A year and a half ago, John and I were on our honeymoon in Thailand, sprawled on the sofa of our private villa with the rolling glass walls opened to reveal a stunning ocean view and a gentle breeze. For this trip, we figured we better go BIG or go home. It would probably be a long time before we’d have an opportunity to travel like this again, if ever. This was the tail end of our vacation, and we knew we should be soaking up every moment, taking in the beauty before us and feeling gratitude for the time and experiences we’d shared together.
Instead, we found ourselves scrolling through hundreds of pictures of our trip, scouring for the best ones, obsessing over editing them to perfection; posting; sometimes deleting, re-editing, and re-posting; then repeatedly checking for likes and comments.
We were in a vicious cycle. We’d spend 30 minutes (who’s kidding- an hour) ignoring reality as we scrolled through Instagram. Eventually we’d get bored, close the app, then immediately open it again to see if anyone had posted anything new and interesting in the two seconds since we’d last checked. It was a soulless, self-inflicted deja vu. And it was embarrassing.
The truth hit us hard: our priorities were way off. We wanted to be enjoying our time together, basking in our new life as a married couple. Instead, we were choosing an activity that was isolating, anxiety-provoking, and sucking the life out of us.
Alas, I’m back, and with a BLOG of all things! And after all this, it must be hard to imagine why. The truth is, I live fifteen hours from where I grew up, and it’s hard to keep up with friends and family who are so far away. Especially after Alden was born, it hit me how important it is to maintain those connections, for myself and for him. I want my loved ones to be able to know him and love him as I do. As much as I hate to admit it, the internet is the most effective tool for keeping in touch.
Plus, I discovered very quickly that I need all the help and support I can get as a new mom! I’ve found a wealth of resources on social media for taking care of my baby- and myself. There are some blogs out there that have made a world of difference for me, whether by sharing play ideas or feeding tips, or joking about their experiences in a way that makes me feel just a little more human, especially on days when the baby is screaming and I’ve worn the same spit-up soaked clothes all afternoon.
In all honesty, this attempt to return may be futile. I’ve already found myself pulled into the soul-sucking grips of Insta-perfect influencers more than once in the past few months. But the difference this time is that I’m committed to working toward a healthy relationship with social media. I want to follow real content, and I want to post real content. I’m going to learn to be okay with showing my imperfection. It’s a promise I’m making to myself and to you. I hope you’ll hold me to it- and maybe even join me! Here’s to being REAL in 2020!