Power. A concept I have come to realize is elusive in its entirety to myself and most likely 80%-90% of this blog’s audience.
When I decided that I was going to start a blog, I jumped feet first into the blogosphere. For years I had been following bloggers from a wide variety of categories– fashion, food, travel, lifestyle, etc. I felt consumed in this realm of content that left me feeling empty and wanting to live a life that was unattainable for my preferences and my resources.
Day in and day out would I find myself getting on social media to fill a void that I had no idea had been created by YEARS of the same routine…on social media!
Ya see, I am part of the generation that grew up with social media’s blow up. I was in the age group that the creators of major platforms preyed on to build their lives around sharing every minuscule detail. Facebook was gaining thousands if not millions of users and instagram was fresh off the block.
All of a sudden, I was caught in this rat race of sorts of a popularity contest and this competition of who was living the “wildest” or “most interesting” life. My happiness and fulfillment was based off what other people thought of me.
I don’t think y’all caught that…
I was basing MY sacred happiness and fulfillment of life off what OTHER people thought.
I followed all the right accounts–fit girls, pretty people, rich travelers, the most popular people in schools around me, etc. But, I found myself relatively uninspired and h a t i n g social media. But, hating this culture that was rapidly taking over entire generations and hours of everyone’s time was only adding to the negative feelings within me.
I often thought to myself, “what can I do to change this experience for myself?” I mean, this went far beyond unfollowing people out of anger or separation. This was my entire thought process needing to change.
I cannot believe it took me years to finally give myself power. Power over everything in my life. Something that is a blessing and plentiful in our culture yet I let this concept stay hidden in the shadows for years upon years, falling down the mental health black hole before I finally decided to do something about it.
My whole life changed at this concept of giving myself the power to decided WHAT I see, WHAT I read, WHO I associate myself with, WHO I sit around the table with, HOW I want to portray myself and NOT how everyone else expects me to portray myself, HOW I want to spend my time, WHERE I travel to, so on and so forth. And one of the more simple changes was to control my social media.
Lifestyle blogs of humble women who shared REAL experiences and journeys not chalked full of items or events just for show intrigued me. I loved the down-home vibe that seemed to be centered around spirituality and healthy relationships. I also indulged in fashion blogs that were realistic for college students and not chalked full of purses costing $1,200 dollars.
I went through my entire follow list and with each passing user I asked myself, “what VALUE does this account add to my life?” If I didn’t have an answer or the answer was completely ridiculous, I unfollowed. I unfollowed over 200 famous people. WHY did I invest so much time into their lives when it was all red carpets, fancy dresses, expensive cars, and hectic schedules when I want no part of that lifestyle at any point in my own? People who I knew talked about me when I left a room, estranged people from my past, FAKE ACCOUNTS (not even sure how that happened along the way), people who photoshopped their entire look, plastic surgery accounts, alllll of these content creators whose content interested me none other than being nosey or pretending like that was the standard to strive for.
Suddenly, my feed was no longer filled with kylie jenner lips or product after product but instead filled with simplistic vibes, true stories, and people wanting to share good, positive content. Now, with that being said, I feel like everyone has their own vibe and aesthetic, a space they create and consume in their own way. So my emphasis is not about what I lost but more about what I gained. I gained an environment that first the first time, probably ever, suited my interests and my “mood board”.
With all of this being taken into account and becoming apart of a journey of growth, I decided to try and build my own little corner of the internet to share my experiences and knowledge like those I enjoy looking up to now.
I made the conscious decision to stop fighting against these platforms and waste energy hating them (because lets be honest, they can get pretty brutal) and started embracing what they could and do offer if you are looking in the right place.
So, that’s my spill for now. Give yourself power– power over your life, your environment, you consumable content, your emotions, over everything. If you are anything like me, you likely never realized the true ability to have to make choices. Life altering and painstakingly beautiful choices that involve self-reflection and growth. And hey, if you have–I am so proud of you and I hope that you continue on that journey.
With love, Elizabeth.