Taking Aim: 6 Months Unfiltered

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Do you know what one does with too much time on their hands? They watch The Lord of the Rings.

And then they watch it again. 

Here I am friends, days away from my half birthday and being officially 6 months off of social media. And every day that passes I could not be more thankful for it. Truthfully, it does get frustrating at times. Mostly in the boring moments in my day when I just want to check into what all you guys are doing! I apologize for the past 6 months for missing birthdays, engagements, maybe even loss or turmoil. It doesn't make me feel good to not be there for friends in their celebrations or hard times.

But looking back at these past 6 months, I know I've been so much healthier staying "off the grid." I've had several friends ask me, "What is it like?" Asking me as if being off social media is like having some sort of super-human power... So to convince you all that it certainly is not (though I would like one of those super-human powers) I'd like to share with you a part of my journey. If you should ever try to leave social media behind, there are some things you need to know.

P.S. I'm totally going to get back to The Lord of the Rings thing... hang in there with me. 

Here is what I have learned so far...

1. You will leave your phone at home. A lot. 

You see, when you are only on it for phone calls (which, who does that anymore?) the fact that you are seldom using your phone doesn't make it a priority in your mind. I once almost ran out of gas and then realized my phone was still at home. Not a good feeling. Also if your mom text messages you anything like my mom, when you leave your phone at home she will think you are dead. Even though it has only been a few hours.

2. That awkward conversation when you meet new people.

One of the things I have loved most about being off of social media is that I just feel in the real world more. I make connections with people and then the conversation kind of naturally turns to how to find me on Facebook. Its a huge compliment. They want to stay connected. But then I have to say "Actually... I don't do that anymore." People's reactions are actually pretty entertaining. So count it as something to look forward to.

3. You will get left out of the new social media trend. Even the important ones. 

I read a news article about the #metoo campaign like 2 weeks after it all started and I was PISSED. For a number of reasons, obviously. I read as many news articles as I could about it but I longed to see if my own sister friends were sharing about it. This experience really made me question my choice to stay off my social media, but my passions were raised so high, it was probably better I not get behind the keyboard.

I know I have also missed countless ridiculous cat videos, clever Late-night videos, and even some great clips from The Ellen Show (No, actually I check her YouTube channel pretty often...) I guess the point is here that lots of stuff doesn't make it to the news. Social media is the platform that has it all, so if you aren't on it you will miss some stuff.

4. You'll take less photos, but they will be better ones.

I can still remember when my cell phone didn't take photos. Thats because I'm old. But when we did start to get to take one megapixel photos on our flip phones I remember that it was always something special. A memory to look back on.

Once Instagram came around is when I think I stopped taking photos for myself. I always felt I had to adjust the scene to make it look perfect. To send the message that life was all good on my side. Once posting photos went to the wind for me 6 months ago, I started thinking of my photos as just being for me again. I didn't care if they were blurry, or dark. I just wanted to have the memories to look back on. Unfiltered.

I have some of these photos on my wall now, along with some from my disposable cameras from high school and college. No filters. Just real, raw life that we didn't have to share with anyone but each other.

So I guess I will come back to The Lord of the Rings thing...

I'm substitute teaching right now so some days I don't get called in to work. Which leaves me a lot of time for creativity. I tend to watch a lot of Netflix. AND I go to the gym and blah blah blah. And interact with society. Most days. But yes. I love Netflix. Always trying to find something new. But a conversation with a friend led me to the idea of watching The Lord of the Rings again.

To be honest, I feel like a "half-nerd" about it since I have never read the books. But the movies, I love. The storytelling, I love.

I was in Jr. High when these films came out and I was so in love with Legolas,  I could hardly bear it. I actually hated his blonde hair but I so admired his bow and arrow. I've always been one to really dislike guns. I think they are too fast. But with a bow, there is intention in the kill. It takes so much more time and practice.

I fell more in love with archery after "Brave" came out, and the "The Hunger Games." But I think in these last 6 months I have figured out why I really love the sport.

To shoot an arrow, you have to pull it back in the bow. You have to stretch it and stretch it tight. And while holding all that tension you have to aim. Pick the spot you want to let your arrow fly to. 

Six months "off the scene" has taught me a lot. Since I'm only halfway through, I know there is a lot to learn still. So despite this post, I'm not confident in teaching you anything. It's a job in motion right now.

And that is me. The Girl in Motion. It doesn't always mean I am going forward.

I'm pulling my arrow back right now. And the tension is there every freaking second of my day. I haven't yet picked my target yet, but when I do, I cannot wait to let my arrow and me...


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