Maybe We’re Sitting At The Wrong Table?

So many humans, so many pictures, so many thoughts, so many voices. Everyone, or at least that’s what it seems like, wants to advertise various parts of their life.  

Be it an amazing product.

An easy meal.

Their gorgeous house.

Some marriage advice.

A favorite book.

A political opinion.

A way to eat, to exercise, to dress, to stay organized, to wake up that’s the best.

A no-fail trick to a better ______________.

We are bombarding one another with supposedly free information, throwing it out there because we can, after all we’re only practicing generosity, we reason with ourselves. Or are we?

Is this really what it means to be generous?

This girl has a major case of the AHHHHHHHHHs!!! (translation: screaming at the top of my lungs)

My appetite for this very interesting online culture has been rapidly diminishing over the last few months.

But Charissa, you might be saying, you share your writing here on the internet

That’s true, I do, and I’m hesitant every time I hit publish.

I don’t want you, my dear readers, to have one more reason to be on your phone another second consuming more free stuff. I know we’re all wanting to stay grounded in the soil beneath us, doing our best to form connection with friends in our same city or across the street. Our ambitions include holding our children and our husbands more, taking longer walks, letting the elements slam our skin, and engaging with our fleshy life instead of trying to escape from the often painful or boring present.  

We all are dying for this lack of real front porch, fresh air kind of living, aren’t we?  

I don’t know how you experience it, but for me a quick trip into the online world is comparable to swimming underwater for way too long.

Within a few minutes, I’m struggling for air, the alarm bells are going off in my head – come up for air, come up for air, come up for air… now!

Splashing and sputtering, water spewing out of my mouth in every direction. Weak and exhausted from nearly drowning, I use what strength I have left to crawl up towards the shore, letting the warmth of the sun bring me back to life. What just happened, I wonder to myself. You nearly died.  

Shaken and tense, my body takes awhile to be able to stand up and walk again.

I know that sounds overly dramatic to some of you, but that is honestly my experience of the interwebs in a nutshell.

I find myself in a curious space as a writer, as a human. I want to engage with my culture and generation, I have a voice and ideas to share and yet feel entirely overwhelmed with the array of information available at my fingertips.  

I hear everyone saying to me, there’s space for you at the table, there’s space, come take a seat! Don’t be shy! We need you!

And that is true. I understand my voice, my presence is vital, significant, unique. However, I can’t help but think, maybe I’m sitting at the wrong table.

Ever feel like that? Like maybe you’re sitting at the wrong table and you need to be over there?

Sure, you’re honored to be invited to the table, but what you’re slightly afraid to admit is that you actually don’t want to pull up a chair here. You want to wander outside and plop down with the bunch of weirdos under the pine trees, on the bright green grass, where the sun is making every eye squinty.

There’s no table out there, only a patchwork of quilts and worn blankets. It’s a scattered picnic, as every picnic should be. There’s no formal seating, there’s a few scuffed tables covered with a hodgepodge of treats. You can stand, walk, sit in a chair or a swing in hammock, play, run, or take a nap. The conversation is just as random. And any influencing we have on one another is totally organic, unforced. The sharing comes free of any and all agendas.

It’s taken me years to admit that these are the kind of down-to-earth spaces where my generosity feels simple and true. That this is where I feel most myself and sharing my heart and words and life is a natural and slow outflow.  

Maybe you want to join me? I’m calling it the wild spaces. Out here we can scream as loud as we want!

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