If there ever is a cure for homesickness, I would have to say it’s going home. I’m still weaning off the emotional high from spending a weekend in the greater Chicagoland area for one of our best friend’s wedding. The weekend was jam-packed with family, friends, & late nights with little sleep. & it was exactly what I’ve been needing. My heart has been aching for community with loved ones for so long, & I finally got it. I was a little fearful going into the weekend that spending time at home would just make me miss it all the more, & although some pieces of me wish we could be there more often or for longer, I’ve walked away from it filled up. It was the fix I needed to be able to come back to California & face this next season of life with new hope. I can’t thank Jesus enough for knowing the desires of my heart & bringing them to fruition more than I ever dreamed.
The coolest way we saw that unfold was through our journey to Chicago. Initially we weren’t supposed to get in until midnight Friday night, but due to an unexpected course of events Adam’s schedule was changed up with his training & we were able to leave sooner. We left Santa Barbara at the glorious time of 5:45 AM with two hours of sleep under our belts & got into Chicago at 2:30 PM. With this change my cousin Jordi was able to bring along her son Lukas & my mom to pick us up from the airport. We were able to get lunch & not-so-coincidentally run into other family when we did so. Getting in early meant that we were able to attend the wedding rehearsal, which was a pretty big deal since Adam was the best man & I was able to fulfill my apparently hidden calling of being a wedding coordinator. We were able to go to dinner & spend extra time with our friends & their families. Adam was able to be a part of a last minute mini-bachelor party bonfire with the guys & stay the night with his soon-to-be-married best friend. & I was able to stay up extra late with Jordi while we ate way too many pumpkin rice Krispy treats & talked all about life. We were able to do all of this all because we bumped up our flight to earlier in the day (which happened to not even cost us any additional money). To that I just say “Thank you Jesus!” It was an incredible, unexpected gift to us (& I’m still slightly obsessed with how perfect it all was).
Because I knew that this weekend was going to be of utmost quality, I wanted to be able to come away from it with pictures & memories that were of equal worth. I brought along my Canon Powershot that sits the shelf far more than I would like it to & made myself a promise that I would utilize it more often than I used my iPhone. Back in high school, & even through much of college, my camera went everywhere with me. It was what I used to capture some of the best memories. But as smart phones have been taking over the world, they have become more convenient & practical. This was my fear when my dad handed me my iPhone 4s for Christmas a few years ago. I was afraid that the smart phone would replace all of the other pieces of technology I already owned. & that fear proved to be true. Slowly over time my iPod became outdated & insignificant. My camera became inconvenient & forgotten. I’d tell myself that I would want to use them, but then it would slip my mind as I walked out the door. All I needed was my phone. & to be honest with you, I don’t like the sound of that. I don’t believe that one man-made thing is capable of fulfilling all of my needs, or wants, in the best ways possible. Yes, my phone can take some nice pictures. But it can’t replace the crisp, clear image that my Canon can capture. I decided going into this weekend that I wanted to make a change in this habit. (Especially because I finally updated to the new iOS 8 the night before we left & became furious with the many issues that it presented me. Apple made me want to rebel even more!!)
Here’s something to emphasize my point: The picture on the left was taken with my phone. The one on the right with my camera. The difference in quality is pretty obvious, & both of these pictures were taken by someone who is used to an iPhone & not my camera. Obviously iPhones have the capability to take great photos when everything is just right, but if my camera can take even better pictures with even less effort, I think that has a more promising result.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my iPhone. Probably far more than I should. But I don’t want to be ruled by it. I don’t want it to be the end all be all of the technology in my life. If I have a nice, quality camera, then I want to use it. If I have an iPod that holds all of my music instead of my phone that can just hold some of it, then I want to use that instead. If I have a laptop that makes typing & browsing easier, why not use that instead of my phone that makes things in smaller print & makes me feel like I have a chronic spelling problem. & when it comes down to the heart of the matter, I want to be able to set them all aside & still be content without any of it glued to my hand. When did it become acceptable to be ruled by our technology instead of our technology being ruled by us?
I want to make a change in this. I want to avoid shortcuts to get sub-par photos. I want to rediscover my interest in photography through the use of my camera. & more than anything I want to look down less, & live life more often.