On March 11, 2016 I deleted my Instagram account. A detailed reasoning for this even can be found here. In the past 284 days, it is no surprise that I have learned, grown, and changed. I’m sure I learned something in class, I grew in my understanding of the world, and I have changed my life course. However, in these past 284 something dramatic has happened.
I deleted my Instagram, and instantly thought “so what’s the point of taking pictures now?” I became concerned for myself, was social media the root of my hobbies? I was forced to ask myself; if social media outlets did not exist would I still go take pictures of as much as possible? Would I still do all of the things I thought I liked to do if I couldn’t post about it?
I killed my motivation, and it was the best thing I could’ve done.
I’m glad I killed my motivation, because this motivation wasn’t rooted in anything that mattered. I was motivated by likes, comments, and recognition, and now I had no way of getting it.
I didn’t drop the hobby all together but it was a drastic shift that I noticed within myself. I didn’t take many pictures over the summer. My only memory of spending a day doing what I thought was my only passion in life was when I had the random urge to get on a bus to Roanoke, Va. Other than this moment I was stagnant, I felt burnt out, while at the same time retaining a sense of relief. There was no pressure, there was no bar I was setting for myself, there was nothing I needed to prove to myself .
In the closing paragraph of my article I wrote that “In order for me to regain an authentic love for my pictures, for my artwork, I must be successful at keeping it private, for myself to analyze, to recognize, and to like.” This was my challenge to myself. I deleted my Instagram with this challenge in mind, and understanding the likelihood that I may never return to Instagram on this premise. Until a wonderful Miss Julie Taylor messaged me one evening. She asked me if I could take her senior high school pictures. Julie Taylor is one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of not only working with but also talking to. Her love, care, and attention for other people is unimaginable. I refused to let her pay for her senior pictures, she didn’t need to. I felt these pictures were a payment to her, for her kindness, not just to me but to everyone she has ever met. Julie insisted in returning the favor and gifted me with a painting. It was a painting of one of my pictures. It is a painting of one of my favorite pictures.
So, that is the connection. That painting linked my picture (a picture I once posted for likes and comments) to myself, and to her. That painting changed how I view every single one of my pictures.
I have analyzed my photos, I have recognized them, and now, I like them. Today December 21st, 284 days later I am happily announcing that I am returning to Instagram, and dedicate my first post to a wonderful, inspiring, and encouraging young lady, Miss Julie Taylor.