The Internet warps reality. If you're an Internet person, real life will fall short of what you have been privy to online -- sexually, emotionally. It's so unreal and gives you this sense of order where there isn't any. You can't drag and paste life! - Jennifer Aniston, Marie Claire; March 2009
The context of this quote is in regards to online dating as she, Drew Barrymore, and Ginnifer Goodwin, three beautiful and single actresses are discussing their new movie "He's Just Not That Into You." (Which I am dying to see because of the cast and because it is set in Baltimore!) Of course, it is preposterous to think that a major celebrity (or even not-so-major celeb) would be on match.com... come on now.
Anyhow, I really related to this quote, even though I'm certainly not trying to find a mate on a dating site or anywhere else. Also, for the record, I do not think that online dating is such a bad thing since I know plenty of successful relationships that stemmed from such websites. I think the key is to meet soon after hitting it off on the internet - otherwise, it might be easy to let the power of anonymity take over.
I am going through a bit of a funk lately and I believe that the computer is partially to blame. I was reading my Marie Claire during lunch today and Aniston's quote was really a much-needed smack in the head. I really need to spend more time doing the real things that I enjoy and not just cultivating my Internet-fueled A.D.D.
Running has been a God-send in this regard. Yesterday, I could not wait to get outside and go for a run. Week three of my running group started this week and I am already absolutely addicted to my runs. I used to require my ipod during runs but now that I am legitimately enjoying my runs, I realize that I do not need the distraction of music. Part of the experience of running is letting my mind wander while using all of my senses to take in the world around me. I hear snippets of conversations as I pass walkers. I smell the coffee brewing as I run past the Hard Bean Coffee shop. My eyes take in the beauty of the historic buildings and houses. (And when I don't wear glasses, everything looks like a Monet painting, so bonus for not being able to find my glasses. It's like running through art - or something.)
For the first time in my life, I am doing something that is very humbling and sometimes embarrassing, but I do not have any desire to quit. I am slow. Very, very slow. While this is a beginner's class, I have reason to believe some of these women aren't actually beginners because they're so swift and energetic. I have had a couple of incidents that made me want to run and HIDE. Last Saturday, as I was running towards the end of the pack with another girl, the coach asked her what she was thinking. I thought that she said, "Not giving up!" and since I was breathless and not really thinking of anything, I thought that sounded like a good answer to repeat when he asked me. "I'm also thinking of not giving up!" My hearing is not so good and I realized that I heard wrong when the coach admonished us with, "you can NOT be thinking about throwing up or not throwing up!" Oh mannnnn! I didn't SAY THAT! Damn It! But, I just took the hit and kept going. For once, I didn't care if I had the last word.
Last night, we took a run through the streets of historic Annapolis. I was running alone this time since the other girl who is normally the same speed as myself was having some pain and slowed herself down a bit. The coach will run up and down our route to check in with us and he did ask if I knew where I was going. I really thought that I did. Apparently, I did not. I took a left turn one block early and felt very disoriented. I knew I wasn't far from where I was supposed to be, but I couldn't figure out whether I should continue in the direction I was going or turn around. Finally, I saw through an alleyway, the street that I was supposed to have been on. Upon my arrival on the correct street, I noticed that I inadvertently took a bit of a short cut. I. Swear. To. God. I didn't mean to! Of course - OF COURSE - that is the moment that the running coach is jogging down the road... just in time to see me try to shave 1/4 mile off of my run. I explained to him afterwards that I was lost and probably need to stick with another runner from now on. He patted my shoulder and said, "sure" although, I really don't know whether he actually had faith in my answer or if he made a mental note to keep an eye on Stephanie - the cheater.
I am determined to show that my heart is in this. And I'm also learning that I can look like a huge doofus to people around me, but as long as I have confidence and faith in myself, it really doesn't matter how I "look" to other people.
So, I updated my Facebook status today to say that I am challenging myself to not get on the Internet at night. I have access to the Internet all day long at work and if there is anything that I really need to know about, I trust my family and friends to give me a call. The Internet provides instant gratification. I can go on Facebook and there is ALWAYS someone there writing something witty or funny or posting new pictures or ready to play a word game. There is always a conversation going on in the forum that I belong to. There is always mail in my gmail inbox. If I were bored ten years ago, I would go outside for a walk, go to the library, pick up a magazine. Today, I log on to the computer. What I need to remember is that life outside of the Internet is healthy and real. The articles, conversations, and emails will STILL be there tomorrow, but I might not be... so while I have time that can be spent away from a desk, after spending 8 hours chained to one, I really need to learn to embrace it and enjoy every minute of it.