Rosario sat with her phone, scanning through her twitter feed and the latest news, when the message popped in:
She switched over to her Facebook messenger, only to find that it was from some guy Tony she had accepted a friend request from yesterday. 58 mutual friends – maybe she knew him from somewhere and couldn’t remember where they had met. Or not.
She was so over guys using Facebook as a replacement for Tinder. But, she had a few moments to spare, and decided to have a bit of fun.
“Sorry, I think you mistook this for Tinder. Can’t swipe left on this app.”, she sent off.
Pushing the lock of hair that was obscuring her vision back over her ear, she got back to checking her twitter feed. She reminded herself the reason she had got the phone out was to check traffic conditions before heading home. So easily distracted!
She opened Waze and checked traffic routes as she walked through the carpark, her attention jostled between the phone and her surroundings. As she fumbled for her keys to unlock the blue VW Golf, her phone let her know she had another message.
“Tell me about you”
In the day and age of social media, when someone could see everything they wanted about her, this was how much work they were willing to put into getting to know her? One last attempt at testing to see if this was really someone that had any real interest in her, she wrote back two short lines:
At least it would give him something to look at while she drove home and either they would have a real conversation. Or that would be the end of it.
As she pulled out of the parking spot, the first rain drops started to fall. It would be a long, slow drive in rainy conditions. She might as well start brainstorming her next blog post as she drove.
Her phone sounded with more messages.
She turned on the voice recorder, and allowed herself the comfort of allowing her mind to wander over the past three weeks. She considered the challenges she had faced with her psoriatic arthritis as she attempted to work full time and still continue to study and play sports.
She remembered the concerned look on her new colleague, Gina’s face when she had seen the psoriasis on her left hand during the staff meeting earlier that day. After the meeting was over, she had asked Gina for a moment and had explained briefly about the psoriasis, and how it was not contagious, but DAMN, it was itchy. And it got worse when she was stressed. Gina looked at her pitingly, and said “Maybe this isn’t the right job for you. It’s always stressful here. They don’t make any effort here to make it easier.”
Rosario considered for a moment all the ways that she had learned to manage stress and take care of herself over the past five years.
She was up to this challenge. What was a little stress in the new job?
No more people pleasing – get the job done and take care of her responsibilities, but healthy boundaries. “No, I’m sorry I won’t be able to do that” was now a phrase within her vocabulary. She was confident of her abilities and the workload that she was expected to handle.
Another message arrived.
She turned off her voice recorder, and turned the stereo up louder. Sit back, and enjoy the music. Pay attention to the cars around you. Just be present in the moment and enjoy.
When she finally arrived home some 45 minutes later, there were six new messages waiting for her:
how are you?
are you there?
what music do you like?
heeeellllllllllllllllooooooooooooooo. You know, all gorgoeus ladies say hello
you left me talking alone
Facebook might not have a swipe left, but her self-care dictated she didn’t need this kind of stress in her life.
Sliding her favourite red heels off, she remembered she should send a Whatsapp to Mama to let her know she was home safely.