Navigating social media networks with a public account has been stressful and full of anxious moments. I recently celebrated my one month anniversary with Instagram and as per any new relationship, I am still testing the waters.
A resounding piece of advice that I found through my Pinterest domain is to have a theme for your Instagram account. Its overwhelming browsing Instagram, combing through accounts belonging to successful individuals, beautiful professional photographers, keynote speakers that create eloquent inspirational words, artist, athletes, authors, public figures. I can go on and on. It left me wondering why would anyone ever bother checking in with my account? What would a wife, a stay at home mother of two children, an owner of a big dog in the city have to say? A woman who has big dreams but is too busy navigating our homebound lives and desperately trying to fit in all four of our interests in each 24 hour day. Honestly, if I were to post each day of the insanity that occurs in our home, I worry that we would end up as the next viral meme. Not something I necessarily want to have notoriety for.
What to do? First I searched through my first five publicly posted photos and learned that my daughter’s soccer picture had the most positive public reaction. I wanted the photo to show strength of a healthy active child.
This was my second post on Instagram and having my daughter’s back to the camera was a decision I made because of my rising anxiety of officially having a public viewing profile. I am a classic introvert with daily concerns that some sick person would find out where I live, where my children go to school and use it in some demented fashion to either terrorize me or blackmail for funds. (Side note: I blame my overactive imagination and my love for action and horror movies/tv shows.) Please note to all those people who might fall into the ‘sick person’ category. I am domestic wife that lives in her yoga pants, with a very large German Shepherd that freaks out if even a magpie comes too close to the front window. We are not worth your time and effort! Anyways…..back to the point, yes, the back turned began as a privacy thing but it quickly grew into a theme, hence the hashtag #dontlookbackmydarling.
Once I finished university with my BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences and moved in with my boyfriend now husband, I was keenly aware that every decision I made forged my life path that it is today. I spent years in a job bidding my time, paying my dues, praying for an opportunity to arise to show the world what I was made of. As a university graduate, completing the mind numbing tasks of a data entry position taunted me with every key stroke, resulting in too much time to reflect and to dwell on the past. I started to doubt my judgement. Should I have stayed in my hometown until my career took off? Should I have waited to get married? Should we have delayed purchasing our house? Should we have held off a few more years to start our family? My life has had significant crossroads, too many to note, but as always hindsight is 20/20. Looking back I might have changed a few decision and who knows where my life could be. This is the point of my hashtag. I have lived with an undercurrent of internal deep sadness because I was constantly looking into my past, dwelling on what I could have been, where I could be, what could I be doing.
Now do not get me wrong, I love my husband and my kids and there is nothing that could make me regret the decisions I made. I am very much aware how lucky I am to have them in my life, to have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, the choice to be a stay at home mom and the love of my husband and children to warm my heart even in the coldest Canadian winter nights. The point is that I wasted countless hours, days even, sitting in a funk, dissecting decisions, pondering about what my life could have been if I have made a single different decision. It took me years to comprehend that it does not matter! What matters is what is right in front of me; to be thankful for what I have, to live in the present (not in the past) and ultimately to love myself for who I am.
The one lesson I want to teach my kids is to not live in the past and neglect the life you have in front of you. A writer creates worlds and stories with asking the simple question “what if?” That’s what I want my children to ask each and every day. To ask with hope and to believe that no matter what happens they have the confidence and strength to tackle any obstacle and to not hesitate when a challenge presents itself. To not waste energy on looking back. To learn from the past and carry the lessons with you. To cherish experiences both good and bad for they are what mould you into the person you are today. Embrace it all, keep your eyes on the horizon and forge ahead, don’t look back my darling!
Wishing you all the best and as always thanks for reading!
P.s. If this blog has resonated deep within, please hashtag your photos with #dontlookbackmydarling and feel free to tag me (@baileyljoyce).