new year, new you?

As I sit here alone on the night of New Years, I reflect on all events that have occurred in the last 12 months, and I am grateful for the chance to start a fresh new year in a few hours. I chose to spend New Years alone, not for lack of parties I have been invited to, but for the chance to end my worst year on record by myself, in my own way, on my own terms. I spent the better half of my year catering someone else, when I should have been continuing to be the independent person I have always been. I made the choice to scramble around to save a relationship, that wasn’t really worth trying to save. It’s funny how we do that, we can feel it slipping away and we grasp at anything to hold on, but when one person checks out, is it really worth being a part of anyways? I have come to that realization lately, that maybe I am in love with the person I fell in love with, but not the person he has become. And that’s okay. But what matters is loving yourself more than anything. And I never really did stop loving myself.

So for my new year’s night, I choose to sit on my couch, with a movie on, and I have applied to about 10-15 schools overseas for the new school year (August/September 2015) and wrote a strong piece of writing for a writing contest that I have been meaning to enter but never felt inspired to do until tonight. I have also chosen to keep my phone up in my room, away from me, and at some point in the night, or early tomorrow morning, I will deactivate my Facebook account and delete my instagram app. This has been something I have been struggling with on and off, for most of the year really. I enjoy the accessibility of keeping in touch with friends, especially being someone who is constantly moving across the world and/or country. Having met so many people in my life, and in my travels especially, who live so far away, social media has always been a way to keep in touch, without a lot of effort really needed to do so. But in the grand scheme of things, is that really keeping in touch? If we want to keep in touch with someone, for real, do we need to see all they post on Facebook or instagram? Don’t get me wrong, I know I post a lot, on both. I enjoy sharing my photos of my adventures, and a selfie or two or three. I am not opposed to that. It’s the lack of real communication that I find disheartening. We find out our friends are engaged/pregnant/moving/happy/sad.. and so on, by reading our news feeds. We no longer tell each other on the phone or face to face, everyone will know your news with the click of a mouse. We no longer send letters or postcards, we can easily see pictures from your trip on instagram or read about your life in your Facebook status. We torture ourselves with creeping people’s social media that we really don’t actually want to look at. And even if we don’t creep, it’s rubbed in our faces in other ways. We can’t escape it. No matter what we do, we know everything about everyone, even the people we would rather avoid. And that’s the way the world works right now. And some may say I am hypocritical to complain, as I sit and write personal information on this very blog, and maybe you are right. But I choose to write about my journey because I enjoy the art of writing. I don’t believe this is the equivalent to a personal Facebook status that some would say is “TMI”. Or a revealing selfie showing off a little more of my body than should be shared on instagram.

It bothers me a little that some people may think I deleted them as a way to seek attention, or what have you. It bothers me that some people are probably talking about me right now saying ‘did you see Sara is deleting her social media? I bet it’s because… (whatever reason you may be thinking)’ or ‘I don’t think Sara will last very long off social media’. And that’s fair. Everyone is welcome to judge me as they please. I do use social media quite a bit. I enjoy sharing my adventures through pictures on instagram, especially having improved upon my photography skills. I enjoy sharing the things my students say to me that I find amusing, as I know others will too. I post a lot, and I am not ashamed of it. There is nothing wrong with that. So if you are on social media, post away. As long as you are posting in a positive way. There’s a tendency to use social media negatively. I see people posting pictures of strangers in order to judge their choices publicly. Some people choose to post things to incite jealousy in others. Some people choose to social media bully others, using hashtags to insult others or what have you. For those of you who do this, I ask of you to rethink your decisions on social media. Spread positivity, karma is real.

Back to the point, as I made my declarations of cleansing myself of social media in the new year for as long as I choose to do so, I was pleased to find my email and phone with messages of support from friends and acquaintances alike. They say it is not only the people liking your pictures/statuses and such that are paying attention, and they are right. It was nice to get messages of support from some friends who I would expect it from, and from others who are more unlikely. It made me feel like maybe social media does connect people a little more than I thought it did. Maybe once I cleanse myself for my own reasons, and feel comfortable in returning to the realm of social media, I will work on making a change. I will not let it dictate my life in any way. I will use it to spread positivity and use it as a way to connect with others on a more meaningful level.

But until then, tonight I will bid farewell to social media and all things associated. I will live in real time, real life. I will write blogs of my adventures, my travels. I will add pictures to share the beauty of the places I go and things I see. I will never stop taking pictures of the places and I go and the things I see, but I will be more cautious of why I am sharing it and who for.

So Happy New Year to those who may read this. Thank you for reading my blog and sharing in my journey with me. Here’s to starting the first day of 2015 with the person who I love most, me 🙂

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