Being Present

By: Tommy Nelson

Reintegration into society was something I was extremely excited for while on NOLS.  I couldn’t wait to get back and talk to my friends and family.  I even began counting down the days until I could have things like my phone, showers and Oreos. While having Oreos and showers has definitely been nice, I didn’t fully realize what my phone takes away with having use of it.  During NOLS we were forced to be present in every aspect of what we were doing.   There wasn’t anything to distract us from that.  On the final day of our trip we all sat in a circle under the stars and talked about what we did each day on the trip.   We went around one by one and shared what we each did each day.   As a group we were able to remember specific things about what we did each day.   I could remember conversations I had, jokes that were told and where I was in the Wind River Range at the time.   I was amazed that I was able to remember things from weeks before, and with such detail.  Since returning to civilization I feel like I have separated more from the group and am not as in touch with what is going on.   I have been glued to my phone and laptop.  I see how it has changed how I interact with the people around me.   At times I wish I could go back into the mountains and give up my phone for another month, so I could be present in what is going on daily.

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