Nearly everything I like has an element of randomness. My Instagram page wanders from outfits to dogs to Dallas in the sun; from the novelty of bar bathrooms to videogame conventions and places where I am foreign. But Instagram is one of the most calculated, most “intentional” (as the kids say) things I do. I started Instagramming right when people first started to talk about the awareness that social media, particularly visual social media, could be and was being used to present a manicured, more polished, more glamorous, more expensive illusion of a life. It was trendy to speak disdainfully of this. But I like taking pictures. I think my life is worth documenting, and I’ve been doing it from 110 to 35 to the digital revolution. It was thought to be a bit off kilter when I carried a point and shoot everyday in high school, and I don’t really care if people associate documenting one’s own life with the vanity of out times now. (Oh god, that Laura Ingalls Wilder, she was soo into herself – can you imagine thinking your life is worth keeping a diary about every day? She spent all her time writing when she should have been focused on the moment!)
So I made a deliberate choice that the intent of my Instagram would be to show the parts of my real life that are cool; to find beauty in things and sure, take pictures in a way that shows beauty to other people; but to find that beauty in not just things that are exclusive or expensive. To be aspirational without apologizing for that – but to aspire to different things. Basically, to show that life can be cool without being always fancy or devoid of chaos.
And sometimes, the person who I’m sending that message to is myself.
This day was just a regular day, when I went to work, and didn’t climb a mountain or eat magical foods in another country or see something few people have seen. I was feeling distant from a person who I remember used to go on adventures and always be driven to see the next thing, and the next, and always more.. and I needed to tell myself that it was alright, and I can still see that way.