If you’re reading this right now, I want to just say that I truly admire you. For what you may ask? For your very existence. For taking the time to read this post. For the fact that you made it through 2020 and found yourself here in the moment willing to listen to me rant. I’m not sure what you overcame last year, be it illness, death of a loved one, anxiety and mental illness rearing uglier with each new test, financial issues or housing displacement.. Whatever it was that brought you here, to today, I admire you for your journey and I acknowledge your struggle.
I found during the ups and downs of 2020 that when all else failed I naturally turned back to what I knew or was familiar with. During times of stress we all cleave to schedules, invent routine for sanity and stick to anything “regular” to bring us a sense of comfort. It was during this time that I truly discovered things that I did or did not like, allowing myself self acceptance and regulation of emotions, to feel and to breathe and be present. And it was during this time that I really found that my social media presence was a large part of my life I was not satisfied with. The lack of organic relationships and the slight tug of needing to fit in to a genre or group of people in order to become relevant were intertwined themes I kept seeing. And that’s what led me to changing my presence on that platform and this one.
When rebranding to The Real Alexis Bailey almost two years ago I told myself that I would be transparent on social media and show more of who I really was, but as certain veils were lifted on social media’s true influence, I felt less and less open to that prospect and I found myself in a whirlwind of keeping up with the next trend or product (fabric, patterns, outfit idea). When I finally noticed that doing this had led me to acquiring a collection of sewing patterns and fabric that were not my style or taste and that my social media presence wasn’t what I wanted, I wrote my posts on being intentional in my making process, found HERE so I could work on actually sewing what I WANTED. My understanding of social media went so much deeper than commercialization though. I read THIS E-BOOK on becoming mindful in social media dealings and I truly began to understand that the thing I was missing the most was the true core of social media.
As a so called “influencer” in any platform you find yourself in circles, genres and communities that seem to match the same values and creative ideas that you are about. This is where I found I had went wrong as I didn’t really go into this business thinking about what I wanted from it emotionally. When originally starting this platform , it was about sharing things I liked to make and sew just for the joy of it. Then, quite honestly, it became about money and opportunities. The more likes and follows from sharing “free” business products etc, the more noticed I could be (and then “influencing” others to buy product etc), leading me to more business opportunities and the like. It felt very empty, but along with that emptiness came a slew of drama at times. Though not directly involved, I saw how disagreements and drama affected people, shifting friendships, dividing “loyalties” , and finally leading to a lot of trust issues for many. I personally stepped back from building community after that because I felt so untrusting and unsure of myself.
During 2020 I found myself leaning away from circles and community and just decided to be me, unattached to the extra and opinions. It’s really what helped me start my business Thimble & Snip because I knew it was different and not for everyone, but I felt so good about it and wanted to do it. Doing so helped me build a whole community of people I have as amazing customers who trust and appreciate what I’m doing from a business perspective. It also made me realize that organic, natural relationships are at the core of social media. Commercialism, popularity and the other anxiety inducing toxic parts of social media will lead one to believe that there is something being missed out on by not focusing on the superficial, but I have come to see the magnificent movements, friendships and inspiration that come from dealing with social media in a healthy manner and I plan on taking that with me into 2021 along with the boundaries I’ve manifested this past year.
If you’re new here I really want to thank you for taking the time to read this post and for following along in my journey. If you’ve been with me for awhile I TRULY thank you for supporting me as I find myself like everyone else is in this crazy and wild ride of a world. I really hope you enter this new year with grace, forgiveness, self regulation and care. Additionally I hope you take breaks, drink water and remain present in your own life as social media is not where life lies. What’s most important is where you find and become your best self and I hope you experience all of that and more as this year progresses.
Until next time,