Well hello. I’m back, after two months Instagram-free. I didn’t exactly give you guys warning that I was going to do that. In fact, I didn't even know I was going to do that. But the truth is, life happened. And quite frankly, life was happening all around me. My dog was in front of me wanting to play. My job consumed me for, no joke, 14 hours every day. I had family to see, friends to catch up with, and myself to try and pick back up again.
Life. The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter. Pretty much most things on this earth, other than the material electronics we spend so much time scrolling through and tapping.
The truth? Instagram makes me feel really uncomfortable. Before I signed up for it I thought I could be anything I wanted to be. I thought I could build a website, contribute to the world with my writings, and inspire people to be themselves every day. I had a vision. I saw the end product. I would be CEO of Suits & Sneaks, the movement that would inspire each person to be themselves, even if working in the corporate world for someone else.
But then, I signed up for Instagram.
I heard it was the social media platform to be on to help advertise and grow my brand. And sure, it definitely got my name out there and was very effective at redirecting traffic to my site. But for the first time, I saw everyone else.
I saw tons of people that looked more successful than me. I saw girls that were in perfect shape. They could pull off any outfit they wanted because they looked so young and vibrant. There was no way I looked like those girls. I was 34 and exhausted. I had just spent months pulling all-nighters to get my site up and running.
But these girls? Their angles were perfect. Their lighting was perfect. Their color scheme and flow of their feed was perfect. They had hundreds of pictures of what looked like every day normal shots. Don't get me wrong, my photographer puts out some great shots. But like, do these girls seriously just walk outside and snap pics of themselves, and look that good daily? Will I eventually get there? I hoped so.
For quite some time I completely sucked at getting a good looking Instagram. How the hell did these girls do it? Maybe they’re just naturally pretty, and I’m not. Gee, that was depressing. I wanted to be as successful as them. I go all-in at everything I do, so when will I look like these bloggers and win at Instagram?
You guys, what the f---.
Once upon a time I was so happy with myself for unleashing what I truly believed was a God-given writing talent. And now, I’ve amounted myself to nothing more than what I believe is an ok photo that doesn’t even come close to the bloggers who have “made it.”
That is seriously frightening. A sane person, once myself, could sit here and say how ridiculous that is to destroy your self-worth in such a sad, useless, and non-realistic way. But for so many Instagram users, this has become our reality. And it got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore.
So hi, I’m Kristin.
And I’m made up of 34 years of hardships, wins, losses, and blessings that have made me into the actual person that actual people see, every day. Without a camera, I’m actually quite confident in myself. I know how to navigate the corporate world. I have a kick-ass work ethic. I love to inspire and motivate people. And I am over the moon about the career change I made last year, going from being a CPA to a recruiter. I have the most amazing beagle-basset hound God has ever created. And we have quite literally saved each others’ lives, multiple times. I am really close with my family. I have the perfect boyfriend. And I love to wear sneakers.
But, I’m struggling with my weight right now and my self-esteem is at the lowest it’s ever been. I deal with endometriosis and food addictions that constantly consume my life. I’ve come face to face with death two, almost three times. I was saved by the grace of God, and I’m forever indebted. But most importantly, I try my best to be forever appreciative.
And yet, with this little app called Instagram, I somehow had dismissed all of that. How stupid, right?
So here’s where I stand with Instagram:
First, I no longer give two shits about having who I am validated by the frequency of posts I make or the number of likes or followers I get (or lose) on Instagram. And neither should you. Now that I've spent two months away from it, I realize Instagram, in theory, is quite meaningless.
However, on the flip side, I’ve received some of the nicest messages ever from followers on how I’ve been an inspiration to them. And THAT is what continues to give me purpose with Suits & Sneaks. For those of you who were inspired by me, I want to stop here and truly apologize to you that I selfishly disappeared when I could’ve otherwise found ways to continue being an inspiration to you. Seriously, f---- me for that.
Second, staying “on brand” actually is really important. But I have to remember there is more to my personal life than the brand on my, well technically my BRAND’S, Instagram account. And vice versa, right? My brand will many times stand alone from my personal life. My first go-around with this was a bit of a hodgepodge. I did sneakers, but then I also did my dog and daily life. Like, do I want Suits & Sneaks to be a brand? Or do I want it to be me personally? I’ve had mixed feelings and received mixed responses on this. I’m honestly open to any feedback. But I think I’ve kinda figured a way forward with this. Bear with me.
And lastly, I legitimately missed you guys. There are a number of followers that have seriously put the biggest smile on my face with their kind words. And there are a number of followers that I think I was able to help out as well. And I freaking LOVE that.
In my day job as a recruiter, I talk to hundreds of candidates, and at the end of every single one of my days, I get the most satisfaction from helping these people feel pumped about themselves and their accomplishments.
So my Instagram mindset has shifted. This platform will be for you. Not for me to compare my stats to others to validate whether I’m "on track" or not. It will simply be for you. I wish I could talk to each one of you on the phone every week like I do with my candidates, but guess what, this is the next best thing. Because now I can reach thousands of you to help you feel good about yourself, especially in your career. As has been my purpose in creating Suits & Sneaks from Day 1 - I want to inspire you to Let The Real You Shine Through.
Love you all and am glad to be back.