A photo has been circling around social media this week that shows a crowd of people enjoying a movie premiere as stars like Johnny Depp and Dakota Johnson grace the red carpet. It’s not the mass amount of people flocking to catch a quick shot of these stars on their cell phones that has gained the most attention. It’s not the even the stars themselves that have made headlines as the new movie Black Mass heads into theaters. Instead, a woman whose hair has turned a soft white with eyes filled of joy has stolen the spotlight.
As I look at the photo I have to admit that I know nothing of this woman. There is no link on the internet that tells her story or says where she is from (at least not that I could find). There is no information about her job, how many kids she has, or if she has a fan crush on Johnny Depp. However, the longer I look at this photo, the more I feel like I know this woman. Her movie themed t-shirt, modern handbag and bright rose colored glasses tell me that she is young at heart. The lines on her face say that she has lived a long life, one that I’m sure has been filled with a mixture of trials and joy. From that information alone, she looks like the type of woman I would love to have lunch with. However, these aren’t the reasons that she has stolen the spotlight.
This woman stands out because of one choice that she made differently than the crowd of individuals surrounding her. It’s a rather simple choice. One that often times I think we forget even exists. While everyone else is experiencing the moment through the lens of their cell phones, she is simply engaged in the moment without the distraction. I’m not saying that she doesn’t have a cell phone and that she didn’t snap a single photo the entire time she was there. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has the new iPhone 6s in that hippy handbag of hers with a twitter account that has more followers than me. However, in this specific moment she has made the choice to truly BE in the experience. To take it in without worrying about what filter to use or how to zoom in to make it appear as if she was actually closer than reality. She is not trying to figure out how to impress others by what she can show them she experienced. She just is. She’s in the moment, creating real memories, noticing real details firsthand.
I love the challenge that this delicate smile has brought to me this week. While she may not realize the impact that this one moment has had, I hope that somehow she can find joy in knowing she restored a hope in others. This photo, whether I know the story behind it or not, has inspired me to live more IN the moment and less THROUGH my cell phone. About two years ago I lost all of my daughter’s birth photos because they were stored on my cell phone that I hadn’t backed up. I remember as devastation swept over me and I vowed to never take a photo with my cell phone again. My husband and I went out and bought a new, nicer (and more expensive might I add) camera thinking that this would solve the issue. I’m sad to say that it has gathered more dust and less “memories” than what I might have liked because my cell phone tends to be so convenient.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a culture of convenience and to miss out on the joys of real memories. Memories that are raw and unedited as we pass through life. I hope that someday someone will see me and say “Now that is the type of woman I would like to sit down and have lunch with. I bet she has a great story to tell!” Until then, I want to be reminded that maybe looking through rose colored glasses isn’t such a bad thing after all. This woman sure looks to be enjoying herself!