110 Days Later: My Summer Offline
That’s a wrap on Summer 2023!
Sometimes in life, a little break is not only appreciated but necessary. Scratch that. That sentence made it sound like taking a break is okay-ish. Let’s drop the –ish and rewrite that sentence…
In life, breaks are appreciated and necessary.
There’s the honesty. Taking a breather from the whirlwind of the digital world is, in many ways, a deep, cleansing exhale. We all know the age-old saying, “Chicken soup is good for the soul,” but let me introduce a new mantra: “A social media sabbatical is the elixir for the spirit.” A mantra for Millenials, X-ers, Z-ers, and beyond! I’ve always disappeared from socials, but this time, I’m being honest with myself about the fact there was a need and intentionality behind my not posting, engaging, or even opening the apps. This all comes down to it being a whopping 110 days since my digital detox from Meta, TikTok, and beyond began, and what a summer it has been.
Hellos & Goodbyes
Our home witnessed multiple comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, and the immense love that furry friends bring. Not to mention some pretty emotional ups and downs over a two-month period. First, we bid a tearful farewell to our 17-year-old Pekingese, Brutus. Bill rescued Bruberry 13 years ago, and he was with us for the entirety of our relationship- before and during our marriage! We miss him charging about, snorting at every pleasure and displeasure, and his big ol’ eyeballs just taking life in.
As one chapter closed, another opened. Second, we opened our hearts to Bizmo, an 8-year-old Yorkie, brimming with spirit despite his cancer battle. When I say spirit, I mean fire; there’s a reason this sassy boy has gained the name Abysmal Bizmo! He is a cuddle bug, a toy serial killer, and always has something to say about everything (even if it’s just barking while lying down to show that he is still alive).
Just when our hearts were adjusting, we welcomed Bucky Boy, a 16-year-old Maltese. But life, with its unpredictable rhythm, took Bucky Boy away just eight days later. He was fitting right in with the pack! Despite his age, he pranced about the house, excitedly engaged with his new brothers, and loved exploring his new home. This kind of loss and heartache is something we know is a possibility when we adopt senior dogs. However, we wouldn’t want it any other way. The life they bring, the joy they share, and the love they give are beyond anything you will ever experience in life. We may miss them when they go, but their paw prints will remain forever in our hearts.
BTW: If you live in the DMV area, be sure to check out Miri’s Haven Senior Dog Rescue! We have adopted three dogs with them and cannot support their incredible story and work enough!
Mental Health Work
Over the summer, I took a step forward for myself by finally seeing a psychologist. One of the worst parts about moving and switching health insurance is having to find new healthcare providers. Want to make it even harder? Add a fear of calling offices and a freezing inability to set up appointments! I did it, though and it’s done. Update? I’m collecting mental health diagnoses the way some people collect Pokemon cards. But remember, there’s strength in seeking help, in acknowledging our vulnerabilities. I’m officially bipolar, OCD, ADHD, with some pretty extreme anxiety. Each one of these is an ANSWER, a step forward toward understanding and being whole.
What’s My Summer Style?
With this break, I embarked on a style odyssey, a quest to rediscover ‘me’ minus the clutter of trends and digital influences. I stepped back from TikTok and Instagram, not to escape but to refocus. The outcome? A more authentic me, taking style inspirations from feelings, moods, and life experiences. I tried different vibes, various silhouettes and played with minimalism. To say my style ran the gamut the summer is an understatement! Some of it I hated and left behind, but other things were essentially me and became part of my style repertoire.
BTW: The gorgeous tulle piece in the Mental Health photo above is THIS from Anthropologie!
Embracing It All:
I dove deep into my work this summer! Working two jobs (even if they are both part-time) is not a joke; there’s always something to do. I jumped on the wave of AI advancements for both writing and visuals. After all, let’s work smarter and not harder! I started reading for pleasure again. Hello, Sookie Stackhouse! That 15-book series only took two weeks to get through; talk about not putting a book down. I enjoy Star Wars content galore- movies, shows, books, and even started into the comics! Oh, and plenty of time was spent wondering how laundry baskets have an endless supply of clothes.
A Heartfelt Note
My break has been…eclectic. I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve grown. I’ve unearthed passions and faced demons. And through it all, I’ve understood myself a tad bit more.
Before I end this recap, there’s a vulnerability I wish to address. To all my friends and loved ones, both in the digital realm and beyond, I realize I’ve been MIA, and it’s one of my glaring flaws. Ghosting was never intentional. The love, care, and thoughts you showered never went unnoticed. I owe you conversations, laughs, and shared moments. And I hope, with time, I can make up for my silence. It’s a hurdle, and I’m learning step by step. My heartfelt plea? Please bear with me.
As I slowly immerse myself back into the world of likes, shares, and stories, I carry with me lessons, memories, and a desire to be more present and more authentic. So, here I am, world, a little wiser, a tad more colorful, and immensely grateful. Let’s reconnect. Shall we?