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It's A Wonderful Virtual World
The Ultimate Virtual Trip
Now imagine all these. I am sharing hot cocos, and getting an inside scoop on Hollywood from Gina. I like that she holds her own as a celebrity, but i like it more that she's well grounded and loves family, like i do mine. Then i find myself transported to New Zealand, walking through my long lost schoolmate Lee's fabulous garden, or watching her work like a chef, preparing for a dinner party.. She's alway's been Ms Energy, and i could never keep up with her. I have laughs and guffaws with Tony over his wild jokes and Conservative rants. He can be intense, but he's really a cool guy. Being a photo hobbyist, i am into admiring the works of pro photographers, such as those of Jason, Tim and my nephew Jamie. I read blogs of hot 'hubbers', Watkins (The Historian/Musician), Sorensen, Evans, Vine, Fridmar, (too many to mention), and of course, our next-gen writers, e.g, my niece Nikka. And i celebrate milestones, like weddings, birthdays, newborns, awards, and so on. I'm happy when people are happy. Sad too, when there is loss. or calamity that visit families who are dear. I like that i can play surrogate mom to Andrea, from Czechoslovakia, who wants to understand more about relationships. Through my friend Wen, i have seen parts of Canada with his homemade videos, and have learned wine processing from his kitchen. Soon i will speak German, thanks to Jocelyn, and lastly, i am about to believe that my work matters because i just met the nicest fan/friend ever named Menchu.
I've got quite an exciting life, meeting very interesting people, reconnecting with old friends, and traveling to various places and countries, thanks to a silly mouse. And all these happens in real time. It of course requires balancing priorities, good time management, and being very very selective. You can pace yourself, because you're pretty much in control. Now, how nice is that? I feel very blessed to be alive, to experience the wonders and best of technology. What i am about to share is even mind boggling for me. Of course i'm aware of the evil connected with the Internet world, and i worry just like everybody else of the harm that it may cause. I take all kinds of precaution, and i pray to God that wisdom will protect me and those i love. For those who have forwarned me of predators, stalkers and con artists who are lurking in the shadows, thanks. I take your advise very seriously, and really appreciate the concern. The good news, or maybe bad news is, I'm not Oprah. I don't have millions, and i don't have that big a following.
Reason and Purpose
Although i have every reason to shun it, i made a choice to join the hundred millions of planeteers to participate in what i call electronic worlwide, phenomenal insanity. Yes, despite the fact that I have been letdown many times over for being a social person, and having experienced the worst of human co existence in a large community. This, despite the many tears and sleepless nights when i craved for a quieter life. Please, please, please. And the answer comes, but not the way you want it. So, the curtain fell, and that horrible chapter finally ended. When i probably should have kept it shut, but didn't. Was it me? Is it God speaking through my dear friend Conchita who said, " Go out there, don't hide. Shout it from the housetop will you!". Well, i did. Here i am, 'living it up', being ' Ms Congenitality', talking to strangers, or are they? I know some who are very curious, what's really behind all of this shamelessness? Why am i wasting my time facebooking, tweeting, sharing my guts, silly photos, food tripping, and even reposting other people's quotes. Isn't this the height of shallowness? With all the time i spend online, do i even have a job, or some more worthwhile thing to do. Something more lofty?
Now, here's the score. I love life, and feel a purpose inside me. I don't like sitting around, unless we can have good conversations. I can multi-task. and i have a career. My family will always come first, so i know where my priorities are. If you know me, then you know where I'm coming from. At this juncture in my life, as a mature woman, some suggest that i should try ballroom dancing, play Bingo, or simply retire quietly. Well, I don't plan to yet. You see, just when we sometimes think we're done, and we can call it a night, comes a new dawning. And we're surprised by the second wind God so kindly allows us. In my case i feel that with the same old original wings having been rewired, I'm about to soar into new heights. And, here's what's making life sweeter, more meaningful, if not wonderful.
Facebook of the mundane and miraculous?
I love that i don't miss family and friends, because we are mostly in Facebook. Aside from chatting, we do private messagings, and catch up. The photo and video sharing is a given, although some do it more than others. My daughter and i are crazy in this way. Like i said, we're not shy. We enjoy it when we "see" the where, when, what, who with, who did, and it feels like we were right there, and did not miss out.
Are you like me who read "Statuses", like news headlines for the day? I really love the broad spectrum, of daily unpredictability and the mishmash of emotions. Talk about a melting pot of sentiments. That's what community is all about after all, right? There is no difference if we were to live together, in the same neighborhood. We'd be doing the same things. Raving, bashing, cheering, celebrating, preaching and just being ourselves. I see these as expressions of life, like weaving in a tapestry. I'm not a psychiatrist, but i do know people from all over are trying to reach out, making statements, looking for answers, and maybe friends. This may not be true for others, and that's ok too.
One of the perks i so appreciate is how we are able to reconnect and reunite with people we have not seen in a long time, like old classmates, and in my case, former employees. Just how we manage to find each other is, to me, a real miracle. There's Deedee, Ruby, Susan, Ging, Cathy, Glenda, Joy, Annie, and Faye, mom's nurse for many years, until she passed on. It was the highlight of my recent trip, was our reunion, which we planned a year after we found each other in Facebook. We had the most delightful time at her home in San Francisco, and i was happy to thank her in behalf of our family, face to face.
One of my most endearing experience ever is that of my daughter's former grade school friend who we will call RB. To cut the story short, about a month ago, we were on the cell phone with RB, who was telling us that she was undergoing surgery in the brain, and that she was worried that she may not make it because of complications. I remember telling her, "We're going to wait for you in Hawaii, and we must do the hula. Please don't come as a ghost!". Unfortunately, we got a shocking inbox message from RB's cousin/ companion, translator for her attending Swiss/French doctors. Upon RB's instruction, we were informed of the outcome of the surgery. It was sad news that we received, that RB had gone into a coma. Our hearts sunk and we cried. But, we were not about to give up hope. So, we offered prayers and rallied trusted friends, many online, to join us. We waited, believing for a miracle. And lo and behold! Our prayers were answered, RB had awakened. We were crying again, but this time, tears of joy. We thanked God for His mercies. And, tadah! Today RB is up and about, and has even managed to send us a Christmas box of gifts. We eagerly await her visit with us, and the hula skirts are ready!
There's a myriad of stories to be told of the blessings we have experienced, in this somewhat very large, overwhelming virtual world. But, rather than see the threat of it's hugeness and strangeness, we embrace what it offers us. I like that i am finding my place in it, where great friendships are available, and opportunities to make a difference abound. Our daughter who has a big heart, responded to calls online, to assist victims of the super typhoon that hit Manila. This is how an outreach begun, by rallying support from the Islanders, and sending boxes filled with relief goods. This ministry continues and we value this work very much.
Everyday there is something new to discover, to learn, or someone who needs a listening ear, to cry to, or maybe, to cheer with. I'm thinking this moment about a dear family friend who is undergoing chemo, and shares her journey bravely and how her faith is carrying her. We are touched. I follow her postings, so i know what she is going through. I don't always make a comment, but i have sent her a private message just to let her know we are thinking about her, and lifting her up to God.
A daddy announcing that his daughter just got engaged, and will wed next year, was a surefire morning cheer for me. The Christmas cheers postings, coming from every corner of the world is so incredible, there's nothing more magical, if not inspiring. It's a wonderful virtual world, and i'm saying this with both feet on the ground!
Thanks to all you warm bodies out there, old friends, new friends, friends yet to be, you, you and you who love this new wave of insanity! God bless each and everyone of you!!!