The other day, on a whim, I deleted my Instagram.
I didn't have many followers on there. And yet I still found myself on it every day looking for likes, inspiration, and the right hashtags to place in my next post. It was taking lots of time. Lots of time away from creating and being real and human. All for some little bit of artificial success; some hint of 'making it' as an artist.
I've been reading a lot of social and cultural critiques from some of my favorite old and new writers: Shauna Niequest, Wendell Berry, Morris Berman, Jenny Odell, and Austin Kleon. They all seem to keep talking about the hustle generation. The generation of blurred lines between home and work. The generation of never quiet, never restful, never making enough money. And the more I've been reading the more I've been reconciling the seemingly unknown source of anxiety and emptiness in my life with the sense that the culture I was born into is not one I want to be a part of.
Three years ago, I started thinking about these topics when my environmental economics professor broke down the true definition of the word "economics". It's Oikonomia in Greek meaning 'household management'. This changed everything for me. I always became angry at the idea of economics; the idea of paying any kind of special attention to the paper jail that is the American dollar. Especially angry of anything that splits an idea up into its constituent parts and degrades to mean only one of those definitions. My life's goal is wholesomeness and the modern take on the idea of an economy is anything but whole.
Time is money someone once said and I'm tired of spending beyond what my budget allows on gaining approval, curating, becoming distracted, disconnecting from nature, and disconnecting from other people. Cheers to a new economy. To the economy of baking bread, of painting over a period of months and letting the art pieces be seen at coffee shops, the economy of laughing with friends, the economy of creating out of joy and peace and love.