Yesterday was my birthday, and I was in the middle of the woods.
I woke up to fully decorated living room, went to lunch with good friends, pulled over in horror and laughter when my spoiler fell off of my car and dragged down the street, and then, I spent the rest of my day and night on a sleep-away retreat with the new organization I just joined.
I thought 19 was pretty insignificant, but it turns out, 20 is apparently much worse.
“Wow! You’re young!”
“Wait—You’re only 20?”
“Oh man, one more year to go!”
I even got a text saying,
“Yeah, 20 is a dumb age. You can’t do anything.”
But I was under the impression that 20 is incredible.
This is my decade.
This is the beginning of my life. This is my 10 years to mess up, find myself, lose myself, find myself again, mature, travel, write, do smart things, do dumb things, break hearts, have responsibility yet no real responsibility at all, cry and have melt downs, stand tall and strong, make a name for myself, grow, learn, learn, and and learn.
This is the start.
I was excited for 20.
Two decades of kicking ass is a good reason to celebrate.
But after long hard thought,
I decided to camp in the middle of the woods with a group of people I didn’t really know.
And it was the best decision,
I knew a few people in the organization, but it turns out, I didn’t really know them at all. We had the opportunity to really meet each other. To find out who we really were. I met people I had never talked to, talked deeply with people I previously knew, and connected with people I didn’t think I had anything in common with. We played games, and brainstormed, and talked, and laughed, and ate, and bonfired (yes bonfired), and had a really good time. Although spending your 20th birthday with friends, family, and people you love is the ideal, this was just possibly quite as great.
I checked my phone maybe two or three times so I wouldn’t be too behind on thanking people today, but for most of the night, I took no pictures, and wasn’t scrolling down a timeline or feed, wondering what was next in the lives of others, or planning what would be next in my own.
Yesterday was my birthday,
and it was also the first day I missed posting a lesson.
This has been my worst fear.
I love this blog.
It’s hard, and it gets complicated, but I’ve never planned on skipping a day.
Yesterday, more than a few times, I paused and thought to myself,
Oh my gosh.
How am I going to do my blog?
I thought about going home that night,
or going back to the cabin when no one noticed and typing my lesson before anyone realized I was gone.
We have the blessing of being able to capture every moment, every experience, every sight. Through writing, pictures, video. We have endless outlets. And they are right at the tips of our fingers. It’s accessible. It’s easy. As humans—as this generation— we like to look. At ourselves, and others. We like to see. We like to know. We are curious. We want to feel apart of something when we aren’t there, and we want to know what it was like, and we want to know what everyone is doing. We want to show other people our lives.
I’m not admitting or confessing or preaching to being some person who was “one with nature,” and was “free,” and “liberated,” and that you should do it too, instead of sticking your nose in front of your phone every two seconds.
Because I’m guilty.
This is 2014, and whether you like it or not, this is a part of our lives.
This is part of who we are.
And that’s scary, and hard to accept, even as someone who is studying media, and loves social networking, and taking pictures, and making videos.
I like it, but it’s hard to grasp. To think about the power that this has over me, and over you.
But this is the now.
And with that being said,
it doesn’t have to be a part of us, always.
If you know anything about me, you know I’m a horrible texter. I’m not on my phone all the time. I get overwhelmed by it all. I let texts and timelines and feeds build up, because I don’t want to be the person who is always looking, always seeing, always knowing. But this doesn’t make me any better than the people who are, because I am thinking about it. I am thinking about what I’m going to post next, or what filter is better, or what smile is cuter. I am just as guilty, because I’m not physically connected, but I am mentally connected.
And yesterday, after I decided I wouldn’t post a lesson,
I was honestly relieved.
Sad and disappointed at first,
but a HELLA relieved.
I didn’t just stop looking, but I stopped thinking. I stopped thinking about it.
And it was like being free.
Life has been crazy lately.
I’ve had a lot on my mind, and on my plate.
And disconnecting was the best thing I’ve done in a while.
I disconnected with myself, and connected with the people in front of me.
Disconnecting doesn’t mean you are cut off from the world.
It means you are more connected to the things right in front of you,
and in an even better way than before.