Do You Boo Boo
Ugh, I want my room to be like that.
I wish my hairstyle posts looked like hers.
Omg, my posts are never that cool.
I need to travel there.
If you have ever had thoughts like that - well, you are probably in the same boat as a lot of other people.
At times I catch myself in that boat. When it happens, I scurry to the ramp labeled "YOU" to get back on my super cool boat, and sail away. And you know why it's super cool? Because it's MY boat. Not someone else's that I am visiting all the time. Wherever your boat travels to, whatever it looks like, or what kinds of parties it throws (or doesn't throw) - none of that matters. Because all of our boats are different, unique, and most importantly - should be authentically YOU.
I've been stuck on boat analogies lately. So in other words - your boat is your life - live your life by your own means, not based on someone else's social media pictures.
Without further ado,
Here is a mini-guide to how I sail the waters of social media & technology as I pursue my passion of being a Katalyst Untamed. Whether you write, train mechanics, teach yoga, advise in finances, play hockey, own a brewery - no matter what field of work you identify with, I hope there is something you can take away from this.
Even if you do not say it out loud - I know a lot of people that low-key want insta-fame. The instant gratification, a storybook to showcase your perfect life, envisioning insta-fame that leads to money and even more followers. I'll admit, even I want that to some degree! Not to wake up in the morning and think "Ooo, look how many new followers I have!" But to rise out of bed knowing (hoping) I am reaching x amount of people and helping them in some way. Whether that is to inspire, teach them something new, or be a source of positive vibes and encouragement as they go about their day. We all know we're not perfect... More on this in a bit.
Sidenote: I do not want to create blog posts or upload pictures solely because other people have posted things like that and their life seems perfect. On the other hand, I am not going to NOT showcase a picture or subject just because it would be uncool to post something like that.
People commenting on posts and discussing the topic.
Receiving a message from a reader saying they learned something new and enjoyed my writing style.
That is what keeps me doing what I'm doing. Not the number of followers I have on Instagram or likes on a picture. I’m in it for the feedback, the conversations, the good vibes. However, I didn’t always think like that.
Before the blog, back in college, and single - I was definitely about the likes. It felt good to be recognized and have the gratification of others “liking” what you share (I bet some of you can relate). During this past year or so though, I began to think about posting a bit differently. Less posts in general (especially on Facebook), less time making sure I get the “good shot” solely for the purpose that it will look good in my newsfeed. Now I focus more on capturing memories with my phone camera or Canon, even if I am not the subject in all of them - and not focusing on what is insta-worthy.
Looking back at this section so far, it seems very... superficial. Newsflash though, it is. Honestly for millennials, that is something we have to think about on the daily, especially if you are an avid user. At least while I was in college, it was a very real and consuming concept cycle.
Post cute picture at cool event.
Look at likes.
Not a lot of likes?
Take it down.
Post pic at game.
Post another selfie.
Im not going to lie, I posted a good amount of selfies in years prior (and do love cute captions still) but WE are the majority of social accounts and follow each other, scrolling through fellow millennials’ lives every day.
To say the least, I loved college, but I was also very happy to move on with my life afterwards as well.
Remember earlier when I mentioned we are not all perfect? I feel that the continuous visuals always searching for our eyes do not help reinforce that notion.
I have many friends and other people/brands that I love to support and follow along with their journeys. That constant stimulus of seeing others - thoughts can turn south sometimes. Back to those phrases that started the post. You don't THINK you are envious, but all of a sudden you are thinking how COOL this person's feed is. I love her decor SO MUCH, I need that... Then amongst all that wishing and wanting, you forget to be grateful for the things and people you already have in your life. Which in a way is part of the wheel that turns the insta-fame train. It is exciting and fun to watch other people's lives. (Remember Laguna Beach, Rock of Love, The Hills?) Even so, I have many friends and inspirational people I look forward to seeing the content of and enjoy following them because they are adding substance to my life - but there is a line.
A line between using social media as a tool, supporting and empowering each other, spreading knowledge...
And getting consumed in a fantasy, unconnected from yourself, lost in a life portrayed online that’s not your own.
Once in awhile when negative thoughts creep in, coincidently it is about the time I am feeling off, uncentered, weird, crappy, ungrateful, stuck, or seemed to have hit a creative block. When I am feeling that way, I make sure "I am what I think" stays in conscious thought. Because once you start comparing your life to someone else's... the happiness and magic of the universe floats away.
