{ xx SLS }: Nosedive.

essellesse gets real about instagram

Last week, I had a nervous breakdown.

I will be completely honest about it here because I know for a fact many of you relate, you told me so.

It was not my finest week, to say the least & it’s because I lost complete control of myself to Instagram.

Actually, let me rephrase…

I lost complete control of myself to an APP.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ the sunset district – my fave neighborhood in sf! }

I found myself obsessed and everything I was doing in my life was about instagram & it ran me dry.

Instagram was made for people to connect with each other and share what they were doing – what it was NOT made for was to take over lives and get obsessed with the numbers {though the cynic in me thinks otherwise these days}.

I was so obsessed to the point that it left me depleted. I was so worn out that for the first time in five years, I actually considered throwing in the towel for everything & calling it quits.

I was comparing myself to everything and everyone and let me tell you, it’s true what they say that comparison steals joy.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ met Katey from the Violet Fog at Rose’s – feels like a slice of Paris here in SF }

At the heels of my breakdown lol I got breakfast with Katey. I told her everything so we got to talking about numbers and why we care so much about them. It’s just a number, right?

Well, not exactly.

With what we do, we put SO MUCH OF OURSELVES OUT THERE that in a sense, it’s like an instant grade that’s out there for everyone {including our future employers} to see.

It’s so hard to not take it personally.

I logged off & got offline as a whole. I took a full week off from the blog and a good four days off Instagram.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ a sneak into my Japanese practice! }

I’m over how I was feeling, so I wanted to share what helped me get over it.

Last week, I started my Japanese lessons.

I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT even though it’s so hard. I have something to focus on that’s 100% away from the computer. I wrote in Hiragana for the first time and that meant more to me than any instagram post I could ever make.

I am treating my Instagram like it’s 2014.

I miss 2014-2015 Instagram. It was more authentic {tell me I’m wrong} and people were sharing day to day of their life. Rather than all eyes on me, I’m showing y’all my world through my eyes. That has been invigorating.

In fact, I remember when I first started blogging and instagramming in 2014. I didn’t give an Ffffff about the numbers, I was SO excited to make and create content so I’m taking things back to square one.

This may be a little racy but I am in the middle of a HUGE unfollow spree.

WHO YOU FOLLOW IS SO IMPORTANT because as you scroll, their energy gets transferred to you {if you know me, you know I apply Newton’s law of energy to literally everything}.

Basically, I am only following accounts that inspire me, my close personal friends, blog readers, & people who actually engage with me & unfollowing the rest {ps – even if I know them in person}. It’s not about engagement, but it’s because that’s how friendships are made. I know my account will take a dip on this, but who tf cares.

I want people following me because they are inspired by my style, want to see San Francisco, want to try a new recipe or cooking tip, want to entertain for their partner… not for a follow back & that’s the last I’ll hear from them.

I don’t want the numbers, I want a rad little community of friends.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ fresh as can be watermelon juice on the beach }

Also, I want to start this conversation but I think we need to be proactive in knowing the time we spend on the app. It’s so bad that Apple even included that in their update. Spend life living it, not watching how someone else “lives” it in their stories… even if that person you’re tapping through is me.

And to be clear, essellesse is not going anywhere despite how Shannon last week was feeling. I didn’t make this blog to supplement an instagram account. I made it to inspire others who might want to try some Japanese skincare or cook for their partner or learn about wine or how to style things in a lazy luxe way.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ Lucy – Queen of the stairs }

Since taking the 2014 approach, there has been legit NO PRESSURE.

I never started my Instagram to show photos of myself over and over and over – I started my Instagram to show my lifestyle.

Speaking of pressure, a blogger friend, Shannon {there’s two of us lol!} interviewed me and I want to share one of my answers here first as it applies now more than ever… interview coming v soon!:

What does creative control mean to you, and how have you been able to achieve it?

{ ME }: Not having another platform own your content. I actually think Instagram can kill creativity. I had a mini revelation with myself the other day that the pressure I have with instagram is the pressure to conform. […] Creative control took me a long time to achieve, but it meant going full throttle with my blog & knowing my vision and aesthetic and I have instagram supplement it… engagement be damned.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ Macadamia Almond Latte from Saint Franks… my latte in SF! }

Anyways, I know this is a heavier post but it’s something I wanted to be straight up about.

And if you are a blogger dealing with this, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It can be hard as bloggers/influencers because, in a sense, we are all colleagues so it is impossible to not compare what you are doing to what someone else is. It’s our work & livelihood and we are all in the same industry.

All you can do is keep doing you.

The following you will attract are people who want to see a slice of your life. If they unfollow since you didn’t follow back, well that little bird can fuck fly right off. It’s a ridiculous concept to begin with, don’t you think?

In fact I’ll say this, my absolute favourite accounts that I follow… don’t follow me back. Sure, some are massive ones, but some are also very, very small {& prob wondering who tf am I lol}. They inspire me, they are authentic, & they are refreshing. Sure, a follow would be rad but that’s not why I follow. I follow because they inspire me when I’m in an Instagram black hole.

essellesse gets real about instagram
{ this sunset was one for the books – brought my tripod here to shoot some photos. Can you see the cutie baby seagulls? }

I’m going to leave with this:

I find I’m craving beauty, aesthetics, & authenticity more than ever. It’s like the Black Mirror Episode 15 Million Merits where it’s just nonsense over and over and over and it’s almost impossible to escape… that I am just craving the opposite over and over and I can’t be alone with that, right? It may not be what “engages” but I want vibes over likes any day.

If you don’t know what to post, what I want to see is life from your eyes. Snap what’s in front of you… & tag or DM me so I can see it. I’m craving it.

Ok signing off but follow me on Instagram? ha jk… but if you do, say hi. I want to meet you.

See ya tomorrow {& last heavy topic in a while, I promise lol}


ps – y’all get the title reference, right?


Instagram has returned invalid data.

Follow & say what's up!