After some time, the excitement of anniversaries kind of wears off. It’s the reason why some of us either love or hate our birthdays. I started to feel this way beginning last year because after you celebrate a milestone of 10 years, where do you go from there? The 11th anniversary is awkward and the 12th anniversary means you’ve been doing this for far too long.
My winter break this year from day-to-day work was filled to the brim with even more outside work. Every day we were pushing out content to Instagram, TikTok, and this blog to the point of doing that for two weeks straight had me burnt out. I had made a decision before that though that I would spend the following two weeks after pulling back. I cut off the Instagram Stories arm and while it wasn’t a full social media detox, just one portion of it made a difference.
For years, I had been so used to daily postings covering various aspects of my life both work and personal. Cutting it off cold turkey wasn’t easy though. Shortly after my break from posting started, something came across my way. Instead, Instagram decided to flag me for hate speech (my first ever!) I later verified with Elisa that what I was posting was not really hate speech and that we’ve both seen worse examples on the platform. Regardless, this was the sign that I needed. The universe said STOP.
Over the holidays, I caught a segment on Aimee Song’s IG where she was answering questions from her followers. When someone mentioned that they were just starting a blog and asked for advice on how to build a following, Aimee said “Don’t.” She said unless you already have a following, don’t put your energy into that and instead redirect it to a platform like Instagram or TikTok. Though this wasn’t directed at me nor was I in the same position, I felt a wave of discouragement. So much so that I reached out to Elisa and Veronica at the same time and asked “Are blogs dead?!” This was the year that I was crafting what I believed to be some of my most important writing pieces. Would it be for nothing?
I’d be lying to you if I said this didn’t impact me for days afterwards. I had to have a serious moment with myself wondering if it was not only a) worth it to continue, but b) could my life be okay without all of this? From time to time, Veronica is the voice of reason in my head. “Remember why you started.” When we began, this was never about being viral, getting fame or reaching influencer status. If that came, we would welcome it and learn how to navigate, but for years we were content just putting things out there.
On the flip side, my absence from the online world didn’t go unnoticed. Some even reached out to be to ask if I was okay because they hadn’t seen any activity from me. We’ve been doing this for so long that something has to be wrong if I’ve gone quiet. While well-intentioned, that idea also didn’t sit well with me. There may come a day where we walk away from all of this completely. I actually got a taste of that for two weeks while I was away and it wasn’t so bad. As I look ahead to 2021 and our 12th year, I’m reminding myself that I can only do this for as long as it makes me happy. When that joy is no longer there, it’s time to say goodbye.
For those of you who are still with us, as always, thank you! I have so much gratitude for those that continue reading my words and find value in my posts.