Instagram as an outlet during a period of transition.
The purpose in sharing my personal story is to find others with positive attitudes, who share similar passions, embrace change, have a desire to keep improving and enjoy collaborating. I envision combining these passions, collaborating and creating something that I don’t believe exists today. If you relate to this, let’s collaborate.
So here is the beginning of my story:
This is my first blog; it took several months for me to finally put my thoughts into words. I spent the past year reflecting on, and questioning, my purpose in life. This eventually led to significant changes I never expected: a divorce, a new home, contemplating new expanded business opportunities and trying to stay bonded with my children following the divorce. I certainly have more free time now, and I plan to use it to improve. So often I see people who are unhappy then give up, and accept that as the way their life will be. They lose themselves and no longer seek improvement. Outwardly they appear to be okay; but they really aren’t if you get to know them; they are just stuck for various reasons but don’t know what to do about it. That was me, but I got to a point where I questioned if I really wasn’t happy, am I really able to contribute my best? I felt I was simply existing, “doing the right thing,” but suffering personally, I was not being my true self and the best way to describe it was: “just existing.” I focused on my children which was most important to me. But my children were getting older and not needing me as often and I wanted to “escape;” it was not a balanced life for me, and unfortunately, I made mistakes in how I dealt with it. My lack of doing anything about my personal situation was negatively affecting others in my life; I wasn’t being proactive, only reactive. I’m not going to say anything more about any negative aspects of my former situation, I only want to focus on the forward positive aspect of improving.
MY INITIAL REACTION- ESCAPE FROM REALITY
During this time of reflection, I began reaching out to friends with similar interests, and for me, this interest was music and exercise. So we attended concerts, about once a month; it was my escape. I also made a commitment to regularly exercise; I was usually good at exercising through the summer and fall but as soon as winter came around, it all stopped and then every spring or summer I’d start all over and it would be painful. So I found an excellent fitness app: FitStar by Tony Gonzales (which is personal training on your iPhone or iPad, in the privacy of your own home or where ever you want) It was excellent. My fitness improved and I stayed committed. Then a friend of mine put together a Bootcamp style fitness group with a personal trainer, so I joined too; and made even more progress. Exercise truly uplifts my mood and does this for most other people I know, it was a positive outlet for me.
I also started an Instagram account @annm2705. Honestly, the account was created to make sure my kids didn’t get into trouble with it. I didn’t post much, or follow people initially, except my kids, but then connected with a few Facebook friends and eventually discovered the Explore part of Instagram. This really captured my interest, I basically and literally “followed” my passions through Instagram accounts. I hadn’t thought much about my passions for a long time, but this awakened me. It was a time of searching and reflection on my life.
I came to a realization one evening when I photographed a beautiful sunset on the lake with boats in the dock harbor; the scene just gave me a sense of peace. Then I started thinking about the symbolism of the boats in the docks along with the open water, and found a quote that stated it best, the author is unknown, but the quote is: “A ship is safe at harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” I was in a “harbor” in my life, but I wanted to sail and I wanted this for my children too. So after that, “set SAIL” then became acronyms for what I was seeking in life: Serenity Adventure Intimacy Laughter- this was missing. My use of the “Intimacy” means a deep connection to what I’m passionate about, but I didn’t want to give people the wrong impression so the word has since evolved to “Innovation” because I also am passionate about Innovation in everything; I love new ventures, ideas, creations, technology, etc. From that point forward I began following my passions through the Instagram accounts I found during this time listed below. The various topics are separated by the subject line so you can skip over whatever doesn’t interest you.
PASSION: TRAVEL AND NATURE IG ACCOUNTS
The first inspiring account I found was the @kjp account; the quotes were clever and creative, and photos just made me want to be there: in nature, so peaceful with water and the outdoors, so I started following the account and became really intrigued, asking myself: Who is this person? What is his story? So I Googled and found a write up on KJP: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/fashion/the-designer-kiel-james-patrick-evokes-the-perfect-new-england-summer.html?_r=0 from the New York Times; and this is an innovative inspiring story, definitely worth the read. I was hooked and intrigued by what he did with social media. This was awesome; so if you like the East Coast, nature, Kennedy style, Land Rovers, and dogs you should check it out. Next I followed locations I love to visit, and some I plan to visit in the future, so I would have a constant feed of beautiful nature scenery. I stumbled upon another awesome inspiring account: @jeremyjauncey ; his account is so inspiring in social media and for the travel industry! Currently, his account is exploding and he’s hiring people to be part of his team, I would do that in a heartbeat, but don’t want to travel that often having children! If you haven’t seen this account, please visit, you will be amazed!
PASSION: MUSIC IG ACCOUNTS
I love music so I started following accounts of my favorite (mostly new country, pop and rock genre) musical artists and also new aspiring musicians whose talent and drive are noteworthy to me. There are too many to list here, so you’ll have to go to my account @annm2705 for all of them. The people behind the music inspire me first by their talent and secondly because they simply appear to be genuine, real, down to earth people with qualities that I also value, so I follow them. So a few examples are: @chaserice because while I am a fan of his music, I also noticed the logo he often wore, so I searched that because I liked the graphic, but I liked it even more after I learned the meaning and story behind it #HDEU , @kennychesney because he’s been one of my all time favorite artists since forever it seems, and the amazing talented @official_flo , hit after hit, with upbeat energizing music!
