How an unfollowing and unfriending spree lead me to embrace growth and gracefully let go of the past.
This post has been slowly brewing in my head for a while. Actually, I like to call the initial stage of my writing process: the marination. As I live my life, events and thoughts start sticking together into bigger ideas. They float around in my head and marinate into what usually becomes a cohesive blog post.
Today I want to apologize and explain why I might have unfollowed you. I want to share where my head’s at. How as I’m evolving, my brand is evolving. Maybe you’ve been feeling something similar and have been looking for the permission to keep growing, or scarier the permission to let go of what you aren’t anymore.
The Initial Facebook Purge
Here’s what happened. One night lying in bed, I decided that I no longer need 1,500 Facebook friends. My digital life felt so crowded and suffocated. I felt like I barely had space to connect and consume content from the people I am close to. I couldn’t focus on my present life when so many people from my past kept coming up over and over again. So that night I one-by-one unfriended over 1,000 people. Acquaintances from high school, college, jobs, summer camps, a couple “I seriously have no idea who you are” friends.
In addition to the un-friending spree, I started muting and unliking pages that didn’t serve me as they came up in my feed. I left random groups. Afterwards I felt the same freedom and relief that comes from decluttering everything that doesn’t serve you anymore in your home. So many people have come into my life in wonderful ways. I said a little “goodbye” to each one. I thought about memories we had had together. It felt like closure on a lot of different events.
It’s not that I don’t like these people or don’t care for them. Rather I need space for the people who are present in my life now.
Then, I performed this same spree across all platforms, both personal and business.
The hardest account was my @init4thelongrunblog instagram. It’s the feed I check and interact with the most. It has the most conscious and subconscious effect on my thoughts and feelings.
And I did something I’ve been scared to do for years. I unfollowed most people, especially food accounts. It was a mixed bag of pure relief and release combined with a little guilt. But ultimately I knew I had to do it for my own growth and for the evolution of this blog and this brand.
I realized that what I had been consuming daily was no longer helping me grow. I had to let go a part of who I was, in order to become who I want to be.
So I just wanted to explain myself a little. Maybe it will make you feel more at ease if you’ve been wanting to do the same.
I’m sorry I unfollowed you.
I know in this world of number counting and metrics obsession, it might sting a little, I know it does for me. I promise it’s not personal. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed getting to see a slice of your life over the years. I wish I could run into you at a coffee shop or in a whole foods for a “hi” and a hug. But alas we’re probably thousands of miles apart.
I’m sorry I unfollowed you. I’m nauseated writing out this cliche, but it really isn’t anything you did, it’s me.
This summer, I hit a breaking point with my blog and brand. I realized that I wasn’t meant to be a food blogger. It didn’t bring me joy. It wasn’t my path. I was following the numbers, not my heart or even my skill set. Transitioning away from food content was really challenging. It was so much a part of what I did. Once I knew I wanted to change, I decided to change slowly to avoid alienating myself and everyone in my community.
But like my burnout, I also hit a critical point in my content consumption. I was stuffed.
I got to a point where I just got exhausted looking at food in my feed all day, every day. Exhausted by my subconscious daily breakfast comparisons. Tired of thinking about food all the time. Fatigued with the power food held over my life still after all this time. Sure I’m miles and miles from where I once was around food. But having a social media feed constantly full of food somehow created this strange unsatiated hunger, always. There was always something more to eat to look at to drool over. A new trend or product to try. It was far beyond meal inspiration. It felt like I couldn’t turn it off or escape from food. Strangely it desensitized my own tastebuds. It was more important that what I ate looked nice, rather than taste or feel good.
So I’m sorry if I had to unfollow you.
It feels strange to be leaving behind a part of me that got me where I am: the food blogging world. I have so much respect for it and all involved. It makes such a positive impact on the world and those who are involved are brimming with talent and drive.
It’s kind of silly, but I almost equate this shift in my brand like changing majors in college. I started in college as a television radio major. I dreamed of writing for comedy shows. After my first year, I knew deep down that wasn’t my path. I switched into marketing communications and it instantly felt like what I was suited to do. I dearly missed my TV/R friends and we still ran into each other. Sometimes I thought about what would have been if I had stayed. I watched my friends moved to LA and New York and work for major tv networks. Deep down I knew that I never would have thrived had I stayed that course.
I feel the exact same way leaving the food blogging world, seeing my friends doing incredible things. I wonder what life might have been like if I stayed. They’re thriving and embracing incredible opportunities. I feel a deep knowing that I would never have thrived that way.
A Little Lost and a Lot at Peace
Right now I’m having a bit of a blogger identity crisis. I’m not a food blogger. Not really a typical “healthy living” blogger. I just love writing about finding joy, natural wellness and navigating the beautiful mess that is life.
I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that when you grow and change you might have to let go of parts of yourself you’re still fond of. You can still honor your past without needing to keep being who you were.
I’m excited to attract and connect with the people who will resonate with my message. I’m coming to terms with letting go and saying goodbye to people, who I very much care about, who the message won’t resonate with. I feel so grateful for everyone I meet along the path no matter how long we walk together.
- Have you ever had an unfollow spree or even a clutter clearing that helped clear space to grow?