Youth is Wasted on Youth

Hello y’all! Did you miss me?

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a blog post. I’ve just been so busy! I recently went on vacation last week, and I have lots to share. In fact, there’s so many things I want to blog about, I have no idea where to start.

I suppose I’ll share some of the stories from my vacation. I’ll do a general “vacation scrapbook” type blog soon, but there’s a particular story from my vacation that provoked some thought out of me.

Today’s generation they say, is increasingly addicting to cell phones and “me” culture. As a teenager in this society, I can say that it’s true. I’m guilty of it. My friends are guilty of it. Literally everyone living in the 21st century has been guilty of this at some point in their lives, some more than others, other’s subconsciously. But that’s not the issue here.

I don’t write this to be hypocritical, but rather in sadness over where our society has been headed on this train ride that chugs along at full speed, even though we have no idea where our final destination is.

I’m saddened by the amount of time we spend glued to phones, laptops, iPads, you name it.

This summer, I’ve had the pleasure of working at a tutoring camp. Every day, the kids have 3 break times, similar to school: snack, lunch, snack.

Usually during lunch time, and occasionally during snacks, we have a “free/play time” for the kids to take a break from story reading and worksheets. The tutoring centre has lots of toys, like jump ropes, hoola hoops, you name it. (Though personally, the centre lacks a skip-it, which was my childhood). However, at least 40% of the kids AREN’T PLAYING WITH THE FREE TOYS.

Instead, they bring their iPads and play Minecraft with each other, even though they’re sitting right beside each other.

This left me flummoxed to say the least. These kids are young! Maybe 4-9 years old. They’re big balls of energy that could run and play and laugh and sweat and enjoy everything life has to offer without worry… Yet they sit inside playing on an iPad.

Now, I’m quite young too, and I can admit that in my middle school years and even now, I’m totally guilty of doing nothing but reading internet fiction all day lying in bed, but it disheartens me that this kind of behaviour is so incredibly normal now.

Flash forward to my vacation. I went to St. Thomas, part of the US Virgin Islands. It took over 4 hours in a plane, but here I was. I went with my family for a late night swim. The sky was a dark navy, speckled with a battalion of stars.

St. Thomas is super hilly, and the little houses dotted the mountain top in a beautiful constellation of light. It’s a breathtaking view. I advise you all to see it in your life.

However, I know there are a few people who missed the view.

While I was swimming, I couldn’t help but notice two teenage girls sitting at the poolside. They were in their early-mid teens, I’d say maybe 14, 15, or 16? I was shocked to see that instead of soaking in the beautiful world around them, they had their heads down, staring at their phones.

I was totally tempted to swim up to them and tell them to look up! Because the world is so beautiful, and it’s not every day you’re somewhere so mesmerizing! Here I was, looking at the beauty of the world we live in, swimming in a warm, Caribbean sun heated pool, yet twitter and instagram were more important.

Later, I thought they were going to come in, after they finally shed their outer clothing to reveal pretty looking swimsuits. But instead, one of the girls got the other to take lots of pictures of her in her swimsuit, then sat down and began to edit a bunch of the pictures for instagram.

Suddenly, it felt like social media was so plastic and small. What good is an instagram moment beside a poolside if you never went in the pool? If you never even looked up to take in at the world around you? Social media was created to share the beauty of life and experiences. Yet here we are posting and posting with our insatiable hunger for likes and attention. We’re no longer experiencing what our pictures lead others to believe we are.

It’s none of my business as to what those two girls want to do with their time. It’s not up to me to tell them what should be a priority. I’m not them. I don’t know them. But it was a sad reminder that we live in such a ‘picture-perfect’ society. We get the pictures, and the likes, the attention, the followers… But what do we lose?

We lose life. We lose precious time we’ll never get back.

Youth today waste away posting on instagram, tweeting about breakfast, tumblr blogging pictures of cake, when we are in the prime time of our life to go out and do things that will seem impossible when we’re older.

They say that youth is wasted on youth, and it’s sad to see that the sentiment is true.

I want to start experiencing. I want to live without looking through a snapchat lens. 10 fleeting seconds mean nothing compared to a lifetime of memories stored in my brain. I want to look back on life and remember experiences, not the number of people who double tapped on my pictures.

But it’s not that easy. I know it isn’t. And despite saying all these things, I still check my likes, I still check my followers, I still snapchat. It’s a matter of moderation; and I want to learn how to balance.

How about you? What do you think about this whole “social media” culture? I’d love to get to know!

– Carole

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One Word at a Time

I am a writer. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I weren’t a writer. It amazes me all the time how beautiful language is. Words can be a beautiful medium for art, and tapping into the soul we keep carefully hidden away from anyone else.

Beginning in November of 2015, I started composing “microfictions”. These are little stories, or little tidbits of stories. I challenged myself that any microfiction I wrote must fit the character parameters of twitter (140 characters or less). Therefore, twitter has mostly been my means of sharing microfiction, until now, when I decided to go through my archive and pull them all out.

It’s amazing to me, to see what I’ve written in the past few months. Some of them I clearly remember why I wrote them, some I don’t. Some are based on personal experiences/emotions, some are completely pulled from my imagination. In all, I’ve written about 70 microfictions, though I’ve tapered off in the past few months. Writing this blog post has helped bring back my desire to keep writing them.

Look for inspiration all around you. It’s there, waiting for you to capture the moment on paper forever. I challenge everyone to slow down and write sometimes. It’s extremely therapeutic for the soul. I love it.

You don’t need to write a novel to write. Microfiction is proof enough of that. Hopefully some of mine reach you.

