English 1010 MM
September 11, 2015
My Print: Being An Open Book
As you go through life you experience bumps in the road and feelings of being on top of the world. The bad situations and good situations are what shape you as an individual. Without the bad days you cannot appreciate the good days. Our daily status, situation, and personality can be seen through our digital footprint. Now, our daily bumps or highs are broadcast for the whole entire world to see. In a way, this is intimidating and scary. However, through evaluating your footprint you can analyze who you really are. Instead of the old saying, “If you wish to see you really are, look at the people around you”. Now, it’s “If you really wish to see who you really are, look at your Facebook page”.
Whenever you open up a newspaper to see the obituary of a loved one you fall into instant depression. However, depression quickly turns into nostalgia. I began to remember all the fond memories I had with my grandfather as I read his dedication. When I was a young girl, I could tell my grandfather would never be labeled as the most affectionate man in the world. As he became older you could see he yearned to be closer to family as he knew time began to become shorter. This worked out perfect for my teenage self, I wished to know as much about my family’s heritage as I could. It was hard to get on a personal level with my grandfather for he was a hard shell to crack. One day my grandfather and I were sitting on the beach just like every summer during vacation. He told me a story of how he risked his life for an injured friend he saw lying in the field. I was blown away by his act of dedication and loyalty as he risked his own life for another. I was sitting in front of a hero, my hero. That exact day made me realize how much I respect him as my grandfather and as a veteran. As I sat there questioning my grandfathers past I learned how interesting of a life he lived. In his early twenties he fought in the Navy during the Korean War. The more I find out about him the more of a bad ass he seems to be. His favorite place in the world was the beach. One of my favorite memories I will have of my grandfather was sitting on the beach in the sand listening to him talk. Everything he had to say was interesting to me. These memories help me forget the fact that I will never see him again. It brings me peace knowing that my grandfather left this earth as an incredible human being inside and out. To actually find out who my beloved family member really was will always be my fondest memory of him. Our fondest memories can come from the most insignificant thing, such as saying “hello”.
Most of times when you open Facebook, you never get the sense that your mood is about to be instantly changed. During my times volunteering in Africa, I made countless connections to the locals. “NICE TO SEE MY LOVING CALLIE & FRIENDS TODAY! NGUMBAU aka NGOLIATH etc, Love you!!!!!!!” was written on of my Facebook wall by one of my favorite people in the world, Francis. Similar to my grandfather, a few words can completely changed our outlook. Instead of “Hello”, it was “Love you”. Francis was one of the few African leaders we had on the trip. The first day we pulled into the village I noticed his smile and contagious personality. Welcoming all of us with open arms and smiles he was so determined to learn all of our names. From the start I knew this man would have a hug impact on my life. As the week went on we grew a connection that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Being able to watch him interact with the families and children of the Nzeveni School made my heart so happy. He put so much effort in making sure that we felt welcomed into their culture and implied that we were their second family. This guy is a legend in this region of Africa. He greeted us every morning coming off the bus and would walk the mile and a half to the school with us. Getting to know him made me love him and the country even more. His heart is so pure and full of love that he just radiates happiness to everyone he comes in contact with. He made such an effort to make friendships with the people he just met. Leaving Kenya was one of the hardest things to do. Our friendship means a lot to me and because of that we still keep in contact even though we are 8,000 miles apart. It’s funny how a few words can completely change your day. That is one of the biggest gifts of the social media generation today.
Every human being has an escape from his or her everyday lives. Whether it be watching a certain TV show or reading a book until you fall asleep. Certain things that take as away from the norms of our daily routines. One of my escapes would be attending concerts. There is nothing in this world that can recreate the experience of being at a live concert. There is nothing like one voice connecting a mass of people. Tens of thousands of people are brought together for one purpose of loving one type of music. All of these people are already connected to one another. You won’t find anything like it unless you experience it yourself. Being in a room filled with people who are there to enjoy the music and nothing else. You get lost in the music and any problems or chaotic things that are happening in your life are forgotten instantly. I will forever remember my first Demi Lovato concert in February 2014. The connection that she made with her fans from stage was something I took away from that night. Her constant words of encouragement and support throughout the show were what affected me most. Overtime I have met people with similar interests and have built strong relationships through the use of social media. These relationships have now turned in to everlasting in person friendships. Without the use of social media I would have never been introduced to these people. Connecting with strangers turned friends are connections I will always cherish. For example, I will always love my African friend, Francis. Even though I will most likely be able only be able to speak to him digitally. I love the loud music, the vibes, the culture and just having a good time with the people around you. It’s something that I love to do, so why not do the things that make you happiest? This facet of life that I love is beloved by different people from different areas around the world. A quick gaze at my Tumblr page will show you my enthusiasm for music in general. More importantly, concerts and how the music makes us feel. It is all about the music. A quote by Berthold Auerbach sums up my stance on this experience, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. We all have our own digital footprints; mine is just louder than others. I have found my purpose in life through the connections I have made through the people I have met and the different experiences life has thrown my way.