A few weeks ago, I hit a social media WALL. I woke up one day and had absolutely no interest in it anymore. I felt burnt out, uninspired, and totally drained by social.
I understand where it came from: I was doing way too much at once. I was working overtime at my full time job, working a second job nights and weekends, and fitting in networking events or coffee dates in wherever I could. Oh and I had a birthday, two weekends of family in town, and the rest of my social life. At first, I thrived on being busy. After being laid off twice and having been unemployed a lot last year, I was I grateful to have a full calendar. I always say I’m a momentum person – the more I have to do, the more I get done.
Well, I think I found my limit.
In my rush to get busy, I forgot to prioritize myself. As a creative person and introvert, I need down time to process and relax, but I wasn’t giving myself that wiggle room. I was literally running from event to event and was constantly stressed out as a result. It’s no wonder I woke up one day and decided I just didn’t have the energy for social anymore.
So, I’ve made a point to slow down. I quit my second job, I said no to a lot of events, I’ve set boundaries for how many hours I work at my full-time job, and I took time to digital detox. I even deleted Instagram from my phone for a while (it felt awesome).
The time away has reminded me that I’m not on social media to be like everyone else. Yes, I love posting cute outfit photos and talking about my workouts, but this is my corner of the internet and I want to reclaim that. It’s easy to feel like if you want to be a blogger it has to look a certain way, but I just don’t buy that anymore. I just want to be me. But on the internet.
Another thing I’ve taken away from my detox is that I need to detox more often. I’ve heard people talk about a digital sabbath where they delete all social off their phones one day a week and I want to give that a try. It’s hard to stay off social when it’s a click away, but when you take the temptation away it’s really freeing.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last few weeks, though, has been that I need to be more intentional and careful with where I put my energy. For a while, I was throwing my energy out to anything and anyone: events I didn’t want to go to, people I felt drained by, social media accounts that didn’t bring me joy, etc. I thought the momentum of being busy would help me be excited about it all, but after about two months I crashed. So now I’m moving forward with my finger on the pulse of what makes me feel good. What am I excited for? Who do I want to spend time with? What projects excite me?
Ever since I got out of school, I’ve felt this overwhelming need to know what direction I’m going in and to be able to name it. My friends are all becoming doctors and engineers and actors, but I’ve just never had that one clear vision for myself. I’ve put so much pressure on myself to find a path that I think I’ve started pushing myself towards things I don’t love for the sake of having a direction. What if I just let myself discern things as I go? What if I just let myself explore for a while?
A blogger I follow, Hiyet Rida, did an event a few weeks ago and something she said from it has really stuck with me. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it said something like “don’t brainstorm how to be your brand, let your mess be your brand” and that’s 100% where I’m at. So, here I am. On the internet with my mess.