Out of the 70 microfictions I’ve written, I’ve narrowed it down to a few I love the most.

If you’d like, comment your favourites down below, or try writing your own!

Microfictions by Carole P.

1. “Ghosts rattle my windows, hoping to find a home for their lost souls. Or maybe that’s just the wind.” Microfiction (19)
8:55 PM – 12 Nov 2015

2. “Power is in numbers, but they can’t stand against rapid fire. Cold souls prevent the listless from the decrescendo.” Microfiction (19)
11:04 AM – 13 Nov 2015

3. “The echo of guns replaced by candles as we sizzle the gunpowder with tears. But we are a minute too late.” Microfiction (21) #ParisAttacks
5:44 PM – 13 Nov 2015

4. “Heavy hearts lay on the ground of those lost, weeping on the tombstones. Can you hear the people crying?” Microfiction (19) #ParisAttacks
6:03 PM – 13 Nov 2015

5. “Deep cries are never found, lost to shallow laughs. People solely scratch the surface, hoping not to break their nails.” Microfiction (20)
10:13 AM – 18 Nov 2015

6. “Disappointment seeds in my bones, sprouting doubt and intoxicating anxiety. My mind and eyes won’t stop watering weeds.” Microfiction (18)
7:34 PM – 18 Nov 2015

7. “The mirror is a crystal we stare into to find value. We are so narrow sighted, we miss the light bending into rainbows.” Microfiction (23)
10:32 PM – 19 Nov 2015

8. “One day I want to look into your eyes to see an eternity of loneliness recede like an ocean wave.” Microfiction (20)
10:46 PM – 19 Nov 2015

9. “The butterfly’s wings are shattered with rain. But once the butterfly is ready to fly again, she is too afraid to try.” Microfiction (22)
8:12 AM – 21 Nov 2015

10. “One day someone will write love on her arms, the curve of her back, at the base of her spine, but for now, she waits.” Microfiction (25)
10:33 PM – 28 Nov 2015

11. “The fluorescent sun drowns me in golden syrup. I taste the honey on my lips, and it reminds me I’m human.” Microfiction (21)
1:29 PM – November 29 2015

12. “Spin me round until I forget how much it hurts, the world is a blur, and your eyes anchor me to sanity.” Microfiction (22)
12:28 PM – 1 Dec 2015

13. “Hazy eyes are the looking glass into a muddled soul, full of fog and trying to see.” Microfiction (17)
4:59 PM – 4 Dec 2015

14. “He was music; a vibrant crescendo of sound and overwhelming dramatics. And I was so so lost in the melody.” Microfiction (20)
7:18 PM – 24 Dec 2015

15. “Frosted mirrors crystallize my sight, but hot tears burn a hole through fog, when I try and look for you in myself.” Microfiction (22)
8:17 PM – 28 Dec 2015

16. “Mr. Puppet Master I’m tired of this all. Please take away my heart and burn it with my soul.” Microfiction (19)
2:49 PM – 5 Jan 2016

17. “You’re a beautiful disaster that begs to me to keep breathing for you, but I’m suffocating in this dead air.” Microfiction (20)
11:04 AM – 19 Jan 2016

18. “Loving you was a cumulus cloud. But I was blind to the cumulating storm, until the lightning struck me.” Microfiction (19)
5:18 PM – 25 Jan 2016

19. “Wash me away in the sea until I sink into the shipwrecks. Maybe then, I won’t feel anymore.” Microfiction (18)
10:44 PM – 27 Jan 2016

20. “Each exhale expels a cloud of life from my lips. Even in the dead of winter, thank God I’m alive.” Microfiction (20)
2:04 PM – 29 Jan 2016

21. “Because she was a china doll put on a pedestal. Envy knocked her down and she shattered. But no one spoke up for her.” Microfiction (24)
8:40 PM – 2 Feb 2016

22. “Yesterday you bled into my dreams, and I woke up wishing that blood was dripping from my fingers.” Microfiction (18)
10:09 PM – 10 Feb 2016

23. “On a midnight walk on the 14th night, did you stop once to look at the stars? Did you see me in the constellations?” Microfiction (24)
4:42 PM – 16 Feb 2016

24. “This is a fairytale that’s turned into a nightmare. Ink spilled on our pages, trying to rewrite our happy ending.” Microfiction (20)
9:38 PM – 19 Feb 2016

25. “Despite believing I’ve washed you off my hands, I still find your name written in the lines of my palms.” Microfiction (20)
6:58 PM – 1 Apr 2016

26. “The scariest thing was looking out the stormy window to find it was always sunny.” Microfiction (15)
9:24 PM – 4 Apr 2016

27. “Maybe all along I was just the pawn on the chess board.” Microfiction (12)
7:59 PM – 14 Apr 2016

28. “I’m afraid you’ll find your way back in my head. I know you’ll haunt my dreams tonight.” Microfiction (17)
9:59 PM – 14 Apr 2016

29. “Because you are a treasure, buried for safe keeping, you forgot where your splendour is hiding.” Microfiction (16)
10:23 PM – 8 May 2016

30. “When we met, I could finally hear the music. I dread the day the world will one day fall silent.” Microfiction (20)
11:05 AM – 10 May 2016

31. “Maybe if I cry, the nightmares will purge from my eyes, and I’ll have dreams tonight.” Microfiction (16)
12:18 AM – 12 Jun 2016

32. “Hold on tight and don’t let me go. I want to stay in our Polaroid moment forever.” Microfiction (17)
9:19 PM – 24 Jun 2016

Language is such a beautiful, complex art that even it cannot be used to truly express the fullness of storytelling.
– Carole