January 31, 2016

Old and Ugly and Gross

“If I’ve properly studied what’s going on in me, there’s a good chance it’ll read as if it’s about you.” Alain de Botton

Today wasn’t great. It wasn’t so great in a bad way, just in a not so great way. The day never really felt like it got off the ground. You ever have days like that? Ran a few errands in the morning that didn’t have the intended results. Although, Kaia came with me and we had some- sing-Pearl Jam-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-father daughter time.

The rest was mediocre.

The timing of my showers was off, and as a result I felt a bit sweaty for most of the day. Timing your showers in South East Asia is a key survival skill.

I didn’t eat right. I had some random McDonald's Fries, a Coke and an Apple Pie around 3pm that was not a good idea. This is my go to gluttonous, feel guilty for supporting corporate devils, but do it more often than I care to admit, snack.

It was cloudy and grey and the pool was uninspiring. I’m not cutting my hair or shaving my beard until the end of February, when I will shave it all off for our annual Hair for Hope event, but today the young beard was itchy and gross, and the hair felt a bit like a helmet. I was not comfortable in my own skin.

I felt old and ugly and gross.

We also took Kaia to get a manicure, watched Lemony Snicket, fell into a nap, and bought some bread from the store.

Sometimes when I’m bored I google myself. You might think this particular act is nothing more than narcissistic navel-gazing, (Kind of like writing a long Facebook status/blog post everyday for a year) and you might be right, but you might also think that I am tending, with due diligence, to my digital foot print.

Because I have chosen to put so much of my life online, it feels like the responsible thing to do- is to know what is out there for when/if anyone should type my name into the search engine.

Tonight, the results were about the same as usual. The main page was Twitter, my blogs, Facebook, Flickr and some random work I have done on other sites. The images were all kosher too. Mostly the thousands of profile pics I have used for various social media, a few shots of Kaia and actually lots of pictures from my PLN (personal learning network). The video section also checked out- youtube channel front and center, followed by clips of me singing at school and a variety of videos I have made for workshops in the last few years. The pleasant surprise was when I clicked on news.

I wasn’t expecting to see much of anything, but there were at least seven or eight websites that had used my Creative Commons Licensed photos for their content. A few shots of workers I had taken in Doha, a photo of Kaia dressed up as a scientist was on two STEM pages, and a shot of Singapore was on some travel site. They were all correctly attributed which was good. There was also some French article about me from 2011 when I was in Hong Kong. Not sure what it said exactly, I hope it was good.

It was reassuring to know that a kind and communal internet is possible. Not everything has to be viral or troll-laden. We can create content and openly share it with other people who might need it. Seems like a simple concept, this internet, but sometimes if feels like it has gotten too murky.

I read today that there are gangs of roaming violent boys from Morocco, harassing people at a train station in Stockholm. And recently a vigilante gang of masked Swedes went into said station and beat them up. This story feels like a lose-lose for humanity.

Lessons Learned:

  • Not everyday is going to be great, or inspiring or even that interesting. 
  • Some days are just meant to pass by. 
  • Living your life online needn’t be scary and your work and ideas can end up in interesting places. 

  1. Tell us about a mediocre day you recently had. 
  2. Google yourself right now and share the results. Anything surprising? 

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