It is so nice to reach out to you again! I hope your Autumn has been lovely and not so windy and rainy as it has been in the Maritime provinces. I feel as though it has been an age since I last wrote, since I took the time to sit at a computer and reflect. Heading into winter, I am drawn to do just this.
October, October…. October was spent fully immersed in the present (or at least, that was the intention). I deliberately stepped away from my phone, from apps and the internet for a number of reasons. I travelled to Ontario seeing family in Toronto and Hamilton. In Quebec, sitting in Cafes in Old Montreal with my sister. Attended a lively family Thanksgiving dinner in my Mom’s childhood home in Mont St. Hilaire. In a car, driving 2000 Km across 5 provinces. I caught a very rocky ferry to stay in a cabin in Cape Breton Island. Nursing multiple vicious colds. Reading and brainstorming. Wearing rubber boots, climbing hills, drinking tea, listening to the heavy pitter patter of rain to fall asleep. Upon reflection, it was a fulfilling and beautiful lunar cycle. It was a whirlwind, but a meaningful one.
Here today, I just chose a couple of photographs from my travels to share with you. I took very few photos since I was deliberately avoiding my phone. You may wonder why? Well… I have the unfortunate tendency to check social media, news websites, reddit, multiple times a day. Why is this a problem? Social media on one hand presents superficial facades of people’s lives (and well news stirs a wildly negative perspective of the world and reddit… well everytime i want to check reddit, I should just look at my own cat, dog or garden). Our psychology is flawed in that we strive for a kind of perfection and approval (dare I say, narcissism?) which is exploited by these app developers. I think when I became aware of the impact it was having on my life – how it was changing the way I think and simply occupying not only my time when I was on it, but also when I wasn’t on it (thinking ooohh how can I present this, etc?) I wanted to change how I used it. I have been working on it for years now, but to be completely honest, the most effective way is to just log out ( I also have websites blocked completely on there). This of course is not a realistic option for me because I do want to share my creative world. It’s insanely necessary and useful if you are an artist of any kind. And so, I am just working on how to more or less detach myself while still using it. How to embrace my imperfection and feel okay with sharing that with 50 K people (As flabbergasted and honoured as this makes me feel, I think is a large part of my anxiety >.< ).
Prior to finding instagram – I only shared my art or knitting with family and close friends because I honestly felt like no one cared at all, and that didn’t really bother me either – it was my private world. It was through sharing on instagram that I found confidence to continue to share my creativity and create, which was awesome! A place where I can finally express and share who I am – a place where people don’t say “you’re weird” or “you’re different…”. I do want to continue using it, but I just feel like we should have more conversations about how it actually impacts our thought patterns. Do you ever feel anxious or depressed when scrolling or posting? I can say with certainty, that I do. Sometimes, I am scrolling so mindlessly, so incredibly detached – I wonder what I am doing at all? This might sound odd, but my biggest concern was that purchasing a smart phone back in 2015 corresponded with a significant decline in reading books. Books and literature, one of my main loves on this earth!
And so… detached from the internet, I spent quality time with family and friends. I read Gone with the Wind – finishing the book in a wooden cabin in Cape Breton Island. I was… enthralled, captivated! It reminded me that… reading a very good book, in a pleasing atmosphere ( maybe just cozy blankets, a hot drink, candles or a woodstove) is one of the absolute most wonderful things. I am still thinking about Rhett and Scarlett… ho hum. And taking ANY book suggestions!
Obviously, everyone is different. I am certain that not everyone wants to run away to a cabin without the internet so they can find some peace and clarity in this clouded world. I know for a fact that, well, I’m a little different. I might go to extremes and I’m idealistic. I dream of a world that is…. full of meaningful working interactions, with trees allowing to grow to ripe old age, to growing food and reading books and wearing handmade clothes. I know that not everyone feels anxious about social media, about just having the internet in your pocket. I grew up in a time where we had time limits on the internet – 30 minutes a day. I spent most of my time playing outside (I use to love running more than anything) and reading books and I look back with overwhelming nostalgia to a time of reading under apple trees (and then ask myself, nothing is stopping me from doing the same now, so what really is the problem here?).
And SO! Discipline, friends, this is what I need to instil into my life. A little bit of app use a day (maybe 15 minutes?). I want to continue to share and although I am not a writer, I love writing and sharing on my blog. I feel as though the relationships I’ve formed on here have been meaningful and so positive. You guys have lifted me up so much, made me feel that I have something worth sharing, something worth saying and making. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart and soul.
As you can see, I am a dichotomy but I want to start expressing myself in a more honest way. I want to start to really come to terms with how social media makes me feel so I can better use it without it taking over my thoughts and time. Without beating myself up over who I should be or look, etc. It’s difficult when sometimes you receive very nasty messages (I once received an e-mail telling me they hope I never have children because I am a horrible person for deleting a picture : /)
Tomorrow, I will post another blog about my time in the cabin in Cape Breton Island. About the children book ideas that I have (and maybe some suggestions from you guys?), about my knitting which I have lots to share.
I have to work today in town until the evening (and everyday this week). However, going to make everyday and try to utilise that 15 minutes of app time to connect with you (or okay, maybe it will turn into 20 because I have my art account as well), my faye friends. Thank you so much for understanding! And Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking part in this journey with me – I’m always trying to find a balance and the encouragement I receive from you friends, well it guides me to stay on this path! The path of being creative and living more harmoniously with our Planet. I hope you understand about my sometimes prolonged absences and I am trying to strike that balance.
*see* you tomorrow and be well!
A favourite Canadian…. take a listen!