IMG_9836So I read this article on Facebook (of course) about how people on Facebook are more sad than those who aren’t.  Like a protective mother I grew immediately defensive.  I wanted to hold back the bully and put up my dukes to spare a beatin’ of the fringy family member that I so lovingly adore…

I admit – I didn’t finish the article. I don’t know who wrote it.  I didn’t need to and here’s why.

I know why I need Facebook, or did need it. Either way, what happened because of Facebook went beyond my wildest dreams.

Short story: I was locked in my house, rarely coming out for five years while focusing on raising two kids with special needs, no more different than any other mother, trying to find that happy place between self-actualization and complete sacrifice.

My husband recommended I get on Facebook. I had never heard of it. I was a studio art major, never much of a computer girl, so the whole social networking thing was just a bunch of gobbledygook to me.  But he persisted, and I, thankfully, gave in.

The first night the ‘dings’ went off like fire works.  I had moved hundreds of miles away from home, more than a decade earlier, and had moved dozens of times since.  I remembered partial names, blurry faces, oodles of cherished childhood friends and countless co-workers but had never been privy to a way to get them back.

I’m a collector.  I collect the beauty in people, the darkness, the light, the moments in time that grip your soul and change who you are.  I never dreamed that there would be a way to actually touch those people again, physically or virtually, until that night.

I laid in bed, alone, because my husband was away on business.  I jumped at each ‘friend request – DING!’ because my babies were sleeping (yeah right, semi-sleeping, because they BOTH had colic) and I rushed downstairs to see who, WHO could possibly care about what had happened to me after all those years…

Fast forward, 6 years later.  The dings still come – no, not so fast and furious, but they do.  And I continue to jump with anticipation when I see a treasured face, a beautiful memory and a kindred spirit, sometimes unrealized during our youth, come flooding back into my life.

It was then that I was handed two opportunities that changed my life forever.

My husband’s fraternity brother reached out (via Facebook) to find people to be in ‘Limitless’, the Bradley Cooper thriller.  He brought it to my attention immediately.  After a ridiculous amount of resistance on my part I decided to submit, was chosen, and spent the day on set, rediscovering what had originally made me full of the fire, a fire I am gratefully alight with again today.

Only a year or two later I reconnected with a cherished friend, a friend I had thought of often but didn’t know how we could possibly find a way to fit in each others lives once again. Well, he was directing a play, a wonderful play.  In a beautifully anxious and impetuous moment I leapt at the chance to try something new and auditioned.  I made the cast and finally found the group of friends that I had been searching for since my very last day of high school.

Shortly after, another friend asked who had done my hair and make-up for the play.  I admitted that I had done it myself (total control freak – as always).  She asked if I could maybe do her hair and make-up for a pin-up shoot, something she had always wanted to do for her hubby…

Voila!  BitterSweet Studios was born.  I bought a studio.  I painted the walls.  I found a way to make other people smile the way I smile everyday.

Everything begets something.  Be ready.  One person’s sadness can certainly be another person’s opportunity but it’s up to you to sort through he gobbledygook.  There’s always an upside and downside.  Whichever side you identify with more is completely up to you.