But sometimes carrying around my phone to take photos is tedious and annoying. I wish I could take mental snapshots and save them for later! Especially in my current farming community where technology is far from the center of life, sometimes I feel like that young girl on her phone all the time.
I refuse to let pictures take place of the story. People are so dedicated to staging their lives, fabricating an identity through social media. People drive to the top of mountains to get a picture of themselves doing a yoga pose. Where’s the creativity in life if the top ten things you should do at age twenty are neatly defined for you on Buzzfeed? Where’s the story in that? Where’s YOUR story in that? Who would you be without your social media page? Maybe you’d find out you’re less interesting than you thought. Or maybe you’d find out you’re way more.
The Real Story happens when my phone and camera are far away. The most exciting, unforgettable, life changing moments happen deep in a trail, high in a mountain, in the heat of the campfire and the yips of coyotes; when a conversation mutates into something unexplored and it’s like walking on hot coals and loving it, when I’m really listening without formulating an opinion, or looking up at the stars with my heart thudding in my throat. They happen when I’m surprised or scared beyond description, when life is skidding off the road, too fast to capture, or too slow, like budding laughter with new friends or when something you’ve been searching for your whole life comes to fruition. Slow like the pruning of needless thoughts that represent a chapter well spent, a lesson learned, sealed by an embrace with the one you love that no photo could capture the meaning behind. The trials of love, understanding, trust, forgiveness, and overwhelming joy.
The only approval that matters is your own. If you could find someone to share an adventure with, discover the world with, far away from filters and Photoshop, recorded on nothing but your heart and memory, while at the same time let it be beautiful and true, who would you be then?