Instagram has become a part of my daily life. And what a sentence, what a weird sequence of words to watch myself write.
Over the past year, thousands of people decided to follow along with me on Instagram, on this little app you scroll through when you’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. On this thing you look at when you’re not looking at the other person in the elevator. Thousands of eyes chose to include my content in what they want to see.
I am flattered that people like my photos, but what matters to me is the story. And that somehow, that story teaches someone something, or asks someone a question they’ve been asking themselves but didn’t have the words for.
I hope that what I share on Instagram is not only a window into my life, but a voice that says, “You Are Understood.”
This hits me deeply.
I want to talk about life. I want to talk about the people and places that have changed me. I want to talk about what made me feel something so hard my face turned red and my eyes watered, and the hair on my arms stood up like I was about to be struck by lightning. Because that stuff is electric. It is. Not just in feeling, but in the way it moves through you and anyone you touch.
I want to talk about travel; what I felt on that winding road or distracted by that untimely romance.
I want to talk about my experience and my fear and my struggle– sometimes in equal parts and sometimes not.
I want to talk about learning constantly, and assure you that perfection does and does not exist at the same time, because whatever your experience is in this very moment, is already whole.
I want to talk about how improbable it is that you and I are here, how the events of our lives have unfolded, and how this ride will never stop or slow down; how it feels to be on it as it goes faster than we could possibly comprehend.
I want to talk about what is hard, what makes us feel vulnerable and exposed, bruised or broken, because we learn from ourselves and each other in difficult times.
I want to talk about what is easy, when beauty is everywhere and flows out of me and into me, because it truly does exist every day, whether we notice it or not.
I want to give you something to think about, about your journey, the path you are on and where you have come from.
I want to give you something to smile about, something to cry about, something to assure you that you are understood. That you are not alone.
Words and images are how I choose to tell my story right now, but I live it every day.
That’s just me.
You may use social media as an escape, and if you do, I want you to ask yourself why.
You may not think you have a message. Find out what inspires you instead.
And if you then have something to say, say it.
Use your platform, whatever the size, for something you believe in.
Tell your story, the one that brought you to this point. You choose the medium. Those who matter want to see it through your eyes.
Say something that made you laugh. Say something raw and vulnerable. Say something ugly or beautiful. Say something that surprises you. Say what you are thinking; say what you thought yesterday and give yourself the permission to be constantly vulnerable and constantly changing.
So Instagram is an app. So it lives just on our phones, on these little devices that keep us plugged into so many things that don’t really fundamentally matter. So whatever you are saying, make it matter.
And have the courage to say something. Because our world is rapidly changing at every moment, and it needs you to speak up for what makes you feel most alive.
What is the story you are telling?
Featured photo by Jess Dales.