In today’s installment of K.U.W.A (Keeping up with Adreanna) lol, I have simply come to you all to announce that I am feeling exponentially better than I was exactly one month ago today.
I detailed most, if not all, of my recent accomplishments in my last post so I won’t bore you with the details. ( Get caught up )
As of today, I have decided to extend my hiatus from social media excluding Tumblr.
Below are a few things I noticed about my use of social media and some of the things I learned about myself in it’s absence:
In constantly keeping up with the lives of other people I was unconsciously comparing myself to them.
I was basing my worth off the perception of other people and feeling bad about myself if I wasn’t measuring up to the expectation I assumed other people had for me. I was applying pressure to myself that was not called for. For example, I love make-up and all things beauty, that’s why I’m still paying off my cosmetology student loans, but at some point I had stopped doing my make-up and hair for myself. Instead I would wake up early in the mornings to apply make-up so that I could post selfies looking my best in an attempt to gain approval from people I really don’t give a fuck about.
I don’t do that anymore and it feels great. I feel like I have reclaimed my life. Like I am making my decisions for myself not based off of what someone else may think of me.
For the first time in a long time I experienced things wholly. I have memories of things I did, places I went, and people I talked to. Constantly having my face in my phone, whether scrolling or taking pictures, I was robbing myself of the memories that come from simply being alive. If I wore make-up I wore it because I wanted to that day, and so on.
I care about a lot less people than I thought I did.
I don’t mean this in a negative way by any means. What I mean by that is, while I was plugged in I spent hours checking pages of “friends”, family, coworkers, and acquaintances, keeping up with the in’s and out’s of their everyday lives. I was commenting, liking, and sharing posts all day long so they knew that I cared, was paying attention, was interested. None of this was necessary. I have come to realize that it was actually a rather draining existence and it served no real purpose because the people that truly cared about me, and that I cared about, kept me involved and I didn’t have to hit a like button to show them I was interested.
In the month that I have been away from social media I can count on one hand how many people have reached out to me despite my request for solitude. I am grateful to those people. They showed me that while I needed my time away, they wanted me to know that they were still in my corner. That they were still thinking of me, wishing me well and expressing their anticipation of me re-emerging from the abyss. These are the people I want to stay in touch with. These are the people that really matter in my life. To these people I officially re-open the lines of communication and am excited to catch up on all the things I’ve missed.
I confronted some unproductive behaviors.
This one I came as a by-product of having more time to think about my behaviors in an exercise to hold myself accountable for the decisions I was, and am, making.
One of my biggest problems is that I over extend myself.
I just straight up, do too much!
For example, if someone was to come to me to voice their concern about, I don’t know, their puppy not being house broken. I would take that information and make it my life’s mission to helping this person get their puppy house broken. I’d spend hours online looking up techniques, classes, training facilities, psychological reasons why the puppy won’t pee in the right spot. It would consume me until I solved this problem for this person.
But why? No one asked me to do this. The person simply called me to vent about a problem they were having. That didn’t mean I needed to go become Captain save a hoe on their behalf.
In taking this time away I have come to recognize that this behavior was, and is not, good for me. Pre-experiment I was operating under the delusion that I was happy to be the problem solver, the fixer, the person everyone looked to when they needed help. What I have had the time to come to realize is that this was a HUGE drain on my life, time, and mental health. I cannot solve everyone’s problems and I don’t want to. Now, I’m not saying this behavior is completely gone and done but, I am making more of an effort to remove myself from situations presented to me and just be a listening ear. I have to, and had to, figure my own shit out and so everyone else will too.
In all, some personal growth and serious self reflection has come out of my time away from social media.
I accomplish more during the day, I’m admittedly less self conscious about my writing and I feel that has made for more blog posts that make sense, and I am learning coping mechanisms to help me through some of the annoying and difficult things I experience.
I don’t want to be the person who says I’ll never use social media again. Especially since I have started a new website to promote relationship building and visibility within the black lesbian community in Houston. Surely I’ll have to take to some platform to get the word out about its existence, but I believe, for now, that is the only capacity that I will be using it for.
In the meantime, I am looking for writers, commentators, and volunteers, to help me develop content for the new website by creating articles, think pieces, and going to events around the city to promote. I would prefer the assistance of lesbians of color as this new website is intended for lesbians of color, but I am not closing off the help of anyone who would like to help.
As soon as I have the new site live I will be sure to share the details and web address with you all so you can see first hand what I’ve been slaving over. It’s a project I’m really excited about.
Well dudes and dude-ettes, I am going to take off for the day but before I do, I want to thank everyone who respected my need for time away, and those of you who checked in on me from time to time to express your love, encouragement, and support. You guys are everything! I can’t wait to catch up with you all.
Until next time…
Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life!!!