“And I’m glad I didn’t know…
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could’ve missed the pain…
But I’d have had to miss the dance.” ~Garth Brooks, “The Dance”
Ah…some of the most profound lyrics (to me, anyway) of any song ever written. There are endless painful situations in my life to which I’ve applied those words: my divorce, the untimely death of my children’s father, relationship endings…to name just a few.
Those lyrics are also the condensed musical embodiment of what life is like when one has a Pisces Ascendant.
As someone who has been afflicted/cursed/stricken with this dreadful Ascendant, I have an unenviable tendency to look backward, with one foot planted firmly in the past most days…occasionally even one and a half feet! It’s practically a hobby of mine to rehash past events (typically, a failed relationship), as I long for what once was, what could have been, what should never have been, and what I could have done differently. Add to that a forward-thinking Aquarius Moon continually trying to detach me emotionally, throw in one stubborn, impatient Aries Sun who wants what it wants this instant – and not a second later if you know what’s good for you – and you’ve got yourself one perplexed, half-crazy blonde.
Let’s examine this further.
Facebook. A wonderful social media outlet, allowing us to not only keep in touch with family and friends by posting pictures and statuses chronicling the excruciating minutiae of our lives, but to also make like-minded new friends and reunite with old friends. I’ve done all of these things! Right now, in fact, I’m sitting in the home of a Leo girlfriend of mine from middle school, whom I hadn’t seen or been able to locate in 20 years…but finally found again through the magic of Facebook. Just a few hours ago, I spent over an hour and a half on the phone with one of my best friends, a thirtysomething, slightly-insane, Aquarian hippie tree genius, whom I never would have known existed had I not created a Facebook account. Furthermore, I’d probably not know whether or not my firstborn child, a 22 year-old Sadge who rarely keeps in touch with his loopy Aries mother, was even still alive if not for his random status updates and pics on Facebook. So Facebook is, like, the greatest thing since sliced bread. Right? It is…isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?
I’m not so sure about that.
I have found Facebook to have somewhat of a bittersweet taste.
Quite literally, nearly every single event I’ve experienced over the past 15 months – good, bad, or horrific – would never have happened if I hadn’t created a Facebook account. Let’s itemize, shall we?
- I never would have relocated to Arkansas because I never would have met the Virgo quasi-love interest from Hot Springs who talked me into “coming down and getting a fresh start”
- I never would have met one of my most treasured best friends, the aforementioned Aquarian tree man, whom I simply cannot fathom not having in my life
- I never would have briefly reconciled with my Cancer ex-husband, who moved down to Arkansas from West Virginia to be with me again
- I never would have met another close friend: a storm-chasing, adrenaline junkie Aquarian and his stubborn but oh-so-adorable, spitfire Aries girlfriend…because I met them both on Facebook
- I never would have enjoyed nearly a year in a cushy office job where (I thought) I could do no wrong…because that was in Arkansas, to where I never would have moved had it not (ultimately) been for Facebook
- I never would have bought the car I have now…because the aforementioned Virgo of Hot Springs helped me buy it
- Perhaps most disturbing of all, it is highly unlikely that my 8-year relationship would have ever gone to hell in a handbasket if I had never created a Facebook account
You’re probably asking yourself, “How does she figure that last one?” Allow me to explain.
The relationship I had with my longtime friend-turned-domestic-partner Cancer-cusp was as solid as they come. We were compatible in every way imaginable: emotionally, sexually, you name it. We genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and neither of us had ever been happier in a relationship in our lives. Our downward spiral into the fiery pits of relationship hell coincided (yet wasn’t a coincidence) with my creating a Facebook account. I spent hours upon hours upon hours and then some online, having a fine old time with this new-to-me form of entertainment; by extension, neglecting my significant other, causing him to feel pretty damn insignificant. Somewhat conscious of this, I tried to stress to him I wasn’t deliberately ignoring him. Like a child with a really awesome new toy, I was just preoccupied and I assured him that the new would probably wear off pretty soon. He seemed to understand, but he would still silently brood about it. I took for granted that he understood that I was just distracted with my new hobby and that it had absolutely nothing to do with not wanting to spend time with him. And in case it has to be spelled out, I was never unfaithful to him. Not even close, not even once. No cyber- or real-life cheating; nothing.
Meanwhile, feeling neglected (and rightfully so), my Cancer-cusp began upping his usual daily alcohol intake. He increased his standard 12-pack of beer a night (which never made him act like an ass) up to twice that amount (which usually made him act like an ass.) This served to perpetuate a vicious cycle: I’m online, he feels ignored, he drinks more, I get offline and try to spend time with him, increased alcohol intake causes him to act like a dick, making me not want to be around him, so I head back to play around online, he drinks even more, and round and round it went.
I created my Facebook account in August 2010. Around mid-October 2010, we began our rapid descent into the netherworld. In December 2010 we decided to end it. In January 2011, after eight years together, I moved out.
R.I.P. Best Relationship of My Life: 2003 – 2011. Gone but never forgotten. Primary cause of death: chronic Facebook abuse. Contributing factor: alcoholism.
While I regretfully accept accountability for getting the Facebook ball rolling which resulted in the beginning of the end of our relationship, he also contributed to its demise by dousing our then-struggling relationship with Natural Light. We’re both guilty.
As thankful as I am for the amazing friends I never would have found again/met in the first place, whom I truly do love with all my heart, nothing has been worth losing the love of my life and the plans and dreams we shared. To further add insult to injury, in May 2011, he announced in an angry, strongly-worded text in which he called me everything but a white girl, that I could shove our friendship “up my ass” as well. We haven’t communicated since. Not only did I lose the love of my life, I lost my best friend.
So, would I still create that Facebook account if I had it to do all over again, only with the knowledge I have now, even with all the positive things that have come about through it?
Not a chance. As much as I gained, I lost ten times as much.
I would have gladly missed the dance.