget passwords. I get locked out of account. Account gets absorbed into cyberspace, taking the miniature goat with it.

I swear off this ludicrous notion of social media forever.

Forever is relative. Every club, hobby, work and interest that I have requires my participation on Facebook.

Facebook account number two: second attempt. Reboot. I create account. I create a personal bio tagline to summarize my entire existence into one catchy phrase to accommodate the short attention span of the world wide web. I add profile pic. Change it 8 times before realizing the entire world wide web sees my lack of commitment to my image.

Paula has changed her profile pic. Paula has changed her profile pic. Social notifications prescribed by coded posts that announce your personal uncertainties to all followers.

Me the girl with a goat. Me the karate girl. Me the car salesman. Me the bartender. Me the sometimes writer. Me the serious writer. Me with my gut sucked in. Or no me at all. Invisible me, my line up of kids staring back instead. Married me, daredevil me, contemplative me, athletic me, lazy me. What me should I be?

And then I am illuminated by a thought – I am truly all of them. Simultaneously.

Drawing on every profile in times of need, like tapping a superpower. My forged paths, my course corrections, my mishaps and triumphs – all shaping into one fantastic resource for the next me. Paula has changed her
profile pic. Paula has changed her profile pic. Again.

These women of Inspire sit on the very same tightrope as two acclaimed performers named Common and Unique, each and all traversing without safety net nor umbrella. This grand thing called inspiration requires one to draw from the reserves of every single extraordinary and unnotably dull moment in our lives. Each brick laid in this foundation deserves its own profile pic.

Sometimes we are amazing.

Sometimes we are tired. Sometimes we love ourselves. Sometimes we suck.

The best profiles are the ones that morph and adapt. The best profiles evolve and squirm simultaneously with content and discontent. The best profiles are in motion, dancing between the fire-in-the-belly and the brutally mundane.

I sat down to my laptop to write. I was visited by a small pop-up window in the corner of my screen.

Facebook was advising me of a new Friend Suggestion.

Facebook was kind enough to retrieve a friend for me out of the lost depths of cyberspace.

Facebook thought I should be friends with this youngish girl petting a miniature goat.

I think I will like this new-old friend named Paula.