Category Archives: Thoughts, Curiosities + Advice

If It Isn’t Posted to Social Media, Did It Still Happen?

Like that saying goes about a tree falling in a forrest, I propose: If something happens in your life, but it isn’t posted to social media, does it still count?

The answer is obviously yes. Absolutely. Of course. So why does it all too often feel like the answer’s “no?”

I was recently requested for a project that I had to turn down because I had too much other work on my plate and, in reply, I got a reaction along the lines of, “Really? Because by the looks of your IG stories lately, you’re just playing with your dog in your backyard…”

Okay, I lied. That story didn’t exactly happen as I told it—but for the sake of getting my point across, it was the most short and sweet example. In truth, a milder form of that same sentiment happens to me all the time. Something that has actually happened to me is that I’ve turned down a job saying I was booked when I really just needed a day off. The problem, though, is that I immediately felt guilty when I shared a video from my back patio with my legs up and contemplated deleting it. (!?)

When you really pause to think about it, it’s so weird to feel bad for that. But the other option—being overtly honest—could also illicit a bad response.

Before social media, we didn’t have to worry about following our excuses up with proof, or how something could come across. Never before did people have to apologize for taking a day off or calling in sick only to not be—or avoid showing that you’re on vacation so as not to advertise to others that your house is an unarmed, empty target. It’s a strange catch-22 of sharing vs. not sharing, and the problem is that it doesn’t just end there.

For a long time, social media was a place where we showcased the ideal and the romantic. Now it’s become a place where we show everything. Where we complain, cry, prove that we’re working, share our life-changing experiences etc. We all know perception is a huge issue where social media is involved, but never until now did I think that limiting what gets shared could also lead to problems: i.e. people assuming you must be up to nothing cool unless you post about it.

We’ve come to expect each other to share everything noteworthy.

It’s subtle and it’s unspoken, but it’s downright exhausting. I follow a few big Instagram personalities and it makes me sad when I see how flustered and apologetic they become if they don’t “check-in” within 24 hours of their last story. To which I say, “no thank you.”

It’s a funny situation because I recognize that I’m in the public eye—and a certain responsibility comes from that—which is exactly why I’m talking about it here, on my personal blog. In truth, while I still post in-the-moment Instagram stories and share exciting news or photos of Piper, I’m becoming  more and more inclined to unsubscribe in certain ways. I’m increasingly more aware of what I’m putting out there into the world and—not just how people can translate it or make assumptions based on it (which is an issue)— but how it impacts my life.

Sometimes I share the work I’m doing but more often than not I don’t. Often it’s for confidentiality reasons, but sometimes I simply forget or don’t care enough to. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still working or having positive or negative experiences.

Social media does not and should not validate your experiences.

It can capture and share them, but it should not be a necessity in order for you to feel accomplished. And further, just because Sally hasn’t posted in three days doesn’t mean Sally’s been sleeping for three days.

So before our world becomes Black Mirror’s Nosedive (S3 E1), I think the more we talk about it and treat humans like humans rather than robots made for our entertainment, the better. Remember that someone’s social media does not give you the whole story—you’re merely getting just a slice into someone’s life. Recognizing that is so important—not just for your own sake (I’m referring to comparison and social-media-induced depression), but for the sake of the people you “follow”, too.

What does that change for me? It would be easy to just stop and unsubscribe, but I think the only way to combat the issue is from within the world it thrives in. There’s something interesting about being a blogger and TV/social media personality and rejecting so much of the culture. Less abstractly, it means I’ll continue sharing things I deem sharable, but that I’ll continue omitting what I chose. It also means doing “me” more: sharing things I’m passionate about–like this–on my blog and using my voice to combat the facade rather than add to the issues.

Anyhow, just some food for thought on a topic that I find super interesting. I’d love to hear what you guys think in the comments!

And remember, a tree falling in the forrest does still make a sound if no one’s there to hear it.

x, S

PS: The feature photo was taken of me by Shawn Lovering years ago and there’s still something I love so much about it.

A Thank You Note

Currently: Lying on my basement floor catching my breath after an intense workout.

Also currently: Feeling grateful.

In the hustle and bustle of life, I took pause today (involuntarily in a very unglamorous, sweaty way). And whether it was the endorphins kicking in (likely a factor) or not, I was compelled to write a thank you note—to both everyone and no one in particular.

In this modern age of creative garbeldy-gook (did I make that up or am I right in thinking that’s a saying?) it’s so easy to look ahead at the next thing without acknowledging the hard work you put into what just happened.

