Hello New York City, I’m back in you!
If you’re confused, I went home this weekend to visit the South. I flew into Nashville and took a road trip down to Baton Rouge, where I went to college. I hadn’t been down to Baton Rouge since moving to NYC. Every time I go back home it feels weird, but comfortable. I’ve lived there all my life, I know how it works and how people normally are. It’s strange, considering when I was growing up, I always thought that wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I wasn’t like all these people. I was gonna do stuff with my life and leave this boring place. I feel like, since graduating, I’m never doing enough. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw:
In New York, you’re always looking for a boyfriend, a job or an apartment.
I’d even extend that further. You’re always looking for something. I’m always trying and failing to keep up. I’m constantly reminded of designer names I don’t recognize, places I’ve never been and can’t afford to go, and apartments I won’t be able to afford for years. If this sounds exhausting, lemme say, it is 100%. I’m always going and hustling and wondering if I should be trying harder or working more. When I go home, it gives me a chance to slow down and look at my life without living it for a while. I’m reminded of how stupid I feel and how much I just want to stop the whole “Rise & Grind” and maybe stay in bed for a while.
Social media is great in so many ways. I get to connect with people all over and it’s the reason I can even write this and the reason anyone can read it. It can also be isolating. I know people say all the time “social media isn’t real” and I don’t think anyone is dumb enough to still believe everything they see online. However, I watch Instagram stories like movies. Tiny snip-its of people’s lives that I may or may not actually know. In 10 minutes, I can see where someone lives, works, what they wore, who they saw and where they went. It’s someone’s apartment that looks nicer than mine, the fact that they can go grab drinks on a week day, they look like they have a ton of fun at work or they have a link to a sweater I wish I could buy. Sometimes, it’s taking an Uber to a bar with friends, something I almost never do because it’s an unnecessary expense.
I was talking with someone recently about this who also moved away from home and she said something that stuck with me, “We get really caught up in just trying to survive here, that when we go back home, we wonder what the heck we’re even doing and why.”
So what does this have to do with social media? I decided to unfollow a bunch of people recently. Not because their content wasn’t good, or they were just generally annoying, but because looking at their posts and stories made me feel bad about where I am in my life. I started questioning everything I do, including the things I enjoy, and wondering if I should be changing it. Why aren’t my posts prettier, why don’t I buy things from this place I’ve never heard of, why don’t I go out more, why don’t I live there etc. It’s ridiculous. So now, I’m only following people who:
- Are generally funny and entertaining (I love laughing and love doing that for others as well)
- Inspire me in some way (not just inspire me to make more money or buy more clothes, but to push myself more in a good way)
- Are people I genuinely enjoy seeing on my feed (it’s literally MY instagram, why am I following people I don’t genuinely like seeing?)
I’m still figuring out what exactly my brand is—I get closer to figuring that out as I write these little posts. I’m working more towards being someone who actually makes people better after leaving my page, rather than just envious of my life. If you ever feel like this, you’re 100% not alone. I just read an amazing post by Mimosas and Manhattan, whom I’ve been following (and will be continuing to follow) for a while now. She mostly talks about blogging full-time, but also touches on how easy it is to feel like what you’re doing—no matter what that is, isn’t enough. If what I post makes you feel like absolute crap about your life, I don’t mind if you unfollow. I unfollowed people who I actually liked, just because I couldn’t handle how bad it was making me feel. Believe me, you’re doing enough and at least for me, Katie from a year ago would think I was freakin’ killing it.