more reflections

let me walk y’all through my day (in retrospect, I must ask you to forgive me. turns out I had a lot to say so I got a bit lost along the way)

when you have cool friends who do cool things like start businesses, you eventually get roped into the business making business (well, I do, because I like to try new things. sometimes. but for *some* reason I ended up in the business making business). as a newly initiated young entrepreneur, it was only right that I went to the Youth Entrepreneur Diversity Corp Summit. how did I end up in this space? my cool friends. my cool relationships. if that extremely rough draft is legible to you, you might know where I’m headed with this, but let’s keep going.

the YEDCorp Summit was spectacular. did I have extreme imposter syndrome? yes. less than two months ago I was a bio major who wanted to get her MD/PhD and just happened to write, sing, draw, and do photography on the side. and also had platforms for 2.5 of these hobbies. I’m still am/do all of those things, but now I’m also the social media manager and website developer for Better Than Half, which is the brain child of an extremely cool friend of mine. this sounded entrepreneurial enough to me, so I took my new cool things and bumped elbows with the cool kids.

cool kids throw cool parties, so I spent most of my morning listening to amazing speakers who had a lot to say about a lot of things. I have about 10 pages of inspirational chicken scratch, maybe I’ll pick my favorite points and expand on them. an advice column. yeah, that would be live. ANYWAY, speakers. a lot was said about social media, how to use it, when to use it, why to use it, all these things that kinda made me want to delete my Instagram but also maximize the copious amounts of time I spend on it. I’m finishing this book called Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, 12/10 would recommend, and it talked about how since our phones are always with us, our work is always with us. the people who need us are always with us. we’re always on call (like doctors), and it’s honestly become the norm. so there’s the issue of being overaccesible, but who are you choosing to make yourself accessible to? who do you want access to? what do your relationships look like, and why?

back in the day, I feel like it was easier for networks to form organically. maybe authentically is a better word? but if I know two cool friends and I want them to know each other, they have to meet face to face. I guess they could’ve written letters, and there were the expensive phone calls, but it was ideal to get to know someone while you were in their presence. did you meet as many people, no, but at least you were able to more intimately know the people you did meet.

NOW, everything is a mess. everything. I could go on LinkedIn and approve of the 22 random connections that have been pending for God knows how long, but who are these people? and the random uncles on Facebook? if you’re not friends with my mom, it’s quiet for you. blizzock. (for my more seasoned readers, that means “unless my mother’s approval can vouch for you, we will not be Facebook friends. block.) may or may not be writing this at 1 am, but back to my point. all it takes is the click of a button (which isn’t even really a button—we’re just tapping screens) to “know” someone. to have them in your network. and you don’t even have to follow someone to have access to them! how are you dm’ing me if you haven’t even taken the time to follow me? as if I don’t have koala tea content. tuh.

what I’m trying to say is there’s a huge problem that’s been developing and will keep getting worse. when the norm becomes establishing a relationship through a few taps, people won’t know what to do when it’s time to shake hands and talk. we put so much information on social media, accessible to whomever we choose (well, not it’s really our choice but it’s nice to pretend we have complete control over our privacy. also, is it whomever or whoever? #STEMMajor), that it’s weird having to ask who someone is, what they do. even with that, how long will it take for those questions to encompass a being with years of unique experiences? I’m definitely someone who takes time to get comfortable in a new space, starting with the safer, softer people to warm my voice up. but that’s the me thing. the we thing is that we struggle to communicate, and even when we do it well, it’s often very performative. call it my Wura Tingle #SpidermanReference, or maybe it’s the Holy Spirit, but I can tell pretty quickly how easy it will be for me to get along with someone. it’s an area I want to be less judgy in, but no cappasaurus rex, we’re a judgy species. one of the speakers said they look to hire interviewees who’d they want to sit next to, and that made a lot of sense to me. we all put people into “cool” and “not cool” categories subconsciously because the brain works quicker that we do. yes. by the time you realize you’re judging someone, the decision has already been made. my judge does a lot of cases on authenticity, many of which don’t end well.

me, 2.5 seconds into a new interaction: “what we thinkin?’

