Over the weekend I had a real life, soul-changing experience. An evening with my husband that would literally move mountains in our relationship. I've written all about it in a document, for the sake of remembering each tiny detail - every thing we said, the way the ocean air hit us as we stood atop the cliff on the Great Highway. But, because the core of the conversation was surrounded by the fact that so much of this life isn't meant to be shared with everyone, I'm choosing to keep those words to between just he and I.
I will say, that at 11pm on Friday night, at the mouth of the Pacific, my eyes were opened. I saw him in a new way, I saw my life in a new way. An urging I've felt for some time became much more than that, more than a thought in the back of my mind. It became a very real, very tangible presence between us. Something I could feel.
One very big thing came to my mind that night. A thought I couldn't shake. And it was this: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound? If a moment happens between two people, on the brink of brokenness, at the edge of the sea, and it isn’t shared with a social media outlet, does it still happen? Is it still real? Does it still change things?
I realized as I stood there, side by side with a man I had been very selfish with, that in fact that moment more than happened - it would CHANGE me, it would CHANGE he and I. But I had to make some pretty big decisions, too. One of those decisions was to finally, once and for all, walk away from social media. I'll say for the sake of saying that in no way did Justin ask/encourage me to do so. In fact when I told him of my plan he argued with me. But I argued right back. Because I know me and I know how I work, and I know that God's made it pretty clear to me where my priorities have been and let me tell you: they've been in all the wrong places.
You see, I went a very long time with 'busy goggles' on (a friend said this to me over the weekend). Clouded vision. It's been a combination of grief and anger, of bitterness, of overwhelm with life and kids and finances, of recurrent anxiety and then the anxiety of our oldest son, of pure selfishness. The goggles came on so swiftly that I had no idea I was wearing them until Friday night... the mighty blackness of the ocean below me, the solid, strong presence of Justin to my right, and the grand stature of the Cliff House to my left. Suddenly, they were gone. The goggles. As if the sea itself swallowed them whole and God said to me very clearly "you're done". I've taken this from you, now you do your part.
I knew what He meant. I knew then at that moment, that we were meant to go there that night for Justin's work party. I knew we were meant to be in a place so unknowingly broken that only God could mend it.
A recent conversation with my friend Tiffany pretty much summed up my feelings. She said to me this:
"my thoughts are that i really like talking to an almost invisible audience. blogs to me are just digital books. and people visit the site or buy the book with intention, not by default. which is what i think all social networking is. it's mindless viewing out of habit. i don't think books OR blogs are dying, i just think the masses are drunk on social media."
Just like that it came to me. And just like that it made sense. And I wished she wasn't 3000 miles away so I could fist bump her in person. Mindless viewing out of habit. Tell me I'm not the only one. Tell me you do it too. Because I know that for years I've had conversations with my kids while scrolling, I've tucked them into bed, shared a meal with my mom, and yes, even driven WHILE MINDLESSLY VIEWING OUT OF HABIT. Not cool. Not cool at all and not happening anymore.
A huge bit of inspiration came from a Nerdist Podcast Justin had heard with Michael Ironside. We listened to it on the way home that night, he and I, and the words that were spoken near took my breath away. I mean, really and truly. He spoke of a lightning storm he was in years ago and how the moment was meant to be shared only between those who experienced it. I could listen to that thing every day. And I will listen often. To remind myself of Friday night. To remind myself that life is so, incredibly short, and I've wasted a whole stinkin lot of it not being present.
All that is about to change. Has been changing even this weekend. In fact, I couldn't stop staring at Justin the last few days. Feeling just so, lucky to be his wife. So lucky to have had the opportunity to lose the goggles and see what I really do have in front of me.
It's a really beautiful sight. I can tell you that much.
Michael Ironside, the Pacific Ocean, and my husband. Life will never be the same again.
And like I said on my last social media post: I'll still be blogging, likely much more, and available the good old fashioned way: phone, email, coffee dates, and warm hugs.
It's been real.