I came to Facebook kicking and screaming.
I mean, if I am going to be honest about my introduction, I’d have to admit that it was peer pressure that pushed me into the deep end of the pool of status updates. You see, the night before Super Bowl 2010 I was visiting my BFF Noelle and she was singing the praises and magical abilities of this new social networking site.
Sure, by then, I had heard the faintest of whispers about it and was aware of its existence, but like so many things in my life, I ignored and scoffed at it.
Truthfully, I just couldn’t understand the hype.
But there I was on a cold February morning surrendering my most personal information and email address to little blue icons, wondering what would happen once I hit PUBLISH and Kirsten Anne Kovaleski Piccini was thrust back into the lives of others.
It didn’t take long for the friend requests to land in my inbox and while they did, I pushed back the emotions and memories of each one.
The first boy to kiss me…
The girls who made fun of me in 8th grade…
Women that I had spent my 20’s being employed and drunk with…
Old friends from the 1st college I attended, then some from the 2nd and still others from the 3rd…
Handfuls of ex-boyfriends, my stomach spinning and flipping with the same butterflies I had experienced when I had met them and they had become part of my life.
I spent the next few days updating my page too frequently and exchanging “how are you?” chats with the people of my past. It was surreal to visit the village that had watched me grow up, who knew my story as much as I knew theirs.
The truth? As I wrote and send virtual hugs throught the screen I felt exposed, vulnerable and hopelessly in need of acceptance.
I wish I could tell you that I wasn’t ashamed of who I was in that moment, but it was my memories of the people that would see my pictures, read about my life and sit behind their computer to pass judgment on me…again…that scared me silly.
She once called me a slut…
He’s married now and “look at how adorable his children are”…
The ghosts I prayed I had banished all came back to visit me in the form of wedding pictures, college degrees, new exciting lives and birth announcements.
My history played each moment over again like an 8MM movie reel in my mind bringing me anxious tears, thoughtful ‘what ifs?” and bittersweet recollections of laughter, friendships, shenanigans and stormy breakups.
But in those moments I was relieved to find that there was nothing to be afraid of in my past.
I was still Kirsten, for better or worse.
So I let Facebook became a well traveled memory lane where all of my life’s crossroads met but it was finally my turn to choose the direction.
So often in our lives, defining moments occur when our past and our present or our future clash.
For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, write a memoir post describing such a time and the results.
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