I had big plans for 2017. I had set what I thought to be some realistic goals. 2016 beat the living shit out of me but when 2017 rolled around, I was determined to make it different; better.
Those who had followed my business YouTube channel that focused on Writing, may have noticed a swarm of stoically chirping crickets…in other words, NOTHING has been happening over there. After, March 2017 was it? It was just at that time where MANY sudden changes were thrust upon me and my family all at once.
My best friend sent for me for a 2 week vacation right after moving houses–among a few other unexpected events as well. Coming back from those 2 weeks in Missouri, I thought I’d feel refreshed enough to tackle the shit-pile that awaited me.
This post isn’t about everything that happened 2017 because most of it is very dark and very personal. What I will say is, I learned a very BIG lesson from it. Everything was going wrong and with it, my mental health just…Shut. Down.
I tried to live as the Great Pretender. I still attempted to “look normal” through social media. I played the part through pictures, status updates, stories and most of them…were utter bullshit.
The guilt that produced the pretending was in part from me using social media as a way to be held accountable and assuming people’s expectations. We all set goals and as a tool, we put them out there so that we feel a fire under our butts knowing that our “followers” now know and are waiting for updates on said, goals.
I’ve always been a huge advocate of this method. Procrastination is my bitch. I own Procrastination.
(Wait…actually, I think I’m Procrastination’s bitch. That’s more accurate, actually.)
Anyway, I know how to play that song and dance down to a “T”. So, using social media to hold me accountable when I’ve set a goal, especially one like finishing a book, is actually a wonderful idea.
The thing is, I never considered the possibility of it not always being a beneficial tactic and perhaps, even a harmful one at times. Anytime before the end of 2017, I would’ve considered that food-for-thought to be straight up crazy talk. Until I stumbled on this random post by an author I follow.
Scrolling through Instagram, I saw this, read it, and took a pause. I paused because it went against my initial motto. I was all about setting them goals, shouting them from the rooftop to then feel that stoking fire of motivation to get shit done. Be an example. Prove it to myself, yes, but to others as well, if we’re being honest.
Now, if this were 2016, I think I would’ve just, “Hm” at that image and scrolled on, never giving it a second thought. But after 2017, 2018 Desiree was like, Whoa. Wait a second. Huh…interesting.
I never talk about this. I’ll probably mention it in some form or another this year (due to reasons) but I’ll briefly share now. My mental health in 2017 took a deep, deep, dark turn. Everything, and I mean, everything in my life suffered due to this state.
As a result, a lot of life pieces need to be picked back up and put into order. So because of this, when I came across that Instagram post, I realized I needed to take a very different approach to my goals for the next year.
Even though I plan to resurrect my YouTube channel (fingers crossed) and continue talking about the Writing Process, even though I plan to take back control of my health in every area, even though I plan to dive back–diligently–into my writing…I don’t think I’ll be talking about them as much.
I want to take a big step back from a lot of social media. For this year at least, I feel I need to:
Stay Quiet About Them.
Whether I smash the shit out of them or not, I need to remove the heightened feelings of guilt and failure that then aggravate my anxiety, throwing my entire psyche off. Not only did I not do what I set out to do but I added to those feelings the pressure of facing those I shared said goals with.
Granted, people don’t care as much as we think they do. Most of them don’t think about the goals you shared or even remember them if they did think about them. I get that. That’s not the point though.
It’s all mental.
You know. You remember sharing them. And anxiety isn’t logical. It’ll tell you exaggerated lies and dramatize every little–seriously, little–thing.
Social media has been molding our mindsets these last 5+ years. It has provided us a form of connection at a much broader range than most of us ever had in our actual real life circles. And when we’re building businesses that encourage consistent social interactions through different marketing platforms, the concept of sharing online is as natural as breathing now.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and friendships I’ve found through the evolution of the internet. But perhaps, it’s okay to take a step back from time to time too. Just maybe, sharing a lot less and finding a bit of solitude in order to recollect, reform, and eliminate all the distractions for a while (or forever; whatever you need) might benefit some of us mentally and in turn, elevate our productivity.
Food for thought.
What that looks like will be different for each individual. I’m still figuring out what it’ll look like for me. But, I definitely believe I stumbled upon that random Instagram post for a reason. I needed the encouragement of what my mind already had been contemplating for many months. Only now, I’m able to put words to it.
Set Goals. Stay Quite About Them. Smash the Shit Out of Them. Clap For Your Damn Self. Repeat.