14 days of social media blackout - 7 coffee trips and 7 hikes later
Can thoughts echo inside your head? I've spent so much time in my own head that it's getting somewhat repetitive...time for some action.
14 days earlier
After getting annoyed at myself for feeling bombarded by social media notifications (yes, I turned most of them off but as any normal human being, I still looked duh), Facebook group telling me to do this that and the other (yes, I don't have to read the posts), a compulsion to Instagram whatever struck my interest on this trip (yes, I don't have to do that either), then debate whether to Facebook and Twitter said posts (because I've got issues), *take a breath*, I did the equivalent of knocking everything off the table and uninstalled everything from my phone. Sign out, log out, be gone! Steadily I've unsubscribed off email newsletters and other items that gave me the 'I-should-be-doing-this-with-my-life' and done a big 'shuuuuushhh' (aka piss off, I can't think).
Then I was left with a big 'hmmmm'.
What did I want to do? I just wanted to walk. No direction in mind, just movement. Perhaps the act of walking was to turn cogs in my brain too, to unbox crap that I'd stuffed away to deal with later.
With my fear of heights and pedestrian lifestyle, I’ve not been able to enjoy much hiking in England, but here in Taipei, there are so many accessible hikes. And so the organised one (aka the future-mindset) kicked into play with planning hikes. I simulanteously got annoyed at planning and researching, but also needed a destination. In each hike, I still struggled with all the steps (Taiwanese hiking is to make the quickest route by stairs straight to the top), with burning thighs and a thumping heart, with the lemming on my shoulder that was compelled to push me off. In each hike I had some moment of fear, which I had to swallow or whistle through. Did I lose my fear? Nope, I think I got more afraid because I remembered the fear from the time before. The pill was getting bigger not smaller but I also got better at dealing with it. Climbing up the last mountain, I thought, 'I’m peaked. I’m done.’. I’d purposely chosen a trail that I preferred because I was afraid of the previous trail I’d taken a few weeks before, and that was okay. I didn’t have to tackle my fears. I didn’t need to take pictures at the peak to prove I’d done it again. I didn’t need someone to like my post. Of course it’s nice when people appreciate what I put out in the ether but if I’m constantly seeking validation for my posts, for my blogs, my random podcasts, then I might as well stand on a box and say 'validate my existence please!’. Which I hate. This is me, take it or leave it. I may have grand intentions and do complete U-turns (sugar detox is a total no go atm - makes for super grumpy Jen!), and other times I might just inch my way forward one step at a time, that’s being human.
What have I learnt from turning off social media for 2 weeks? That it is a tool. I can put it down if I start hammering myself with it again.