Social Media Detox – Day 11

It’s my 11th day without social media. I don’t know if I’m going to go back to Facebook, but right now it feels like the answer is “no.” I don’t miss it. I’m getting more done without it. I’m communicating one-on-one with more people, I’m not wasting time, and best of all, I’m at least 50% less anxious. Why go back to that online noisemaker, when I can be participating IRL?

Last night, the boyfriend and I went out to dinner at his favorite Mexican place, then went to visit an artist friend who has a booth at a local art market. I talked to various people, and had a wonderful time up until someone started talking about politics and I started feeling the first twinges of a panic attack. I explained what was happening, and that I needed to go home, then walked away. Overall, pretty manageable, and the night felt like a success, even given the anxiety at the end.

Today, I was supposed to go to a half-day meditation retreat, but I woke up late. Instead, I took my laundry to the laundromat, had breakfast with the boyfriend at one of our favorite coffee joints, then came home to watch the latest episode of Legion before he had to go to work. During that portion of the day, I had a friendly chat with two Uber drivers and the lady who owns the laundromat, Dinah. There were also non-committal nods exchanged with a friend of the boyfriend’s who doesn’t really like me that much. And of course, hours of conversation with the boyfriend.

Around 6:30, I headed to the Healing Center, a community center a few blocks from my home, to catch Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band play. They’re pretty well-known in the Kirtan music genre, and I’ve loved them for years. Without going into it too deeply, Kirtan music is meant to be sung/chanted along with, and for me, there’s nothing better than going to a concert where everyone’s supposed to be singing along. You get to singing along and it really touches your soul and makes you feel wonderful. I actually went out of my way to invite people to come with me, but there were tons of things going on tonight, and everyone was busy, so I ended up there by myself. But when you’re singing, you’re never alone, so it didn’t bug me. The concert was packed, too. The experience was so joyful and full of heart, and everyone was having a wonderful time.

There was a couple sitting in front of me that were pleasing, from a people-watching standpoint; from snippets of conversation, and judging from overall attire and attitude, the woman was into Kirtan, but the man had never attended a concert like this before. It seemed like he was a little resistant to the concert and chanting because of religious objections. Even so, he was putting in the effort to stay and check it out, and there were moments of the concert that touched him. We all sang along to a gorgeous rendition of “I’ll Fly Away,” for instance, and I saw him bobbing his head a couple of times during other songs, his shoulders less hunched and rigid. During one song, the crowd was encouraged to sing potent words from various religious paths in overlapping rounds. I was singing “Shalom, Shalom, Shalom…” and was really feeling it, letting my voice take on the Appalachian hiccupy warble that so often happens when it gets strong and is allowed to run away with itself. I had my eyes closed, just singing to my heart’s content, when I hear the guy go “Damn, you can SING!” and I opened my eyes to see him just staring at me with this shocked intensity. I was busy singing, so I just smiled his way and went back to eyes closed, heart open. Afterwards, I got swept out of the theater in the crush of people leaving, and didn’t get to talk to him, but I wish I had. I wanted him to know that I appreciated his kind words. I don’t get to sing nearly as much as I should. It makes me feel whole.

After the concert, there was a Voodoo ceremony in the main hall, so I went to watch some of that, as well. The crowd was large, so I was stuck behind a column, and couldn’t see much. I really enjoyed the drumming, though. I used to love percussion and hand drumming, though my rhythm isn’t that great (one of the reasons I never liked singing on stage that much, because most bands seem to expect the singer to also do some sort of percussion if they aren’t playing another instrument, and I’d always mess it up).

Now I’m home. Earlier I had plans to come home and clean the house, but I’m exhausted. I think I’ll just take a shower and call it a night. There’s a Zumba class at the gym tomorrow morning, and I mean to be there. Dancing and singing in one weekend! And tomorrow night at 7pm, there’s a meditation group that meets not far from here; hoping to catch that, as well.

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