A couple of days ago I used the word funzies in an email to a friend. (I didn’t know whether to put quotation marks around word or funzies in that sentence, so I’m just leaving them out altogether.) She came back with “Funzies? That doesn’t sound like you.” She’s right, it doesn’t sound like me. For starters, I don’t often use abbreviations of any kind. I really, really like words, which means that I generally dislike the bastardized play-words that are such seductive, fizzy social shorthand. So why did I say it?
I’d intended it sarcastically, since the thing I was complaining about was anything but fun. That started me thinking about the way I use abbreviated language and sarcasm. Whatever my original intention is, I think the end result when I use lazy language is masking my experience, rather than conveying it. Using commonly recognized shorthand ends up creating a layer of distance.
For practice, I read back over what I’d written in the original email, and tried to pick out what I had actually been feeling. It turned out to be about 6 parts jealousy, 3 parts anger and 1 part sadness. Of course, figuring that out resulted in my feeling a bonus 1 part of shame – I don’t like admitting that I was jealous, so I shorthanded my way out of it the first time around. I felt less jealous, less angry and less sad after the second attempt, though.
I sometimes feel like I’m getting worse at expressing myself instead of better. That can’t really be true, but it is true that I’m easily influenced by tone. I struggle for bravery and authenticity a lot of the time. Having an online business means I live a lot of my life online, and for me that makes the struggle harder. I’m so easily influenced by the mood and tone of whatever conversational pool I’m currently swimming in. From time to time, I start to feel my attention and intention fracturing and I have to take a social internet break for a couple of days to remember what my true voice sounds like.
I think maybe I’m coming up on a break. Not for any big revelations, just to try to do better.