Allison Coyle

The well established conformists path is the easy one, it has been traveled many times and its rewards are mediocre at best.

Tag: hope

Pageantry of Vanity

If you haven’t yet seen this video, I implore you to do so before you read any further.

Most, if not all, of us go through phases in which we rid ourselves of social media. For some, it’s not simply a phase but a conscious, permanent decision to change the way we interact with others.

I deleted my Facebook account last June after my heart was broken by a guy I was convinced I was destined to marry. I have over 500 “friends” on Facebook, yet I felt completely alone. In my sorry state, I wrote several notes about my situation, hoping to receive feedback from others who could relate. Yet I received none. Thankfully, I was interning with a great group of people at the time who pulled me out of my funk and brought color back to my life. This incident caused me to reevaluate the true purpose and necessity of social media in my own life. I was no longer “networking” or “keeping up” with old friends and acquaintances. I was airing my dirty laundry for virtual strangers to read. And I wasn’t alone in doing so.

Have you ever stopped and really taken note of how people utilize their social media pages? Some people genuinely do keep up with friends and share interesting articles and videos with said friends. My grandma is a great example of that, as is my friend Tiffany, who uses Facebook to create event invites and share info with her friends studying midwifery. I am not a great example of this, unfortunately. While I love discussing politics, music, and movies, I realized not too long after I created a Facebook page that social media is not the best medium for doing so. It’s much easier to debate and argue with others when you’re not forced to speak with them face to face. This has created unnecessary rifts in a few friendships, none of which, thankfully, have been permanent. So while I think discussing politics is a good and healthy practice, I now recognize that Facebook is a terrible venue for doing so.

I’m sure most people have examples of discussions gone awry due to miscommunication over social media. I can’t count the number of couples I’ve seen fight over one of them clicking “like” on someone else’s selfie or getting caught posting pictures of themselves with someone other than their significant other. It’s ridiculously juvenile, and this kind of behavior has permeated our culture just within the last decade. When was the last time you hung out with a friend without them taking a picture of their food or updating their status in the midst of a discussion? I got into an argument a few years ago with a friend who refused to put his phone away during dinner because he wanted to be in constant contact with his boyfriend.

Aside from the bad manners technology has wrought, there is a greater underlying problem in our culture. How often do you compare yourself to your friends on Facebook or Twitter? Their lives seem more exciting, right? They’re at a bonfire or at a party with loads of people on a Friday night, and you’re sitting at home, Netflix binging with pizza. They post pictures of their escapades with their new friends, and you feel guilty for only having three close friends. So, the next time you go out, you make sure to post a status or maybe even a picture of how much “fun” you’re having, because that’s what you do, right? You’re supposed to document everything you do on social media, right? I mean, doesn’t everybody? This creates a toxic cycle in which everyone feels the need to outdo one another in a false reality. We live our lives incorrectly assuming that those around us are happier, prettier, and more successful than us, based on pictures and statuses that they put up. Of course, we don’t know what their lives are really like outside of this social media bubble. We don’t know what they look like when they wake up, whether or not they feel self-conscious when they look in the mirror, how many close, reliable friends they have, or even how happy they are. The same people you envy may very well envy you.

I ended up reactivating my Facebook page last September, 3 ½ months after I had deleted it, for what reason, I can’t remember. I do remember reactivating it with the intent of doing so temporarily. I will be deleting my Facebook page at midnight tonight, with the intent of doing so permanently. I feel like a hypocrite for engaging in behavior that I condemn, and now feels like the right time to bow out.

I hope that you will weigh the pros and cons of social media in your own life and decide whether or not you’re using it as a means of communication or as a tool for narcissism.

Love and Kismet

Is falling in love a conscious decision? Do we have a say in the matter, or are we victims of kismet?

I’m twenty years old, and I’ve never dated. For the first nineteen years of my life, I avoided dating and relationships like a plague, for various reasons. While I by and large felt happy with my choice to evade this particular branch of life, I was not immune to the occasional pang of loneliness.

Shortly after turning twenty, I met someone who managed to melt the chilly disposition in my heart. I worked with him for five months, and in that short time, I became an entirely different person, in a way I never believed possible.

Raised by missionaries, Jason exuded an ethereal quality. He had a smile that could light up the darkest of rooms. He made me want to be a better person.

While I hadn’t noticed any particular changes in myself, my friends began to comment on how much happier I suddenly seemed. An intern who I had worked with at the time remarked one day that while she couldn’t imagine herself having a child at this age, she thought I would make an extraordinary mother because I was so nurturing and caring.

Me? Nurturing and caring??? Those were two adjectives that had never been used in concordance with my name.

I was convinced that Jason was my soul-mate. People always say, “You know when you know.” And I knew.

After experiencing heartbreaking and excruciating rejection, I felt abandoned. I felt lost. It took me twenty years to fall in love, and my heart was broken for the first time. My very being was in shambles. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. Was it okay to love someone who didn’t love me? When would the pain subside? Would I ever meet someone like him again?

The next month was the most painful month of my life. I clung to my phone, waiting and hoping that he might call. But he never did.

It is true, on some level, that times heals the pain. But it certainly doesn’t extinguish it.

After nearly five months, I’m beginning to see love and destiny in a new light. While I still find myself stumbling and making the same mistakes, I’m coming to terms with the fact that not everyone we fall in love with must be “The One.” While I still catch myself thinking about Jason from time and time and wondering what could have been, I’m realizing that there are many things left ahead for me to accomplish before I settle down.

Try as I may to not get my hopes up, I still find myself feeling somewhat left out of this societal experience. Now that I’m ready to step forward with this chapter of my life, it feels as though my timing may not be in tune with God’s timing. While patience is not my strong-suit, I must remind myself that something wonderful is just around the bend.

You can’t rush destiny. Especially in matters of the heart.