For the last week and a half, I’ve disconnected myself from social media for more than just one reason.  I haven’t scrolled through my Instagram feed or posted any pictures.  I haven’t scrolled through my Twitter or tweeted anything. I’ve used Facebook for the sole purpose of communicating to friends/family through Messenger because my phone doesn’t get service while I’m at work. Despite using Messenger, I haven’t scrolled through my Facebook feed at all.

I’ve disconnected myself in attempt to avoid whatever drama is occurring on social media.  I’ve disconnected myself in attempt to focus on myself rather than focusing on what everyone else is doing and what I might be missing out on.  I’ve disconnected myself in attempt to find myself instead of looking through a screen about all the “what if’s” or “what could be’s”.

The reality of my life right now is that I’m like a lost puppy trying to find its way back home.  I don’t know which way I’m headed and there’s no map for me to even pick up to redirect me. I currently have a job that makes me a miserable person for 5 out of 7 days of the week.  That is the sole culprit for all my stress and anxiety.  Because I work every weekend (both Saturday and Sunday), I am unable to go on adventures like all the people on Instagram get to go on.  I miss out on fun weekend adventures like that.  I don’t look forward to weekends like 95% of Americans do because weekends mean work for me.  I’ve disconnected myself from social media because I can’t let myself continue to compare my current life to those I see on social media.  It’s just not mentally healthy for me. It took me a long time to realize that some of my stress, anxiety, and sadness were stemming from social media, especially Instagram, so now I have realized it I have disconnected myself.

The majority of pictures on social media are “happy pictures” – pictures of people smiling, pictures of people overlooking scenic landscapes, pictures of people out adventuring with a loved one or their loyal four-legged pup, the list goes on.  My Instagram feed tends to portray the good in people’s lives.  I only get to see the good in these stranger’s I follow on Instagram.  Maybe behind that “happy picture” there’s stress and anxiety that’s hidden.  I’m not saying that I’m mad at people for posting “happy pictures” because there are days when I’m genuinely excited to see people having a good time and living a good life.  I’m simply stating that at this point in  my life, social media is causing me more sadness than happiness.   And for that reason, I have disconnected myself.

My current job situation causes me enough sadness and anxiety.  The additional sadness and anxiety caused by social media is just unnecessary at this time in my life.  It’s becoming unhealthy for me.  So, to clarify, I am indeed happy for anyone that gets to share their memories, experiences, and adventures on social media but I just need to be disconnected for now for my own mental health.  Instagram followers, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends:  I hope you’ll understand that I’m not ignoring you or purposefully not liking your posts, I just need to disconnect.

Oh, January..

Oh, January..

I can’t believe an entire month has already flown by.  It feels like the first day of 2017 was just yesterday but that’s hardly the case!  January hasn’t treated me poorly, but some days I wish that it would’ve treated me better.  In retrospect, I’m grateful for every day that has gone by, but at times it has seemed like a challenging month.  I can’t specifically pinpoint what has made it challenging.  It’s just been hectic and mind-boggling and wonderful all at the same time.

Let’s start with the lingering cloud over my head.  Let me explain.  I currently work a part-time job that has gone from 22 guaranteed hours per week to 32 guaranteed hours per week.  This I am content with.  I have more income to make payments on my student loans.  I have a little bit more flexibility in what I can purchase and spend money on.  However, there’s not a day that goes by that I question my employment choice.  I work every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and have work starting at 4:45 AM two weekdays per week.  To begin, I absolutely hate working weekends.  I’m the only one out of all my co-workers that works both Saturday AND Sunday.  My family doesn’t work weekends.  Josh doesn’t work weekends.  I miss out on the weekend adventures I used to look forward to every weekend.  I’m stuck inside while the people I follow on Instagram are out on long trail running adventures.  On weekdays, my alarm goes off at 3:45 AM and I absolutely hate getting out of bed while the rest of the world is still dreaming.  I wake up cold and I wake up tired no matter how early I try to go to bed.  It’s misery to me.  I’m stuck, miserable, and regretting my agreement 5 months ago to work weekends and to agree to the early opening shift.  I’ve talked to numerous close friends about this.  My parents constantly remind me I have to start at the bottom of the totem pole.  But honestly, I can’t even see the top right now.  I have no idea how I’ll ever get away from the bottom of the totem pole.  I see nowhere to go.  I don’t want to work weekends while the rest of the normal work world gets to relax and enjoy their two days off.  I don’t want to wake up 3 hours before the sun rises.  I want something else. I want to be happy.  Out of the 32 hours I work in a week, I’m miserable for 23 hours of them.  So, with all this being said, January has treated my job choices like crap and produced much regret and second-guessing.

January has also made me want to work harder for a job that will indeed make me happy.  I want to be happy 32 hours of 32 total.  I want to wake up with the sun, not before it.  I want to have my weekends to spend with my family, friends, and my wonderfully supportive boyfriend.  These are the things I tell myself when I’m most unhappy.  I need to work harder in order to be happier.  I don’t want anyone to be controlling my amount of happiness.  I am in complete control of my future.  I just crave work-free weekends, no more early alarms, and overall job content-ness.

January has been busy.  With a combination of working, running, helping out with the family business, trying to start my own business, trying to organize my room so I can get rid of the childish pink covering my walls, and attending family gatherings, it’s been chaotic.  There’s so many good things that have happened in January.  I’ve been running more consistently which is great.  Being an Altra Ambassador has augmented my enjoyment of running and the running community.  I’ve tried to squeeze in more post-run stretching sessions (I’ve slacked toward the end of the month though).  I’ve celebrated four loved ones’ birthdays – my dad, my brother, Josh, and my grandfather’s.  I won a $20 Starbucks gift card for walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes (% grade was 30% so it was a tough 5 minutes!).  I’ve made people smile and laugh.  I’ve enjoyed many glasses of wine.  I’ve spent time with my dogs.  I’ve been invited to Colorado with Angela.  I’ve consumed pizza, delicious salads, and delicious desserts!  All good things.  All things that have kept me sane.

I’m overcome with negative thoughts when I have to go to work.  But then I talk to Josh or my friends and family and they tend to reset my attitude.  I go for a run and my mind becomes de-cluttered.  It’s a cycle of negativity and positivity that I can only hope becomes just positivity one day.

I’m hoping to stay mentally focused on my goal in February of starting my own health coaching services.  I’m hoping to repaint my room and redecorate my walls.  I’m hoping to run more miles and become a stronger runner.  I’m hoping to stretch for a minimum of 10 minutes per day to work on my flexibility.  I’m hoping to have more moments of happiness than moments of sadness and anxiety.  I’m hoping to become more confident in my choices.  I’m hoping to be the best Altra ambassador I can be to represent a brand I love.  I’m hoping to continue to be grateful for the days where I’m happy and even the days in which I’m unhappy.  I’m hoping to find new meaning and purpose through my goals. I’m hoping for the best in February.  I’m hoping for a change – a change for the best.

Goodbye, January.  It’s time we go our separate ways.  It’s time for a new month – a short month but a new month nonetheless.  Thanks for teaching me about adult life.  Thanks for teaching me to work harder.  Thanks for giving me happiness, sadness,  gratitude, and most importantly, love.  Thanks for propelling me into a new month with bigger goals so I can get closer to climbing out of the rut you put me in.  We’re one more month closer to spring – and spring means pure happiness, right?