Taking A Step Back From Instagram

I started my blog a long time ago, mainly focusing on relationships and break ups and hoping I was helping other people through what I was going through. And since it’s transformed, it’s more general but I’m still trying to help people through what I’m going through.

I’ve always been a writer, I’ve always been better about hiding behind my words instead of standing in front of a camera. Being an influencer and a blogger goes hand in hand, so I started building my Instagram following and taking on sponsored campaigns. It was fun for a while, but now it’s just work.

I have a blogging epiphany like every 3 months and recently I was staring at my Instagram feed and was noticing what people liked about it and what they didn’t. I was mostly noticing that 90% of my following doesn’t even interact with my posts, but the 10% that do really care about what I’m doing. That’s when it hit me.

I don’t want people to follow me just because I’m following them and I don’t want to follow people just so they follow me. I’ve recently started unfollowing hundreds of accounts, from mommy bloggers, to people who don’t speak the same language as me, to style bloggers who dress a world’s outside my budget. And I’m actually starting to enjoy Instagram again and seeing people who actually inspire me.

Now my 10% who cares has my focus and they are who I really want to target and inspire. Even though my numbers will drop and that will mean less sponsored posts, I’m so much happier creating content on my terms. I’m hoping this will relieve the stress I feel from a stupid app.

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My Completed Winter Bucket List

I will be the first to admit that my winter bucket list was way too ambitious for someone who was moving out of state and starting a new job. I like to push myself in the winter months though because I tend to get lazy. I did pretty well, but I’m looking forward to including some of these items on my spring bucket list and knocking it out of the park.

  1. Move to New Hampshire!
  2. Learn to play guitar
  3. Go to the gym 3x a week
  4. Text my friends at least once a week
  5. Go to a concert
  6. Read 5 books
  7. Be more productive after work
  8. Start journaling again
  9. Keep my blog stats up
  10. Go on a weekend trip
  11. 7,500 Instagram followers
  12. 650 Facebook likes
  13. 2,000 Twitter followers
  14. Make at least one snow angel!
  15. Get a new piercing
  16. Finish my photo album
  17. Send “we moved!” cards to friends and family
  18. Explore one new town in New England

What’s one thing you did this winter that you’re proud of?

How To Disconnect From Work

I used to never have an issue with a work/life balance until I was promoted and took on more responsibility.

I didn’t spend the hours after work thinking about my day and what my next day would look like. I wasn’t brainstorming ideas for a project. I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to answer those emails, but now work follows me home and it’s extremely exhausting.

If you’re like me and need to disconnect from work, here are some things that have helped me:

Set your hours – unless I have a special event or something, my hours are 8:30 to 5. There is wiggle room, but anything outside of those hours I am not doing work.

Delete email from your phone – I don’t sync up my work email to my phone. I can check it if I log in online, but that’s a much lengthier process than just opening an app. I don’t let myself check email outside my working hours.

Take the PTO – I never had a problem taking my time off until now. Even though I know things will continue just fine without me, there is a level of guilt when taking time off and shirking responsibilities.

Stop talking about work – when I’m not at work, I don’t talk about work. Sometimes my boyfriend and I will exchange complaints. But we don’t harp on the topic of work after work hours.

Unplug in general – after work is a great time to leave your phone in the other room. My work temptation stems from my phone so I try not to stay with it after work is done.

Remember your job is important, but your mental health is more important. Don’t get too caught up in living to work.

man with headphones facing computer monitor
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Dealing With Embarrassment

I’m embarrassed all the time. And when I get embarrassed, it never leaves my mind. Most recently I’ve had days where everything is going right and I’m so thrilled and then one little thing will happen that throws the whole day off. Like when someone scolded me for dragging some chairs on “historical” floors or when I tried to open the door for a blind person and ended up making things way more complicated. I think about those things all day, I think about them years later.

But I recently read this: think of all the times you’ve been embarrassed, now think of a time when someone else was embarrassed.

It’s hard to remember. I’m thinking back to college, trying to remember the weird or ratchet things some of my friends did. And while a few things come to mind, I don’t know how embarrassed by it they were.

