This is 44…Personal Thoughts About Growing Up And Aging Through Digital And Social Media

Tomorrow is my birthday, so to have fun I closed the “workplace” for 2 days and I’m giving myself two “Sure” days (suppose chilly plunge, stroll/hike with podcasts, classic procuring, wine at lunch, Barbie (2nd time) with my finest associates, youngsters snuggles, man snuggles, pig snuggles, and associates from LA coming in to most likely Alpaca snuggle). However we will’t let 44 fly by with out a little self-indulgent/reflection put up as a result of this age/decade is a lot extra fascinating than I may have predicted.

To have fun 44, I needed to cite my pal Jason Derulo by way of Armchair Skilled final week who talked concerning the prime 10 largest “missers” in NBA basketball – the gamers that missed essentially the most makes an attempt at scoring. As you would possibly guess they’re the GOATS: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and so on. The gamers which have essentially the most misses, have essentially the most wins. I discovered this stat so inspiring, comforting and have repeated this advert nauseam final week to my youngsters, associates, crew, grocery clerk, UPS dude (shout out to Dustin) and anybody who will pay attention.

Mid-life is tough, but in addition so empowering. Like most individuals of their 40s, I’m actually having fun with the readability that comes from stirring the pot of life components – i.e. heavy work/household accountability, every day errors, some successes, horrible parenting strikes, journeys/falls, and recovering on all fronts. Oh and with a touch of try-hard-know-it-all-ism. Let’s name it center aged soup. Each day is a chance to fall in your ass and get again up, which appears to get simpler every time, till the autumn is larger and the best way again up is unknowingly laborious. On day, I like this bizarre sport of life, whereas recognizing that I’m fortunate sufficient to take action from a very privileged vantage level. Whereas my self-importance doesn’t get pleasure from getting older, the rising moments of readability and knowledge are so value it – and spoiler: you solely get to have knowledge by growing older. I’ll take the ladder.

Proper now our children are 7 and 9 and Brian and I are loving these “magical years of parenting” the place they’ll get themselves fed and dressed, however don’t hate us but. We’ve got a slower, easier life with canines, pigs, alpacas, and a neighborhood/neighborhood that we worth a lot. However a profession that’s closely embedded in social media is just not all the time simple. I began my (second) profession as a design blogger in 2010 earlier than influencing on a number of platforms was a factor and adapting to it has been a REAL WILD RIDE.

2022 was particularly difficult with regard to social media. My relationship with it was already challenged. I essentially modified throughout lockdown and felt immense strain to return to a chaotic work life presenting “perfection” all day each day on social media and I simply didn’t have it in me anymore. In the meantime TikTok was disrupting this trade in a very alarming manner and the numbers have been altering quick. I didn’t adapt in addition to I want I had (mentally or professionally). The numbers have been BUMMING me out. I used to be saying plenty of horrible issues to myself that I don’t even need to write down. Basically, I used to be stuffed with insecurity/self-doubt and questioning if I nonetheless slot in. I’ve been doing this for 14 years, which is like 278 in social media years. Digital (particularly social) media is a sport that has a lot potential for reward (and I’m so grateful for elements of it) however because of the algorithms it usually feels just like the Starvation Video games – we’re all thrown right into a battle the place the second we work out the best way to use the weapons we got, the principles change and that weapon now not works. My skilled self-worth was getting caught up in it. We have been scrambling to attempt to hit the numbers we had throughout Covid, and I used to be secretly questioning if flipping homes would supply extra stability and higher psychological well being.

That is additionally a HUGE reminder to us all – that social media will be very harmful, mentally in case you don’t know the best way to strategy it in a wholesome manner. I didn’t begin running a blog till I used to be 30 and on social media when my frontal lobe was tremendous shaped at 33. And even I discover myself tremendous affected by “likes” and feedback once I’m not in a transparent head area.

