If you want to know why I haven’t been blogging as much….
Instagram life does not equal real life. It’s been said over and over again. We get it. We know. But, do we really? As much as we acknowledge that everyone else’s perfectly curated squares are hiding the reality of life, just how our own perfectly curated feeds are hiding our own mess, at the end of the day, Instagram is a mask, one that many are afraid to remove.
What started as a platform for people to share their unique and individual works and connect with others, has turned into a never ending hodge podge of marble table tops, coffee cups and comment pods. It’s inauthentic, exhausting and, quite frankly, I’m over it.
Despite all that, I just can’t shake the connections I’ve made on the platform. From the individuals that have become friends, to the businesses that have become clients and the people I’ve met in foreign countries that I’ve never even visited, it’s truly amazing. While many have gotten caught up in the algorithm and the issues with this service and that service, I’ve instead chosen to take a step back and focus on the positive. The community, the ability to share unique work or a unique point of view, the opportunity to keep things real.
Of course, I’m the first to say that Instagram life is not my real life. But what does that really mean? What is my real life? I tell you that my real life might be having some problems, but like champagne problems or actual problems? You wouldn’t know, because I don’t share. Saying Instagram life isn’t real life is just as much a mask as Instagram itself is. What good does it do to say it’s not real life but then not actually share real life? Maybe we don’t share because we’re embarrassed, or scared, or afraid of what others will think, or that we will be judged. We all have our struggles, many of us have the same struggles, and yet, this day and age of social media oversharing has made us think we must continue pretending to each other that our lives our perfect.
Today, I’m going to try to break that cycle. Not to get attention, but to legitimately actually try to break the cycle, maybe to help someone else know they aren’t alone, to connect on something besides the newest color of lipstick for fall, to be real. After all, isn’t that how this whole blogging thing started? To be different, real, relatable, instantaneous?
So, in the spirit of keeping it real….
Many of you probably noticed my lack of blog posts over the past few months, and while I’d like to say it was just because I got buried in work and redoing my site, that’s really only a small part of the story. The real story is that I am burnt the F out. Like I’ve been burnt out before but this burn out is on a different level, one that I didn’t even know was possible, one I didn’t know how to deal with. My body hurts at all times, I’ve probably had more panic attacks/mental breakdowns than someone in a mental institute, no matter how much I sleep I’m always tired and making it out anywhere (for friends, fun or work) has become a process that I want nothing to do with.
Yes, work has absolutely taken over my life (Beyond grateful for the work, not grateful for the lack of work-life balance.) and I need an assistant and office space like yesterday. Yes, redesigning my site has turned into a total rebranding project which has turned into redoing my entire (poorly built) business structure which has turned into more months of work than I ever planned on. But that’s not all.
I haven’t shared the details yet (I promise I will be in just a few weeks!) but we’ve also been spending the last few months preparing for a major life change (It’s probably not what you think it is…). It’s scary, exhausting, expensive and there are many unknowns. To say I’m freaked the F out would be a major understatement.
Moving right along in the things you aren’t going to see on Instagram, are a few family issues. I don’t want to get into all the details (out of respect for their privacy), but one thing I can share is that many of my family relationships have been strained and, in some cases, non-existent. I come from a background where my family struggled financially, my father was hardly present in my life (I can’t tell you the last time I saw him or spoke to him), there have been a series of unexpected deaths, and a sister who was once my best friend became a complete stranger (She and I are finally getting our relationship back on track, though, and I couldn’t be happier about it!). Many of these issues have left scars so deep that even after all this time, I can’t seem to get them to heal. Some of the time I forget those scars are there. Much of the time I proudly wear those scars as badges of honor for the struggles I have made it through. But every once in a while, they become open wounds again. These past few months have been one of those times.
Last but not least, is the hardest for me to share. Many of you know and love Mr. RC almost as much as I do….which makes it even harder for me to say what I’m about to say and why I kept it hidden for so long. Earlier this year, he and I almost went our separate ways. I don’t want to share the full details, but something I once never thought possible, divorce, became a very serious reality for us. I didn’t have it in me to continue putting on a front like everything was ok when it so was not, so instead I just retreated into client work, putting forth only the absolutely necessary minimal effort on everything else.
Today, we’re better. But in the spirit of realness, things aren’t back to being all peachy keen. He is still the most supportive of everything I do here and with my work, we absolutely respect and love each other, but as for our relationship, we have work to do and a long ways to go. I absolutely cannot recommend therapy enough. It amazes me how many people laugh at the idea of seeing a therapist, but it’s been one of the best things I/we have ever done.
Our therapist also gave us a very important reminder that I think is prevalent to this post about life and also for so many people to remember in so many situations. Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean we stop growing and changing. Our interests change, our needs become different, we learn new things, our hobbies aren’t what they once were, and yet, somehow, we don’t necessarily adapt or even acknowledge these things. You can’t be the same person from 22 until the day you die and that’s ok. Realize it and adjust accordingly, in relationships, in work, in life.
If you’ve made it this far, a) you should probably get another hobby (I’m kidding, of course!) but also, b) thank you. Seriously. I appreciate you reading through more than you know. In fact, if you’re even reading my blog at all still, after all these months of almost no posts, I can not say thank you enough for sticking it out. I promise I’m coming back with better content than ever before and I can not wait to show you all the new design (It’s going to be EPIC!). Plus, I may or may not have some giveaways lined up to celebrate!
While I could have kept this post short and sweet, sharing a standard “life got busy, I’m sorry I stopped blogging” type of post (which I’ve certainly done in the past), it just didn’t feel right. I don’t want to pretend just for a few more likes. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing just because it’s what I “should be doing”. Let’s be real, I’ve never been one to do what every one else is doing anyways, so why stop now? I know plenty of people will think it’s weird how much I’ve shared, or will think I’m doing it just for attention and will say nasty things or unfollow me. Please, by all means, go right ahead. All’s I’m really trying to do is break the cycle, take the mask off, keep it real, connect with others, bring it back to the what blogging was and should be. Authentic, unique, approachable, real. I look forward to sharing more of this and less of that other stuff on my new site oh so very soon.
Now, let’s discuss. I’d love to know your thoughts. Have you gone through or are going through something similar or even any struggle that you’re scared to share publicly for fear of how others might react? What are your feelings on the current state of Instagram, influencing and all bloggers posting them same sh*t? Let’s connect and chat more about it below, and even more importantly, let’s all do a better job to remember Instagram/blog life isn’t real life, we never know what someone else is going through and why they may be acting a certain way, and the best we can do for each other is to be kind and loving, no matter what.
P.S. I’ll be sharing a post very soon on some of the things I did to get through this burnt out/difficult stage, but if there’s anything in particular that you guys would love to hear more about or would like to connect further on (Maybe what else I learned from therapy or what has helped our relationship besides therapy), please don’t hesitate to let me know.