Instagram changed my life.

Well, not quite.

I was an Instagram virgin up until 90 weeks ago, according to my IG account. I changed phones just so I could have the  Instagram app. I didn’t really know how it worked but I knew I needed it in my life. I’ve always been a sucker for photos especially the edited, enhanced filtered type.

 I got the app , took a few photos put the obligatory cool filter on them and I was happy.

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This was as close as I was going to get to being a professional photographer. I didn’t really know what else to do with it. A few friends added me and in turn I added them but I become bored with their photos because they would show up on Facebook anyway so I would see them twice. Clearly my friends took equally as unexciting photos as me. Shit got stale real quick.

A few more months in and I slowly started to find and seek out some Instagram accounts that would turn my wheels so to speak. I let the process evolve naturally only adding exactly what i felt drew me in.

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Now this is where I started to find out things about myself that I had forgotten . Things that reminded me of days of old. Things that I left by the wayside as I turned into a mature adult, wife, mother , taxpayer and dutiful employee.

I slowly found another world open up . I could feel myself shed layers of god knows what. Emotional baggage maybe? All I know is it felt right. I felt connected with like-minded people. The fact that they were strangers didn’t matter, it made the experience better.

I found inspiration from all forms, people and things. Inspiration I forgot existed.

This year has been a stressful, frustrating and trying year to date. Personally, family wise, career and financially. I relied on Insta every day to give me that hit of inspiration. It was my escape in to other people’s lives, photos and travels. When things got too stressful I dove straight into Insta so I could live vicariously through others. Not as creepy as it sounds,  trust me.

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Just recently while scrolling through my feed  it finally dawned on me that everyone  on there was representative of who I really was before life’s stresses knocks the shit out of you.

What I subconsciously felt drawn to surprised me. Over time I had managed to clock up a followers list that looked like it belonged to someone half my age. I even felt embarrassed to find enjoyment following some random young woman’s world travels. It became clear to me what makes me happy.

Again, like I said I was drawn to these accounts , it was very organic and something about them resonated with me .

I found myself attracted to anything or anyone that was following the raw food movement. Why? I have no idea or interest in being a high carb raw vegan. None. Pictures of green smoothies, cacao shakes overflowing from Mason Jars and plates of fruit hauls filled my feed. Colourful and healthy vegan families smiling fascinated me. I needed to know more.

Anything that showed sunrises, sunsets, crystals, yoga devotees, positive themes or affirmations. That stuff did actually lift me on those tough days and weeks. I found myself drawn to very positive woman who were half my age but were really kicking arse in the world. Looking at their kids, travels, clothes and what seemed like an awesome life really got me in.

As an old hippie at heart I immediately soaked up anything bohemian and gypsy like. Seeing young woman revelling in this lifestyle through their clothes and the music they listen to was like me stepping back into a time machine with old friends. Except the boho clothes are ridiculously over priced compared to when I wore this stuff. I’ve never seen cheesecloth, velvet or lace so damn expensive. This always makes me chuckle. My friends and I wore it because apart from loving the style it was so cheap.

I bonded with people , usually on the other side of the world who followed the same bands as I did and we shared photos amongst each other. Kindred spirits. I felt connected.

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So no , Instagram didn’t change my life but it did make the hard times just that bit brighter.

Blame it on Mars in retrograde. Whatever that means.

Apparently we  are in the middle of Mars in retrograde or Mercury something or other and this is meant to cause some crazy shit within us. Inner turmoil , questioning our life moves and motives etc. The past 2 weeks I have seen many Facebook and Instagram posts with people just struggling. Struggling with what life is dishing out and feelings of unease with what the future holds for them. From illness, marriage breakdown , unemployment, money issues and family dilemmas. I am like litmus paper when heavy stuff is going down and I seem to pick up on everyone’s woes. I can see it in my friends photos, read the hidden meaning in their statuses and generally just feel it. It’s the Cancerian in me. image

I have definitely felt it within myself . I get that feeling of being overwhelmed, anxious , procrastinating and basically getting in a dither.  Over the years I have learnt what I need to do. For me it’s almost instinctual but it’s about getting  myself back to basics. Simple living. Simple food, simple work week , simple weekend , simple housework and simple conversation. I already only take on what I want to do. I say NO to unnecessary stuff pretty easily. I refuse to ferry children around to 20 zillion after school activities. Pick 1 sport kid and it better be on a Saturday morning so I can get on with my weekend. I suffered adrenal fatigue years ago which  resulted in a cool dose of glandular fever. Lesson learnt. I know my limits .

