Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taking A Step Back

Jennifer Lynds

Dr. Ellis

Understanding Literature

26 September 2012

iExamen 1: Taking A Step Back


I was not quite sure on how I would go about examining my day more than I already do. I have always considered myself to be very perceptive of how I interact with people because I never wanted anyone to get the wrong idea about something I said or how I acted. By taking another step back, however, I picked apart the way I communicated and asked myself why? I also began to ask myself, am I showing the person I really am through my communication? By doing so, I was able to look at my life through another perspective.

Separating myself from my phone is not usually a hard task for me because I often lose it for a while or am distracted doing other things. I do not consider myself dependent on my phone, but I do think I sometimes check it unnecessarily throughout the day. When leaving my phone alone, in addition to all other electronic devices, I discovered something a little disturbing. By doing so, I felt that I often define my value through my phone. Although leaving my phone alone and walking away felt good, what did not feel good was seeing that I only had one text from my mom when I returned. Besides the fact that I love my mom more than the world, all these thoughts ran through my head like where is everyone, what is everyone up to, and why didn’t I get any other texts? Within that split second that I saw I had no messages, I felt as if I subconsciously questioned my worth. I realized what I thought connected me to the world also detached me from myself. From this, I came to wonder if I sometimes value myself through communication with people. After recognizing this, I am determined to no longer let my phone define me in these ways.

While away from my phone, however, I finally got to experience a calm hour of my day walking around campus. It was nice to have this hour set aside to slowly walk around campus and not be fast-walking to wherever I need to be. During this time I met up with some friends for lunch and realized that they were all on their phones. By not having my phone, I feel that I was more attentive to everyone and communicated more with the people I was with at the moment, instead of someone I was planning to see later. After lunch and after everyone went to their classes, I decided to come back to my room and just rest a little. Lying on my bed, I started to think about everything I enjoyed doing during the fall like going apple picking, raking leaves, and taking walks. Unfortunately, I find that I do not make time during the week or even during the weekend to make any of that possible. Sometimes we are so distracted and focused on the things that are important within the moment that we often miss the true beauty of the nature surrounding us. Clearing aside all the negatively influencing aspects of my day, I was able to appreciate the sensation of my favorite season. It scares me that I do not do this enough and how I let all this pass me by because I choose not to focus on it.

            After spending my day doing more thinking and listening than talking, I got to spend a relaxing night with my roommate. Growing closer to my roommate has been one of the best experiences of college so far. We have discovered that we have so much in common which is determined through our heart-to-heart talks as we attempt to fall asleep. During these conversations, we cannot tell each other’s body language or facial expressions and how they correlate to what it is that we are saying. To an extent, I think this strengthens my ability to communicate. Under these circumstances I find myself communicating honestly and with ease because I do not have to worry about how I am conducting myself otherwise. On the other hand, when I factor in who I am around when communicating, what I am doing, and how I am acting, I find my ability to communicate to be hindered. For example, while in a conversation with a good friend during the day, I suddenly realized that I was agreeing with something I would not agree with if she did not bring it up. Although I was listening to her and understood and respected what she had to say, why did I feel obligated to agree and not present my opinion? Since I was taking particular notice to this today, I wondered how often I actually do this during conversations and how many people I have insincerely been agreeing with.

This experience was beneficial is so many ways. From this, I see that I have a lot of work to do in some departments of my communicating life, I should not determine my value through my phone, and I should find more quiet time during the days. Although I admit that some of these realizations were a little embarrassing for me, I think it will do me well if start to think about these more during the day and find a way to factor changes into my life.

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