The Small Yet Big of Modern Life

small yet big lifeBy most reasonable standards I lead a small life.  As Nora Ephron said ‘valuable but small.  And sometimes I wonder do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave?’  That question kind of hangs over me and when I’m feeling up to it I ponder its implications.

How is my life small?  Well, I’m single.  I don’t date a lot or hang out with lots of friends.  I used to but most of that has passed on to infrequent yet prized get-togethers with individuals.  Swim season is a bit different because that tends to be a group activity and I do have book club.  Still, there is something about having a marriage partner and children that stretches a person outside the circle of a single influence.

My life is also small because I have chosen to work from home and I am not currently going to school. I have had people tell me I should get a regular corporate job because I’d have a better chance of meeting someone than in my current situation.  You might as well tell me to sign up for a stint in prison because I could meet someone there.  My happiness is just too valuable to sacrifice for the small chance of widening my circle of friends/dates.

Nowhere do I feel smaller than at church.  I am part of a family-based faith.  People are friendly, even bending over backwards to include us single saints, but the difference is always there.  They are living a huge part of the gospel that I am not.  In that sense, it is a smaller life than they get to lead.

But wait…

If my life is small how come I will post a video in a few minutes and it will get viewed by friends (yes friends) in London, UAE, Germany, Florida, DC, California etc? Same is true with my blog posts.  This very post should have between 150-500 views this week alone.

I’ve been having terrible headaches lately and have received advice from people all over the world.  Isn’t that such a weird thing?

So under a certain lens my life is very big. I’ve gotten to the point on my youtube channel (over 800 subs!)  and movie blog that I post most days.  Not only is it a blast going to the movies (and other reviews) but it satisfies such a creative longing I didn’t even know I had.  Every day I write, film, edit, promote, design material for all of my content (and also for work of course).  The creative energy is really quite remarkable.

Then of course you have all the social media that helps us connect with friends and make new friends.  I am soooo grateful for this service in my life.  I can’t tell you how many days I’ve started tweeting or following a post on facebook and it has brightened my day.  Of course, there are the trolls and rude people but isn’t that the case in any group experience in real life or online?  I think so!

At this point I have been blogging for 8 years (you longtimers- can you believe it?).  I’ve been on facebook for 9. I’ve had times where I wonder- do I have anything left to say?  But then an idea will come and my fingers will fly!

So, my life is very small and big at the same time. Perhaps this is just modern life for everyone?

Do you feel that way about your life at times?  How do you deal with moments of loneliness that we all experience from time to time?

Continuing on with the Nora Ephron quote:

“So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.

So good night, dear void…”

9 thoughts on “The Small Yet Big of Modern Life

  1. Loneliness has been my lot in life (despite the “adventures” I’ve had), so I’ll presume to pontificate:

    Realistically, one is always alone, no matter where one goes, or what one does, or with whom. One can be just as lonely – if not more so – when married with children. And whether or not the people one meets are in the Church, it may be constitutionally difficult for one to “make friends,” so being married with children is no guarantee that an active LDS member will “fit” in a family ward.

    Employment outside the home does not necessarily constitute a “better chance” of finding a life’s companion. In many job situations, the forming of such a relationship is not advisable, so many employers forbid fraternization, and will not retain spouses, for fear of nepotism. Besides, if the only thing one has in common with another is the same sort of paid work, that’s not good enough to sustain long-term, loving companionship.

    I’ve always enjoyed being a people-watcher, so my life never felt small until disability and disease made me a shut-in. The Internet is now my only connection with the rest of the world, but a screen is no substitute for being there, so it’s discouraging when no matter what I post or where I post it, it gets little or no notice. (I guess I’ll just have to download an audio file of crickets, and play it on a continuous loop.)

    “Wallflower” can be a comfortable and rewarding social role (although I have not always acted like one). Those who use that term disparagingly do not know how beautiful real wallflowers are. (Do a Wikimedia Commons search, and you’ll see what I mean.)

    Finally, I have news for the late, great Nora: “Bravery” is often attributed to people who are impulsive, thoughtless, and/or heedless of consequences. Also, in reference to her rhetorical “cosmic” question: No, it shouldn’t be the other way around. Books and life are the lanes on the same two-way street.

    1. Thanks for your insight. Yes loneliness is a human condition but I think there is something unique about not having children or a marriage partner. People like to pretend there are no differences but that’s not true.
      Anyway it was more the dichotomy of my life I was thinking about. How it is both small and big I was thinking about. It’s an interesting aspect to modern life.
      That would be hard to be a shut in when it’s not your nature especially with how bold your life is.
      I will definitely be googling Wallflowers now! Nobody has ever accused me of being a Wallflower but I think extroverts have their own kind of social distress.

      1. Yes, there are significant differences between the single and married (and the parent versus the childless) states, but true loneliness does exist in both of them.

        Laypeople may tend to think that extroversion is “normal,” but your observation about social distress has psychological validity. Extroverts can be just as lonely as introverts.

        Frankly, I would not consider your life to be small in any respect (spoken as one who has struggled with the conflict between comfortable introversion and the risks of attempting other goals), because you seem to be able to do all the things that you really want to do.

        1. I guess just small in the number of people I interact with on a daily basis but it’s definitely true what you say about loneliness and extroverts

  2. And I do think there is a difference between not fitting in a family ward and being in a religion that is fundamentally centered on family, marriage. There’s a whole huge part of the gospel that I dont participate in. I love my church because it’s true but it can be a small life in a gospel sense.
    I guess I dont say these things to engender pity or to get answers but more to ponder the reality of my life. I have this strange dichotomy of feeling small and large at same time. Perhaps everyone has that but it’s nonetheless interesting to explore

    1. I guess I have been able to divide my religious beliefs from the way that other members practice or show theirs. It doesn’t bother me, in the eternal sense, not to have a partner, because I can take comfort in the promises. But I know it can be isolating to feel that one doesn’t fit in to one’s congregation because one isn’t married, or is married and has no children, or has “not enough” children (I kid you not: the attitude is there).

      The way I see it, the strangeness of feeling small and large at the same time is one of the ways we’re prompted to participate in eternal progression, instead of resting on our laurels.

      1. Fair enough but a fundamental part of the religion is you must be married to be exalted. That’s a huge part of gospel I’m not currently participating in. It’s not just a congregation thing but a fundamental part of the faith itself.

        That’s a good point about the dichotomy encouraging progression and I suppose all introspection is a tool to help us grow

        1. Those who have been unable to make that covenant in this life are under no condemnation, and in the justice and mercy of God, they are promised to receive every blessing they should have. Exactly how that will happen has not been revealed, but apparently a temple marriage while on Earth is not the only way.

        2. I get that but it’s nevertheless a fundamental part of the gospel. I dont know how that can be denied. They have an entire proclamation just on family and marriage. Right now in my life there is a fundamental part of my religion I dont participate in. That’s the way it is. Anyway that’s how I see it.

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