PASSION: LOCATION PHOTOGRAPHY IG ACCOUNTS
I found amazing location photographers: @sennarelax (founder of Switzerland Vacations), @maxrivephotography (who has this unique “fantasy” type quality to his photos that is unlike any others I’ve seen, super talented) and @elena_shumilova (she has a very creative quality to her photos that is recognizeable from others)
PASSION: SELF IMPROVEMENT IG ACCOUNTS
I found @ThinkGrowProsper and started following the account, very thought provoking, then I signed up for a series about “being stuck” and it hit home for me! I was influenced by social media content because I am a very curious person and continually seeking improvement in everything I do; I’ve always been that way. Finding this didn’t lead me down any given path, it just made me reflect on my life, and this personal reflection led me to my personal decisions which are unique for every person out there, depending on their own situation. From this account I found a few more that intrigued me and followed them: @hdfmagazine @prsuit I joined a webinar they hosted and was quite impressed, but still not ready to do anything other than explore until about 6 months later, then I decided to get more involved with their offerings and I just started this past week.
PASSION: DESIGN, INNOVATION, CREATIVITY IG ACCOUNTS
I started following creative people, people and businesses I like in the fashion industry, interior design, architecture, innovative or creative products or services, all of which inspire me. One that really stands out for me is: @PamandGela, their book: “The Glitter Plan” is very inspiring and real, so worth reading and really speaks to those with an entrepreneurial mindset. I love their edgy style and how they don’t hold back, just tell it like it is! A little rebellious, for sure, inspiring, and good people!
PASSION: FITNESS IG ACCOUNTS
I followed accounts of people and places that promote fitness through personal training or through outdoor activities; accounts that really stand out from others because there are a lot out there, and you can really tell when there is dedicated passion involved in what they do, after visiting the accounts.
Here are a few accounts: @zuzkalight @bretcontreras1 plus this nature account for trails @railstotrails (this account is a perfect source for rainy days if you don’t want to get muddy because the trails are converted train tracks so mostly paved, I’ve found)
PASSION: LAUGHING IG ACCOUNTS
I also followed accounts of people who really make me laugh: @JoeGatto of Impractical Jokers– his personality is more evident on the actual show and is hilarious with his high school buddies: Sal, Mur, and Q; @JimmyFallon (because I like his show) and @KevinHart4real who I have to say is so committed to hustle and success, and hilarious…he is nonstop motivated, pursing his passions- a successful person who keeps giving more, trying more and doing more. Very inspiring and entertaining!
PASSION: FAITH IG ACCOUNT
One of the most important paths to finding purpose in life is having faith. For me, I am Christian, and find that my life is much better when I pray more and that unexpected surprises often happen, taking care of “the stuff” that’s bothering me too. I also think that our world gets too hung up on which religion is the correct one, and I may offend people in stating this, but it’s not intentional; I believe that whatever you believe in, that leads you to do good and improve, is the right choice and it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, you choose what is right for you and what makes you a better person. No one should judge! And if you are the judging type…judge yourself, because that’s all you have control over, leave everyone else alone. So if you like inspirational faith based inspirational quotes, I follow an IG account @trustgodbro and would recommend that one because it’s not “preachy,” just inspirational.
Social Media continued to be my escape from reality, learning more about the people and places I followed while I reflected on my life at the time. Eventually it became clear that divorce was the last and final solution. I want to tell you that I am not an advocate of divorce, I’m actually the opposite of that, and believe that couples having challenges, especially if you have children, should try every possible way to make it work, but in determining the final outcome, the choice is a personal decision, and no one else’s business. The focus should remain on what is best for the children from that point forward. Divorce is hard on everyone, whether you initiate or the other person initiates and the children have the hardest time unfortunately. So they should be the continued focus.
In my situation, after some discussion, we decided that I would move out and we would share custody. This wasn’t ideal, but I always try to see the positive side or outcome. In my case, I love renovating, design and this became a project I could throw myself into and create something, so I started another account for my projects: @s.a.i.l._solutions on Instagram. I involved my children in the process of making selections and working on projects together, when they wanted to help. I thoroughly enjoyed this project and put in some long hours staying up until 1 am and getting up at 5 am for about a month. Things are finally settling down now and I am at peace, but I know it’s only the physical transition that’s occurred and there is much more to this journey ahead.
With the creation of this blog, I hope to connect with other like-minded positive people who want the best for their children, pursue growth, self-improvement, and seek to connect with their passion. I will always strive for new ways to be a better parent, a friend, to collaborate and to make life a combination of serenity, adventure, innovation and gratitude.
Hopefully we will have the opportunity to connect, collaborate, inspire, grow, give back, and create something awesome that others will enjoy too!
Serenity Adventure Innovation Laughter
faith | family | friends | travel | nature | music | fitness |design | gratitude