taking some time for myself

The past few months have been formative, full of change, and largely unpredictable. I anticipate the next month will be no different. It feels like the perfect opportunity to take a step back from focusing on things I can't control, from being quite so connected (mostly through social media), and instead turning the focus on myself. Why spend time worrying about what is out of my hands, or tempting myself to comparison, when instead I can use that time on things I enjoy, or on things I've been meaning to do for myself? 

Sometimes I think about all the time, in hours and thoughts, I've spent on things that either cannot be changed by thinking about them or, ultimately, that don't matter. I don't do this to make myself feel guilty but instead as a reminder that while I can't control the actions of others, I can control how I respond. And I can control how much — or how little — thought I give something. Just a few days ago, I wrote a slightly rambling post on letting go, and I meant every word of it: I'm done holding on so tightly. 

I don't know when things like how fast someone answers in a group chat, or who follows who on Instagram became so important. But somewhere along the way, they did, and they became much too important to me: displaced priorities. Instagram has become a kind of habit, particularly in the way I interact with it, just as comparing myself to others is a habit. I know I can break the former, so I'm not sure why it's taken so long to realize I can also break the latter. It's as simple as stopping; just as it's as simple as giving myself permission to focus on me and do what I want. 

I decided over the weekend that sometime soon I was going to take a break from Instagram and delete it from my phone; I decided last night there was no point in waiting. At first, I was (of course) going to post a picture to let people know of my decision, but my friend Gaby disagreed. It only took me a minute to realize how right her reaction was, how silly my initial thought to do such a post had been (almost counterintuitive in its search for external validation), and how desperately I needed to unplug. And after all, this is a decision I am making for myself and only for myself. (On the other hand, posting about this on my blog feels natural. I started this purely for myself, to hone my voice and write consistently. And besides — so few people read it, that this is hardly some overt declaration). 

So, I'm taking a step back: from social media, especially Instagram; from things that are doing me more harm than good; from relationships where I am the party putting in significantly more effort; and, from whatever makes me unhappy.

And instead here are those things I'm looking forward to with my freed up time, and freed up mentality: 

reading (gotta catch up on my 50 books in 2018 goal) // writing, writing, and more writing (I'll never be a writer if I don't actually do it) // finding a workout routine that makes me feel strong again // staying in when I don't feel like going out // going out as a last minute decision // putting time into the relationships that are worth it // putting time into my relationship with myself (cringe! and yet, it's true)