The Summer I Unplugged

Monday, July 20, 2015

In the summer of 2008 I moved clear across the country to start a new chapter of my life in Utah. My grandparents were kind enough to let the teenage version of myself crash in their basement and it ended up being one of the best things I have ever done

At the time my grandparents had dial-up internet. I could read a chapter in a book in the time it took Facebook to load. I had a flip-phone that wasn't even kind of smart. I knew no one except for them and a handful of other relatives. School wouldn't start for about three months and I wouldn't have a job for two of those months. I had nowhere to be and really nothing to do, yet somehow it ended up being one of the best summers of my life. Spending that time unplugged taught me a thing or two.
Lessons Learned: Summer Unplugged

1 | Easier to reconnect with the world around you.

I had no distractions. . .besides a few library books. No one had to compete for my attention. I could be completely present in conversations and as a result I learned a lot about a lot of people. Being unplugged made me more outgoing than I have ever been, because I knew that if I wanted to have any sort of a social life I would need to put myself out there. Even shy introverts like having friends.

2 | Life is simpler. 

There is something about being plugged in that makes me feel like I need to be going, going, going all of the time. Unplugging lets me slow down. I don't have to keep up with anyone or anything.

3 | You have more time.

I waste a lot of time when I'm plugged in. It feels productive at the time. I learned about chickens! Then I realized I also wanted to learn about this! Have I paid my bills? How much are we spending on such and such. How is it midnight?! It's a major time suck.

4 | Joy is easier to find.

There is one particular moment that stands out in my mind. I was just driving along and happened to really look at the mountain in front of me. I swear I had never seen a more beautiful sight. It was such a simple thing that brought me so much joy. I didn't need to instagram it, I just needed to experience it.  

As much as I love social media and all of these cool gadgets, I find that they consistently remind me of what I lack. When I'm unplugged I have less to compare my life to and I begin to realize that my life is pretty stinking great. 

How often do you unplug? What have you learned from your time unplugged?

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