So, this represents my 49,999th tweet. And this is how I’ve chosen to write something more than 140 characters without going to Twitlonger.
My generous friends, those who have contributed to help the worthy #MFFO cause, have touched me deeply. I am especially moved by those whom I know are in no position to make such contributions, yet still showed how much they cared about people they will probably never meet. I cannot begin to explain how it makes me feel to know that they are those who willingly sacrifice what they can to help others feel safe, healthy and loved a world away.
These last days for me on Twitter have been about 34 beautiful young women in Kenya, not about how many tweets I’ve made, or how people may or may not feel about me. These girls need to feel safe, to feel love, to feel as though someone cares about them. I now truly understand what Rocky must feel. I hope to make a trip with her someday to meet these beautiful little ladies and see their home.
Rocky, you are an inspiration to me and, I hope, to all. In your sacrifices, and in those of your family, you bring something not only to those girls but to the world that the rest of us take for granted. You are a remarkable woman.
To those that have helped, and will continue to help, thank you so much. Please continue. Every small gesture, every kindness and each considerate act helps to make this world a better place.
As for me, despite what you may or may not perceive about me through the persona with which I chose to brand myself, I am not “transparent.” It’s time people realized how very calculated I am in what I say or don’t say. I sometimes say the wrong thing. I never intend to offend, excite or antagonize people (ok, well … maybe sometimes I do). I just like people. I do say things that a lot of people might be thinking but won’t say. I am straightforward to a fault … though I am also quick to apologize and admit when I am wrong. I truly try to find the humor in all things. There are plenty of times my own life strikes me as a sitcom. In the end, though, I simply want to make people laugh.
I always try to find the humor in life and share it with everyone. When I was in college, Remote Control, a then-popular MTV show, held auditions at my university. I was rather shy but really loved the show, so I auditioned. Part of the audition process was to stand on stage on Long Island (no judging there), in front of what must have been 500 students, and speak for one minute. Unprepared. Uninterrupted. Just talk – about myself. There I was, a chubby 19 year old, with the chance to do something I thought was just so cool. I felt incredibly self-conscious (and quite often still do), but I just opened my mouth and started talking. “Hi. I’m Maya. I am a freshman here at Hofstra… “
Then I said something I will never forget. “I have always wanted to be a comedian, but I am just not funny enough.” Then the magic happened. Everyone laughed. That was the best feeling ever.
I made it to the next round and ended up as an alternate contestant. (“Alternate” seems to be a running theme in my life, but I’m okay with it.)
I have gotten so much out of this place called “Twitter,” and from social media as a whole. In many ways, it has brought me full circle, back to my love for computers and communication. Back to the first day we hooked up our IBM PC back in Palo Alto and dialed out on our Hayes 300 baud modem. That first sound as it connected is burned into my memory … the bong-bong-bong noise. It comforts me. This place comforts me. It offers a place for people to be someone or something more than they ordinarily are their everyday lives — to share common interests, experiences, causes and moments in life. I think it is a truly remarkable phenomenon. I am grateful for each and every one of my 49,999 tweets, along with the people and opportunities that have come to me via new or social media.
Let me now say thank you to all my new friends, and to old friends with whom I have reconnected. Thank you most of all to Ethan Dreilinger (@esd714) for humoring me as I annoyed the heck out of him one May evening in 2008, when I kept asking what he was doing and what “Twitter” was as we attended an event. I enjoy tracing things back to their point of origin, to follow each little turn and tangent in life, and see what choice I made that led to the next thing. My time with Twitter goes back to Ethan, so you can blame him or thank him. I thank him.
Is there an alternate ending to this? Perhaps. Maybe I will see you at tweet 50,000. Maybe not. I hope so, because if I do, it means we raised $50,000 as a community for Mothers Fighting for Others and those 34 girls in Kenya. If not, then thank you for the laughter. And I’ll see you when I see you. Or maybe you already do see me and don’t know it…. 😉
Meh. Who cares, just give to charity and help other people.