I blanched when I first considered it. Wait. CAN you quit Instagram? How will you keep up with anything? You already quit Twitter; how much of a pretentious “I’m better than social media” asshole do you need to be?
That’s how I know I need the break. Instagram is an app. A tool that makes life easier, yes, but it’s not a necessity. If I can’t put it down for a little while, I have a problem.
I can’t say my skin is noticeably clearer or that my ass is any fatter, but I can hear myself think. For a woman who lives in her head, that is a marked improvement.
I’m developing patience for putting my thoughts on (metaphorical) paper. Before, I’d get bored mid-sentence, reasoning that if I didn’t care enough to get to the end of my thought, no one else would care to read it. That works for a “content creator,” but I write to figure myself out. Some times that means meandering — no matter how unsexy that is. How else will I get to the truth?
I was headed down this road before I quit Twitter, but leaving the app has solidified my commitment to selective public engagement with the news. I consume news as much as I did before, but I don’t comment on every headline because I’m a civilian, not a pundit. The Internet is run amok with opinions — it doesn’t need mine.
We’d all do better if we stopped treating our thoughts like gems that must be captured and shared. Our brains throw a million things at us a day, some (I’d argue most) of which should just fly by.
My final thought* — and this goes back to my original point about being able to hear myself think — is that it’s no wonder so many people have difficulty connecting with their intuition when we’re filling our brains with other people’s garbage all day long.
[*] My “final thought” for now. Obviously, my Twitter recovery will be a recurring theme.
As usual, as soon as I address the elephant in the room (my indefinite sabbatical from Twitter), I suddenly have a bunch of things to say. You’d think I’ve developed some self-awareness after fourteen years of blogging. Alas, this is not the case.
As much as I’d like to neatly wrap-up the Twitter chapter of my life and move on, that’s not how addictions work. I’m twenty-five days clean and am only beginning to understand how Twitter affected me mentally and creatively. I have a feeling I’ll be untangling that knot in many posts to come.
The part of my brain that still runs Twitter feedback on autoloop is screaming “OH MY GOD. So you quit Twitter. Big fucking deal. Nobody cares. Talk about something else.” To which I say the purpose of having this blog is untangling the knots in my brain.
More importantly, fuck you. This heah mah jook joint. I do what I want.
Along those lines, I’m imposing some hard rules and boundaries around communication and conversation because I’m literally purging years of junk, lazy writing patterns, and self-help meme jargon from my brain. There will be pop culture bits I refuse to engage even in casual conversation, slang I won’t use, and in general, sending me memes* as conversation starters will be a “no.” Just think of me as a stone-faced Stannis Baratheon to all things the Internet considers “fun” as I fight to reclaim my mind.
It’s official. One of three of my best friends is married and my stint as a Maid of Honor is over. I wore a face-full of makeup and a dress that did fantastic things for my tits (you’ll have to take my word for it—too many creeps on the web for me to post a photo here), and gave a toast that a: gave me faith that a decade of tweeting hasn’t completely destroyed my ability to write and b: would have made my college communications professors proud. And because I am cotton ball soft for my friends, I have already told my other two best friends that despite my insistence that I’ll never be in a wedding again, if they really need me to, I will do it for them.
I’m such a punk.
With the wedding behind me and a post-vaccination summer ahead, I’ve been slowly re-introducing myself to society with an “OMG. I Haven’t Seen You in a Year!” list. So far, I’ve had a delightful, restorative brunch and art museum Sunday, checked in with a homegirl I refer as Thee Worst (which should tell you all you need to know), sat in the passenger seat of another friend’s fancy ass Tesla as the car basically drove itself back from the restaurant, and caught up with my OG BFF of twenty-seven years in her parents’ spectacular home bar. I’m still not ready for close, confined spaces yet (looking at you, clubs and parties), but outdoor and well-ventilated spaces are a go.
As soon as I buy summer clothes that fit. Which could be a problem since I spent all my “play” money of the last six months getting my friend down the aisle.
Things I’m Into Right Now:
Sebastian Stan. Okay. So. I have hinted at this since I watched episode five of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but I’m sort of obsessed. Like, teenage girl with a crush obsessed. Like, haven’t been this into a celebrity stranger since I discovered Charlie Hunnam in 2009 obsessed. I wish I could tell you that my shame at being a 37-year old woman taken by a celebrity I’ll never meet will make me stop obsessing—I really do. But, it won’t. I have replaced my mindless Twitter scrolling with mindless Pinterest scrolling and my feed is an endless treasure trove of Sebastian Stan’s clear blue eyes and perfectly-angular jawline. Let me tell you, “Goddamn! He is so fucking fine” is a vassssssst improvement from “Oh, my God. People are so fucking stupid.”
My Fitbit.While I am still anti-smart watch (I do not want my phone on my wrist), the hourly buzz to get up and move once an hour is helpful in my mission to be less sedentary.
The Off Season – J. Cole. Yes, Jermaine is still a bit self-righteous sometimes and I can do without just about every “who is this young nigga I don’t care about” guest verse on the album, but there is more than enough rapping ass Cole to make up for it. And that intro? Yes. Pander to my Elder Millennial sensibilities with a Lil Jon call and response and Cam’Ron adlibs over a Dipset sample.
The vocal stylings of Dinah Washington. I will not explain the mental rabbit hole that led me to Dinah Washington’s catalog, but I have unearthed some bangers. The beautifully heartbreaking “This Bitter Earth,” a cover of Bessie Smith’s “Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair” (a song that makes “Bust Your Windows” sound like child’s play), and my favorite, the seductive “I Want to be Loved.”
[*] I will make a “don’t send me memes” exception for memes involving Sebastian Stan. Send me those annnnnnnytime.