What makes things valuable?
The price tag?
The way it makes you feel?
The reputation it holds?
The way it makes others feel?
The memories it creates?
How long it lasts?
The question of value is not one easily answered. Every single person on this earth would likely answer that question differently, with countless examples to justify their thoughts. For some the price tag on their house or car literally translates into value, for others the seemingly most insignificant object will hold the highest value to them due to sentiment.
Growing up, one of the best lessons I believe my parents taught me was learning to value experience over things. This lesson was one that I literally experienced with my family – as my parents did everything they could to ensure that we went on family trips every year, exploring new places and seeking new adventures. This lesson has shaped my attitude towards ‘stuff’ and been an incredible motivator to spend less money on physical things and ultimately opened the door for my backpacking trip, study abroad program and many other experiences that have brought me priceless joy and memories.
One of my favorite things to experience is live music – whether it’s at a sold out stadium or a teeny little venue. Spending $25 on a concert ticket versus a new shirt is a no brainer for me. I remember every single concert I’ve been too and have never regretted the price I paid to see it.
I’ll never forget the way my first concert captured me – seeing Bryan Adams play the Verizon Amphitheater in Charlotte. That memory is still precious to me – while the concert tee is long gone (case in point).
Watching live music is a completely engaging experience – it’s pretty hard to resist swaying to the beat or singing along if you know the words. However, a couple years ago I noticed something that really, really bothered me. I realized that I was watching half of every concert I went to through my Snapchat – trying to record the best songs and posting pictures.
Finally, at a concert my senior year of high school I actively chose to put my phone away and not take it out during the concert. It completely transformed my experience – in about five minutes I completely forgot about the pressures I felt to share what I was doing and was able to fully enjoy the concert.
I was reminded of this decision on Friday night when I sang along to one of my favorite bands ever, Johnnyswim. (If you’ve never heard of them, do yourself a favor and give them a listen)
All around me I was watching people scramble to open various social apps when they began playing a certain song. Recording and then deleting multiple snapchats to capture the best lighting. Writing and rewriting captures on Instagram stories to make sure they looked good.
Life is too short to miss out on engaging in these beautiful moments so all those random people that you went to high school with and are still friends with on social media can see what you did on Friday night. Seriously, they really don’t care.
I don’t want to spend my life behind the screen on my cellphone – I want to spend it being present, singing and dancing to my favorite songs. Thanks for the reminder Johnnyswim.