“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by all the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Frequently attributed to Mark Twain re: inspiration.
When I sat down to write this post, it was meant to be about inspiring and being inspired: Inspired to travel, inspired to write, inspired to create and seek images, inspired to follow dreams, inspired to discover what we love and then spend time doing it, which is ultimately what I hope that this entire blog will do for others, in some way or another.
But this post has also morphed into an article about Facebook.
For a long time, I had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Clearly one-sided.
This was because I saw Facebook as a downer, a mirror for all the things I perceived weren’t right about my life, all the things I perceived weren’t right about me. (Midlife crisis?) I would look at the “endless” stream of photos and posts from my Facebook friends of and about their spouses and kids and proverbial white picket fences, and wonder why my life had turned out so different than I had wanted or expected it to, so different than “everyone” else’s.
I even made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account for 90 days, with the idea of either “resetting” my unhealthy relationship with the behemoth social network, or getting over it and deleting my account for good.
Ultimately, at the end of the self-imposed “no contact” period, when I reactivated my account, I discovered that my perspective had shifted. I could finally appreciate Facebook as a phenomenal tool for communication, education, news gathering, and what’s more, inspiration.
Here’s an example of how Facebook works in my life these days, which brings us full circle back to being inspired…
After lounging around in bed cuddling with the cat for awhile this morning, I click the Facebook logo on my browser toolbar. The newsfeed opens. My attention is immediately caught by a photo of a bright red “Do Not Disturb” sign on a doorknob with the heading, “My (Seemingly) Impossible Camino Packing List.” Already I’m hooked. Packing list? Seemingly impossible? What could be more enticing?
My eyes wander down to the photo caption, which reads, “The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything. ~Chuck Palahniuk”
How can I NOT click on this link…immediately? So I do, and navigate to the latest blog post by a new Facebook friend, Camino Nev, whom I encountered via the blog world the very first day I researched the Camino, back in January. His latest post is about packing for a 756 kilometer walk from Phnom Penh to Bangkok.
I’m engaged at the first sentence and belly laughing by the fifth:
“You know what it’s like: you go online to check the news and end up buying a super-discounted airplane ticket to Bangkok… Within 24 hours of ordering the espresso I was sitting in a Turkish airlines emergency exit row seat…”
Oh sure, Nev, we all know what that’s like, lol. And people think I’m spontaneous and adventurous.
I finish reading Nev’s post and begin typing a comment about how much I enjoy his writing style and how it’s made me laugh. I’m preparing to ask about how he came to live in Czech Republic and how he has so much time to walk, what it’s like to fly on Turkish Airways, if he always carries a laptop on his walks (how much easier it would be to blog if I took my MacBook Air), why the comb, and what he will do with the non-Camino gear like the leather jacket and how did it come to be with him in the first place… (was it THAT spontaneous of a trip?)
But as I type the comment, I’m suddenly inspired to write my own post about being inspired to travel, about being inspired to be spontaneous, and about Facebook’s part in that all that inspiration. So inspired, in fact, that I feel compelled to begin writing immediately.
I end up writing only half of what I had intended in the comment to Nev, basically just letting him know his post made me laugh and that I like his jeans, I click over to Blogger, and begin typing this post.
Have you been inspired by Facebook? Or had a love/hate relationship with it?
- More benefits to Facebook?
- Beginner’s mind, Shoshin, (初心) and the pilgrim
- Guest post by Suzanne (mothers, daughters, and the Camino)
- Guest post by Grateful Gaile (traveling from Hawaii to Norway on a whim)
I will leave you with this video by Abria Joseph, who “talks about taking chances and seizing opportunities. ‘Dream it real’ is his motto. Think about what you want. Visualize, and then do it.”