In the beginning, God created Twitter. And it was good.
And the people of the Internet came together to share stories and ideas and skills and information.
Websites were built and businesses created. Connections were made. Friendships were formed.
Then people began tweeting to ask me for money to buy themselves new teeth, for help finding someone to give them a baby, with requests for me to diaper them, and with threats to kill me if I didn’t give them a free PlayStation.
And it was no longer good.
This is, of course, a gross over-simplification of my story, but it’s not untrue. What pulled me most to social media, especially Twitter, was the sharing of ideas and the building of relationships. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and while I love my people and am still a farm girl at my core, there was a sameness in my childhood home that was suffocating. I grew up longing to have conversations that weren’t happening with people I didn’t know.
Social media brought the entire world to my laptop at two in the morning with my babies asleep across the hall, my husband asleep beside me, and HTML code open in another window, just waiting to be hacked and manipulated into something beautiful. It was glorious.
The problem for me was that I dove headfirst into this wild west world without two very important and necessary things:
I struggled my whole life to feel good enough, and I believed that the antidote to not good enough was better than.
I have to say that again. I believed that the antidote to not good enough was better than.
It is impossible to experience any sort of balance in your life while motivated by a need to prove something to the world. You can achieve financial and professional success, yes. But I’m here to tell you that you’ll still feel like crap on the other side of it.
As for a plan or intention, well, I guess that was difficult to have while I was creating an entirely new area of marketing. When I set out in this space, my goal was to create an online writing portfolio as a resume of sorts to find freelance writing gigs. I was a former English teacher turned stay-at-home mom who needed to begin earning income once again. This blog was meant only to be a home for my words, not an influencer platform or a marketing tool. In fact, the term online influencer didn’t even exist.
I created Twitter Parties – a one hour, hashtagged chat with guest experts and giveaways – in an attempt to drive traffic to this blog so that someone other than my husband was reading my posts. I did not intend to create a business.
But I did intend to leave when I did, and as I promised in my last post, I’m here to tell you why.
The first night that someone asked to hire me to create the same sort of Twitter event for them that I had created for myself, I asked my husband if he thought I should do it. His response was, “How will that help you get to where you want to be six months from now?”
I didn’t know where I wanted to be in six months. I knew that money to buy new jeans sounded fantastic. I said yes.
Here is where I need to stop and make something abundantly clear: I have loved, enjoyed, and am grateful for all the good that this crazy journey has provided from friends to travel to income to help support my family. I do not doubt for a moment that my career in social media marketing was a gift from God, a blessing I promise to continue to pay forward and give back to Him.
But in the midst of these blessings, I often felt like a ship without an anchor. No, not a ship. A sad little dingy just riding the waves. Years passed and when I finally looked up from the screen, I realized I had no idea where I was or how I had gotten there. I had drifted out to sea.
And I was very, very tired.
The truth is that I’m a tender heart and the years of working ridiculous hours, hosting several parties a week, and pushing out incredible amounts of marketing copy wore me down. I was exhausted from overworking, but also from spending so much time away from my authentic self.
But even more impactful and painful were the unhealthy friendships and general seediness that abounds in the underbelly of the online world. Lives fell apart around me and at times they threatened to pull me in as collateral damage. I was a person who was trusting to a fault, and it blew up in my face over and over.
And there really were death threats and sick requests and hate posts about me on hate sites. The negative didn’t outweigh the positive. Not by a long shot. But it was far more impactful.
I didn’t have a solid and healthy sense of self.
I didn’t have a plan or clear intention.
I was ready to be done.
So where did I go? After several years of working my tail off, I no longer needed to work to provide an income to my family. Someday I may write a post about living below your means and planning for the future. At some point while I was adrift on the blogging ocean, I found the good sense to drop a financial anchor and pray that it held. It made my desire to walk away financially possible.
Rather than take Resourceful Mommy on a long drive to a friend’s farm to “retire,” I turned over the day to day management to Shannan, my trusty sidekick on this adventure. She continued blogging and working with our clients. The business continued to do well in my absence, and I was able to rest, spend non-sponsored time with my family, and try to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
After a couple years of that, Shannan was also ready for a break. So we turned the reins over to another company for a year, and after a year, the reins came back to us.
So here I am. Only this time?
I have a solid and healthy sense of self.
I have a plan and clear intention.
I am ready to be back. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms.
I look forward to telling you more about where I went and where I’m going. Thanks for letting me share.