Don’t Be a Square: Say No to Instagram FOMO

Originally published by Keep it Wild.

Last week, I went hiking after work on a trail close to my office. It was a beautiful evening: the grasses were at that beautiful stage of green before they turn summer-brown, the sun bathed the red rocks in golden light, the birds were chirping and the air smelled like things growing. That night, I had every intention of posting one of my pictures from my hike, but then I started scrolling through Instagram. One of my friends had lucked out and won the daily lottery for the Wave. Another girl I followed had posted a picture from Havasupai. One influencer had ‘grammed her dawn patrol ski up Mt. Hood, the sunrise colors epic. Another influencer was flying over waterfalls in Indonesia in a floatplane. Yeah, in a floatplane.

I scrolled through my pictures from my hike and the colors didn’t seem quite as bright, the subject matter quite as appealing – they suddenly seemed pretty ordinary. I went to bed without posting.

Social media is an amazing space for inspiration; it’s grown my bucket list exponentially. In fact, I have a whole gallery folder on my phone solely dedicated to screenshots of other people’s ‘grams, depicting places I never knew existed but now desperately want to visit. But, on the flipside, it’s also really easy to get caught up in thinking your life is boring when you’re seeing the highlight reel from hundreds of other people all in one place…

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A Balancing Act

I want to do it all, and that is the root of many of my problems.

I’m an over-acheiver, I hate saying no, I have serious FOMO and my rose colored glasses always tell me I can accomplish more than I think in the allotted time.

In college, there was an image floating around on the internet that basically said you’ll only have time for two: good grades, a social life and sleep. It rang true in college, but as adult life continues, it only gets worse.

Some people seem like they have all their shit together. You look at them and can’t imagine that they’d ever forget and pay rent late three months in a row or eat taquitos for dinner at almost midnight because food was an afterthought. It’s frustrating to feel like you’re clawing to juggle it all and someone else has it serenely figured out.

But you know what? Nobody does. My friend Marian is a college student, has a job and a social life, but she doesn’t sleep, like ever (I’m pretty sure she’s a vampire). I have another friend who cuts off her social life when she gets stressed. One of my favorite adventure ‘grammers, @alexborsuk, posted recently that the trade off for her running commutes, healthy eating, happy pup and epic weekend warrior adventures is a messy apartment.

I started a new job this week and the commute is pretty rough. It’s been a bit of a shock to try to re-work my routine. Suddenly I’ve lost three hours a day to commuting, plus I have to, like actually get dressed now which takes time. I’ve been frustrated at myself because I haven’t gotten a single workout in this week. I tried getting up early this morning, but curse my Egyptian cotton sheets, that doesn’t appear to be a viable option.

I’m reminding myself that I need to be patient and I need to learn to let it go. When my free time is limited and I’m prioritizing my relationship, adventure, wedding planning, blogging, cooking, there are going to be days when a workout doesn’t happen. The house is probably not going to ever be totally clean. I’m probably not going to have time for those Skillshare classes I wanted to take.

And you know what? That’s okay. I’m not super woman. Some days I’m going to tear through my to-do list and some days I’m going to sleep too long and not get a shower and spend the whole evening binging Netflix.

And that’s okay. That seemingly perfect person you see? They’re probably not hiking and skiing every weekend. And that’s okay too.

Know what you’re okay sacrificing and what is non-negotiable and be patient. Be creative. I’m going to start doing yoga at work.

You can’t balance if you take and take and take weight and never let anything go.

Lessons from Tofino

Three planes, a train, a bus, a ferry and a five hour car ride with strangers was all that stood between me and Tofino, British Columbia; a land of towering rainforests, moody beaches, hidden hot springs where the forest meets the sea and knee deep bogs.

I’d read about the world-famous cold-water surf town of Tofino originally in a Bon Appetit magazine. I had never been surfing, or traveled somewhere completely alone before, for that matter. But there I was, carrying an overstuffed duffel with backpack straps that were not meant to be used for more than a quick jaunt across the airport on my back, and another backpack in my arms, jumping into a car with people I’d only briefly chatted on Facebook with, in a foreign country.

I quickly realized that the Canadian accent is not just an American gimmick and that my trepidations for going on this trip alone were for naught. By the time we got out of the car in Tofino, me slightly green from riding in the back seat on winding mountain rounds through Vancouver Island, I had made two new friends.

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Thanks, Dad.

When my sister and I were kids, we’d start complaining on Friday nights about going skiing. We’d complain about getting up early and about being stuffed into snowsuits and having to wear googles and that our boots hurt and that we had to walk what felt like a million miles across Copper’s main village to get to the lifts.

As soon as we hit the slopes, we’d have a blast, but once it was time to call it a day, we’d be back to complaining. My dad would gather his skis, my skis, my sisters skis and my mom’s skis, my mom would take everyone’s poles and I would ensure my little sister didn’t eat it in the icy parking lot.

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Telluride, Camping at 11,000 ft in September

Travel diary on exploring Telluride

My favorite campsites are the ones you discover in the middle of the night, the ones that surprise and stun you when the sun rises.

We’d pulled up in the middle of the night, so had no idea what we’d wake up to. The temperature had plummeted in the wee hours of the morning and when I woke, in my hat, gloves, two pairs of pants and down jacket inside my zero degree sleeping bag, a hot cup of coffee was the only thing on my mind.

I unzipped the door and numbly shoved my socked feet into my hiking boots. I went to pull aside the fly and froze, my breath a cloud billowing above me.

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The Power of Intention

On New Year’s Eve last year, we sat in a coffee shop in Five Points, drafting our 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. Among twenty other things, I wrote “Hike to a hot springs”.

Summer 2017 came and went and we didn’t end up hiking to a hot springs. Another resolution, like “Continue my drama-free stint with mom” that fell under the loose-some category of you-win-some-you-loose-some.

Last month I found myself in Tofino, British Columbia, getting on a float plane with three women who had been strangers to me up until three days before to fly to a remote coastline where we would hike to a hot springs.

Intention is a powerful thing.

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Oh darling, let’s be adventurers!

[all photos by Coldiron Photography]

We’ve officially been engaged for over six months and the wedding date is now less than a year away. This new adventure that is our journey to marriage is well underway!

Last month we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park with Allie and Marcus Coldiron, the amazing couple that make up Coldiron Photography to have our engagement photos taken.

When I first saw Dream Lake, I knew it would be an amazing place for engagement photos. When Topher proposed and we started talking about all things wedding, Dream Lake was in the back of my mind for an engagement photo session. But then, I started to let that practical part of my brain take over. Hiking after getting your hair and makeup done isn’t practical. Balling a $100 dress that’s been immaculately hung in your closet all week into your backpack and changing in the woods isn’t practical. Hiking in the Colorado Rockies at 3pm definitely isn’t practical.

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