I recently stumbled upon the work of Nicole Cicak and started by reading her blog.
In a way, it inspired me to get back into the groove with my own blog and with writing. I read a few of her posts and I think I felt for the first time that someone totally random, another artist, had the same feelings as me and I realized how important it was to share those thoughts.
There were two posts of hers that for me made me connect with her work almost instantly.
The first post was about her break from social media. It was like she was taking the words right of my head and putting them online. I remember the first time I had taken a break from social media and how clear my mind finally felt, but unfortunately I wasn’t in the position yet to have my audience try and look for me elsewhere. I had to return to Instagram because I didn’t know how to start my blog and therefore wasn’t doing much in terms of engaging on here.
I’ve tried to take other breaks from social media and they honestly haven’t worked. One thing that was happening was that I’d get frustrated and delete the app out of anger, vowing to never return to it again. Since getting back into writing, I have a different mentality towards it.
Just because I’m not crazy about social media, doesn’t mean I don’t see its usefulness. It is a very useful tool, but now I’m approaching it where I want to place more energy on my website and less on my social media. I think that’s actually how a healthy relationship with social media needs to be, even if everything about the app is telling you to constantly be on and active and creating content in order to be seen.
I do love creating content. I love taking photos, I love expressing my thoughts, I love sharing what I’m reading and researching, and I love writing. I don’t love that I was sitting and scrolling and feeling sad about the world. I don’t love the many times I’m stuck not knowing what to say in a caption because the online chatter is so chaotic, I feel petrified to express myself. I don’t love that I feel like I was/sometimes still am in a manipulative, one-sided relationship with a piece of technology that is pushing me to create content just to create content so that I can be in front of my audience.
So instead of deleting the apps out of frustration, I’m reclaiming a pace that feels sustainable to my lifestyle again. No, I don’t need to be online and posting every single day at all hours. But I can post to announce new work and to tell you about my latest blog post. No, I don’t enjoy making videos/reels and taking hours to select a song so that I feel cool enough to be a DJ. I’m not a DJ and I don’t make music videos, but I do take the time to get that photograph just so.
But it was Nicole’s post about social media that kind of triggered these reflections. The second post she wrote that inspired me to write again was about her miscarriage and how deeply she was grieving the loss of her future life and child. Obviously I related to the post because now I’m a mother and I can’t imagine my life without my baby girl. Her vulnerability in sharing her grieving process, took me to another reality and I could feel her pain and sadness. With just that single post, I could relate to her illustrations and see how much of herself she pours into her art.
I’m a very private person and have hard boundaries between what I’m ok with sharing and what I’m not ok with sharing online. After reading that post, it’s like it almost gave me permission to be a little more open about myself. I’m much better talking about my life years after something has happened. I can be more reflective and selective with what I want to say. I still am not comfortable with talking about certain things when I’m living in it, that’s when I feel like I’ve crossed the boundary into oversharing.
But thanks to those posts, they opened my eyes to seeing that stories and thoughts like those help us to relate to each other and to connect with one another’s work. In a roundabout way, it helped me to feel empowered in taking the next step with writing. I’m really excited about this chapter and I haven’t felt this way in many years. My creative voice is slowly making her way out of the jungle of random garbled societal messages, the messiness of social media, and general shyness to opening up. This will be a process, but thank you for being here.
Stay tuned and stay well,