My friend and I recently took a trip to San Diego for spring break. If you think being on spring break in your 40’s is unorthodox, let me tell you, it’s exactly when you should be taking a spring break. As busy working moms we were way overdue for a trip. And one is always due for an escape from the unpredictable Seattle weather.
We stayed at this lovely resort right on the water. There was hot sand sprawling out
before us, and a hot tub bubbling at the ready for when the wind picked up. The day we arrived the resort offered us free tickets for a nighttime boat ride. I won’t call it a “booze cruise” because it was family friendly…until 10:00, when we of course boarded.
We were under the delusion that the boat left at 10:00, then returned us to the same dock several hours later when it was done floating around. And so, we got swept up in the loud music, dancing, and hilarious mix of people.
Hours later, my friend came flying up the stairs to the upper deck where I was taking a breather, shouting my name, with a look of horror on her face. “Rachel! We missed our stop!!” This is when we learned that we were supposed to be listening to the loudspeaker… despite the thumping base and drone of sweaty people, when they announced our stop. Yes, there were stops. At opposite sides of the bay. Needless to say, we were stuck out at sea and our two-hour boat ride turned into a Gilligan’s Island kind of affair. We finally disembarked at the appropriate stop at 2:00 a.m., thanks to a wedding party that had to be dropped off at our resort. We were just grateful to be alive. O.k., so we were just grateful to know our beds were close.
I will never forget this trip. I don’t know how I possibly could. It was amazing. The funny
thing is, I don’t have pictures to prove any of it. I didn’t “check in” at the beach side taco stand, or take a selfie with the carnival funnel cake smothered in both chocolate sauce and strawberries, that I ate in its entirety. I didn’t send Snapchats from the crowded bar where we met this super funny young guy who was trying to find anyone at all who he could snuggle with and watch Star Wars.
I never once engaged in social media. In fact, I didn’t even take pictures until the day we were leaving because I knew my kids would be mad if I didn’t at least have pictures of the resort. True story.
I’ve heard it said that if you don’t post your experiences on social media, it’s like they never happened. Isn’t that sad? It’s like it’s impossible to just to experience a moment first hand, with no proof other than your experience to tell you that it really happened.
As I get older, I’m trying desperately to live in the moment. Moments happen so fast. And they’re so fleeting. And I find, that there’s something lost when a moment is being captured from behind a camera, rather than inside you. The trip with my friend will forever be locked in my memory. I don’t need social media to remind me about spring break 2018. How could I ever forget the three hour cruise that went all wrong.
And let’s be honest, many times when we take photos we’re thinking of the caption we’re going to post with it. Or how someone will respond to it. Or how cool it will look with the other things we’ve posted. Or how many likes it will get. Then the moment is lost. And all we have is some stupid picture with a cheesy caption, but not the actual imprinted memory of the moment as it happened.
My kids and I just returned from a road trip to California. There was this sunset one evening unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It was as we were driving home from the beach, and the entire sky was like a canvas of bright red and orange. I pulled off the road so we could take pictures (some things truly are picture worthy. And taking photos out the window of a moving car is just plain foolish). But after we took photos we just stood there taking it all in. It was one of those times where you can literally use the word “breathtaking”. It was like this gift, just strewn across the sky. And we could have missed it if I hadn’t pulled the car over so we could just be in that moment.
These days, I don’t have many pictures to prove I’ve been on adventures. And I’m not getting a lot of likes or thumbs up or weird emojis that I am left to identify the emotion because I have never actually seen that face on anyone. I don’t need Facebook to bring up some photo, unannounced, from 18 years ago, saying – remember that one time you did that one thing. Yes. I remember. I was there.
Facebook may be able to store a lot of pictures. But I prefer to keep my memories tucked away safely inside me.