A lot of other people I follow on Instagram seem to share the same sentiment as me, but social media increasingly feels like a black hole. I’ve seen people take the weekends off, delete the app and have to re-download to limit mindless scrolling, turn on airplane mode when working, etc.
I took this past week off from posting on IG to try to figure out what the app means to me, what the purpose behind my account is, what I want from its existence. Oh and also to process the fact that there was an attempted coup. Yeah. What I was eating didn’t seem relatively important when democracy was literally hanging in the balance.
Nearly a year ago, when the pandemic started to affect those in the U.S., IG gave me a place to share how I was coping: cooking for myself and for my family, for my sanity and my creativity. It acted as a little diary of what was nourishing me, physically and spiritually.
When racial injustice that has long been overlooked by myself and other privileged groups became the #1 news story, IG offered me a place to discover what anti-racism is, hear the stories and education that BIPOC were offering, and sit with my discomfort and learn how to mold it into purpose.
I discovered a passion for intersectional sustainability via IG. It has become a place I log onto for creative low-waste swaps, to learn about composting and zero-waste recipes, and to discover brands doing their absolute best to offer people products that are good for our earth.
Food has always been the purpose behind Vitality, but the inspiration at the root of this blog has changed as I have grown and lived. I started blogging my senior year of high school and created the IG account in 2015 during my first year of college. When I was looking for names for my blog, I found “vitality: the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things.” That’s how I felt about food, how I felt about writing about it and cooking it and eating it. It’s how I felt about its connectivity, “present in all living things”, its power to bring communities together. I was a completely different person when I created this blog; a lot happens in the years following high school. Yet this definition of vitality rings true all these years later.
Now, the inspiration behind this account is in a space of limbo, a reflection of where I am currently, too.
Like the beginning of new years, this month is shiny and seemingly teeming with possibilities for my life. I’ve already accomplished something that I literally never thought possible: I stopped biting my cheeks (although, I did dream about doing it last night). Even though that seems minuscule and is obviously a very personal achievement, it feels like it’s set the tone for this year. And I don’t want to waste its good energy.
I want to be purposeful, mindful, and present in 2021 and throughout my life.
Purposeful. Mindful. Present.
I want to do things that make me happy, as so many of us do. I know that there are aspects of my life I have been neglecting for too long for the ease of it, pieces of me that need to take priority now. This blog has grown alongside me through some of the most formative years of my life. I have witnessed history while writing blogs and posting to IG. The monumentality of life has had this thread of social media woven through it, something more and more common as the years go by. Sometimes I feel this little corner of the internet is futile and pointless, but it’s *my* little corner, and it has brought me moments of joy and fueled me to keep writing at times when both things felt impossible.
I can’t deny or ignore the thread of social media that is woven through my life, but I definitely don’t want it dominating my tapestry. My creativity is something I want to nurture this year, to grow it into something that also possesses a purpose, beyond my sanity. Social media gives me a way to express and share that creativity, but sometimes it can lead to mindless consumption, lack of presence and purpose. It’s a love-hate relationship, to say the least. So all of this is really to say: things are changing for me, and I am open to where those changes lead me.