I've been noodling on this concept for a while now, to say the least. A long while would probably hold most true. I started this blog when Evan and I were first married, I was navigating my first year out of school in two decades, and learning the ups and downs of my first full time job.
I needed an outlet, and that is what I found. I started my Dainty instagram in November 2014 and quickly became consumed by it. It was all hair to begin with, but as brands wanted to work with me, and my hair inspo quickly dwindled until there was little at all, it became a fashion page. I don't have to do my hair intricately on the daily, but there are laws commanding my getting dressed all 365 of them. Though my love for what initially fueled the invention of my page fizzled out, my love for the 'gram was stronger than ever...until about January 2017.
It was then I was introduced to The Minimalists by a friend, and I hopped on that bandwagon too. To be fair, this seems like a mighty fine bandwagon to join and I am still very much involved with all the media they put out into the world. This duo shares how they've improved their lives with less. Less stuff gives them more time for their health, time to dedicate to their values, and time to spend on their loved ones instead of things they "love". I went through a phase where cleaning out my closet and decluttering were a normal after work activity, and it worked for a while. But eventually the stuff found it's way back in, because I was solving the symptoms and not the disease.
If you've spent any amount of time on instagram (and according to many studies, you probably have), you know that the fashion Instagram sphere encourages an antithetical approach to minimalism. It encourages you to buy more, follow more, post more, comment more, MORE MORE MORE! And never stop doing more by the way, because the algorithm will find you and somehow find a way to chop off your legs. I have no idea how the algorithm works (do any of us really?) but in my understanding, the more you play on Insta, the more visible you are. So unless you're spending a LOT of time liking, posting, commenting, following, etc. you're basically invisible not only to new people but to the PEOPLE WHO ALREADY FOLLOW YOU. How messed up that is, I don't think I need to explain.
Add this to my finding Jesus, and my word you've got an absent Instagrammer.
I grew up going to church but hating every second there. I was there, but I didn't know why and I certainly didn't get much out of chasing my brother and cousin around at "children's church" each week. Not only because I was slow as hell, but because there was little biblical teaching. To be fair, I don't think I would've been very responsive even if there had been. Fast forward to August 2017 when I finally stepped foot into the church I'd been driving past for two years. As a painfully introverted girl with some serious RBF, I wasn't sure what church I'd be able to find whose members wouldn't bombard me at the door ready to make me talk. My dad kindly suggested I slip in right at the start of service so there wasn't much talking time. I'm so type A I hadn't even considered there was an alternative to showing up everywhere 10 mins early (minimum). So slip in I did, and it wasn't long until the church truly became my sanctuary. I can breathe there, I am safe there, and I am among friends. I even like to talk to these friends now.
Sorry for the forever long backstory, but it was necessary to get you where I'm next taking you.
Instagram is so ugly to me now. Or I suppose, the way I've been using it has lost it's luster. The constant influx of "you need this" is frankly exhausting and UNTRUE! We are bombarded with the message that we aren't enough. We don't make enough, have enough, spend enough, look good enough, ANYTHING enough. And believing that is a sad way to spend our days. My momma told me that as I grow closer to God, the world will become less and less. And as always she is correct! I love following very few of the accounts I actually look through daily, and because I didn't want to add to the detrimental noise of anyone else's life I've shied away from my own feed. I want to spend my time and attention on who and what truly matters, and I'm happy to let my follower count dwindle as I spend less and less time on Insta. What started as a creative outlet quickly took on a life of its own, and I've got so much more worth focusing on than an app. I balk at the amount of time spent on my phone each day, and how much better my time could've been spent. Looking at stranger's accounts will get you nothing at the end of the day, but investing in yourself and your values always pays off. I encourage you to unfollow anyone who gives you any type of negative feel! Myself included.
I no longer feel at home on Insta, but instead in the sphere of people who truly matter to me and in the church that is my refuge. I have battled anxiety since childhood, and that can easily flirt with depression if untended. 2018 seems to be the most anxiety-ridden time in American's lives to date, and I know it's only up from here unless we enact some serious principle reversing here. Instagram and our completely backwards society want us to keep searching, but not for anything that will satiate our desires or close our wallets. Malls are filled with people looking to purchase what can never be bought. Don't buy into it (pun intended). In case you need a reminder like I do:
You are in this world, but not of it. Don't let it consume you.
You are enough, you have enough, and you do enough.
If you'd like to treat the disease rather than the symptoms, start with prioritizing what matters to you. And then end with that, because this one wild, precious life is YOURS alone to do with as you will.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to comment them or email me <3
Behind the dainty days is a whole lot of planning. And coffee.