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You Don't Know About My Life

Idaho entered Phase 2 of the Grand Re-opening from the pandemic-induced shutdown today. This basically means most businesses can open, including gyms and restaurants. Milestone? I guess. It seems to me most people have already decided what phase of re-opening they are personally choosing to be in, regardless of government mandates or lack thereof. Many people are done listening to government orders and have already taken a "to hell with it" approach, opting to resume all of their previous activities. Others are still living in significant fear and clinging to the lockdown, not wanting to move forward. Some are middle-of-the-road, but that doesn't make interesting news.

The level of division this pandemic is creating seems huge, with widely varying opinions and theories. I've remained unplugged from social media for the last 6 weeks because it's too much conflict for my harmony-loving spirit. People are angry and finding all the ways we differ; rather than finding commonalities and unity. When the pandemic started, there was a #weareallinthistogether spirit, globally and locally. As the crisis has played out, the tensions and divisions between us seem to be rising, nationally and globally. Globalization and our "all in it togetherism" are being replaced by finger pointing and a protectionist attitude. Finger pointing, judgement, criticism, and divisiveness are more viral than the virus itself at this point.

Or so you would be led to believe by the media/social media.

I have too much optimism to stay stuck in that rant. I know personally that there is so much goodness, love, and generosity going around right now. We just don't create highlight reels of these gestures like we do of the sensational BS that absorbs the bandwidth of media. I know so many generous people and businesses who are taking a significant negative hit due to the pandemic, yet they are going out of their way to give more than they take during this time. Our real estate business has certainly been negatively impacted by decreased transaction volume over the last couple months, but the team at Galli + Seidl Real Estate decided to send out 100 boxes of Chip cookies to clients this week in order to spread some love and happiness through a small act of kindness. I don't bring it up for kudos, but it's important to me that we start focusing more energy on unity and acts of kindness that are happening all around us. Chocolate chip cookies, though loved by all, aren't very newsworthy.

We get so hung up on the differences between us. From the time we are young, we are told that our differences are what make us unique. There's truth to this, but in exploring our small uniqueness, we often ignore the more significant commonalities that unite us. My blog, of all things, has really shown me how true that is. Turns out, I'm not that unique or different after all.

You Don't Know About My Life

From the time I was a very young child, I had this sense of being different and misunderstood. Although it's amusing to laugh at today, when the 5-year old Melissa would get really frustrated, she would say "YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT MY LIFE!" Perhaps a tad dramatic for a 5-yr old, but I believe I have carried a bit of you don't know about my life chip on my shoulder throughout my life. It was my way of saying that I wanted to feel heard, seen, and respected. My belief that I was different, unseen, or unheard was an illusion...that I created.

When my mom first read my blog earlier this year, she commented that my writing has the ability to put into words what so many of us are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. For a girl who once believed that nobody knew about my life, being told that the strength of my writing is actually how relatable it is, pretty much smashes the notion that I'm somehow different and misunderstood. I'm still quirky. I know many of my beliefs and opinions are mine and mine alone. I embrace those differences. But in the bigger picture, I'm just like the majority of you. And the majority of you are just like the majority of everyone else.

We're not that different. We all have a fundamental need for the same things, regardless of where we live or our financial status on this planet. Family. Love. Community. Purpose. Meaning. Food. Shelter. So why do we become so Fox News vs MSNBC in the way we define ourselves and treat others? This isn't just a rhetorical question. Think about it because it applies to the division we are seeing between people and between countries today. And I'm not just talking about political differences.

The answer, I believe, is that it's a 5-year old "YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT MY LIFE!" tantrum. It's an illusion that we are defined by our differences and we aren't seen, heard, or respected. Focusing on differences creates a distraction from focusing on real challenges that are inherent in fulfilling the common needs that we all share when we have limited resources. Focusing on the differences gives us permission to only look out for numero uno. How do I make sure my my needs are met for family, love, community, purpose, meaning, food, shelter? How do we make sure our [insert: family, business, city, state, country, world] makes it through this?

The Covid pandemic seems to be unleashing a nation of people saying "YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT MY LIFE" and having a need to be seen, heard, and respected. My hypothesis is that if we let that illusion go and instead focus on the commonalities between us all, we would feel a great sense of strength in unity and connection. We may treat each other with a little more compassion and kindness. The media may be a little less interesting. Social media may be a place to connect again. We may have to look at our own actions instead of judging others'. And we may focus on creating innovations and solutions that positively impact a greater number of people.

As it turns out, You really do know about my life. Because it's not that different from yours. And though we might have different feelings about what we should or shouldn't do during the pandemic, we are ultimately connected. That means our responses are connected too. Let's elevate and create a positive ripple effect by focusing our energy on our common compassion, togetherness, and rising together rather than falling apart.

♡ Melissa


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