Doug and I took his sister and niece to the Tennessee Aquarium yesterday, and I was blown away by its beauty. It's gorgeous. I could spend all day there, wandering, sitting, and of course, knowing us, taking photos and videos. However, on this trip, I was distracted from enjoying it fully, because every corner I turned, I saw a blue screen. Or 10 blue screens.
I went to school for five years to learn to capture images, create stories and spin together visuals, audio and magic. I love taking photographs, I hoard them. I usually always have a camera on me, taking photos of everything from what i ate to what my shoes look like. I upload at least one photo a day to facebook and to twitter. I love keepsakes and photos are the best kind of keepsakes. So why was I so perturbed by the overwhelming screen blockage.
I have always felt more comfortable with a camera to hide behind. I enjoy being the photographer, I often live for it. I love blogging because I have even more reason to photograph and video everything I can think of. I get to tell a story and be an eye for the world (my little tiny world.) Something clicked at the aquarium though.
Recently, I have been craving more and more to just experience things. My memory is shot, I rely on google and GPS and apps and photos to remind me where I am going, what I ate, who I was with, what I wore and what the weather is like. But none of that will tell me how the cold glass of the tank felt against my palm. My GPS won't tell me turn left at the mountain and head straight through the trees. That tunnel vision screen cant possible feel Doug's hand in mine, or smell my strawberry shampoo, or laugh about the otters.
I can't tell you how many photos and videos I have on my computer that I may never go back to. But I can tell you that Doug and I used to go to the zoo once a week in San Diego, and only brought the camera a handful of times. I don't have a photo of us eating lunch with my grandparents but I will laugh for the rest of my life over my Grandpa telling the servers that "Applebees has the best Mexican food in town" and no amount of photos can compete.
I am not rejecting all forms of capturing moments. I think it's magical and important to use technology in all forms. But please, please take a moment to put down that blue screen and experience life. Live the moment, retell it later, pick up a leaf to press in a book or write a little love note about your day, just for keeps. But, for all that is good in the world, live it. I know I can learn a little lesson from this. Running a business from home means I am on the computer a lot, and on my phone even more. But in order to maintain sanity as we approach the busiest time of our year, I need to start enjoying life, instead of just capturing.
We are all just floating around, holding onto our memories so dearly and dreading the day our hard drive crashes, or we drop our phone in the toilet. What are you really losing if that happens? If you look a little past the screen, no amount of toilet water in the world will delete those images.
ps. Please don't drink toilet water. Not only is it gross, but it may make you lose your memory. I'm no expert.