I kept promising myself I would write more. It was one of my main goals in 2018. I didn’t do it. I made the very same promise to myself in 2019. I let myself down again. I could list a hundred depressing excuses, including depression itself, but what would be the point? I just didn’t do it!
Why is this year going to be different? This 2021? The year when we all are supposed to overcome so many things worldwide… Because I know I am capable of doing so! I found strength I never knew I had. It was hiding inside of me. Just waiting for me to stop hesitating and holding myself back.
I spent almost an entire year away from social media and it was refreshing. Actually, it was just the thing I needed to gain some perspective about how I wanted to spend my time interacting with others online. I also gained valuable insight about the time I desperately needed to spend offline. The time I needed to focus on myself and my family.
Now, I am not going to wax all poetic and pretend my time away was perfect and full of sunshine and cotton candy. Hell no! I spent a lot of time depressed. I neglected to take care of my health and gained about forty pounds. I barely moved off the couch unless it was absolutely necessary. I was social distancing before it was necessary. Things were rough even before the pandemic, but just when I thought there was no hope of anything getting better for me… It did.
It didn’t happen overnight. It was a progressive sort of thing. It started with our house. We had moved in August of 2019 into a new home. Well, a new home to us. I was excited at first, but the excitement wore off rather quickly. Somewhere along the way, it started building again.
Though we had wanted to move to another state, somewhere warmer, I fell in love with my house here in Indiana and started to decorate. I added the little touches I had always dreamed of having, and on the day our new sofa was finally delivered, after months of delay due to COVID, I took a nice long look around. I realized this wasn’t just a house in a state I really didn’t like at all. It was a home. It was OUR home and I love it. I had made it into everything I dreamed of and I take pride in it.
From that point, I realized there were other things I loved so much in life and I had not done them in a long, long time. Reading, for example. I used to consume books. I could easily read an entire book in a day, and think nothing of it… Other than I was satisfied for having done so and disappointed because it was over! Therefore, I began reading again. Before I knew it, I had read over twenty books in a month! I was so surprised! Why had I waited so long to escape into the prose of the brilliant authors I loved so much? And I discovered new authors and more books. I am still, to this day, reading as much as possible. I refuse to give up a hobby again I enjoy so much.
Then during one of my many sessions with my trusted and beloved therapist, she suggested I start journaling. Journaling had been something I had done most of my life. I had stopped over a decade before she suggested it. I don’t know why exactly. I just didn’t do it anymore. I still had stacks of journals dating back to when I was a teenager. Others before then had been lost or thrown away. I am not sure what happened to them. I guess it doesn’t really matter now. So, the next time we were out, I bought an inexpensive journal. Nothing fancy. And I began to pour years of pent up emotion into this cheap, multi-colored book. It helped. Before long, I was recording the events of each day. Unloading all my frustrations and memorializing all the happy times. It was just what I needed. It jump started a transition into a kind of healing and motivation to take care of myself!
Taking care of myself became a priority. I knew, in order to survive, not just the pandemic, in general, I had to do more… More for me. I had to find a reason. For once in my life, that reason couldn’t be anyone else. The reason had to be me. My own health and happiness. I got off my butt and I started eating better and moving more. I drank more water. I got more sleep. I started saying no to things I would feel obligated to say yes to in the past. I set boundaries and removed as much toxicity from my life as possible.
I felt guilty, but I pushed that aside and I found the strength to keep going. I started doing everything I loved again. I did my makeup. I got my hair done. I bought some new clothes. I laughed at silly things. I held my husband’s hand more often. I sang in the car. I watched old shows I loved. And I kept on reading and journaling.
Finally, I found the courage to return to Instagram. I was so afraid at first. I had been away so long and I had basically disappeared at the end of 2019. I didn’t know how my return would be received by others. Fortunately, I was afraid for nothing, because I was welcomed back by a lot of my old friends and I have connected with a whole new group of amazing people. I have been enjoying my time creating content for Instagram again. I love what I do. I had forgotten how much satisfaction I get from creating a post about a product or makeup look and sharing it with everyone. It’s not even about the likes. I mean… The likes and comments don’t hurt. Everyone wants engagement! And I love the feedback, but the whole process and interaction with others is what gives me the most satisfaction.
Now, here I am… It’s the beginning of 2021. I have lost the weight I gained and then some. I have cut my hair shorter than it has been in years. So am I the same me after all? Maybe not. Perhaps, I have been working towards a better me for a while now and 2021 will be the year when I just keep making the changes I need to live the life I deserve. The one I owe it to myself to live. My best life!!!!! Isn’t that what everyone really wants?
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more… I plan to stick to my goal of writing regularly. I hope you enjoyed this blog entry. And as always…
Peace, love, and butterflies! ☮️❤️🦋
(Please note that I do take what is happening in this country and worldwide very, very seriously. I do pray daily. If prayer offends you, I will not apologize. That is my personal way of dealing with the stress and sadness of what is happening. However, it is my personal choice to refrain from directly discussing anything political at this time. Thank you for your understanding!)