in fact here’s just another ordinary day
recently i switched mobile phone carriers. it was a stressful transition. and took coaching from many. being with a cell phone company for 7 years is like an intense relationships that you have to break off in stages. it’s like it started out all sunshine and roses with a cute little blue rubber flip phone. and service for miles and miles. and family plans. and free mobile to mobile calls to long distance BFs. and then one of you move across the country and the other one is punishing you for getting new friends and wanting to talk to them on the phone. and actually be able to make AND receive calls in your *gasp* home. and the other one just keeps teasing you with the memory of the good times. and cheap “loyalty- unlimited rates.” manipulating you into thinking that you could never afford unlimited everything from another carrier.
well, i made the switch. and it’s been a month. and it’s been fine. great even. except for today. because today i remembered 139 minutes too late that i no longer have an unlimited talk plan. because, in fact, i couldn’t really afford it. and i used so few on my old carrier that i figured all would be fine. oh right, i used so little because i didn’t have SERVICE IN MY HOUSE. which meant that I COULDN’T TALK ON MY PHONE TO USE THOSE MINUTES.
i digress. today was one of those twilightzone days. where for the majority of the day, i actually felt like i was living my life outside myself. and watching what was actually happening thinking… wait… is this happening? aren’t i supposed to be thinking that this is weird? but then continue anyway.
you see, today i talked on the phone with TWO, count em, TWO friends that i had NEVER before talked with on the phone. one of the conversations was an hour and a half. and the other 35 minutes. and guess what. it wasn’t weird. it was perfect.
technology has made us all (well, not all, thanks friends) scared to do the one thing that comes the most naturally to humans. connect. and talk. we’ve created a million different ways to actually avoid connecting with the invention of texting, facebooking, direct messaging, blah blah blah.
i remember staying up all night talking on the phone in eighth grade. i had my own phone line. and i used it. i have no idea what i found to talk about for 7 hours a night. but it didn’t matter. i was connecting. to my best friend, or the boy a had a crush on, or new friend. and when the phone rang, i didn’t actually know who was on the other line. and it DIDN’T give me so much anxiety that i let every call go to my answering machine. no, i answered the phone… never thinking, why is HE calling me? and i didn’t get all weird. and not know how to talk. or worry about what to talk about. or carrying the conversation if there was an awkward silence. i just connected.
well, somewhere along the path of overwhelmed with constant stimulation technology revolution i forgot how to connect. and have been slowly trying to regain that ability. and not avoid checking my voicemails for 3 weeks because then i would have to call someone back. and not let my friends go to voicemail because i wasn’t expecting them to call, so i can’t possibly imagine what they want, so i want to hear it in recorded form, not live so that i don’t have to respond right away.
because guess what. talking on the phone with someone you like (non romantic and romantically) is amazing. it’s like a little piece of heaven. it’s real connection. and it’s not awkward. and there’s NOTHING to worry about. it doesn’t matter that you’ve never talked on the phone. you’re not going to run out of things to say (honestly, i feel like i’m in an opposite day universe when admitting that this is one of my most common phone fears). and when the conversation is over. that’s ok.
today i used up a quarter of my monthly minute allowance. why? because i didn’t even think about those minutes as they were passing. and i enjoyed connecting with people that i wanted to talk to. talking on the phone with someone for the first time is exhilarating. you get to hear their phone voice. and be surprised that it’s totally not what you thought it’d be like. and you get to create a rhythm and flow to the conversation. a unique pattern of tone and inflection and pauses true only to the two of you. and you get to listen. and care.
today i received a 6:15am phone call from someone that i’d never spoken to on the phone before. i have text log for miles. but never pressed ‘dial.’ actually, the call was a response to a text i sent when i woke up. assuming that he’d receive it when he woke, because no one i know is actually as crazy as i am to be at work by 7am. and as i was putting my kettle on for coffee my phone rang. and i looked, and though, what? 6:15 am? why is HE calling me? and in my general confused, possibly hungover, and foggy state i didn’t over think, or analyze, or wait to hear the voicemail. i answered the damn phone. and proceed to talk for an hour and a half. all the way through getting ready for and driving to work. and it was just enjoyable. and calm. and not awkward. nor boring. it was real connection.
a few hours later, i received a message from another friend. a friend whose correspondence has only been in person, or in writing. she said let’s arrange a call, i have an update. i said, still thrown from my previous intense monday morning connection call, ok. and she called. and dove right it. there was no awkward “we’ve never talked on the phone before, is it going to be weird?” moment. why not? because THAT IS A CRAZY WEIRD THING I’VE MADE UP IN MY HEAD. we’ve been talking on the phone for years. and it works. easily. and it’s really really nice.
so today, friends, i thank you. for reminding me of how ‘connected’ actually feels. and shutting up my awkward obsession for the day. and for calling. i can’t wait to do it again…. i just think i’ll have to up my monthly ‘peak’ minutes.
also, at lunch, while processing my morning call i remembered this article i read a few weeks ago. and the world came full circle once again. talk deeply, be happy.