Thank GOODNESS for my great crew. They achieve this a lot behind the scenes you don’t have any concept and have been so supportive. You see, there was once simply 1-2 social media platforms and that’s it (the weblog and possibly OG IG). Now we’ve/GET to shoot, report, financial institution, edit, and publish content material for 5-7 platforms most days (some vertical, some horizontal, some fast and catchy, some lengthy kind, some brief kind to advertise the lengthy kind, some visible, some written, some with caption, some lengthy articles, voiceover, and so on). Every platform has completely different necessities, codecs with completely different audiences that need various things. It’s actually, actually laborious to know what’s going to hit (and I’m not alone, all of the advertising and marketing execs at prime corporations that I associate with and each content material creator I do know are equally flummoxed and making an attempt new issues each day). It’s a must to take a look at it like a inventive problem that you simply get to take in any other case it may be an unimaginable place to steer from. Final yr, I used to be making an attempt to create the content material largely on my own up right here, which wasn’t working AT ALL and I needed to surrender. I missed my crew a lot. I wasn’t doing the very best job, I wasn’t having fun with it, I’d neglect to get the correct footage for the correct platform, and I used to be so mad – I was so good at this!!! I discovered myself actually resenting social media, as if it have been the issue, and I felt like such a brat. I knew that I used to be the issue. I needed to make a giant shift.

The Huge Shift…

I took a break – a while to suppose/focus/learn final January. Time is the world’s most privileged commodity of all and I’m so grateful I used to be capable of take some to reset. I requested myself so many laborious questions. I went by all of the “whys,” honed in on my worth (shout out to Brené Brown). I examine blockages and began the work to take away those that have been making me really feel so horrible and adverse about myself. I dove extra into spirituality to really feel extra linked larger/greater energy/universe (who others would possibly name God). If this makes you bristle or need to roll your eyes, I get that. This isn’t about organized faith (for me) or bizarre wellness stuff. Simply feeling extra connection to what feels good and larger, to one another, and to the planet. All that that means and objective stuff. It may be placebo, I don’t care. Collectively all of it labored.

It was like a pair of cloudy grey glasses have been lifted off my eyes and for lack of any much less cringey phrases, I felt actually supported, heat, hopeful, clear, and like I belonged right here. My pep got here again in my step. I felt gentle and vivid once more. I used to be saying sure once more to alternatives that felt so aligned with the place I needed to go. I re-invested my time again HERE, into this weblog – the one ingredient of this job that I’ve all the time liked with my complete coronary heart. And the numbers adopted. Humorous how that works 🙂

I’m so glad that I didn’t make any giant modifications once I was feeling so down on myself. I may provide you with all of the steps that helped, books that I learn, mantras I wrote and repeated – nevertheless it’s private and particular to my life, my issues and profession and I don’t need to evangelize or proselytize (however will in particular person if you need me to:)).

Boundaries… FTW

One factor I did (that I’d extremely advocate) is figuring out the actual ache factors in my job and strategize the best way to repair these, with out throwing out the infant out with the bathwater. When you’re down it’s really easy to be like, “thats it, I’m calling it,” when there may be 1-4 modifications that would make all the things higher. Not all the things is fixable however my response to the issues and my strategy turned so a lot better. We began monitoring feedback, which has been wildly good for all of our psychological well being. I now have a really strict and manageable on-camera shoot schedule moderately than feeling the strain to be “on” all day each day (the recipe for burnout). And on the times that I don’t really feel like being on social, I don’t. An enormous due to my crew for posting and managing all our partnerships – it’s a very huge job that’s tremendous invisible. They permit me to take breaks once I must and so they take the reigns to maintain the enterprise going 🙂

The times which are irritating are much less “doomsday” and extra simply “life”. Doable. All OK. And each time I really feel adverse (like if I invested closely in a venture that didn’t hit in any respect), I’ve so many extra instruments to assist me see it as a lesson, not a complete failure. In addition to, the numbers are simply numbers. The posts that give me pleasure and make me excited are what I care about.

I’m so grateful that this weblog exists and remains to be rising. I’m so grateful that you’re right here and that we’ve been capable of keep open and thrive regardless of each main digital media shift. And pay attention, the center aged cliche is definitely actually comforting. As an alternative of a Porsche I’ve a chilly plunge, and as an alternative of an affair with a youthful man we’ve some alpacas and piglets. The sense of reinvention feels thrilling and ripe with chance. There isn’t an “after” on this case, it’s a “ceaselessly tweak”. And I simply gained’t, can’t, and can by no means give up you. So thanks. xx

Opening Picture Credit: Photograph by Kaitlin Inexperienced | From: Our Again Patio Reveal! (+ How Every little thing’s Held Up To six Months Of Portland Climate)

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