day 3 I’m tasting freedom

It’s been quieter in my head the last two days.

Less clamor and less chaos. Not in my home, the kids have been on a rollicking roll of noise and messes, but in my mind. It’s been still(er).

I deleted the two apps I click to dozens if not hundreds of times in a day. Facebook and Instagram. I de-cluttered my phone screen so that I see my background fully, a paper sunflower made and photographed by my talented best friend.

Where Instagram was, it is now my fitness app – I subconsciously click it over and over.

I noticed this right away. I noticed the confident way my thumb is inclined to that particular point on my screen for no particular reason. I pick up my phone to respond to my mom telling me their timeline for the day, and find myself clicking that spot. Again.

Mindless. Pointless. Habitual.

I chuckle at myself, at the blue and white icon of Beachbody On Demand opening over and over instead of the rainbow app opening to pictures of other people’s lives. Then I place my phone down and I pick up a book. I read without stopping every few pages to click those two apps I click for no apparent reason, over and over. I read until I am deeply immersed in the book. I stop for my kids, who need a kiss or a villain in their imaginative play time, and then I read some more.

We are eating tacos together on the porch. All four of us. We play “Animal Guess Who” as Jem calls it. I take out my phone only to take a photo of Milo confidently posing as he gets ready for his turn. I make a video of him scrunching his face as he thinks whether his animal has wings (no), is red (no), has fur (yes), is it a Robin? (yes). We laugh and Jem rolls her eyes and giggles.

I am not splitting my attention. I am there. Fully.

I know that the social media platforms themselves are not the problem. I know the power of words and pictures to unite us and to inspire us.

I am forcing myself out of justifying my choice to spend literal hours scrolling and posting and worrying about how I am perceived on these platforms.

I am forcing myself out of addiction and into freedom.

For now, that means removing myself completely and tasting the other side.

When I have the urge to share, I write in my notebook or I come here. I force out the complete thought. I take careful time to craft it and to refine it and to position my words and pictures rightly.

It is too easy to share it all in those small squares and with those boredom obliterating story features. It is too easy to create whiplash from one day to the next as I question where I stand and who I am and what I am doing.

I can’t just share it all and expect others to sift through it if I can’t even do that for myself.

No. I have the words and I have the time and I am done with the excuses I have let pour into and out of me for quite some time.

I am a writer.

I am creator.

I am a photographer.

I am in control of where I allow my energy to flow or to be drained.

Today, I sit and I listen to my two year old’s breath as he naps. Loud enough to be audible over my typing. I pause, just to lay by him for a few minutes. For me. For my soul. He is balm. He is stillness in times of upheaval. He is real and my love for him grounds me.

Day 3, I am positioned firmly here in these thoughts now put to words. I am focused on my freedom. I am denying myself the opportunity to appease my boredom by scrolling. I am intentionally taking photos, for me. I am making time to write – so that I can grow, not so that I can get others to grow with me.

Day 3, I am tasting freedom.

Day 4, we’ll see.