Monday, October 31, 2011

On Omaha.

"We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be."
-excerpt from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

My venture to Omaha was one of those weekends that you really cling to. The laughter, the stories, the familiar discourse with a close friend who has only been a voice on a phone lately. The new places, the walking outside, the fall air, the cobblestone, the new faces and unique chat. The man from Georgia dressed up as Julius Caesar who told me that he "finally found someone he had a connection with" and that connection was with me, someone who had arrived just as quickly as she would leave.

It's truly a wonderful thing to be able to have someone (in my case, multiple someones) who will go with my bits. My stories. My make-believe lands. It's even easier for this to happen when you're together. I'm a person who communicates with my entire body - lots of arm and hand gestures and I get told that my eyes give me away almost instantly. Therefore, phone chat is not nearly as fulfilling as personal, real human interaction. Skype is a healthy alternative, but still only a snapshot.

I'm lucky because I have a lot of friends who have stayed around the cities post-college graduation, but there are still many friends who have challenged themselves to leave and are striving in their new worlds. There are also friends I knew from circumstances besides college who were never in Minneapolis. By catching up, in person, I've realized how much gets missed over the phone.

Life offline is different for my generation. Even when we are out experiencing things - pumpkin patches, new coffee shops, concerts - we are tweeting, updating our Facebook statuses, posting photos, letting others know who we are with. We are never truly disconnected. I'm going to go so far as to say that we don't necessarily know how to be disconnected anymore. It's natural for me to tweet what I'm doing. It's even more natural for me to take a photo of it and send it up to that 140-character land for others to see.

This weekend there were wonderful conversations that tended to circle around our lives post-graduation. Our futures. Our plans. Our ideal. It's hard to know exactly what that is and it's hard to know that sometimes our present isn't what we thought it would be. For the longest period of time, I had this expectation that graduating from college would set me up for life. Somewhere in between then and now I forgot to exactly qualify what that meant. We get caught up in our online and real worlds, our twitter conversations, celebrity gossip, acting cool, that we forget to take a deep look at what our next goal is.

Thankfully I also have friends in my life who let me reflect on this with them. I laughed a lot this weekend. I made many new friends, judged a costume contest, searched for Anna in a corn maze, walked on cobblestone paths like Roz Russell and Ava Gardner, had fun with a horse named Henrietta, and heard a cute little boy scolding his brother with the words "this ain't no joke talk!" It was refreshing and fantastic. Here's to more like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for being here! Comments are definitely encouraged. Let's learn from one another.