We think we’re only as great as our latest work.

And while this tendency may motivate and drive us, it’s also important to pat yourself on the back from time to time for that thing you did yesterday and yesteryear. Because without that under your belt, you would not be where you are today.

Only when you give due credit to where you are now can you make the right moves towards where you should be heading in the future. If you’re always only dwelling in comparison, and wrestling with yourself, you’ll continue running in circles. At a certain point you have to be objective and reflective.

So I just wanted to express my gratitude: to everyone who reads this blog, to everyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the works, to everyone who’s supported me, and yes, to even myself, which is very weird to say but totally necessary.

If you can do one thing today, take a mo’ and thank yourself for working hard and being nice. It may be a given (hopefully) but that doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed or uncelebrated. That’s all for now.

x, S

Why You Have a Creative Block (+ How To Kick Its Ass)

Why You Have a Creative Block (+ How To Kick Its Ass)

It happens to the best of us.

Creative blocks come without warning—and more than just frustrating, they can be downright terrifying if your career depends on your craft.

In order to get out of a creative rut, it helps to find out why you go there in the first place. Not all creative blocks are created equally, and defining the cause is just as important as pulling up your boot straps and giving that block all the fight you have in you.

Today I’m sharing plenty of tips for getting over a block, plus I’ve explored the “why” to help you determine the perfect fix. (All photos are from my office)

x,S

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Doing All Things With Intention

Doing All Things With More Intention

For a while, I lived as if fueled by the saying “move fast and break things.” I was young(er), eager, and willing to work hard.

I was trying and testing and trying again. I opened every door even mildly offered to me. And I’m so glad I did. But now that some chips have fallen in my favor career-wise, and now that I’ve settled (and I use that word lightly) into a path and routine (in the figurative sense at least), my goal is to do things with more intention, and with greater care.

What feels like a more suitable quote for me now is this one from Ilyas Kassam:

“It is more important to be of pure intention than of perfect action.”

Call it a resolution, call it a comeback—call it what you like—doing all things with intention and pause is my goal for 2017. And that starts with how I begin each day. I briefly mentioned my morning tea ritual in my latest Links + Likes, and I don’t mean to give undue weight to a simple morning tea, but giving myself an hour each morning to prepare and enjoy a pot of piping hot jasmine represents more to me than a hot beverage. It’s a meditative and relaxing ritual that sets the tone for the rest of my day.

But more than romanticizing a cup of tea, I want to do all things with more care and attention. Up until now, I’ve enjoyed rolling with the punches and being ready to jump at all times, but I’m ready to relax and observe. To be more thoughtful; more deliberate.

I want to view walking Piper as more of an enjoyable time to be cherished rather than a task or a must-do to get her energy out. Rather than procrastinating (and then subsequently rushing) laundry and having my clothes come out linty because I threw a towel in the mix lazily, it’s about doing things with more care putting in a pinch more time at the start so that you can wear and enjoy that newly-washed sweater for days. It’s about crafting more blog posts that I actually want to read myself, rather than creating posts just to fill an editorial calendar, or that just have pretty pictures–though they have a time and a place, too.

It’s about deliberately setting out to give more time and focus to the things I enjoy, like hanging out with my mom to watch The Bachelor, or spending an hour at my cousin’s to shellac each other’s nails over gossip rather than DIYing it half-heartedly, or visiting the salon—but also being cool with going to the salon if I feel like it. It’s about watching less Instagram stories and doing the things I set out to do once upon a time. It’s about having more awareness–of my surroundings, of the path I’m heading down, of how what I do now will affect the future.

And sure, intent isn’t enough on its own. Intent requires you to see things through to really, truly work.

But there will be mornings I sleep in and don’t make time to enjoy tea, or nights where lying in bed watching Kelly Oxford’s SnapChat trumps reading or writing or designing, and that’s okay.

I’m certainly not perfect. I can guarantee you that more than once this year I will set out and intend to make my bed and then I very much won’t. But simply being more aware (of your actions, of those around you, of the future affects of what you’re doing today) is a great step.

At the very least, even if the conclusion of the evaluations you perform on your day/week/month result in big, fat fails, living with that top of mind will help inform everything else to come. And surely nothing bad can come from being more careful, taking more time, and choosing to relish in those things you enjoy with more vigor.

Happy 2017, everyone! x, S

PS: In an attempt to be more present, I’d love to know more about you. Please feel free to email me, strike up an Instagram chat, tweet me, or just comment below. I’d love to get to know you better.