But there's another reason for my Instagram break. I feel I have started to be too influenced by the trends that come and go. One day everyone's posting pictures of friendship bracelets and beaded crochet necklaces, the next it's overnight oats and pretty filofax pages, or toadstool lamps and bunny ornaments. I love it all, I love to gawk at other people's lives and homes and interests and creative talents but I feel I am really losing sight of what *I* am truly into. I feel it's all too much some days and I get utterly exhausted. I know this sounds completely doolally, but bear with me and I shall explain myself, and the photos have relevance too, I will get to that in a minute.
I recently read an absolutely brilliant comic strip explanation of how to live with an introvert. I am an introvert and there is a bit of this article that explains the way I feel most of the time so utterly accurately I nearly cried with relief that somebody had hit the nail on the head so perfectly:
"Extroverted people gather their energy from their surroundings. They absorb the 'good vibes' of the people around them...Introverted people make their own energy and....'give' it on social contact. This means that they naturally find most interaction exhausting and need time to recharge."
(For the full version click on the link, thanks to the author/artist Schroeder Jones for this.)
So for me the social side of Instagram is both wonderful (great online friends, contact with a range of fabulous like-minded people all over the world) and terrifyingly exhausting (can't keep up with conversations, difficulty keeping up with ever changing feed, requires a lot of 'energy'.)
In addition I have begun to find that I sometimes take photos thinking of how they will be received by the audience rather than what I think. I do that here on this blog too sometimes. I am not sure at what point I started to stop trusting my own instincts and sharing what I thought of as good and started to try and create photos with only others' approval in mind. I don't do this all the time, but Instagram has made me more inclined to do it.
All the photos in this post were taken by me* over the last few weeks in the garden and on a day out in Margate. I never had any intention of sharing them anywhere but on the annual DVD of photos-to-music I do at the end of every year for the family. I haven't edited them or spent hours choosing them, I just picked the ones I like best and stuck them in.
And you know what? I feel better already. This blog should reflect my own voice and my own likes and I think this post does. So maybe this little break is working already?
* Obviously I didn't take the last picture with me in it, hubby took that one, but well done if you questioned my attempt at taking credit for all of them.