Okay, it is time to admit it: I started to miss social media. My phone, aside from the “call” and “text” functions (okay, and WhatsApp) seems like a glorified clock. Well, I do still use the camera. But anytime I take my phone, I might look into the browser (there are things that I might read Someday, there), I can clear some data, take a selfie and check emails… and then I run out of things to do. It is not a little eerie that a thing that used to occupy many of my precious HOURS is now seemingly useless.
But here is the one thing I don’t miss: Brexit. Even with my limited media intake at present, trying to actively avoid knowledge of it while preparing for its eventual presence, it is ubiquitous. Friends send links; my radio/alarm clock device talks about Theresa May with relish while I blearily try to get my bearings in the morning; randomly picked up newspapers share that David Cameron bought himself a cottage to write his memoirs. Nice job if you can have it, I suppose.
The word on everybody’s lips appears to be… Brexit (sung to Chicago’s “Roxie”, of course) and while I understand why, I’ll admit to being weary. I would like to be more of an activist, and when I rebuild my mental health and good online habits, I will likely look into pragmatic and not-burnout-threatening ways to engage; however right now self-care and showing up at a heavily understaffed workplace (my current line of non-artistic work attracts a lot of immigrants…) take up all available energy and time. I am doing small things, like cooking and essential oil baths, and bigger things – like applying for festivals and figuring out my artistic plans; I might, at some point, resurrect F*cking European as it is undoubtedly timely. What I refuse to do is be buried in a news avalanche. I have good sleeping habits; I intend to keep those.
For now, three weeks in this self-imposed fast, I find myself reflecting on the power of boundaries – a topic that has been more and more relevant of late. In trying to consciously engage, I have refused to be drawn into the information miasma, refused to be swallowed by the clickbait monster. In the attention economy, I am hoarding my precious currency, mostly because – tired as I feel – I want to spend every penny on things that matter. In this last stretch to Brexit, many things matter less… and things that used to be less important matter more. Example: I take joy in throwing things out and arranging them to my satisfaction: it’s a physical representation of the streamlining process that my life is currently undergoing.
I discovered of late that while I could go to Berlin or Warsaw and start everything anew, I value the life I made; I have found friends, career and love here; I want to stay. Working towards a sustainable life that would allow me to do that occupies a large portion of my attention. It feels terrifying and vulnerable to admit that much; to be attached; to be at the mercy of Home Office in this way. But that’s the way my path seems to lie. I’ll tidy socks, make a freezer dinner and start learning for the Life In The UK Test. At least my pub quiz career has given me some preparation…. and while I live the uncertainty, I don’t know how to finish this post. It’s hard to say that I am purely hopeful; but I’m being pragmatic and taking care of myself. As per site policies, right now that is good enough.