What is dating?

Before Facebook, Snapchat, Tinder and Match.com dating was something meaningful and exciting. It was something personal; you were forced to put yourself out there and you had to hope for a positive response in return. These days dating has turned into something far different from what it used to be. It has shifted in form so much so that it is no longer recognizable to those who grew up in a different time.

Today dating consists of sifting through masses of messages on dating sites, connecting through mutual friends on Facebook, becoming someone’s Snapchat best friend or swiping right on Tinder. Today’s relationships begin based on the well-sculpted images we’ve all created online. We tailor our profiles to depict the people we want to be, we photoshop our profile pictures to portray our most attractive features and we write and rewrite every piece of communication to ensure we don’t ruin things before they even begin.

This has become our reality. Our relationships are comprised of two parts; one part stems from the interactions that occur when we meet face to face and the other part comes from the online interactions that take place in this new digital world.

My hope for the world is that conversation still flows freely, that we still have the ability to enjoy dinner with another person without the need to constantly be connected and that we can still appreciate the time we spend occupying the same physical space as the ones we love. I hope that the greater emphasis will be placed on the human interactions; the interactions where body language and eye contact still have the ability to speak louder than any text message ever could.

I turned off my phone.

I got to work this morning and I turned off my phone. A barrage of messages, notifications, and alerts I just didn’t want to see. Texts from people who want answers to questions that I have no answer for. Texts I sent yesterday that have not been answered and are slowly causing me to begin questioning my sanity. My head was already throbbing as it was and I just couldn’t do it… not today.

The world seems a lot simpler without a phone. By turning off my phone I was able to turn off the outside world, something I simply forgot that I had the power to do. The texts can wait, the emails can wait, and the social media alerts can most definitely wait.

Working in marketing makes it hard to disconnect from the world, especially from social media, but it is important to me that I am still able to remove myself at times. Sometimes it becomes so very overwhelming and you forget that with the press of a button (and swipe of a finger, in my case) you can shut it all off.

So I plan to leave my phone off for an hour or two at a time; to feel the freedom that comes with not needing to be connected at all times. I will go for a walk, read a book, do something that makes me happy. I won’t be worried about the texts and calls I am missing. I will begin to live again without the constant need for the sense of validation that comes in the form of a vibrating phone.

We’re never really surprised by what we’re handed, but we never realize we wanted it until it’s too late.

We’re never really surprised by what we’re handed, but we never realize we wanted it until it’s too late. – brianna wiest

“We never realize that replacing what’s not broken won’t fix what is. We never realize that a relationship will not save us. We never realize that when we arrive at the juncture of whether to try harder or move on, it almost always means it’s time to let go. And we grapple with it because we never realize what letting go means: simply that we, at no point, are actually permitting anything to leave. We’re just permitting ourselves to come to terms with the truth that it’s already gone.”

Appreciation.

Appreciation.

This is another quote I’ve kept close over the years. In fact I look at it every day, sometimes more than once. I don’t want to lessen the impact with too many words of my own, but I will say that I believe this to be the best possible way to love. Love others through admiration and through appreciation. Love others as parallels to yourself and do not feel the need to claim them as your own. If you can learn to love in this fashion the ugliness of jealousy and anger seems to surface much less in your relationships.

The Value of Life

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It is astonishing how quickly time goes by. It’s been almost two years now since I lost two friends in a matter of weeks. The winter of 2012 was a tough one, laced with constant reminders of how short life can truly be. Life doesn’t come with any warnings and it definitely doesn’t come with any guarantees. The value of living in the moment became clearer than ever that winter.

The friends I lost were two of the most vivacious people I have ever met, they truly understood what it meant to live. Bob lived life to the absolute fullest. He took risks and was happy doing what he loved. Kayla was a beautiful girl, inside and out, and was such a force of good in the world. The two of them have taught me more about myself and the world around me than I ever would have thought possible.

Some of the most basic lessons tend to be the ones that are the most difficult to embrace. I try to live by these few simple rules so that one day when it is my time to go, people will be proud to have known me and called me their daughter, friend, girlfriend, coworker, etc.

1. Do the things that make you happy and don’t waste precious time on things that don’t.
2. Always give back to your world, in any way you can. Nothing is too small or too insignificant.
3. Be with the people who you love and who love you back.
4. Don’t dwell on the negative. Life is all about attitude and perspective.
5. Tomorrow is not a guarantee, it is a gift, and what you choose to do with it is up to you.

Resolutions

What I find so beautiful about the start of a new year is that so many people believe that it has the power to bring with it the start of something good. These people have the undying desire to constantly become better versions of themselves and with the new year comes an opportunity to begin again, to start fresh. Although many people end up with unfulfilled resolutions by the end of the year, the belief that next year will be better still lives inside most of our minds.

We are all learning, growing and changing every minute of every day. Nothing in life is static. Change is inevitable and such a beautiful thing. Those who don’t learn to embrace this constant change will be left living in the past. Why fill today with yesterday’s worries? Living in the moment means accepting things for what they are and learning to see the beauty in all of it.

The amazing thing about living in a constant state of change is that good things have the ability to become great things and bad things will eventually disappear.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Why are we always waiting for something more? Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

I spend so much of my time trying to navigate my future. When I was in high school I worried much too often about what the next weekend would bring, who I would be friends with once I graduated and where I would go to college. Was I getting adequate grades today so that next year, when I apply to schools, I would get in to all of my top choices? Once I arrived in college all of my focus was on finding internships that would allow me to score a great job right out of school. Then came graduation and I already had a job so all I could think about was what will I do next? What is my next big move? I spent so much time worrying about what was next that I let some of the best years of my life slip by quicker than you would ever think was possible.

We plan out so much of our lives, from the basic to the more complex. What will we wear tomorrow? Where will we go this weekend? What is our next career move? It is only when we slow down, stop the planning and stop the worrying that we are truly happy in the moment we are in.

I’ve learned to stop that constant feeling of waiting for something new and accept that today is the only thing that is certain. We must be happy with who we are and where we are today in order to ever be happy in the future. Life is not a matter of making choices that will better our future, it is a series of moments that when strung together make life worth living and you must make a conscious decision to make those moments the best they can possibly be.