A Decision

“Life purpose is not a given —it’s a decision.” Eric Maisel

At the end of April, I declared to the world that I was taking a break from social media for the month of May, maybe longer. I didn’t say this to garner attention. I said this because I think it’s rude to be in conversations with people and then go silent. I was just letting my friends know the score; I was having a break.

I am having a break. I need a break. Something, in the past, I would have ignored. I would have just kept on trucking. I was the strong, independent black woman. I earned that label not because of who I was but what I did. I was super productive. I was everything to everyone. You wanted it, I’d get it for you. I was always trying to prove myself, to them, to others, to myself. Not anymore.

April was a hell of a month for good and bad reasons. April is the birth month of my children, so those were the happy occasions. A time to celebrate two beautiful people. But in between those dates, fell Woodland Leader training, project planning and implementing, launching the website and a whole heap of illness. Not for myself but for my mother in law. And that situation continues. But something had to give after that month of trials and tribulations. Emotional drains and scars. And it was me.

I’d spent the month propping everyone else up at the same time as fulfilling my own hopes and dreams and I just got burnt out. It got to the point that I had no more to give and didn’t want to give. One morning, I thought it would be a lot easier to not wake up at all. Of course I did face the day and the next as I’m that strong, independent black woman, right! But I had to release some pressure, cut myself some slack and coming off social media looked like a good place to start.

Now let’s get one thing straight, I don’t spend hours and hours on social media. But it is a constant stream of connections and conversations for me. At times, and I wish it wasn’t, a space for validation too. There was a time back in 2015, that I turned my back on Facebook and only went back to it because a course I signed up for was delivered through a Facebook group. I didn’t really get into Instagram until September 2015. Then I saw it as a good way to get the creative juices flowing again through sharing images. Words? Words were still scary for me. Off limits, came with too much baggage and damage. And twitter, well twitter was twitter.

However, the people I have connected with through social media have helped me immensely. And they might not know that. But they’ve helped me believe in myself again as well as the common good of humanity. I ‘thank you’ my online community. I do class you as my friends. And because of that, I know I can take the time to step away from social media.
No way do I see this as taking our relationship for granted. But more so of cherishing our connections to the point of feeling that I’m not really contributing anything if I’m struggling with myself. I feel that it’s okay with you if I have to step out of the room from time to time to retain my sanity. I know you’ll understand and support my well-being. I know I would do/be the same way with you.

It’s been 10 days since my last posting on social media. Some of those days have been a dark drag. I did lose my way there. Today is the first day, I am able to get out of bed at a decent time, and greet the day with a smile. I am letting go of my stresses a bit more. I’m factoring into my day meaning oportunities. I’ve gotten back into the chilly embrace of the sea. She was needed. Today, I’m appreciating the light a bit more and being grateful for the life I live a bit more.

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During my hiatus from social media, I’ve been enjoying some much needed ‘me-time’. ‘Me-time’ consists of long soaks in the bath, walks along the sea shore, cooking family meals, dreaming on paper as well as reading novels.

For some reason, I never seem to have the time to read for pleasure, unless I take time away from social media. Getting through the pile of books that are at the side of my bed just illustrates to me how much time I waste refreshing my twitter feed, pressing hearts on Instagram and commenting on stuff on Facebook

I know I need to find a way to have a much healthier relationship with these means of contact with the outside world, but as of yet I haven’t found a viable solution except from turning them off for weeks at a time.

It’s not an ideal situation, as I do miss the connection, contact and opportunities they present but I’m prepared to take this hit if it means I turn them off in order to hear my own voice again.

I do find social media very noisy at times and distracting. As well as enriching and inspiring. Still a work in progress I think; my relationship with the beast.


But one book that I’ve been engrossed in for the last couple of days is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I’ve has my eye on this debut novel for a few months now, but haven’t managed to read it until now. And it’s such a good read.

It’s historical fiction and very poetic in it’s descriptions of people and places. Based in Amsterdam in 1687, it follows the progress of one family as they thrive through the trade routes opened up for merchant explorers. A new bride receives a cabinet sized replica of her new home as a wedding gift. Upset at first, she soon becomes involved in decorating this house through a mysterious miniaturist. This book weaves a magical spell as I’m drawn into this family’s world were secrets and lies are the currency of exchange as money and sugar takes a backseat.

If you can, read it, take a break from social media if you have to in order to do so. It’s well worth it!