My lil  Mars in retrograde came to a crescendo last week with me waking Saturday morning feeling a bit poorly and bone achingly tired. Knowing I had to drive my child a half hour to a football carnival and stay most of the day filled me with dread. My husband couldn’t do it because he had football duty with the other son. Anyway change of plans happened and I hit the jackpot and got to stay home alone. I repeat , this never ever happens. I am never ever home alone. I waited until everyone left then I made an Earl Grey , layed on the bed with the paper , opened to the 2nd page and fell asleep for nearly 4 hours. Once again this never happens to me , I haven’t slept 4 hours in the day since I was 3 months old.   Obviously I needed it , my mother told me. Clearly I did.

It followed a couple of weeks of a list of things that just pissed me off. Nothing outrageous or life changing and for this I have gratitude ( word of the moment ) . Just a cumulative list of bullshit things that when aren’t addressed  immediately tend to sit in the back of your mind festering away until you need a 4 hour sleep in my case.

Assignments that got deleted , burnt dinners , children pushing limits, money issues, people letting me down and generally just feeling disappointed in the human race at times. Blah blah . Nothing heavy.

Outcome of all this resulted in some yucky texting ping pong with a girlfriend of 30 years over a damn holiday. Now this is when shit got real. I still have very mixed feelings over how this all went down but it played out something like this. 2 years ago I made a 3 hour drive to visit my girlfriend and stay the weekend. Over that weekend  on a Saturday afternoon we were laying around eating sweet and salty popcorn watching ‘Bridesmaids ‘ when she told me that in 2015 she will have 10 years service up at her work and will be offered 2 return tickets to anywhere. She asked me if I would go to New York with her but I would have to pay accommodation. Needless to say the answer was a big fucking yes, yes and yes. Did I mention that I said yes? Hell yes. No handshake , no contract signed and no damn pinky swear. Just 2 old friends making plans.

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Cue to last weekend when I received a text from her asking if I was still up for NYC in September next year? Um …..yeah. Let me go pack. In the text she mentioned another girlfriend was coming. Great ! The more the merrier. Excited texts back and forth regarding boroughs to stay in and so forth. I didn’t want to sound like a complete scab and ask about the free return ticket. I worded the next text along the lines of ” Is there still a discount with the airfair?” This is where I stop singing JayZ and Alicia Keys  “Empire State of mind “.

Text back was a blur of something like “Oh I’ve given the free ticket to ( other friend) . You will have to buy your own , but if she opts not to go , it’s yours. Don’t worry babe, I’m sure there will be some great deals with VIrgin or Delta”. I just sat and stared at the text and thought , WOW. Just WOW. I know my girlfriend is kinda ditzy at times and quite aloof and this is what I love most about her , but , Really? This brought all kinds of emotions up, disappointment , confusion, undeserving and feelings of me acting like a spoilt brat. I started to accept it and then the Mars Retrograde set in. Fuck this shit. I knew I was in no frame of mind to ring her and discuss so I continued on with the texts. I decided to jog her memory.

“Actually it was you and I that had this trip done and dusted 2 years ago. Remember ?”  I relayed the story about the popcorn eating afternoon talking about it. Apparently she could just recall it, only just.  ” Did I? Silly me. I’m sure I’ve got dementia. Oh well ” was the response. Awkward . What to do? She started to ring my mobile to which I ignored. I didn’t want to talk about how she had a “blonde”moment. The truth was it wasn’t ok, it wasn’t cool. Was I acting like an ungrateful brat ? Was I ungrateful for now having to pay my own way and sit 19 hours alone on a plane .She genuinely forgot, people stuff up and make mistakes , I get it. But how many times do we excuse people messing us over? It happened and I politely let her know my displeasure. So why now do I feel like the bad guy? I have no interest in going or reclaiming the ticket. Then the other friend misses out on what SHE has been promised. It’s all too awkward .

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