And no one else remembers those things that embarrassed you. The guy who scolded me won’t remember me after a few days go by, the blind person who deals with difficulties every day won’t remember me. We are so wrapped up in ourselves and the things we do, sometimes we just need to let it go.

It is never as bad as you thought it was and no one else will even remember it. Embarrassment is a part of life, but you can’t let it eat you alive.

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Tips For Making Somewhere Your Home

I’ve always been more prone to making a home in people instead of a location. But when you start over somewhere new, it’s so important to nest and love the place you are. People are great, but you need to love your home too.

Here are some tips for making somewhere your home.

  1. Personalize the crap out of your home
    Our apartment is decked out with things that mean a lot to us. Most of our decor is unique and one of a kind, things we picked out together during our travels instead of HomeGoods. Whether it’s lots of photos or meaningful decor, personalize your home.
  2. Start looking through Facebook events nearby
    Looking for ways to start loving your city? I go through nearby Facebook events and mark interested in anything that seems fun. When that date comes up, we have lots of options for exploring!
  3. Find the restaurant you love
    This is so important, right? You have to nail down your pizza place, your favorite take out place, your favorite sit down place. Nothing makes me feel more at home than food.
  4. Surround yourself with people who feel like home
    Whether that’s your dog, your friends from back home, or your family. Make a point to keep those people in your life.
  5. Meet a friend
    Join a club, go on BumbleBFF, get close to your coworkers! All you need is one friend to really start fitting into a place.

Do you have any tips for making somewhere a home? Share them below!

 

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How Old Do You Really Feel?

I’m 25 years old, but that barely registers with me. When I was young, 25 year olds were well accomplished. They were married, they had kids, they had houses!

I’ve recently been scrolling through Bumble BFF and you have to set age limits you’re willing to be friends with. When I come across someone who is 22 years old, I think about how they’re the same age as me. I’ve felt 22 for a long time. I know it’s just a 3 year difference, but 22 was when I really started defining myself as an adult. It’s also a time where I’ve never felt more naive and young.

And in reality, those 22 year olds who I could be friends with are most likely at a completely different time in their life as me. They’re fresh out of college and haven’t hit that grandma phase yet like I have. In the same sense, people just a few years older than me are at a completely different phase. They’re married and have kids. 25 is an interesting age because you’re just smack dab in the middle of a time where everyone is in different phases of their life.

It’s hard for me to grasp that I’m halfway to 30 when I don’t feel any different than I did 4 years ago when I graduated college. When I still felt so unsure, I still wanted to dress like I was in college and going to parties, when I had almost nothing figured out. Because I look at my life now and still feel those things. But then I see I have my own apartment, my own dog, a boyfriend who I’ve been with for almost 3 years.

How is this my life and when did I get this old? I know it seems dramatic to some who are older than me, but I’m truly coming to terms with the fact that I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t always go to my mom’s house for Christmas, I have to pay my own bills, I have to figure out what to do on my own when my car breaks down.

I still feel naive and young, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not. That I’m more experienced and accomplished than I give myself credit for.

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The Easy Ways You Can Support People

I love to support people, especially people I’ve known in the past and people who have supported me. I have a lot of sorority sisters and even people from high school who I haven’t kept in touch with, but if I see they’re on a creative endeavor I’m so happy to help.

Because supporting people can be just as easy as liking their Facebook page, following them on Instagram, retweeting a tweet. It can be as easy as sharing their work with your audience, your friends, your family. And just those small things mean so much to people who are just trying to do what they love.

That’s why it surprises me when people choose not to do the easy things. I don’t get angry when I see people I know personally unfollow me, I’m just disappointed. Because even if my content isn’t exactly your thing, why not just stick around for support? Is it that hard to throw my photos a like or skip over my stories?

I don’t like to talk about these things much because it’s such a trivial thing to complain about. I just believe what you put in comes back to you and down the line if you need something from me I’ll have this bad taste in my mouth from when you couldn’t do something as simple as following me on Instagram.

Comment on your friends photos and tell them they look hot, congratulate people you know when they start hitting their career goals, like a band’s facebook page, retweet a podcast’s tweet, talk about that blog you love. These are all easy and free ways to support people. I’m going to end this with a challenge for everyone to do one of these simple things this week. A little goes a long way.

men s white button up dress shirt
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