Since quitting my personal Facebook life has been oddly quiet in my head. It is so incredible how different it feels. I had been an active (and when I say active that is just a nice way to say addicted) member for the last 9 years! HOLY SHIT. I mean, I wonder the amount of useless hours I spent on that site and all for what? To connect with people? I can count on ONE hand the amount of people who I hang out with/talk to on a daily basis, so why did I have 1000+ "friends". This is not to knock all the cool "Facebook pals" I did make that I NEVER would have had I not been there in the first place. But when I joined in 2005 Facebook was a much different place than it is now. People engaged in an easy and almost effortless way- which is probably why so many of us suffer from social media addiction. But now, it's just so different with all the updated layouts and advertisements and feed features. It's overload and it got to be too much for me. It wasn't beneficial to my life anymore. I owe a lot to Facebook from a professional perspective however. It helped build my business and it did it FREE of charge. I connected with so many lovely people and clients. I reached so many of you and I got to create such a huge platform for this business. For that I am eternally grateful. BUT all good things always do come to an end and Facebook for business is not what it use to be either though my page isn't going anywhere (don't worry). Facebook, after all, is a business. It is a business to make money, by filtering our reach and deciding who needs to see what the Facebook business page that I started is so different now. It's disappointing but what can you do? Sometimes I post something and my page says it reached 9 people. How is that possible only 9 people out of 17,000 would be interested? I guess you get to that point where you hope and pray that you have done enough on you're own two feet without crutching on Facebook for help. Thankfully I still book (year upon year) so it all ends up working out. But yes, I quit Facebook for personal use and it has been awesome. I said goodbye to the associated drama it naturally brings, the need to stalk, the need to feel less than so and so, because so and so has a better life than you do, the cult-like groups, the negativity, the oversharing, the obsessiveness, the cattiness, the addiction- how it draws you in and gives you not much in return. I am on a journey of self discovery and Facebook is not for me- anymore. It's quiet in my head. I don't check my phone anymore, though it's still here, I don't feel disconnected or lonely, I would say I feel FREE. I feel liberated. I feel like this thing was trapping me and I never consciously realized the pressure. And it was subtle but over 9 years it wore on me. I will miss hosting my weightless competitions and I will miss keeping up with some friends lives for sure but I had to let it all go to work on my own growth. Some years are about learning and some years are about implementing. This year has been a lot about learning. I am shifting lots of routines in my life to find a new one. I am living in a smaller space, smaller than I have in years. I am a single mom, raising a child alone 5 days a week. I have downsized my possessions to fit in my 900 sq. ft 1937 bungalow. I have prioritized my possessions, tossed what I didn't need and I am slowly becoming a more conscious consumer in general. I ask myself before any "I want it" purchase if it'll benefit me. Most of the time I quietly answer no as I slide is back on the Target shelves. This has become so important for me. I walk out of Target empty handed a lot! I also follow the rules that if I buy something new I have to sell, give away, donate, or toss something else. After 4 years I finally upgraded my one and only purse to something bigger to fit everything in it. Then I sold the one I owned. I try to only own 1-3 things of certain items. Less being more, less being grander, less being more purposeful. I sold Henry's large and beautiful nursery set for basically what I paid for it and in turn purchased him a "toddler room" that was 1/4 of that cost. I still don't have cable which has been an ongoing choice for the past year. It is wonderful! I have a flat antennae and when I want to watch TV I get all of the local channels anyways. AND I have netflix, which is cheap and awesome! My kitchen is small so I got rid of all my "sets". I try to live with less plural. I don't even have a dishwasher and boy has that been something to get use to. I have a beautifully upgraded home (it's not a shack by any means) but it's tiny. I have had so much fun designing my space though with size and scale in mind. It's still a work in progress and there are places that aren't quite finished, like henry's room, the hallway, and the dining room but I am getting there. I have minimized how I operate my business too. I am mostly eco-friendly. I am the photographer who never has business cards (yeah that can be annoying) or cute little flyers or welcome packets or any paper for that matter. I am not much into frou-frou "stuff" that ends up getting tossed anyways. I sold my two 4 year old, wonderfully loved computers (an Apple desktop and macbook pro) for an upgraded Apple laptop. And honestly with all these changes this is the first time I have felt home, home. And it feels really nice and really cozy in my heart. I am chipping away at a past emotionally and physically cluttered life and coming out feeling happier. I have decided to live my life with a bigger intent. I chose it. I want to live a life that is meaningful and inspiring. I want to leave this world knowing I was a conscious surviver.
Happiness is a main focus in my life. I am constantly chasing it. I am always thinking about ways how I can be a happier person, how I can influence henry to live a (mostly) happy life. For so long as a young person I use to live so wildy, without much thought about risk or who I was affecting. Oh how that all changes when you become a mother. It's a welcome change but now I am trying to find some happy in all this organized older version of me- somewhere between immature and rocking a tomato garden. I wanted to blog this post for me honestly, even if no one reads this and no one comments, I just wanted to publicly put out there my feelings and goals and dreams for the months. I am excited to see how many goals I achieve and how many I still need to work on. Not setting the bar too high, not setting it so low- but somewhere in the middle, which is where I have been a lot lately. In the middle of here and there. I want my goals to be attainable and some of them you might kind of laugh at but they are tiny indulgences I simply just don't do enough and they NEED to be done. It's just food for my soul, really.
- Lose 8 pounds (starting weight- 172 lbs)
- Read an inspiring book
- Go to the beach (I live 10 minutes away and NEVER go)
- Re-design my website
- Submit a few weddings for publication
- Create new business cards (even though I hate to)
- Cut my hair into a pixie (gulp)
- Make an effort to go to the gym (yet again)
- Drink more water
- Pray more, want less.
And if you are Instagram, follow me at alexmichelephotography! Let's see how well I follow through my goals this month. Recap coming in August with August goals!