In the years since my coming out and living as Rowan, I´ve begun to detest things that are not genuine. During the commemorative service in church (see part II of this post), the pastor described this as “chattering”. And chattering is everywhere. There is chattering on Twitter, but also on WhatsApp, Facebook…
There isn´t just chattering on our computers and phones, but also in our minds, constantly. Thinking about what picture we´ll post on social media, reading some comments on a YouTube video, or venting our opinion about the opinion of someone else. We are just… never in “The Moment”.
I am not saying that social technology is wrong. Sometimes, it helps us connect with other people. We read each other´s blogs and stories. We see each other´s (cat) pictures. We are always engaged – and by doing so, we are disengaged from presence and from the true power in ourselves.
The paradox here is that we hide from the things we seek. We seek to be someone, we seek communication, we seek to be seen and to be heard. And yet we seldom really experience these things. And yet the first step in doing so, is to start being yourself. To feel your heart beat. To notice your own presence.
From the moment I´ve started living as Rowan, to this past week, I had felt a gnawing emptiness and growing anger towards the chattering of the world. I wanted to stand still randomly in the street, to gaze at the sky. To bend over and smell the scent of perfume on some rosebushes. To stare in wonder at the world.
But I was scared. Because people don´t randomly stop in the middle of the street. They don´t stare skywards for ten minutes. They don´t do relaxation and breathing exercises in the middle of a busy shopping center. Those things are generally reserved for special areas: meditation retreats, spa´s.
But why? Is awareness a hobby, that it should be constricted to a “spiritual” place? Is being yourself something only new-age weirdos practice? Is it just fashionable, and trendy, to be present? Bull-shit. Fear of other people stops when you accept and allow your true self in this world.