RECAP - Do not compare someone else's highlight-wheel to your life!
My boat is pretty rad.
Having said that, it is not a fancy yacht. More of an older, mid-sized craft (how I envision the ship I sail around the universe in - you know, things I think about). I do love the finer things in life though (thanks, Pitta dosha), so you'll see that I invested in wordly dinnerware and a badass sound system to have dance parties out on the deck. The important things.
Your boat is going to look different than my boat. What makes everyone unique is the flair you find on each person's vessel. A giant American flag billowing on the bow, chic mauve cushions, or a tie-dye work of art. The thing is, everyone's flair makes them who they are. It shows where they've come from, what they believe in, and how they want to be seen by the world. That is what makes us who we are.
Whether you are comparing social media feeds or careers - do not compare your flair to someone else's flair. You are who you are. So be you. Rock your flair.
As Cate Havstad and Jillian Lukiwski discussed in conversations on the Mountain & Prairie podcast, they do not follow too many people (if any) in their own field so that they do not subconsciously incorporate others' creativity and style into their own work. Makes sense, right? Especially being in a creative or innovative line of work, keeping your style YOU is so important in staying authentic and leaving your brand.
As I was perusing my journal yesterday, I happened to flip to a note that I wrote after moving to Arizona last year (which sparked inspo for this post). It is as follows:
First day off since being at Happy Jack. Of course I was awake at 0700 w/out any alarms [due to my body already in routine with our work schedule]. A little chilly this morning compared to the rest of the week. Sitting on a cooler outside our neighbors' house (using the wifi), I listened to birds chirping to each other, watched woodpeckers quarreling along the side of the tree.
I really don't mind not having cell service. Smartphones/social media really do show the same signs of addiction like some drugs. The first few days I was anxious because I couldn't check any of my social media accounts, couldn't contact anyone.
As each day went on though, I felt less of an urge to walk up the road to check my phone all the time [after work].
Life feels good. Can finally feel at peace... centered, balanced. Namaste.
Watching woodpeckers yack at each other in the trees may not seem peaceful, but at that moment in time - YES, yes it was. #OM
As I have said before in previous posts, some good ole out-in-nature-without-your-phone time is a good place to start tapping into that creative energy or rebooting yourself.
My energy changed as soon as I drove my car across the AZ/NM border a few weeks prior, and moving to Happy Jack to work for the summer was another boost of positive vibes and change that I needed. And shortly after that journal entry, this blog was born. #ThankYouUniverse
I like the idea of scheduling out blog posts. For me however, that will never work.
There are a few ideas sitting as drafts waiting to be worked on - but ultimately I let the words come to me. Therefore, you will not see me putting out x amount of posts per month, or uploading so many Instagram stories. I love writing and sharing the vibes, but if something isn't there to talk about yet - well, it is not being shared then is it?!
That means more time spent reading books & articles, working, talking to people, watching documentaries, and going on runs with my boyfriend. Because that is where the inspiration happens - in real life.
And that is part of the foundation of this blog. In hopes that something I write about inspires you to read a specific book, learn about a field of work you never even knew existed, and bring new perspectives to the deck. (Still on the boat analogies here).
Dierks Bentley says it best,
Got the sun shining on me like a big spotlight
So I know everything is gonna be alright...
Ain't no telling where the wind might blow
Free and easy down the road I go
Living life like a Sunday stroll...
If you only to get to go around one time
I'm gonna sit back and try to enjoy the ride
Parts (who am I kidding, most) of this may have been repetitive. Who cares! To conclude the repetitive nature of this post, I am going to repeat what I said at the beginning because I feel it is important for you to remember, especially if you have still been engaged up to this point.
At times I catch myself in that boat, and I scurry back to the ramp labeled "YOU" to get back on my super cool boat. And you know why it's super cool? Because it's MY boat. Not someone else's that I am visiting all the time. Wherever your boat travels to, whatever it looks like, or what kind of parties it throws (or doesn't throw) - none of that matters. Because all of our boats are different, unique, and most importantly - should be authentically YOU.
Major Key Alert
Be authentic, and don't take life too seriously. Once you look up and away from your phone - out in front of you is a beautiful journey to enjoy.
Keep doing you, boo boo.