I am an Instagram addict. It takes up precious minutes of my daily life. I won’t remove the app from my phone, and I have no plans to deactivate my account due to bitterness about what people post and I’m over it (yet). It’s my first true social media love. The sponsored links prove that IG knows me so well! Now that’s creepy yet crafty advertising at its finest.
I just can’t look away. It’s my own personalized cruise ship train wreck that provides a 24 hour visual buffet of what my life would look like “if”.
If I had color-coordinated bins and pocket charts with cutesy font labels for all of the items in my classroom, my students would meet or exceed all benchmarks every trimester.
If I had a super chic but monstrously huge hybrid of a whiteboard-chalkboard-calendar that took up a whole wall in my kitchen, I would be a totally organized “fun mom” who knows the calendar by heart. I would never double book an event or forget to turn in important paper correspondence.
If I practiced yoga every day, I would be crazy strong and I could do a head stand on the edge of a crumbling cliff because it would bring me the highest degree of inner peace.
If I watch the video on the sponsored Ad for Jack Daniels I could learn how to sip on it like a classy lady. I could maybe find that delicate balance of enjoying whiskey based Chatty cathy-ness and having to pay for it the next day on struggle street.
The sponsored ads get me. But maybe I should stick to Home Goods or VitaCoco.
Let’s not forget that I also like to contribute to the buffet while I’m visiting. Wouldn’t it be interesting to leave your own food contributions at a fancy buffet? Potluck style? No, it would be strange and awkward and it would violate health code. However, I do it anyway because I like to think of myself as someone cool enough to contribute to the spread.
My feed is not that cool. I post the typical “look at me and my awesome kids and family” photos, although I’m trying to slow my roll with that lately. We all already know how awesome we are. I’ll post while I’m on vacation so that 48th follower who I really don’t know that well or at all can rob my house while I’m out of town. I post photos of my highly caffeinated and or alcoholic beverages.
Someone get me started on InstaStory. I’m completely hooked. It’s a ridiculous way that I spend precious minutes of my life trying to document the precious minutes of my life to anyone who cares. The food. The discount store bargains. My gel manicure. Thank you to all of my friends who view my super basic InstaStory. I get excited when the number next to the little eye icon reaches over 45. It’s up for 24 hours for your viewing pleasure, and then it goes away. It never goes away. I can bring it back whenever I want. I turned on the archive setting.
It would have been cool to have an archive setting for how I used to document my life a decade or so ago. I used to keep a written journal that was a beautiful cross between a scrapbook, photo album, and rambling narrative of my basic life in the early 2000s. I didn’t just have one journal. I must have produced about 5 different volumes. They were thick, high quality hardcover artist’s sketch pads. It was hand written because I had all the Sakura Gelly Roll pens and fancy mechanical pencils from Japantown.
I wrote in my scrappy journal religiously during my high school and college years. I would glue in silly photos of me and my friends. I carefully affixed pieces of brochures, old lift tickets, and other shreds of memories that would just make feel old if I looked at them today. I would write about the good times I had with friends on our adventures to fun places in and around the burbs of the SF Bay Area like Hercules or Sun Valley Mall in Concord. Adventures that actually took us into the city required multiple pages. The content was just as rich and riveting as my Instastories. Right. It was special to me anyway. Writing made me feel at peace. It kept my mind calm and somewhat organized.
Being a writer helped me clear a space in my head to set goals and it also gave me permission to freak out about everything that distracted me from those goals.
Then, the summer that I moved out of my parents house I had an intimate session with my scrappy journals and the paper shredder. The original intent was to shred and destroy old photos that had any ex boyfriends in them. I guess the scrappy journals just went along for the ride. In my mind, I thought to myself that the content and ideas were all in the past, a bit silly, and irrelevant since I had moved on with my life. I wasn’t planning on sharing them with anyone anyway.
So somehow between the early 2000s and now, I missed the boat on blogging.
I went straight to the mindless cruise ship scrolling buffet and my personal writing rituals went on hiatus. They were replaced by captions, hashtags, stickers, and filters. This time I knew there was an audience. But the writing and the true thoughts remained in the mental paper shredder.
I’m hoping to press the virtual archive button in order to revive myself as a writer. I love writing. I embraced it ever since the letter formation days in kindergarten with the strawberry vanilla and chocolate lines that helped me scrawl upper and lowercase letters properly. Fast forward a few decades and now I’m the one who is being held accountable for teaching elementary school children how to be college and career ready writers.
How can I be expected to teach third graders all about writing stamina and “the heart of the story” when I don’t even practice it regularly myself? (yet). Oops, it seems that I’ve been pretending a bit. It’s time to make it right.
I’m intrigued by this whole blogging thing for sure. I’m overwhelmed and I’m learning as I go. It’s a new era of scrappy journals and now I am officially inviting an audience to enjoy the ramblings. At the least I can share this process with my own kids and the kids in my classroom. As an effort to live life more in “the now”, I’m just going to do this and see where it goes. The archive will be pretty cool I’m hoping.
Acknowledgement: I acknowledge that starting a blog is scary and there is a ton to learn about this. I really don’t know what I’m doing (yet). It’s also really fun.
Goal for the Future: I’m going to throw out that empty Gelly Roll pen. Inspo for my next post? Perhaps.
Now: I’m excited, possibly already addicted, but I have other things and people to tend to.
Published by Until Jenn
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA
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