We've all been there, scrolling through our Instagram news feed admiring those who embrace this life with a wild vibrancy. For a moment we escape this reality and live in somebody else's- the man skydiving above Caribbean islands, the fire explosions casting flames over a festival in Brazil, the musician lost in bliss in the midst of a transcendent solo, the free runner soaring over rooftops. All these dreams so close, right at our fingertips like they were for those who captured them. They taunt us with the impossible brilliance of the world, showing us all what could be in front of us if we were just willing to reach out and take it.
I hold such admiration for those who bring to the world these magical scenes, thinking to myself these people have hacked life. There's no reason I can't join them. They've paved the way, shown it's possible. All I have to do is throw myself in and truly work for it. Claim my place among these magical landscapes. But, like so many others, I've found myself sitting with the victims of our new culture. For a moment we live in our imagination, but when the phone turns off, so do our dreams. What was supposed to inspire us to live the great adventure now has become the substitute for it. Our newsfeeds are filled with our dreams, but instead of inspiring us to create our own, they give us just enough taste of true feeling to fool ourselves content in our complacency. Watching it on a scroll screen is nothing like the real thing. We all know it, but how many of us run out to catch it with our own eyes.
We are caught between the two tides of social media: 1) A group of users who use the power of social media as inspiration, fuel for the vehicles of their journeys and proof that their true heart's longings are attainable. 2) A group, the disheartened majority, who use it as a brief escape from their reality, a distraction from the mundane and nothing more.
The beautiful truth is we all have it in us to chase our heart's desires, and no matter how stuck we may feel, no matter how big the Earth may seem, we can always make a change in our lives. If you've dreamed of traveling to Europe for the past five years but haven't pulled the trigger, the first step getting there doesn't have to be quitting your job and buying a one way ticket. Do something small, something easy. Take the weekend to go on a road trip somewhere you've never been. All you have to do is decide, commit yourself to one small step towards a direction of fulfillment, and what was a seemingly giant leap will be just a little bit closer to reach.