04 March 2015

1 Step Back and 2 Steps Forward: Blogging Then and Now

I’ve been asked countless times why I stopped blogging for the past year: Where did you go, what happened, why did you stop? Every time, I fake a smile and manage to say a conventional answer along the lines of, “I’ve been working a lot, I just don’t have the bandwidth.” I knowingly expect a head nod with a tinge of pity. The real answer though, is much more personal and complex then I’d like to admit.

As a perfectionist and an over-achiever, I soon fell victim to the mentality that I wasn’t enough. My outfits weren’t trendy enough, my photos weren’t liked enough on social media, I didn’t have enough followers, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t popular enough to get invited to a certain event. Those thoughts kept multiplying, quickly becoming worse.

I started to have intense anxiety any time I recognized potential for an outfit post. I became obsessive with my outfit choices, to the point where I couldn’t leave my place without feeling ‘blogworthy.’ Did I wear this in my last post? Have I styled these jeans too often on Instagram? What about that last #ootd, will people remember I’m wearing the same shoes? And then, when I finally settled and had my photo taken, I never felt like I looked ‘right.’ I was critical beyond words. This self-deprecating attitude was only the beginning of my downward spiral.

I ended up in a state of constant comparison with others (and myself). I would end up throwing my clothes everywhere, sitting on the floor of my room stripped to my underwear, just sobbing. That sounds incredibly dramatic (and it was) but at the time I felt completely out of control and exhausted. With this type of mentality, I would never be enough for myself, simply because I wasn't practicing any form of self-love. I had essentially lost who I was — and I needed me back, badly.

Stepping Back from Self Doubt
I realized that blogging wasn’t actually the problem, it just amplified all of the other stressors in my life. I gave way too many fucks about things that didn’t matter. So I stopped. I stopped going on retail therapy binges, I stopped trying to be trendy, I stopped consuming every fashion magazine I could get my hands on, and I stopped trying to figure out what would please my followers. I took a major step back - and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Stepping Forward into Self Discovery
I was finally free from the pressure I placed on myself. I let go. There was no need to look perfect all the time — I wasn’t running to a fashion event, scheduling a photoshoot, or instagramming my #ootd. I just allowed myself to be. I started dressing in clothes I felt comfortable in. I went boho and eclectic with my apartment decor. I joined the Social Yoga and became more mindful. I made new friends, and made more time for old friends. I started living a life I was proud of. I made, and continue to make, a giant step towards letting go of insecurities and discovering what makes my soul happy.
“Keep doing the things that make you feel something. Keep doing the things you’re in love with. And if you don’t know what those are just yet, step out into the world and find them. Everything is waiting for you.”  Victoria Erickson
Stepping Forward into a New Phase
It’s a time for newness and change. I’m realizing that nothing stays the same, and we all just have to roll with the punches. I knew I wanted to bring my blog back, but in a completely different way. In my heart, I’m a writer, and I want to bring something of substance to the table — I hope my words will inspire and challenge you to think, dream, move, share, and most of all, create. I want to take you on this journey with me. It won’t always be curated, perfect, or lovely. Instead, it will be honest, authentic, and at times very vulnerable — I hope you’ll stick with me.