My Wellness Identity Crisis: How I Finally Realized It's (more than) Okay to Have Diverse Passions
I shared on my Instagram story yesterday how frustrated I’ve been with the new(ish) Instagram algorithm. If you aren’t a blogger or business on Instagram, hyper-focused on growing a brand and getting your message out, you may not have given it much notice, but for us creatives, it’s a big pain in our you know whats.
I feel like Instagram is squashing creativity by making it extremely difficult to get your content seen. I always catch myself asking: “what should I post that will perform the best?” “should I be using more creative hashtags?” “am I engaging with everyone else enough?” Instead of asking what I should be asking: “what do I want to share today?” “what’s on my heart that I want to share?” “what inspiration do I want to hopefully give to my followers?” “what joys, struggles, excitements or sadness do I want to make clear?”
Even though I kept telling myself every day that the numbers don’t matter, and they truly don’t to me, I was still feeling upset. I work hard, just like every other blogger I know, to create content, share important messages and be vulnerable, and it’s disheartening when so few people are being reached by all that you put out.
Although I know it’s the algorithm, as does everybody else, it’s difficult to not start second guessing what you’re doing, producing and writing, because as I feel like the quality of my content on Instagram has increased with the growth of this platform, my engagement has been lower than this summer when I had half as many followers as I do now. Although trivial in the big scheme of life, Instagram is how I connect with other bloggers, let my followers know when I write new posts (like this!) and, hopefully, inspire and motivate others, and it makes me sad knowing not as many people are seeing what I create.
I was on the phone with my mom on Tuesday, expressing my frustration and I let my second guessing and insecurities get the best of me. I asked my mom if she thought I shared about too many diverse topics regarding wellness and perhaps that was why people weren’t engaging on my page as much and her reply was straight gold. In a nutshell she told me that being a creative and motivating others to live their healthiest, happiest and best lives can’t be done with just recipes, fitness routines, mental health tips or day-to-day updates. I can’t truly inspire others if I’m not multifaceted and sharing how I genuinely live my healthiest, happiest and best life.
And it just kind of hit me. I am multifaceted and not one, single niche of the wellness-world has defined, or could ever possibly define, my wellness journey. My wellness journey has had ups and downs, it’s had dark times of restriction and over-exercise as I dealt with grief, it’s had times of self-growth and trying new things in the gym to build my strength, it’s had times of sticking to what I know best and running really, really far. It’s been a crazy journey, and I’m thankful for all of the mismatched puzzle pieces that have made it what it is. I’m thankful for the mismatched puzzle pieces that have made me who I am. Because that’s truly what I feel like sometimes – a mismatched puzzle. But every little piece somehow comes together to make up the wellness-oriented life that I love living every single day.
So yes, I’m all over the place sometimes. But I like it that way. Life’s more FUN that way.
I am a marathoner.
I love lifting heavy things.
I love yoga, bodyweight workouts and going on long walks.
I love healing my gut through the foods I eat.
I love rest day mornings, sipping on collagen coffee, while watching the sunrise.
I’m a nerd when it comes to agriculture.
I love cooking and baking and developing recipes.
I love meditating and learning about moon cycles and healing crystals.
I love sustainability.
I love gardening and getting my hands in the dirt to produce my own food.
I love filling my brain with new nutrition information.
I love so much about wellness and I will never stop sharing about each and every one of them. I may go through phases where I share more about running because I’m training for a race or phases where my creativity in the kitchen is on fire and all I want to do is develop recipes. Or I may go through phases where cardio isn’t my jam and I want to share more about lifting. Or in times of stress, I may share more about mental health, organization and positivity. My heart and soul has guided me through this crazy journey with BGC over the past two and a half years and I’m not going to stop being my most genuine, honest, passionately-driven self just to fit inside the little square that Instagram wants us all to.
Because at the same time I also realized, I’m so much more than just the many, many things that have guided me down my wellness journey. I am, put simply, more than wellness. More than my curated Instagram feed, my pretty plates on a marble background, my morning workouts, evening meditation and weekend meal prep. I am me. Nat. A 21-year-old college student majoring in mass communication who can’t wait to jump into the field of public relations. A (somewhat) normal girl who is obsessed with coffee, her sorority sisters and reading. Who loves to laugh with her roommates, go to bed way to early, doodle in her notebooks, listen to music non-stop, sing in the car, spend time with her family and talk to her best friend on the phone.
Wellness may be one of the biggest parts of who I am, but it’s not all that I am.
I heard a girl in class the other day say she didn’t have an Instagram and I honestly froze. And I thought, what would life be like without Instagram? It seems like a silly question, but just think about it. Would you be happier? Less stressed? Have less anxiety? Would you be more content with yourself and spend less energy comparing yourself to others? Would you still lead your life the same way that you do when you show it on your feed?
But, on the other hand, what wouldn’t you have without Instagram? Friendships? Inspiration? Motivation? An outlet to share your voice?
I realized that I’ve made amazing connections through Instagram, grown my platform immensely, had the opportunity to work with the awesome companies and been able to share my story that I otherwise would have locked away. So, I decided Instagram isn’t worth the stress, self-doubt, annoyance or frustration. It’s worth the friendships, the fun I have styling my food and the joy I get out of sharing what I share. I have the blog to share the REAL, genuine, wellness-junkie me, no matter how diverse, dispersed and all-over-the-place that may be. I may never be anyone’s go-to yogi, marathon-training, SCD/paleo, local-eating or sustainability-focused Instagram account, but that’s okay with me (but hey, maybe I AM that go-to account for one of those things for someone and that's amazing too!). I’ve found my “niche” in many different niches and I love it like that. I love that I have the freedom to share what’s on my heart and mind and what’s tugging at my soul every day.
So, if you’re struggling with a wellness identity crisis as well, stop. Stop questioning “what” you are. Are you a runner? Bodybuilder? Yogi? Recipe-developer? Coffee-shop-enthusiast?
Why not be them ALL?
“Life is too short to not go where your heart leads.” So follow your heart wherever it may take you and don’t be afraid to step outside of that little box.