It’s been approximately 2 months since I detoxed from most social media sites and…it feels phenomenal. I don’t reflexively check my phone for that newest notification; I prefer looking at someone’s face during a conversation rather than offering my attention to what comes down to an inanimate object over a living, breathing person; I’ve discovered more facets of who I am as a human in this world, etc. etc. and some more etc. You get the point.
Several weeks ago, my dad related to me an email from his own father, describing how, every day, one should take time to observe a small, small detail, whether it be a leaf falling to the ground, a cloud roaming across the sky, your first morning thought that strays across your mind, the way a person’s nose crinkles when he smiles….some more etc. I decided to incorporate this idea into my daily goals, and I have to say, the first time I did, sitting in a chair outside, waiting for free coffee from work, in my already-sweated-out uniform, beneath a blue sky… I couldn’t help but be grateful for everything. Every damn thing, every damn moment of my life. Acknowledging I’m a daily fuck-up, but we’re all a little fucked up and more than flawed; my fear of stumbling as an author but knowing it stirs within me my most passion; making near minimum wage, in a filler job, but, when it comes down to it, I enjoy it; looking at the stars amid a muddle of nostalgia, and thinking way, way too much…
In the past few months…well, I hate sounding cliche, so let me leave you with a couple ol’ scenarios regarding what I have seen as personal growth.
Detox Lesson #1
Where I am living now…there’s not a whoooooole lotta people within my age group. It’s mainly a bunch of retired folk gracing a tiny, waterfront community they view as the shit, but when in reality it’s best known as the place where a cheesy Nicholas Sparks book manifested as an even cheesier movie (my friend told me to watch Safe Haven, and the only part I enjoyed was pointing out attractions I knew). But anyways, no younger people=making friends with…older people?
I just got invited by a 60 year-old women to join her friends and her after our Friday morning workout for McDonalds coffee. 89.2734% of the peple I interact with at my job are above 30, and we get along well enough to hang with outside of work.
To put simply, I don’t look at individuals–I see them. Remember, it’s not our age, gender, the color of our skin, religion, beliefs, jobs, our fears or what makes us happy, where we live and how we grew up, that matters. We are only equal in that we are human.
Detox Lesson #2
This one is a sure no-brainier. When you’re not too busy appreciating how many ‘likes’ you got on your most recent post, or if you’re winning in Words with Friends, or when you’re battery plans on kicking the bucket because you were too busy doing aforementioned things, you have time…to appreciate everything else.
In the past few weeks I’ve sat outside on multiple nights and talked with my friend over the phone about…life. We sit, crack open a beer, and stare at the stars, pointing out shooting ones, or stupid cloud formations, about what makes us happy and the values we adapted while growing up, how technology is really only useful to understand the natural facets of this world.
And it’s nice. It’s moments like those you’ll remember down the road, that’ll you’ll miss but grow from. I’ve been putting more effort into making time for other people these past few months than I have done in a loooong time. In terms of friendships…you learn who matters, and who you matter to.
Detox Lesson #3
You learn there is so much more to life than you take granted for.
Every time I do the morning shift at my job, I drive to work around 5:30, and there is this stretch of bridge I cross, where swamp and an open sky surrounds me, and it’s just me, underneath those stars, and I can’t help but realize how there are in African jungles, beaches in Thailand, the Rhine in France, my old high school, that place on the mountain I nearly died in Roanoke….that there’s an entire world out there.
I’ve learned so much more about who I am–that I ALWAYS spill my coffee, overeat when I feel way too euphoric as opposed to melancholy, that too many friends and family are telling me,what I should do with my life…and I don’t like it, that writing my new novel is the one thing I want to do more than any other, that there’s fire inside, and my mind is the source of all happiness and unhappiness.
Detoxing from social media has reminded me not to be a sheep. Not to judge something as ‘popular’ because it’s trending on Twitter, or label a person lover simply since they’ve ‘liked’ my most recent profile picture, or blindly accept an article’s credibility due to its points aligning with my own, or make my reality from a screen, when I myself can make those choices from my own experiences.
There is more to life than staring at a screen. I would end this blog by saying something corny like, ‘I got to go–I’m too busy living’ or ‘Go be all you can be.’ But the choice will always be yours…I’m also hungry, and need some food. Double also, listen to George Ezra’s ‘ Watching Paint Dry.’ Double double also, I’m on Chapter Two in my new book! 😀
I am free to create success in my life.
Everything I am searching for is within me.
Every day I am a new person.
Something beautiful is waiting on the other side…
Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.
I am who I am, and who I am is enough.
You’re exactly where you need to be.
Explore, don’t expect.
Everything happens for you, not to you.
Every thought I have is creating my future.