Yesterday when I came home from work, I dropped my bag and breathed a sigh of relaxation and this question popped into my head - 'What should I post tonight?'. I caught myself yet again as I always do and the beginning of another tiresome conversation inside my mind stared. Usually I'd brush it off after a few minutes of back and forwarding but something happened and I just couldn’t get these intrusive thoughts out of my mind.
My relationship with social media started when I was in year 8 but it got 'serious' when I was living in Melbourne three years ago. My struggle with mental health left me at a standstill. Battling with friendships, love and my own self love I had some of the darkest points in my life that year. This was when I truly started sharing my words on Instagram, forcing myself to speak although I felt awkward at first it was the most rewarding action I could have done. The community on Instagram opened up and I was connecting and engaging with people just like me and as superficial as it sounds – social media almost saved my life.
It was in that year that I started my website 'The Found Space' which led me even more to make lifelong friends and connect with individuals in real life, about what was really going on. With this influx of people connecting to my life I subconsciously started to put pressure on myself to share positive musings and support people through what they were going through too, in addition to my own self who at that point was still struggling. The next few years I was on a journey of self discovery and shared it all, the good and the bad. It was such a great platform for me at that point in my life, and there is no doubt it helped me grow and helped me become the person I am today. However in the past two years questions have constantly been popping into my mind - Do people care about what I have to say? Is this helping anyone? Am I posting this photo at the right time? Do I really love this photo? Is this too vulnerable? Am I really being me? These pressures all seem to slowly creep in, maybe they were always there but maybe I didn't want to confront them. What I do know though is that I don't need it right now moving forward - and maybe this is a little dramatic - but for me it changed everything and was such a huge part of my life.
I'm not going to lie, I am afraid of life without it. How can I succeed? Will all my creative projects be seen without it? Will I get that job? I am worried about what people think for sure - but I have got to stop asking these questions. Subconsciously I feel getting constant feedback and likes on a photo can shape who you are, and that might not be the person you want to be. I want the freedom of creativity to come back to me, not the creativity of someone else. Lately Instagram has made me judgemental of my creativity and causing me too much unnecessary stress.
I am utterly and wholeheartedly grateful and thankful for social media but I feel in my heart that to continue growing, creating and being a loving person I need to let it go for now. I've tried to rationalize it, write the pros and cons, etc.. but I can feel anxiety and my ego creeping in again. I know that this might not be the true source of it and maybe I am running away from the problem but without it I am going to have a better chance of figuring myself out, I feel like I am ready.
Before social media standing in front of crowds scared the shit out of me but now I speak quite comfortably, I can also easily me meet a stranger for coffee and talk about my creative ideas with confidence. For an introvert like me, social media taught me such important lessons. I’m here, living and as happy as i’ve ever been. I speak honestly about what’s on my mind, I feel alive and I am passionate about the future and my own creative endeavors. I found some absolutely beautiful lifelong friends and an equally beautiful community of kind, caring and honest individuals who gave me so much strength in those really dark times. There is no doubt I am utterly and wholeheartedly grateful and thankful for social media but to continue growing and creating I need to let it go for now.
Precious time is now wasted scrolling and caring about things I shouldn't. I want to look at things in a new light, not one I am constantly sharing with others. I want to slow dance to jazz with my lover, invite my friends over for dinner and spend the whole day cooking, read in the sun room, water my plants, draw whatever I feel like drawing, do whatever I want to do for ME, not for anyone else.
When will I return? In a few months? Maybe never? I have no idea. But for now I know that there's something more to life than numbers and I am definitely not made of them. I'll still be writing, baking, loving, creating, taking photos, laughing, learning, growing and living just all without the stress of social media. When I feel like it i'll share my creative musings and photos on here, but for now I'll see you when I'm looking at you! Call me, email me, write me a letter. Lets catch up for a cup of tea and talk about what makes you happy, how beautiful life is and your favourite songs.