my instagramless life

i have just returned from a two month instagram hiatus. i feel like consciously taking that much time off from something that has been a part of my life for a while & is such a big part of life nowadays required a reflection. first things first, why did i decide to do this? a few reasons. number one, i spent way. too. much. time. on. it. i always told myself that i was going to “spend less time on instagram”…yeah, that never happened. number two, the comparison got to me. i have always heard people talk about how instagram can be a toxic place if you let it. how it can make you feel less than, not good enough, or like your life sucks. i never really connected with those feelings until i did. one day it just hit me. i started having thoughts in my head telling me that i wasn’t _____ enough or that this person was more ____ than me & i started to believe them! my confidence in myself plummeted. right when this happened i knew i had to do away with it. i deleted the ap. i had no plan. i didn’t have a time frame in mind for how long i was going to be without it. i just did it & had a feeling that i would know when the right time to redownload it would be, if ever.

two months without instagram gave me a lot of time to think. i didn’t have the opportunity to use it as a distraction. i know now that i needed that time. it really forced me to ask myself questions, dive into my feelings, & explore me. it was weird at first, not knowing what to do with the twenty minutes before i had to leave to go to work or while waiting in line somewhere or while riding in the car. but i was able to be. i was able to be where i was, see the people around me, feel & breathe in the air, and engage with the world around me & with myself. now, i know most people can do this & still have instagram, obviously. but i was kind of embarrassed to realize that it had been a while since i had taken the time to consistently just be where i was, notice what was around me, and connect with myself.

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i think my biggest (& most surprising) takeaway from being off of instagram, however, had something to do with missing it. i realized that instagram is a creative outlet for me. whether it’s through stories or just posting on my feed, it’s a way that i enjoy expressing myself. this was my biggest realization & what i missed most. i have never been one to care about the likes, comments, or engagement on my page, but i realized that this was my creative space. this was where i could build my voice, explore my creativity, explore myself, and express it all. the negative mindset i was in right before i deleted it took away from these feelings. instead of realizing how amazing & special it is that we are all so different, so creative, such amazing souls, i chose to spin all of that in a negative way.

so, it’s interesting, the feelings that originally prompted me to delete the ap relate to the reason i missed it the most. i got rid of it because i started comparing & feeling not (fill in the blank) enough. but the beauty of it that i realized is, i’m not them. i’m not you. i’m not anyone else but myself & that’s what’s special. that’s what makes me different. what makes me feel creative. and what makes me feel empowered. being myself & expressing that. and seeing others be themselves & expressing it as well. it’s beautiful. and i truly believe that if we all embrace this aspect of instagram, we can all learn from each other & grow together as we continue to discover ourselves.

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all photos by Caleb Clayton Film + Photo

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