portrait of a life: happy?

One week ago today, I was lying in bed, cranky, feeling like I had nothing to say.

I wish I could say this Wednesday was different. But, regrettably, I’m just as grouchy as ever and Daisy still struggles with “heel.”

I am lying here, unwinding at the end of an emotionally chaotic day. I’m convinced my phone is probably slowly killing me and that’s what I’m thinking about mostly. What do I flip through the most? Social media, my maps in case I forget how to get to Target, my weather app so I can keep tabs on the temperature at all times, my favorite clothing site so I can look at more blouses that I don’t need, my email (which is mostly junk) and my library app where all my audiobooks are stored.

This is what my life looks like, neat and compact in a cute little collage. I created a setting on my phone that would track my usage, but I never check it. I don’t know want to know, not really, how many hours are being sucked into a cyber vortex. Hours I will never get back.

I think of it often. How much of my life is lived distractedly?

Sometimes, it feels like moving backwards… feels like reaching, watching that thing you desire most grow smaller and smaller until it is nothing more than a tiny, annoying dot in your vision, or many dots, like the aftermath of a camera flash. It feels like running on a treadmill resting on an oscillating earth.

Cavernous with complexities is my heart and its desires; base and one-dimensional seems my reality. I keep my head down, eyes glued to a tiny screen as brain synapses fire, dopamine released every time the screen clicks or flashes. I rush fast-paced to online checkouts, willing and eager to drop a hard earned buck on whatever formula or gadget the targeted ads have convinced me I need. I am throughly entrained. Doped up. Stupid happy and falsely content, clicking and scrolling my way through life as my shelves are stocked higher and higher and higher. Quick access to everything, I lack nothing.

And yet… the caverns of my heart sit untamed. Dark and unvisited. I consider them sometimes but find them too scary and retreat, telling myself I will explore and expound when I’m older, braver, skinnier, less busy. It’s funny: I wait until I am less busy as I mindlessly click my day away and all the the while the cavelike halls of my heart are stirring, teeming with ecosystems of wonder.

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