It's 7am in beautiful Marina Del Rey on the California Coast and I literally just power walked back to my Airbnb to write this blog post because the most amazing thing just happened. Due to the 3 hour time change, I've conveniently been waking up between 5 and 6 am every morning I've been here on my solo vacation. This morning when I opened my eyes at 6 am I decided to not put on a drop of makeup, throw some layers and my Nikes on, and walk to the Starbucks by Venice Pier to watch the sunrise on the beach. So I threw my headphones in and set off with my backpack & iPhone in hand. With Rufus Du Sol bumping through my headphones and my grande nonfat white chocolate mocha in hand, I wandered down the beach and onto the pier to really take it all in. I made sure to look around and remind myself to really take in the moment. I am a little twenty-eight year old from Detroit who made a resolution to travel to new places and see new things this year, and here I am standing on Venice Pier all by myself watching the sun rise over the beach of the Cali coast... Pretty empowering girl moment, right?
The bass was bumping in my ears and I was taking a ridiculous amount of videos, photos, and snapchats at the same time (what kind of millennial would I be if I wasn't, right?). And then the most incredible thing happened as I was getting this amazing video footage for Youtube of the sun rising over the beach... My phone died. I hit the power button several times as the little empty battery sign flashed on a black screen. I was immediately bummed that I couldn't take any more photos and that I couldn't listen to music during this amazing experience. I also knew that my mother probably thought I got picked up for human trafficking in the trunk of an old rusted out Monte Carlo because I sent her a photo of the sunrise and then my phone was surely going to voicemail every time she was trying to call me. I started walking back towards the beach from out on the Pier and I started to notice how big the waves were this particular morning. I listened to them crashing into the Pier and the shore repeatedly. I noticed the young guys in wet suits out with their boards to catch some early morning waves. I heard the homeless men that had gathered by the parking lot to laugh and share their morning coffee with this incredible view. I smiled as I watched a dog run along the waves crashing in to retrieve an orange ball as his owner walked along the shoreline. and suddenly it hit me... The universe had just done for me what I had just asked for moments before.
Sure the reason my phone died was because I fell asleep before I remembered to plug my phone in while watching a 'My 600-lb Life' marathon in bed the night before, but I like to think I put it out into the universe that I wanted to enjoy and take in this moment and somehow that was why my phone died. The universe basically said to me 'Ok, you wanna experience this? Then put down your f***ing phone." I know that may sound a little weird to some people, but for the sake of my blog post just go with it, ok? Haha. (If you want to read more about this way of thinking, I highly recommend Gabrielle Bernstein's book "The Universe Has Your Back"). I immediately became open to taking in and experiencing every little thing about the place I was in and the things I was experiencing around me. Of course my time of the month hormones are in full swing so I began to tear up a little at the strangely serendipitous way this morning had just played out. But what this experience really made me realize is how much technology and others things (that aren't very important in the big picture of things) make us miss out on everyday opportunities to experience life.
We have become trained to think that we need to share every single moment of our life on our Facebook Timeline. We have become convinced that the number of likes we get on Instagram of our OOTD photo determines our worth as a person. We obsess over whether the number of subscribers we have on Youtube is climbing at a fast enough rate. Surely I am guilty of all of these things, and I fully admit to that. Technology has sort of swallowed our generation up because this is what we grew up with. It was all so new and exciting to us that it became a huge part of our everyday lives, and I imagine the generations after mine will be even worse about trying to live without it. Let me make clear that I have no intentions of not using my Snapchat and Facebook to share photos of every amazing vacation I take, but rather to make a conscious effort to really experience things in the moment without my phone glued to my hand the entire time. And I'm challenging you to do the same! Make a conscious effort to take technology out of your life in everyday situations and be open to what you might experience. It might be a little odd and uncomfortable at first, but I promise you learning to really live in the moment and take everything in can be wildly satisfying.
So for once let's unplug, let's hang up, let's take out the headphones.There is so much to see, to hear, and to experience once you take the technology we have become so attached to out of your life for a few minutes. Listen to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, talk to the person next to you in line at Starbucks getting their overpriced morning latte, watch the sunrise happening with your own two eyes rather than on the replay of your story on Snapchat... I just had the most amazing sunrise walk on Venice Beach Pier because my phone died. I'm sure it would have been just as beautiful if I had remembered to charge my phone last night, but I took in every moment of it just a little bit more without it. As I walked back down the beach to get to my Airbnb to plug in my phone (because surely my Mother thought I was dead at this point), that same dog I had been watching on the beach ran up next to me with his orange ball in his mouth. I said "Hey Buddy" as I smiled and scratched his head a few times while he walked alongside me. I watched him run back to his owner and I teared up a little bit because I knew I was completely and 100% experiencing everything little thing in this moment without my headphones in and with my phone stashed away in my backpack. xx .
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