A Little Break
Hey all! So, I took a little break from blogging – mainly because I wasn’t feeling super inspired but also because life has been busy in this home stretch period of winter.
I’ve been feeling sort of wonky about social media and socialization in general. I just finished “The Circle” by Dave Eggers and the whole thing made me feel like I was having a very slow anxiety attack. It was published in 2013, and social media has made leaps and bounds since then. Ideas that seemed far fetched – like live video feeds – are now realities. It was a great book but definitely bizarre to see the scary turn that social media obsession can take. People will believe that they truly know you – based on your social media or their brief periods of interaction with you – but when you go against what they think, it can get pretty nasty, pretty quickly. This was true in the book and it’s true in real life.
Before reading the book, I had already become a little hyper aware of what I’d been posting – mainly not feeling safe about posting my experiences when they were happening, but rather later on, allowing me privacy in my moments.
I’m actually a somewhat private person, and I don’t really like to share my everyday life with people. When someone asks me what I’ve been up to lately, I don’t feel the need to go through every detail. My experiences are my own, everyone’s busy, I share what’s needed. This blog has been a great exercise for me to start conversations that I would have run away from having years ago, and I’m happy to see my own personal growth, but it’s important for me to remember that these are my thoughts and not everyone else’s. I try not to villainize anyone in my writing, I try to be self aware regarding my actions and I try to consider other’s feelings. Sometimes I’ll write something in the heat of the moment, go back to reread, edit and reflect. The whole blog process is very therapeutic for me, and I’m thankful for that. I’m able to present my feelings and motives, and see the pros and cons of my thoughts.
In being aware of my presentation, however, I’ve become more hesitant to share bits and pieces of my life. I can talk about my anxiety and self esteem issues – knowing it’s healthy for me to acknowledge my faults and realizing that it might also be helpful for someone to read. If someone wants to judge me for discussing my mental health – so be it. I’m still figuring out my head, it doesn’t bother me as much if someone wants to complain about me “preaching self care” because I’m focusing on myself and my mental health. I’m taking care of myself, in that sense, not trying to please anyone else.
But in other areas of my life, my skin isn’t so thick. I’ve been hesitant to share my recent adventures. When you feel like someone’s demonizing you, it seems weird to share about your weekend trips or work outfits. Sure, there will be people who enjoy learning about my experiences but there will still be that circle of people who screenshot my photos into text messages to talk about how much they hate it. Mentally, that’s a weird road block to overcome, and I’m not really sure I’ve figured out a way to do this yet. It’s caused me to feel pretty defeated and lethargic when it comes to talking about my life. It makes me feel protective of my experiences – like I want to keep them private. It makes me feel downtrodden, which I think is the goal – some people only feel like they truly win when they make someone else feel like they’ve lost.
I try to remind myself that I’m still growing up. I try to remind myself that not every slight deserves a response. That not every prodding bit or piece deserves a reaction. I try to remind myself that just because someone wants me to react confrontationally, it doesn’t mean I need to. I can keep to myself, I can go where I want to go. I am not obligated to please or protect anyone except myself. The decisions I make to put my mental health first are important and though not everyone will understand these calls, it’s not my obligation to repeatedly explain. I can insert and remove myself where I feel safe, supported and loved. I do not have to engage in other people’s theatrical drama simply because they don’t approve of my decisions.
Maybe it’s the Maya Angelou poem I repeated to myself several times today. Or maybe it’s the book I just finished. Or maybe it’s that I’m so god damn exhausted from being put in awkward situations by other people’s passive-aggressive behavior. Either way, I keep repeating to myself the same mantras – be brave, rise above, stay true, put good out into the world. I’m not entirely sure how it’ll tie into my blogging, but hopefully the inspiration of confidence will soon connect to my blogging mindset.