‘IRL’ In Real Life

Wisdom from the back of a bike and Journey of a Jubilant Being.
I am blessed to have three teenagers in my life and privy to all the slang and lingo that is hip to kids these days. One of their favorite and common terms is ‘IRL’— In Real Life. The first time I heard it I rolled in laughter. What do you mean ‘IRL,’ I asked in astonishment? I couldn’t quite comprend there was anything else other than ‘In Real Life’.

But I was quickly corrected that things happen online, in games, virtual, and not in IRL. Kids nowadays can blow up a building or shoot a guy in the gaming world, so seeing a moose or whitewater rafting now needs to be qualified as IRL (so they all know it really happened, ) rather than something experienced virtually. WHO KNEW!

To think that when talking about something you need to say ‘IRL’ to make sure your listener knows it really happened in real life; uggg! Needless to say, it is a bizarre and heart-wrenching term to me that kids have to qualify what is real and what is not real. Many debates have ensued around our dinner table about how ridiculous ‘IRL’ is. I constantly have to say everything is IRL, life is IRL, live IRL, and get away from anything that isn’t.

Of course my kids think I am dull and out-of-date to use the terms they use, so I have decided to say it as often as I can, like, “Hey do your dishes, IRL,” or “Yes, IRL, you get to fold your laundry.” It always elicits a round of groans and they roll their eyes at how I’ve butchered the term. It also gets a few laughs, and every once in a while I get it right.

Last night we were in the motor home, finishing up dinner, and my youngest’s daughter’s eyes widened in astonishment. IRL a giant porcupine was wading down the road right beside our RV. We jumped up and watched it go by as we took photos and marveled at its size, shape, inward-turned feet, and long, stiff tail. What a sight to see IRL!

This entire trip has been filled with bear-sighting, bison, deer, moose, big-horned sheep, and a bald eagle — all IRL. We’ve seen the most amazing vistas, mountaintops, valleys, riverbeds, waterfalls, babbling brooks, and wildflowers; all IRL. Most importantly, we’ve met the most loving, generous, and supportive people, sharing the catch of the day, their wifi, their power, while giving us great advice, secret camping spots, and special directions to places we would have never found — 100% IRL.

There is truly something to being in that moment and seeing it all firsthand; smelling the pine needles on the trees, hearing the water in the stream before you even see it, or making a friend in mere moments that touches your heart.

This IRL thing is utterly spectacular. Stepping out of the modern world of screens and scrolling. Unplugging from the virtual and immersing into nature with little planning and no comparing.

IRL is now the term of the day. Living In Real Life is such a gift.
May you have exciting adventures, warm feelings, and blessed experiences IRL today.


Much Love, JB