judge: “put em in the ‘we not linkin’ pile.”

we’re at a point where a lot of value has been put into quick and easy information, but building a relationship, especially when our judge has deemed someone as hopelessly not cool, takes time, which we never seem to have enough of. I’ll save the rest of that thought for another post.

that was a long paragraph, my bad. time to tie this all in to God. everything in Him is supposed to be reflected in us, because we were created in His image to re-present Him. God is love because God is in relationship in Himself via the Trinity… it’d be hard to hyperlink all the verses since I’m writing this on my phone (extremely ironic, but fitting) but see if you can make that connection. there’s no love without relationship. in order for a relationship to be fulfilling, healthy, desirable, all the possible synonyms I could list, love has to be there. genuine love, not a double tap or a retweet. likes and comments might be enough for an Instagram relationship, but highlights and notes in the Bible app aren’t enough for a relationship with God. social media has turned “engagement” into a mindless act, it’s just anything that gets the numbers up. there’s an increase in quantity, but the quality of our relationships with ourselves, each other, and God, are in danger. you still need to spend time with God, talking to Him, listening to Him, all the things we already find so hard to do with each other. time and energy will have to be put in, consistently. because truss mi, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. as fickle as feelings are, we won’t always want to do what we should.

 

let me remind y’all that I’m always writing to myself (be your own audience––I’ll expand on that in the advice column) so if this feels like a drag, I’m already down in the mud. it’ll wash off, no worries.

 

so, to u-turn to my climax,

“we have to learn how to slow down and not feel like we’re missing out.

where you are is enough.

what you do is enough.

who you know is enough

relax, and relearn how to focus

you can’t override this, I don’t think”

 

that “,I don’t think” is something I feel a lot but don’t usually write. poetry’s initial purpose was to help me organize my thoughts, and writing prose helps too, but there are still times when I get lost. am I saying what I want to, or have I strayed too far from my intended path? communication’s hard enough as is, and for me it can be like turning the Mona Lisa in my brain into a stick figure that can come out of my mouth, once I break up its limbs to form letters, punctuation. there are a lot thoughts that don’t have words, just images. once I take that moment to pause, it’s like my word maker recalibrates and I remember how to wrap things up. so, don’t move, act, or connect out of fear that you’ll miss out on your big break. I only met a fraction of the room at the Summit, but I’m confident that that was enough. I have a lot of interests and talents that have been developing as I strive to become a Renaissance Bae, but I will never be able to do everything, and that’s okay. I’ve been on lots of journeys, with learning, with healing, and none of them are finished. I can’t pine for where I’ve been, and I’ll never be able to figure out the future, because I’ll always be right where I am, in the present. that has to be enough, because that’s all I have, this moment.

 

some extra reflections (this sounds pretty–say it out loud):

“how are you dm’ing me if you haven’t even taken the time to follow me? as if I don’t have koala tea content. tuh.” it’s now 9:49 in the morning and I’m having one of those “if this is how I feel, imagine how God feels” moments, anddd now we’ve jumped to 1:10 in the afternoon (church was great) and yeah. still wowed. whenever I notice myself getting impatient or disgusted by someone, I get a little heart check, because where would I be if God saw me and treated me like that? extending grace and forgiveness is always the goal. so with this moment, this epiphany, I thought about how lackluster it is to throw up my concerns (and thanks) to God without taking the time to get to know Him better. there’s so much value in intimacy, and I got a strong reminder of that this morning. God is love, and He wants us to experience Him fully. all the attention and approval we bend over backwards to get from others, He gives freely. as much as I could want somebody’s son to want me (we’ll talk about my boy crazy days eventually), He already wants me more. that imagery really. hit. different.

as I prepare to proofread all this, was the journey longer than I thought it would be? definitely. is this gonna tie back to the YED Summit? potentially. do I want to hear what y’all think? always. leave a comment, fill out a contact form, dm me on IG, send me a carrier pigeon, whatever you gotta do. there are at least 4 blog posts I could write from the thoughts I left undeveloped, but it was fun adding these landmarks to the map of me.

 

be blessed bbys✨

be loved

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

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