This morning I made the decision to archive all my Instagram posts and remove myself from the platform. I'm not sure for how long, maybe forever, maybe a few days. Let's see. The reason being I need to think. This pause has been a long time coming, but, in the past few weeks, it's been heavily foreshadowed.
The first thing that happened is, for the past few months, I've been feeling very raw. More anxious because of the platform than ever before. Obviously, societally, there's been a lot going on, and a lot of that culminated there. But there's also the fact that I've allowed myself to be pressured to share more openly there lately, too.
For a while, I thought maybe these mounting nerves were just growing pains, that I'd get past this, and that any discomfort I felt was worth it for the value it added to others.
Parts of that may still be true. I do know that being honest about aspects of my life has been helpful to some. But here's what else is true: that doesn't mean I need to continue it. A while back I may have considered that thought there selfish, but I don't anymore. I believe our bodies give us cues that deserve to be honoured. And my body has been getting progressively more and more drained, more and more nervous by that little pink icon.
I asked my business coach about the growing pains aspect. "Is this normal? To feel tired? Am I just up-leveling?" He said it was normal, yes, and that, in time, I would get used to sharing in such a way and it would not feel so draining then.
I nodded, freezing halfway.
This gave me pause.
I've been saying to the closest people in my life lately that I do not think I'll be online the way I was on Insta for very long. That I don't see that for my future. That I see helping people in my future, writing in my future, hosting events in my future, but not making a circus of my life to do so, especially given I've learned it's unnecessary. (In spite of what many millennials think, many entrepreneurs and freelancers thrive without social—even authors. It's a myth that you need it.)
So, why would I want to get used to something I don't need nor want?
In a few weeks, I'll be 27, and this past year I've felt an inner shift, away from a focus on myself and toward this future I mention, which is inclusive of a family. And though I'm not one of those people that plans things to a T, I do know that the family I want to build is not one that's spotlighted on Instagram.
The above is the over-arching thought process behind the pause. The nail in the coffin that led to this happening now is I was duped by someone I trusted to help me out with my account. In the end, he only helped me to improve "optics." Read: the look of high engagement. That's to say, many likes and some comments, more followers, most of which was oh so obviously fake—though he still begs to differ—and therefore void of integrity.
Well, I'd rather lose money than lose my integrity. So, I fired him. My bank may be able to help me out with my lost investment, but, if not, you know what? It's worth it. Lesson learned. The lesson, of course, being not that you can't get help, but rather to vet your help before hiring.
So, that's it, my friends. That's the story. As to what will happen next, I don't know. I'm going to focus on my clients for a while, focus on The Play House (we shift into design soon!), focus on sharing on this site here, focus on reading and breathing and offline living. I'm feeling zero rush to head back. And that's all I'm going to listen to from now on, my intuition. Because ignoring it is what landed me in that space of misalignment. If I feel like I miss sharing on Insta, I'll go back. But til then...
I'll be here.