I have to say that I have noticed a change in what I have been consuming on social media. I have been following more and more people that give advice. Good advice. Sound mental health advice. I love Dr Julie Smith and find that I think about her one minute posts all day. The are fantastic and here is one of my favorites:
But there are many more people that I love. One is a Zookeeper who gives sage advice. Another is a grandpa, one is a GenX er and another a Zen master. I found out something about myself as social media has grown over the past decade and it become a place where I really wanted to make my mark in the quilting universe. I started a dangerous practice of comparing myself to others without any of the facts or circumstances surrounding other peoples posts. The comparison started to branch out to everything I was consuming on social media décor, plants, gardens, hair, makeup, style, parenting, aging, and the worst thoughts for me was that other people could succeed and make money in a creative “job” when I couldn’t. I felt I couldn’t succeed in my day job, my housekeeping , or my appearance.
I realize now many of my assumptions were not true. I assumed that if you made a quilt and were sponsored that you got paid. Many times you get fabric but the three months of work is not paid for. It is a form of you doing the work for a mention on a social post by the sponsor. What??? I couldn’t believe it. I was realizing that the same was true about many feeds on social media and the really successful ones were a combination of luck, 100 hour work weeks, huge investments of money and tons of marketing.
I assumed that people who were in social media businesses were making money. I found many were breaking even and living off the income of a spouse or partner. In my dual income family, I was trying to work my day job and a side hustle to help pay for my kids college. What I got was a few hundred dollars here and there that kept my house from being foreclosed on years back and bought Christmas gifts when we had no money. For that I am extremely thankful. But it still hasn’t paid for the kids college. So I tried even harder to be successful, monetarily , and I kept failing over and over again. The total dollars made being the measure of success.
So what I have learned from my favorite social media accounts this year is to take care of myself. Stop comparing. Stop trying to work so hard to make more money. Stop trying to be on trend, present a picture perfect product and life, and start living. A real life and If choose to share on social that ok. More to the point, I don’t have to share, don’t have to do jobs on the side I don’t want to and focus more on my real life, job and relationships.
I love making and creating. I don’t want to strive so hard for it to be my living anymore. I want it to be my passion and let go of the fact that I should be selling or making money. I do what I love and what I am passionate about. That is teaching, podcasting, and making quilts /crafts that I want to make, in my own time. Its the perfect Zen place to be. I am not going to “work” 12 hour days any more. I am going to do my day job for as long as it lasts and I am able. When I get home, I am pursing my creative passions with Zen passion. And enjoy my relationships. Any my dusty house with totes all over not magazine worthy. And my comfy eccentric style. And my nature rides. And adventures. And my time of solitude to recharge. And writing goofy blog post. Recording podcasts. Experimenting and play more in my hobbies.
Its ok to be content right where I am and be a good caretaker of the things and money I have.
In the end, I love social media. But I am consuming it differently and my content may change this year. I am not going to sweat the perfect feed anymore. I am ok with showing real life, my real face and body. I am showing my real projects. The comparison will stop and I am seeking only the things that are positive and good to dwell on. It’s mostly a mental shift. I am not really sure it may be detectable on my social feeds by others.
Have a most creative and Zen weekend in spite of Mercury in retrograde, daylight savings time , Friday the 13th and a full Moon…. all happening this week.