I knew during that sleepless night of scattered ramblings I’d have to follow up but wasn’t sure when or about what. The day this article came out it seemed so fitting for my point. As I scrolled through the images and was taken back to that day/season we shot them. It was a dark time that left me reeling in confusion and pain. They were taken the day before I started packing up our belongings to move for the sixth time in eight years. Each of those moves a result of circumstance outside my control. Thankfully we’ve landed in a place that finally feels more indefinite. My point isn’t to say these pictures aren’t real or authentic, they are. That was my home and a place I invested countless amounts of hours making beautiful and comfortable for our lifestyle. I’m proud of that and honored to have such a feature. I spent some time studying interior design when I was younger and have always had a bent toward the power of aesthetic and feng shui. I think different personalities are much more impacted by their surroundings than others and mine definitely is. I find I’m able to concentrate better and creativity flows more freely. But now I’m getting off track. The point is there’s always so much more than what the eye can see. I wish that everyone could keep that in mind as they browse the contents of the internet.
So I’ve continued to ask myself where the balance lies. Is the answer deleting and going full Wendell Berry. Well, possibly but I want to try one more thing first. I’ve engaged on social media going on 5 years. Starting with my tumblr and growing consistently from there. It was never something I worked for or even wanted it felt more like it got dropped in my lap. I have had some amazing opportunities through the influence but also many negatives. I used to say when the bad outweighed the good that’s when I would quit. Finding myself last year completely burnt out I knew something would have to change or I’d have to stop. Even answering emails or just updating became such a burden I’ve had to go for long periods of time completely away in order to cope with it. I get asked constantly for promotions and little collaborations that while fun and rewarding in a material sense they don’t pay my bills. Thus taking away time from my family and priorities without offering anything of value to me in return. So here I type fully aware I’m one hundred percent burnt out of my social media presence. I’ve invested years of my life into something that hasn’t given back in ways I find worth it. I’ve fought and wrestled the idea for a long time of monetizing but always felt it would be a sell out in some way. Recently it occurred to me that would no more be the case than me getting an office job. There’s nothing wrong with it! It’s not exactly “me” but it’s necessary in some ways. Advertising is important, advice and inspiration are all important. So this is the start of me embarking on a journey to find balance and make keeping these spaces alive worth it in a way that doesn’t take away from the care of myself and family but rather adds. I don’t know exactly what it will look like but I hope it will be a good change.
photos by Whitney Neal