I deactivated my Instagram today and I feel stupid for feeling different about it because it’s a damn phone app and it shouldn’t feel like I just took off a heavy oversize sweater that was causing me to sweat and suffocate under its weight but it does.
A few weeks ago I was hit with this thought to get off my phone. It wasn’t negative but it was truly this feeling that I was exactly where I was suppose to be and scrolling Instagram for an hour a day was a distraction I didn’t need if I wanted to keep on this journey.
I haven’t always had the best time mentally and to be in a area of my life with such clarity even if it’s temporary and fleeting feels incredible. The only element that continues to fail to match this life style of mine is my feelings towards social media.
Social media is INCREDIBLE and it’s actually really amazing at getting folks together, establishing movements, forming communities, helping and inspiring others and I’d love to be at a place where I can praise it’s good daily and not feel like it’s taking from me.
It’s weird being an artist on Instagram in 2018. I started this film game in 2008 and got serious about it in 2013. I know it sounds silly to list years because who the fuck cares when we started but I found film for a reason and I am thankful I found it when I did because the reason people are picking up the cameras are changing and THAT’S OKAY. As long as they are shooting film, I should be happy.
But I’m not. I feel the constant need to keep up. To see what others are doing. Beating myself up for not sharing more personal photos like my friends back home and the other side of beating myself up for not sharing more professional and out of this world photos to stay relevant as a photographer and artist. Getting worked up and emotional over posts and brands for various different reasons.
I started to feel I had participated in building this style that is the standard for film photos now, one photographer of many who advocated for film and established the vision off the uniqueness of vintage filters and techniques, and now I don’t feel I am needed anymore. Feel younger and more marketing-savvy individuals have made rooms for themselves in spaces I refused to fit. Heavy emphasis on the word “feel” because this is not a reflection of the truth or of reality, just how I feel.
And maybe all of this is just my mental health telling me there are ways to avoid storms, to change their course if I take care of myself in the moment. I’ve been spending an insane amount of time with people who exhale positivity. People like my mom who spent Saturday teaching me how to sew, a moment I can’t wait to share with my daughters. Or Morgie who spent hours chatting with me over comfort food and warm tea with neither of us looking down to touch our phones, or JJ who had me falling over laughing like he does as we ate sushi and Christmas shopped for ourselves and for the people we care about, talking about the energy and movement of the malls before the holiday and enjoying the chaos. I don’t need anymore disturbances right now. I’m so filled and content and even in the moments when I am a bit empty and dissatisfied, I can find ways to refuel. I have a lot of projects and light ahead for 2019 and I need to enjoy the calm for a little.
I’ll be back soon.