Copywriting + Brand Storytelling

Why I left Social Media For a Year, and Why I’m Back Now

Sarah and Matt at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Myrtle Beach
Sarah and Matt at Myrtle Beach

This is one post I’ve not wanted to write. But writing is known to hold so much therapeutic power, so here we go.

You’ve already heard most of the reasons people leave social. And I think most of those fall into one of two categories:

1) It was consuming all my time, or 2) It was giving me an unrealistic idea of how lives are lived and causing low self esteem.

My reason falls a little outside or maybe somewhere in between those.

So why’d you leave?

To be honest, because life got hard. Like really hard. It asked me to grow A LOT in new ways, in myself and in my relationships. I was angry, and underneath that — afraid. Angry that situations and circumstances in my life were asking me to grow in a way I didn’t feel ready for, and afraid that I wasn’t capable of such growth.

We all know how fierce growing pains can be, especially when you’ve ignored them for a while, and these were fierce. They’d stopped asking nicely for my attention.

So I left the curated social world because I needed the sanctuary, humanness, and intimacy of the present moment to stay grounded and guided.

What happened?

When I fell off social last summer, my fiancé, Matt, and I had just made the move back to Michigan (I miss you Wisconsin!), and it was a hard move for us. We totally thought the move back would be easy, because it was something we’d been thinking of and working toward for three years. We wanted to be closer to our families and there were better opportunities for us here too.

So we moved to metro Detroit, which took me a lot longer to get used to than I thought it would. But as it turns out, busy suburb/city life is hard for this woman to acclimate to. I missed country-living intensely.

Matt’s new job was also more time consuming, as were the clients I was working with. We were both driving an hour into Detroit every morning, and an hour home, and we didn’t know anyone in the area. We left a lot of friends in Wisconsin and others had long since spread across the country. Plus, my family, though closer, was still more than an hour away. So we felt really isolated, really alone. We were trying to understand why achieving our goal hadn’t full-filled us in the way we thought it would and what to do about it. So we spent a lot of time asking how we fit into our new-ish environment, how we’d make it work for us.

And the answer? We found it in the words of the German poet Rilke. It’d been there all along in a passage from his Letters to a Young Poet, a book I first read some 10-plus years ago, and that today remains in my top five favorites:

Live your way into the answer.

So that’s what we’ve been trying to do. That’s what we are doing. Living the questions now. Living our way into the answers.

Transformation

Living your way into the answer takes time. Things I once wanted seem less important while other things were are becoming more important. Things I once thought were true for me, are becoming less so or I’ve discovered never were, as I get more in touch with and understanding my own patterns, my own rhythms, better.

I think part of what’s made the last year so hard, is that we hadn’t anticipated it’d be difficult to come home. We’d been so excited to move back and we’d thrown all our resources into getting here that when it finally happened, it was like, okay, this isn’t what we thought it’d be like, we don’t like it all that much, we’ve changed, and so have our friends and families. So what now? What’s next? What do we do?

We continue to change.

It’s been a transformational year, learning to lean more into my intuition as a woman, and trust those gut feelings that pop up and say this is the way, this feels right.

It’s also been a year of shedding parts of me that don’t serve me, or the people around me, well. I had to ask myself, what parts of me do I want to carry forward, and what parts need to get left behind. Because I want to wake up every morning and be a better version of who I was than the day before.

It’s an ongoing process, but I’ve been able to define a lot of new elements in life, articulate myself better and learn how I want to live, the person I want to be, and the things I need to do to make that possible when the floods come and  when they recede.

Why are you back now?

A lot of the reason is because it’s beneficial for business, not gonna lie. Social is where my partners are connecting and learning about each other. And also, it’s something I tell my partner’s to jump on. I feel hypocritical telling them to do it, while abstaining myself. I want to be able to back up my words with my actions.

Along with that, I’m determined to redefine the social experience and infuse it with the humanness that is so intrinsic to my writing and to the my partners’ businesses.

I thrive in 1-on-1 intimate settings. It’s a challenge for me to open myself up to a group. I’d much rather connect with you individually. But this past year has shown me so much benefit in discomfort and reaching beyond what I think I am capable of. So I’m back, because now social serves as just another space in which to carry forth the transformation.

And I’m super pumped, overjoyed actually, to go forth with you, by each other’s sides.

Every other Thursday, tune in for some real talk on life, the humanness of business, and insider tips on writing + storytelling.

Sarah Spencer