Just a few weeks ago I walked down the aisle as a happy, glowing, blushing bride. Mostly because my dress didn’t have pockets (shouldn’t this be mandatory?) and it’s not fitting to tote along a purse on my big day, I left my phone in the hotel room. I hate to admit this. I’m a cellphone junkie. I’m a strong, confident, capable woman – I’ve survived everything from surgeries to college courses, yet I go right into a frenzied fit as soon as I cross into a dreaded no-service zone.
As soon as the wedding festivities were over, I rushed upstairs to check on my precious cargo – did I have any new facebook notifications? Were people posting my wedding pictures on Instagram before I had a chance to see them myself? I must admit, it was a relief during the actual ceremony when I was forced to leave my phone in my room. For the first time since old-school desktop computers, I could actually be present in a situation – a milestone in my life that was unforgettable – phone or no phone to capture it all.
I call this the “honeymoon” period of my “no-phone” phase. It felt nice to be relieved of the need to document, text, post or comment on every little thing that happened on such an action-packed, thrilling night.
But then came the actual honeymoon…
My husband and I took a lovely cruise to the US Virgin Islands. It was a scene out of a travel magazine, day after day. The only other place I had seen palm trees was Disney World – so for me, this was a fantasy come true.
But it didn’t take long to realize something was missing. Service. The constant “no signal” sent me into a panic. How was I supposed to remember every moment? How could my dinner taste delicious if I couldn’t tag it as food porn on Instagram? How would my friends know all of the exciting and crazy experiences and places my husband and I were exploring together as newlyweds?
And then things took a turn for the worse…
Is my boss e-mailing me while I’m away? I know he knows I’m on my honeymoon, but what if there’s a pressing need and I can’t get to it? Is a friend texting me and wondering why I’m not responding? Are my parents okay?
And then the anxiety of things to come…
If I can’t at least check my e-mail now, I am going to have so much catch up when I get back! Why am I just sitting here on the beach when I could at least be chipping away at the workload ahead?
And before I knew it, my thoughts had spiraled into…
I can’t believe I’m sitting here under a tree in Aruba doing nothing, calling no one, with a perfectly good phone in my hand, a full battery and no service! What is the point?!
Then I took a deep breath and stopped myself. Was I really questioning the meaning and purpose of my honeymoon? My week of nothing but time with the man I had just vowed my life to? This week did have a purpose. I was building moments and memories with my husband – memories that no one else needed to know about but us. Moments to enhance the tapestry of memories we are creating together for our future.
I thought back to my wedding day. I remembered the people around me, dancing, shouting and eating to their heart’s content, all to honor my special day. I didn’t need pictures, texts or emails. I needed ME to be in those moments – not my phone.
When I locked up my phone that night, I unlocked my presence. I was the one creating and collecting these memories, not my mobile device. And my heart had infinite room for storage that night, and every night that came after.
I’ll admit, I’m not perfect. It’s second-nature to whip out my phone when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, and I’ll still have an impulsive reaction to dig into my purse as soon as I hear that texting notification. But I try to remember who’s in control here – I’m the one responsible for making memories with my husband, with my friends, and with myself. I’m the one with the battery full of life, focus and 24-7 service. And that’s the best kind of carrier there is.
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Inspirational photos: Trendsoul, Kenza Zouiten