hello beautiful beautiful people. i have decided to delete my instagram account, called @charlieintheuniverse, with 442 posts and 1538 followers.
i started instagram maybe, four years ago? i was 13 years old and i had just discovered the amazing movement called veganism. i had basically seen the light and i wanted to share that with the world. so, i made a blog, called vegan-girly.weebly.com (cringe lmao). after a few weeks i switched from weebly to blogspot and called myself “happyandveg”. i also made a matching instagram. the start of so many things. i started taking iphone photos of what i ate and shared recipes on my blog. after a few years, happyandveg did not feel like me anymore. i grew older, and i was not always happy anymore (far from that tbh). and my instagram and blog were not only about veganism anymore, i spoke more and more about self love, art, music, happiness, and much more. it started to be about me. so i changed my username, happyandveg became charlieintheuniverse and i came to wordpress. i also made a youtube and a facebookpage.
instagram has given me a lot of good things. i met a good friend thanks to it (love u miky) and connected with many many (many) wonderful humans. i got better at english, got out of my comfortzone and posted singing videos and bikini pictures and horribly vulnerable and open and freakishly honest captions. i got better at photography, editing, writing.
but instagram also brought me bad things. i started comparing my life to the life of others. comparison, which fucked me up at school already, now also chased me online. all those people online were prettier, had more followers, were more popular, had better pictures and cooler captions and an amaaaazing life (at least, that was my perception). i felt seriously pressured to post on a daily basis, i wrote shitty captions that didn’t mean shit to me, i had no pictures to post and felt obligated to take new ones, i posted to post, not because i liked it anymore. i had periods in which instagram was super inspiring and i felt inspired and i also took a lot of instagram breaks in which i wouldn’t go on the app for a while. more and more people from school started following me which left me feeling extremely uncomfortable but i kept going, because from time to time i got told how inspiring i was, and i was fueled by the compliments (they were just fueling my ego).
in my family, we always leave our phones home during our holidays. the day before we left, my little sister said she kinda wanted to take her phone so she could spend time online while we were in france. i said, for real? these two phone free weeks are always the best weeks of the whole year! and then my mom said, then why don’t you stop being online so much in the daily life if you prefer not being online? that kinda hit me. indeed, why?
i have been wanting to go away from instagram for a while now. there were a lot of good things but i started being less and less sure if they weighed up against the bad feelings it gave me.
i didn’t delete instagram earlier for several reasons.
during several moments in my teens (i sound so old lmao i’m 17) i had little to no friends. i was very lonely, but i did have friends on the internet. people who appreciated me and validated me and thought i was cool. that felt nice, so i tried my best to be even cooler online. nowadays i have a few friends and i absolutely freaking love them. we sing together and sit on roofs and talk very shamelessly and i don’t feel the need anymore to get external validation. i know from myself that i am enough and that no one will make me feel loved if i don’t do that myself.
until october last year, i had absolutely no fucking clue what i wanted to do with my life. every job seemed boring to me and not something i would wanna do for the rest of my life. i was terrified of the concept “future”. i secretly always hoped my account would grow and i could sell art and travel hot places and make a life out of this app. but then i discovered what i wanted to become after school, namely a kindergarten teacher. i can’t wait for that. and i finally finally finally genuinely do not want to be like “plantifulsoul” or “allie michelle” or anyone else anymore. i now want to be me.
i used to be so attached to numbers. i felt bad when people unfollowed because of that dream to be instafamous and i thought i was not cool or pretty or funny or interesting enough. today i am much more aware of the fact that instagram is an app. on my phone. it says nothing about my personality, and people online can’t form an accurate judgment because i would only share snippets of my reality. i stopped weighing myself this year and stopped looking so much at the amount of followers, comments and likes.
i also never deleted my account earlier because people told me i was their biggest inspiration and people told me they kept going because of me and that i had to keep posting and after all this time i didn’t do it for me anymore, but for them. (i’m crying writing this.) but as ed sheeran said, before i save someone else, i’ve got to save myself. i have neglected that a lot. in real life and online, i tried helping people and saving them while i was in a bad place myself. and in the end it did not make me feel better. and that is what my priority should be. me.
and no offense but there are literally thousands of instagram accounts who talk about self love and positivity and veganism and body positivity and mental health and environmentalism and everyone following me will find their own way, also without me. everyone will be fine. i am not unmissable. that’s okay.
i am starting a new era in my life. i finished high school in june and i’m gonna start something new in september, im going to uni/college! i started instagram in high school and maybe it is better to leave it in high school too.
i am so looking forward to start fresh, in a new class. where i am not known as the weirdo who shares too many feelings online and talks about positivity and selflove while she’s an insecure little thing with depression and social anxiety in real life. i had decided to not show my instagram to my new classmates, the new people i would meet. then i realised, if i don’t want them to see it why the fuck am i sharing it with so many strangers online? and after a while they would have probably found it anyways, and i do not feel comfortable with that at all. so that made me think, why would i be comfortable sharing my life with so many people i do not even know? (idk if this all makes sense. to me it does so that counts, which is kindof the whole point of this long-ass post. that it doesn’t matter what others think of this decision. that only my opinion counts on this one.)
anyways i want to start fresh. leaving all the shit and mess behind me. feel lighter. i want to go to that new building and have no one know my name yet or know anything about me. i want some anonymity again.
sometimes on instagram i would have a great idea for a caption. whenever i will have an inspiring thought flow, i will post it on here. on a blog, you can all comment something if you want to share your own opinion or thoughts but there are no likes or followers which i absolutely love. i will also post photography on here as that is something i really love as well. my youtube will also still exist but i will only make videos if i feel like it. i will never ever force myself to spend hours of editing on a 5-minute video if i don’t do it with pleasure, for myself. i will follow my intuition and do what i feel like doing. so if you do want to keep up with me or my thoughts, this little website will be the way to go (and if you find it annoying to always have to check if i posted something new, you can go to the app bloglovin’ and you will get notified if i write anything. but that’s up to you honestly).
i never wanted to give up on my instagram account because it had taken me years to gain 1500 followers and i was afraid i would regret it and i would want to start again but then i threw away all those followers i already had. but oh well. i stopped caring. i have to do what’s best for me and i know (hope?) i am not going to regret this decision.
to all the people who are gonna be sad because @/charlieintheuniverse will not exist on instagram anymore, i am not going to say i am sorry. because i am not. just grateful and i feel a little lighter now. i am just going to say thank you for being on this journey with me. and for all the love, the immense love. you were there when no one was and i am eternally thankful for that. i cried so so much and i am still crying right now because this feels like an era that i am leaving behind. and change is scary but scary is good. i know this is the good thing to do for me at this point in my life. you are all amazing. i swear. please keep on being you and being kind. i love you. you can all be free if you want. please always do what’s best for you. nothing is holding you back.