Before We Were Facebook Friends

I’m wandering through the book store nuzzled right in the corner of cobble streets and warm summer air. Losing myself in the world of stories knitted into pages, all different in stature and texture and ink. My eyes scan across the magazine shelf and I focus in on a women’s health magazine, second row from the bottom, three magazines in. It’s title reads: How to Friend Someone in Real Life.

I shake my head. So sad. So tragic. Has our world really come to this? That we need a how-to on building relationships here? Here, in this space that we have come to label as “real life.” Funny how we now need a distinction, a dividing line. One that defines our “real life” separate from our “fake life.” The two: our life behind screens and on-line profiles & our life alive and interacting with face to face people. When shoulders touch in passing, people stutter through their sentences and we can see the blue and green specks flickering in eyes.

We are living in a time where:
there is an adrenaline that comes from new notifications & stress ulcers begin to form awaiting an anticipated text message to light up your phone screen & you are updated on your friend’s personal lives through a mere Facebook news feed.
we can’t go a day without checking social media and suicide rates stand higher than ever. and we see loneliness sweep through our nation like the black plague. It bites and tears, threatens to make you believe that you are truly worthless and alone.

We are living in a fabricated world of Facebook friends, instagram moments and twitter feeds. Walking amidst a bunch of people who are lonelier than ever before.

Often I dream of the society that existed before the presence of technology, a world absent of conversations through screens and personal information displayed on social media. A time when relationships were carved out of the moments spent together and the memories created side by side, where words were exchanged while looking into each other’s eyes. When you could hear the inflection of their voice, see the emotion written across their face and see the language of their body express the ideas & feelings they try to articulate. People did life along side each other- connecting in the rhythm of the daily life and mundane activities. Hearts met when you arrived at a certain place at a certain time- for such a time as this- you were brought there & you know that you would never have found each other if God hadn’t led you to exactly to that place. Because before technology, you couldn’t meet people through a man-made dating site or through the search box of your Facebook account.

Relationships have become more superficial & less real over the years.

Because it’s easier to hide when there’s a screen between you and the other person. You can say the things you want to say, without shaking hands or sweating through t-shirts or stumbling over words. There is safety behind a screen. But there is also loneliness behind a screen.

It’s sad really, when I look at the way social media has shaped the way so many people do relationships.

Let’s get back to the real, the vulnerable, the face to face connection amidst the daily grind of life.

I miss relationships in the true, beautiful way they used to be before we were drowned in a world of social media. We were made to literally walk along side other people, to look in each others eyes and strive to understand why they crinkle during conversations of injustice or light up at the sound of the piano. To hug them tight, and show them how much you care with a gentle squeeze on the shoulder. A world full of people are standing within our fingertips- don’t hold them at arms length & put up screens between you- instead s
tretch your hands out and invest. Build a relationship that is real and true, uncontaminated by our fabricated world. 

love, mikayla

Not Okay with Okay

Wondering in the quiet of a Sunday night. Is it possible to MAKE yourself care about people?

Can I clench my fists, conjure up all the self-motivation within me, and will myself to care? Can’t I just make myself be passionate about something? Decide the dreams that I want to dream? Make myself be drawn to the people I want to be drawn to?

i want to care, i want to love, i want to dream, i want to be pulled towards certain things. But as much as I want, some things just do not align with the person I was designed to be. You cannot conjure up passion, roll up your sleeves and dive knee deep into a world of something you’d LIKE to love but don’t REALLY have a heart for.

Because those things are already within you. Our dreams & passions & admirations for other people, they are embedded deep in the molecules that make up our hearts. Naturally each one of us are drawn to different things, inclined to pursue different types of people and pursue different things.

We must pursue without shame all those things that stir up our heart quietly. Without fear of what other people think. Without believing the lie that what we are passionate about, is less important than what another person in passionate about. Absolutely confident & steadfast in the passions & dreams God has given you. We were all designed to love different things- we were made to pursue different things.

I was struck by these words:
“They remind me of the moments when it is clear- if I have eyes to see- that the life I am living is not the same as the life that wants to live in me.”

We don’t always see it- too often we are blind, stuck in the comfort of being okay with where we are and the life we live. Comfort is a wonderful thing but it can also be very dangerous. Being too comfortable, we can get stuck. Okay with half-hearted relationships, okay with a decent job, okay with our overweight body. There is nothing worse than the word okay. Okay is just okay. It’s not good, it’s not bad. It’s lukewarm- the worst way to be.

It is on par with:
Tell me, what is she like?
Oh she’s nice.
Nice? That could mean anywhere from incredible to mean to horrid. The word offers absolutely nothing about a person.
Oh she’s really really nice.
Oh so she’s not just nice, she’s really really nice? oh cool.
Actually, that changes nothing. It still remains that you have given someone the most empty compliment out there.

My goal in life to never be described as nice. Call me aggressive, bubbly, crazy, weird, just anything but nice.

The word okay is exactly the same.

My second goal in life is never live a life that is okay. Hard, painful, adventurous, crazy- anything but okay.

Because there are times where I see it. When there is a flicker of realization and we recognize that who we are falls very short of the potential of what we could be, and who we actually do want to be. When our eyes see. When we see that the person we are is far from the person we want to be. These are the moments of clarity- when we see and desire to be more.

There’s got to be something within you that cries out: i’m tired of being okay. i’m tired of settling for alright. i’m tired of just being enough.

I want my life and my character to explode past the words okay and nice.

It breaks my heart when my friend looks at me from the across the table, both hands clutching around the coffee cup, and says, “I’m just trying to get through the week.” When we approach life as something have to just survive….we are miss the whole point. WE WERE NOT MADE TO SURVIVE THIS LIFE BUT TO LIVE THIS LIFE.

There is a enormous, dynamic, life-altering difference between surviving & living. Between just getting by & carpe diem. Between living until it is the end & living like tomorrow could be the end.

It breaks my heart.
Because, listen. You, child of the creator of the universe—

We. You. Me. Us. were made for dancing. were made for gigantic, whale-sized dreams. were made for beauty you know not of. were made for wonderful. were made for incredible. were made to change the world. Every single one of you.

Don’t sell yourself short. Live loud & bursting with colour & exploding past just surviving and okay. Do things that scare you. Be bold. Be brave. Take risks. Dance for Jesus- because your saviour put a song in your soul and a bounce in your feet. You were made for something so indescribably and incomprehensibly wonderful that a word doesn’t even exist for it, because really, who could sum beauty & world-changing & incredible & phenomenon in just one single word? Bam. Today’s your day, you own this day- lets go change the word.

love, mikayla