So a curious thing happened. I wrote my last blog post a couple months ago, stating that I was done with blogging and signing off. Moreover, instead of leaving my blog up for others to refer back to, I was going to take it off-line completely by setting it to private. At the time, I was feeling burned out, overexposed and raw from a particular experience that led to a strong desire for anonymity and quietude. I also felt a need to calm down my growing insecurity (it comes in waves) and I wanted to swear off all social media. So I unplugged.
No blogging of my own.
No visiting other’s blogs.
No Facebook (I deactivated both my personal and fan page).
I only spent time online to run my shops on Etsy and found that I had a good 2-3 extra hours a day freed up. Yes, that’s a lot of extra time (but I’m willing to bet that if most of you pulled the plug on all social media, you’d be amazed at how much more time you’d have in a day!).
I called, emailed or sent cards to family and friends close to me (I found that most of my FB “friends” didn’t even notice I was gone, so why was I spending so much time focused on them before?). I spent time soaking the beautiful Colorado sun (it may still be really cold but it’s sunny nearly every day here and the couch that basks in the late afternoon sun cures any winter blues). I worked out for the first time in a looooong time (ow, sore!). I watched a lot of movies with David. I no longer spent the evenings with laptop in hand zoning out until bed wondering where all the time went. I spent more time loving on my husband and pups. I spent time creating from the heart and referred back to journals instead of looking online for inspiration. I spent time quieting my anxious soul and stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and what everyone thought of me as a person and artist.
No more obnoxious status updates.
No more drama.
No more comparing to other’s success.
No more head games or emotional tug-a-war.
And you know what? A beautiful thing happened…
I found peace.
I found happiness.
I found my center.
And the craziest, most unexpected thing of all? I feel less lonely and isolated. I no longer feel like the person on the outside looking in. I’m not hearing about all the get-together’s I’m missing out on, all the social activities people are engaging in, all the personal connections that I don’t have in my life. And in this regard, ignorance has been bliss. My self-esteem has been restored and I just don’t feel bad about myself anymore (that folks, was worth it alone to leap off the social media cliff!). I did what I set out to do for my New Year’s resolution (decluttering all areas of my life) and can’t remember the last time I felt so joyful. I’ve decluttered my physical environment, decluttered my business and decluttered my personal life (which is why I’m still not on Facebook!).
But after my 2 month “sabbatical”, I’m finding a whisper tugging at my heart and that is blogging. I miss writing and I miss sharing with you all. I swore I wouldn’t allow myself to share my life in such a personal way again on a blog, which is a wide-open public forum. But the reality is, I strive to have a candid, honest view on life. One that is positive and upbeat but isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, one that shares highs and lows but always gets back up and chugging along. A glass half-full approach, but also one that is realistic. And sure, the candor (and being honest about disappointments in life) opens up my vulnerabilities to the world, but isn’t that also how we grow?
And so I will approach social media again (or at the very least, blogging) with baby steps. Although I jumped all out in a flash, I’m not about to jump back in the same fashion. I want to share and reconnect, but at a pace that is comfortable and doesn’t take away all the time (and perspective) that I’ve gained over the past few months. If you’ve ever blogged regularly, you know it’s a big commitment, so I’m trying to listen to my heart more and do what feels right (which may mean a pace that is more like every other week rather than every other day).
Care to continue the journey with me?