Almost two weeks ago, I decided to take a little break from social media. Just 10 days, because honestly, I wasn’t even sure I could go 10 days without Twitter and setting myself up for failure didn’t seem like a good beginning. And 10 seemed like a good number: longer than a week, but not quite two weeks. A proper vacation. A rest.
The first few days were a torment. So often I would pick up my phone, eager to see what was going on and being said, only to see that Twitter and Instagram weren’t quite where I left them. It was a true testament to my addiction that I had to hide the apps, securing them in a little spot where I couldn’t easily find them, not out of habit. Out of sight, but not quite out of mind. In those few seconds of confusion I would remember that I was supposed to be taking a break. I was giving myself some space from the craziness and stress and stats. I was giving my mind a chance to rest and regroup.
But my mind is a weird thing. Constantly spinning with thoughts and ideas and words and wormholes and dark corners and things I often try to not think about. My mind doesn’t like to rest. I’m not sure it knows how. So 10 days without social media was really 10 scary days with me alone with my thoughts with little reprieve. It wasn’t always fun. Sometimes it hurt. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, but that’s okay, because I think I better understand myself because of it. And that was the point, in retrospect: to give myself time alone.
Apparently being alone can produce things you didn’t expect.
Nonetheless, I did learn a few things while on my little break. Some were weird, some were empowering, and some were frustrating. But each was useful in its own way. Maybe you can find something in them for yourself.
Things I learned during 10 days without social media:
iPhone batteries can last a LONG TIME when you don’t have 10 apps running on your phone all at once.
There are A LOT of shows about serial killers these days. And I watch most (all) of them.
Reading books is ritual. Losing yourself in a book is one of the most freeing, invigorating, inspiring things, especially for a writer. It allows you to see how others have perfected their craft, taken risks and tried new things. It encourages you to push yourself to write better and be different; to take chances with your words because you can. Because when you’re writing, you can make it anything you want.
Music nourishes the soul and calms the mind. It is poetry brought to life, magical and enveloping. And sometimes it tells you a story so perfect you wish you could write it out before realizing it’s already been said in exactly the way it was meant to.
Life without friendships is an empty life. A sad one, one we were not meant to live. We were intended to form relationships, to find safety and freedom in the knowledge that there are others in this world who understand us, even if it’s only for a moment in time. Hold tight to those people. Love them fiercely for as long as you can.
If you write something good or clever or funny, but no one is there to tell you so, it is still good or clever or funny. Trust yourself, in your abilities and creativity. Confidence in all things.
Editing brings me just as much joy as writing. Perhaps even more. The more we try new things, the better we understand ourselves and our gifts and what makes our hearts happy. Never limit yourself. Do what brings a smile to your face.
I can write fiction. But I’m not sure what to do with it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Being silent only guarantees you’ll never get what your heart desires.
You are stronger than you know. Strong enough to stay true to your principles and intentions. Strong enough to fight for what you want, even when others say you will never achieve it. Strong enough to pull yourself together even when you feel as if the entire world is crumbling around you, taking you with it. Strong enough to wake up tomorrow and try again, even when the dark shadow of yesterday lingers in your memory. You are strong, and you are allowed to believe it.
If you are in a room alone long enough, you will start talking to yourself. So go outside, get coffee, turn on music. Anything that keeps you from becoming the crazy hermit in a dark room.
Apparently aspartame is REALLY bad for you. At least, that’s what my family spent the last 10 days informing me. I’ve been told aspartame turns into formaldehyde in your stomach, which is not good for your digestive system. Of course, they would tell me this while I was drinking Diet Coke or experiencing caffeine withdrawals. Needless to say they were unsuccessful at stopping my Diet Coke addiction.
I definitely have an addictive personality.
Daleks are THE WORST. (I watched a bit of Doctor Who…) And I really do have an inappropriate sense of humor. (I also watched some Archer…)
Twitter isn’t the cause of my insomnia. It merely makes my insomnia more bearable.
Write every day. Even if it’s one sentence or one paragraph or a short story or an essay or a poem. Put your feelings to words, bring your imagination to life, and sit back and revel in the fact that you created something. You brought something into this world that wasn’t here before. There is nothing more satisfying or beautiful than that.
Create things. Use your hands to make art. Trust in the beauty of your imagination.
Letters and emails and texts and Skype sessions will always bring a smile to my face.
I guess I say “so” a lot.
There is beauty in vulnerability, in opening up your heart and sharing your soul. It may hurt like hell and it may leave you feeling weak and powerless, but the moment you open up, you give someone else the chance to do the same. Your strength provides others with the strength to tell their story, to share their struggles and heartbreak. Being vulnerable allows us to meet each other where we are and go forward together. It gives us freedom to be ourselves, to own our story.
Being alone allows you know yourself, to understand who you are when there is no one watching or expecting anything from you. Who you are when you are alone is you in the truest sense. And that person is amazing. Never believe you have to put on an act to get people to like you, because those people will never know you – they will only know the person you’ve imagined yourself into. Be yourself honestly, because you are a wonderful person with a gorgeous heart and lovely soul, and you are worth knowing.
I need a social life.
[Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter >> @cassiclerget.
I’m pretty entertaining.]