When I put up my Instagram post fifteen days ago I honestly had no idea that it was going to be my last. I knew I was tired and starting to feel burnt out. I knew I was always a little bit behind on things and could never quite catch up. I knew I felt kind of frustrated and frequently frazzled, but what did that mean? Like, exactly. Did I need to scale back? Or just take a rest? Or maybe even hike out to the middle of the woods and stay there for the next 30 years? Really, there are countless possibilities.
Ask, Listen, Wait.
I had fully intended to wrap up my two-part Instagram series the very next day. The concluding post was already drafted and ready to share until I gave it a final read-through and realized it was completely and thoroughly wrong. Not at all what I wanted to convey. So what did I do? I wrote it again. And after giving this new version a final read-through, I realized it was still completely and thoroughly wrong. Where were my words? By about the third time through it finally started to dawn on me that something was off; I obviously didn’t have the answers that I thought I had.
But sometimes things get fuzzy and it’s not so easy to find my answers, even with the careful introspection and the waiting. Always the waiting while I ponder which direction to take, or wonder if I accidentally stepped off of my path and am wandering somewhere in the woods nearby. Sure, the scenery is beautiful, and the squirrels are entertaining, but it’s probably not the quickest route to where I want to go. And I’ve never been a fan of wasting time; there’s far too little of it to squander. Who knows how much life I have left? And I’ve got very important places to be.
You Have Five Minutes. Enjoy.
So there was nothing to do besides put the whole thing aside (with more than a little confusion), because sometimes, even when I think I already have the answers? I don’t. My life is really just a series of humbling moments. Don’t get too cocky, Life says, because I intend to shake things up again. In about five minutes. Enjoy.
Taking a semi-forced vacation was fine, though, because I was (and still am) in the middle of three really big projects and there just isn’t enough time for everything. Pick and choose. Prioritize. Life is a constant re-assessment; some things stay consistently at the top, while everything else is in perpetual motion. The order of importance can easily change with the day’s demands, like after my gramma passed away in February and I took on the task of sorting through her many, many boxes of pictures. I quickly recognized that some things would need to be set aside in order for the picture job to be accomplished. Things like this blog, the shop, and Instagram all had to be temporarily suspended while I made my way through the mountains of photos which had become an unexpected priority.
I Missed It
And honestly, I was having a pretty good time piecing together the story of my grandparents’ lives through decades of photos. But while I studied the golden moments from the 70’s and the sepia-toned glimpses of the 30’s, I started to realize something. Something that felt really important. And as everything began to slow down, I felt lighter and more like myself than I had in a long time. My life felt like my life again, and you know what? I missed it.
My second post–the one that never made it up–was what I thought my final decision had to be. I decided we would have to let the blog sleep for now while I kept up my Instagram and figured out how to get things back on track. The girls were all fine with that, occupied with their own projects and jobs, and I (prematurely) congratulated myself on a seemingly sound decision. Until I couldn’t find the words and, consequently, disappeared for two weeks while looking for them.
I found those words again the other morning, hiding. And smirking. Because the answer was probably pretty obvious to those who know me. Those smug little words were just waiting for me to realize that it wasn’t the blog that needed to sleep, but my Instagram. And with that moment of clarity, I realized that I’d reached the end of this Instagram road. Or these woods? Because maybe this is me climbing back onto my road, having gratefully stumbled across it once again. I like my road. It’s shady and quiet. And straight. Country dirt. It should lead me straight Home, if only the squirrels would stop distracting me.
My brain struggled to come up with another option, but the thing is that underneath its noisy objections, life already feels more quiet. The distractions are already less distracting. The only compromise that I can come up with is to continue sharing Insta stories, since those are pretty effortless for me. Because even though I had initially thought that Instagram was just a kind of stepping stone, it ended up being so much more. Just full of unexpected surprises and beautiful people. And I guess maybe I’m not willing to say a complete goodbye unless I need to.
But the reality is that Instagram was never the end goal anyway; this blog, and my plans for it, are where I’m ultimately heading. And without the time to give it, so many of my “grand” ideas were just languishing. Posts drafted but never finished. Directions plotted but never taken. And while Instagram was fun, one of those harsh realities of life is that just because something feels good, doesn’t mean it is good. Especially when I factor in exactly where it is I’m heading.
So, Instagram may be off, but Follow Us Home is back on. Which is perfect, because there are so many things and thoughts and lessons and stories (and recipes!) to share. I can’t promise where each post will take me; but if nothing else, my life has been an interesting one, so I expect some surprises along the way. Guru really likes to keep me on my toes; I’m just really hoping you’ll join me for the ride.
I hope your Sunday has been a beautiful one. xoxo