Better late than never… (musings of a technophobe)

I’ve been having a bit of an inspiration shortfall the past couple of days, so I haven’t been very keen to write. Thankfully, the days have been friendly weatherwise, and I’ve taken to wandering through the woods with my trusty camera, so I’ve managed to keep the momentum going with a few photos.

I have a confession though.  I really didn’t want to start blogging, and I have a phobia against all things electronic or technical.

So nobody is more surpised than me that I’m finding my venture into the world of super-cyberdom to be quite an enjoyable experience so far. Blogborough is not really the scary place I’d anticipated and feared it would be. Since finally introducing myself to the ether exactly 12 days ago, the blogging community has made me feel shockingly at ease.

I think the reason for my acute techophobia is because I appear to have missed the rise of the machines along the way somewhere. When I was in school, it was notebooks and pens and textbooks and blackboards and chalk. Not a keyboard in sight, except the one attached to the piano in the hall that accompanied us while we sang hymns in Assembly. I went to an all-girls grammar school, and we were “gals” who were expected to excel in academics – none of that hands-on business, learning secretarial skills or typing or shorthand. Goodness no! That was for the High School riff-raff across the field!  The only practical skills we were trained in were Cookery and Needlework …. After all, what else would such ladies need in life ?

I didn’t do too brilliantly at that school – never did quite fit in with the programme, so to speak. And when I left, after trying my hand at a coupIe of colleges, I decided to take off and float around the world for a while. I hadn’t intended to disappear for more than a couple of weeks or so, but as it turned out, I stayed away from England for the next 17 years. No, I didn’t meet someone and settle down, nor did I become some CEO of a major company, nor spend time in some steamy forgotten jail… But I did become rather adept at bullshitting my way into some pretty interesting adventures over the years.      I digress, as usual…

The point of all this is that I basically wasn’t paying attention when the computer age took over, and now that it’s here, I don’t really know how to use it! I don’t know anything about mobile phones or cable TV or downloading or uploading or digital thingamibobs. I drive a 20-year-old car because it has no computer gadgets in it. I hunted high and low for a washing machine that has a fanbelt-driven cylinder, because I can’t get my head round computerised spin cycles. I can’t play games with my son on his PS3, because I have no hand-eye coordination or ability to remember the difference between pressing X or O or squares or triangles or whatever the heck else makes the soldier shoot! Mine just seems to duck all the time!

I tried Facebook once – became pretty obsessed with Farmville and pumpkin growing – but never really got into the need for letting everyone know my bowel movements every ten minutes. I had a “friend” who once announced her status as “I feel like ten tons of shit and wish a bus would just run over my head.” If that wasn’t bad enough, ten people had sent her that little thumbs-up sign to say they liked it!

Maybe it’s me – I’ve been accused of being “antisocial” for as long as I can remember – but when another “friend” sent a status update to Facebook from her I-phone no less, to tell the world, “I’ve been standing in the queue at Primark for five minutes already! Why doesn’t the shop assistant stop talking, and just get on with serving?!”  I decided it wasn’t really my thing.

So, when the suggestion of blogging arose recently, I can honestly say I didn’t go quietly into the good night. I know I want to write my thoughts down somewhere, and I’ve tried and failed many times to keep some form of diary, but I find too many reasons not to pursue anything for more than a couple of hours. I’ve had to force myself recently just to keep a mood chart. But, having been encouraged by a young woman at my Creative Writing group who has a personal poetry blog, I decided to take the plunge and write something online.

I had heard that writing can be particularly therapeutic for someone like me – a bit of a hermit, no real outlets, but with a head brimming with the constant hubbub of ideas and questions and imaginations and realisations, even when I sleep.  I don’t do well in social circles, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about myself in public – but I think it’s about time I let out some of the steam out of the pressure cooker.

I have no real agenda for the blog, but I know that, despite my illness and all its efforts to drag me to places I don’t want to go, I don’t want to give it any power. So I will not get doomy and gloomy – even if I feel it. I have decided that I am content to reveal parts of me honestly, and sometimes candidly, but I want to feel I can invite anyone to read it – even my son sometime down the road – without need for censoring or disclaimers, or the excuse that “I was having a bad day when I wrote that.”

Pressing the “publish” button was the bravest thing I’ve done since admitting I was moonlighting at “Boobs” discoteque in Plymouth when I was still President of my college Students Union..!  But I’m glad I did (press the button, that is), because in the few days I have been writing and posting photos, I have received some really encouraging feedback.

I don’t crave approval by any means, but I must admit it’s quite a nice feeling when someone acknowledges that they “like” the post I’ve submitted, or goes out of their way to send a positive comment. Especially if a “real” photographer says they like a photo I’ve taken, or a writer appreciates what I have written. Having spent the majority of my adult years wandering the world on my own, it is a rather warm feeling to actually feel as if I’m part of something larger than just me.

Wonderland’s a pretty good place to be right now, and I’m having a blast!

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]


Categories: Alice's world, Cyclothymia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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