Remember when people constantly posted cryptic things on social media?

There are several applications that let you go back in time through your photos and social media. Facebook advertises a “look back on your memories from a year ago”; TimeHop allows looks into what happened on this day one, two, or more years in the past; Google Photos often reminds me to check out a series of photos I took (mostly of my cats) last year. For the most part, I enjoy remembering what happened in years previous. For example, last week was my one-year wedding anniversary, so it’s a really great memory! But on any other average Tuesday, I’m not guaranteed to have such a fun or interesting walk down memory lane.

The number one thing that apps like TimeHop have taught me: I was a complete idiot a few years ago. I constantly find photo captions from my years in college that are so puzzlingly cryptic and veiled. After college, in the era of Instagram, I posted the stupidest and most low-quality photos into what is now a pretty beautiful and lively feed. I recently discovered that 6 years ago I had posted a screenshot of a tweet by obscure former Bachelorette competitor cast member Jef Holm (Jef with one F, Emily’s season, aka the only season I watched ever) saying that he was going to Charleston with Chris Harrison (the host of the Bachelor/ette franchise) followed by a golf emoji. And as I posted that screenshot of a very unimportant (to me) person, I captioned it with absolutely NO explicit meaning. Observe:

My caption: “Time to get real about my not so secret love for the bachelorette. Though there is a golf emoji, there’s no way this means… PLEASE ADVISE”

Like, WHAT? What does this nonsense even mean? Here’s the information I can gather. 1) I’m attempting to say that I like the Bachelorette. But I didn’t really. I watched it once with some women from my sorority with whom I was living over the summer in college. 2) I’m assuming that it’s a little bit shameful to like the Bachelorette because I refer to it as secret (or rather, not-so). 3) I acknowledge there’s a golf emoji. No further comment necessary here. 4) There’s no way this means WHAT? It drives me absolutely nuts how often I posted cryptic, unfinished thoughts like this. I must have expected people to read my mind. Or maybe I thought it was a manic-pixie-dream-girl type thing to allude to my meaning without saying it.

Present day Amanda would never assume people can read her mind. Present day Amanda writes thorough captions describing how she felt, or what she likes about the image, or something that made her think. She avoids ellipses that trail off into nothing. It’s so frustrating to me that this is how I lived my public, in-writing, forever-saved-in-the-dredges-of-the-internet life.

Sometimes I wonder if my lengthy, thought-out Instagram captions are being judged or are on the receiving end of some eye rolls. But looking through the way I used to post on social media — so cryptic, so strange, so pointless and guarded and not letting people actually know my thoughts — I thoroughly prefer to write my exact feelings and thoughts as I do today. I like being able to share and be vulnerable. For so long in my life, I was rarely open to letting people actually know me. I tried to do what I thought was cool. I tried to make myself sound like I had hobbies or interests or thoughts similar to whatever guy I had a crush on, or some coworker I wanted to befriend. It was a long journey to learn what it really means to “be yourself,” and it involved a lot of appointments with a therapist. And in those appointments, I wasn’t discussing how I couldn’t be vulnerable. No, we discussed specific problems I was having at work or with a certain person. And eventually by working on those areas of my life, it opened up my ability to be myself. I hate looking back on the years I spent trying to be cool, sound cool, do things I didn’t want to do, people I tried to impress. But I wouldn’t be embarrassed to run into those people again, because I am so obviously not that cryptic, closed-off idiot of yesteryear. People are dumb sometimes, but sometimes they stop being dumb. I’m a proud reformed idiot, and I’m here to share with you my lengthy, personal Instagram captions, whether you want them or not. ♦

Advice from a CEO, and whysoever am I single?

Warning — BUT NOT APOLOGY — I did watch several consecutive episodes of ‘Louie’ before writing this. If you are not familiar, just…don’t be surprised if my humor is a bit darker than normal. Or maybe it’s not! Or maybe I’m just super dark all the time and I didn’t know it.

In any case.

I was recently speaking to a CEO/co-founder who interrupted me to give me unwarranted (though happily accepted) advice. In the Silicon Valley, “CEO” is like being VP at a bank: anyone can be one. (Insert bank joke about VP of Janitorial Services here. I would also like to insert my own joke about CEO of the street corner, or CEO of those shoes hanging from a power line in a seedy part of town.) In this case, the CEO in question is an individual who has successfully started healthy companies that are still standing and still thriving and are not just a crew of 5 people that all live in the same house. (I might be borrowing from the show ‘Silicon Valley’ now. Or maybe from many real-life situations including Facebook’s origin. Regardless.)

Tangents aside, this CEO listened to me apologize for something I said that I truly believed. I didn’t actually say “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” or anything apologetic outright. Instead, I had said, “That may seem a bit vague or fluffy.”

As soon as those words left my mouth, he stopped me. “Listen, I want to give you advice. This is life advice, not just for work. Don’t ever apologize for being who you are. What you just said was the best thing you’ve said in our entire conversation.”

To be clear, that “best thing” was not the apology statement, but what had preceded it (which I had worried was too vague or fluffy). But that ish HIT ME. I didn’t directly apologize, but I really was being apologetic.

This concept is SO similar to negativity.

When I was in high school, I had a coach who would constantly call out his athletes on being negative. So often, those athletes would retort that they were “just stating facts” or were “being realistic.” Perhaps, but they were pointing out things that they VIEWED as negative. (“It’s so hot outside” or “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” were popular.) That’s straight up negz. (CLARIFICATION: “negz” is short for negative. Why did I not remove it and forgo clarifying? I love a gratuitous z.)

The greatest lesson my very brief existence in the Silicon Valley has taught me: live passionately, or not at all.

In other news, I am still laughing to myself about that salt water taffy labeled “Orthodox Chews.” (LOOK IT UP.) God bless those masters of pun.

This is me in public on Tuesday night. We are bar trivia regulars because it combines useless knowledge and competition, and that’s KINDA my favorite thing. (Please cross reference my extreme love for the phone app game Heads Up.) I also have no idea why I’m single. The boyz should be lining up for that hooded heat.

I’m headed to Salt Lake City this weekend with this person above, amongst several others who were present when this photo was captured. Believe it or not, we are all headed to Utah for a race. (A running race, for most of us. A couple will likely be racing to the bottom of a beer can. Actually, all of us will after our races are through.) I’m only doing the 5k, mostly because I want the free stuff, as is my motivation for 70% of life. (I’m looking at you, Yelp Elite title.) I CAN’T WAIT!

Any recos for SLC?
How Louie-level serious was this post?

Will anyone buy me Orthodox Chews and deliver them to me?

On a scale from 1-10 how excessive are my parenthetical statements and asides? (You are allowed to go off the scale, or on a scale of a different unit of measure.)