Notes from Sunday 29 March:
I’ve been away from the internet since 7am this morning; the last time I scrolled through my notifications, checked over the control panel of my blog. I’ve been in class, learning in real time. My hands haven’t touched my keyboard. I’ve been making notes in my notebook, like, with a PEN. It feels, frankly, weird.
Being in a learning environment with all those other souls feels different, too. In a strange but familiar way. I’m in the first retreat block of the Leadership Programme I am part of. It’s day one, two more to go. I quickly get a bit peopled out, but I console myself with the idea that soon, I’ll have some one on one time with my laptop.
Being off the internet feels weird.
So when I get to my room, (Yes! Sudima Hotel has free wifi!), I instantly seek out my old friend. There’s a sigh of contentment as I lift my laptop over onto my lap. Hello sweetheart. Let’s go exploring…
Except a pop-up window keeps telling me that my usual pages are all, ‘untrusted connections’. It won’t let me validate the security certificates. Just one option is available on my screen. ‘Get Me Out Of Here’.
But I don’t want to get out of here! I’ve been getting twitchy withdrawal feelings from my internet; my friend. I miss it. I miss what it shows me, where it takes me, who it connects me with. I keep trying, like a drug seeker after that familiar hit. I’m no quitter.
Then my roomie starts conversing with me. And the conversation captures me! Before I know it, my laptop is sliding sideways onto the bed. I’m listening. We’re talking, laughing, covering the deep stuff. Travelling the world and traversing through time. Connecting like old friends. That feels nicely weird, too; we are talking about things it would usually take established friends some time to reach! I close the lid and turn to laugh at something she just said. We giggle and adjust our volume so we don’t wake up the people in the neighbouring room.
Connecting with real people in real time is exhausting for me. I like respite. Alone time. It helps me to recharge when I have some solitary time. So I am surprised that I have spent an entire day, deeply immersed in the learning. Engaging with all the individual souls in my programme. Talking, listening, talking, talking… and then come to my room and talk some more. We talk until midnight gives us pause. My brain is whirring somewhere high above my sleepy self.
A little thought skips through my mind as I close my eyes. How interesting that my ‘untrusted connection’ warning on the internet has left me open to a real and trusting connection in real life. Kismet. Coincidence. Connection in a dis-connected, digitally connected world. I like it when life gives me gifts like that conversation. To be present is the present.
And internet? I’ll see you when I get out of here, my old friend. Til then I’ll be immersed in some other kinds of connection …and you won’t miss me at all!