It’s crazy to think I have been blogging since HIGH SCHOOL! That is almost 6 years of writing posts, styling photos, brainstorming ideas and more importantly learning who I really am through a tiny outlet on the internet. There has always been something about blogging that drew me in – maybe I loved sharing my thoughts with anyone who would listen. Maybe it was the written portion because I’m a sucker for some sweet words. Or maybe it was seeing an idea through from conception to creation, another love of mine. Whatever it was it was mine, and it captivated me over and over again.
I genuinely thought for a long time that I would never ever even think of quitting. It didn’t matter how many people read what I wrote or cared about the items I was posting – this was for me. I created in all of my free time and fell even deeper in love with it.
And then – and I think this happens to us all at some point – life became a little more serious. Maybe it was being on my own away at school, or maybe it was the idea that real life sh*t was about hit me like a brick wall. I started caring about all of the things I shouldn’t and I stopped focusing on the work I was doing because I didn’t have time to do it anymore. There was school, work, student loans, friends, family, my own personal issues, staying healthy and fit, trying to find a career path… My head was spinning and I started to resent blogging because it took away pieces of this life I thought I was creating.
When I was still at a point where I was trying to fit it all in, I also had the mindset that it was silly to use a small hobby as an excuse to ignore my “real life” responsibilities. Unless of course it was making me money or I made an obligation to other people, in this case brands. I started desperately wanting to make a profit from my blog. Not because I wanted to cash out on clothes and fancy travels, but so I would have an excuse to work on this thing I so desperately needed to be a part of my life.
I decided the answer to all of this was hustle. Hard work. That’s what all the podcasts say to do right? All of the self help books? They say if you don’t like where you are then WORK to get out it. Don’t sleep, lose your friends, do the freaking work.
So I did.
I scheduled every minute of my day and left zero room for flexibility. I ended every day with a headache and a dread for the next morning. But I woke up and I worked again spending every spare minute on writing and planning and shooting for Instagram.
When I think about this time I feel sad and angry. I wished I hadn’t burnt myself out and I wish I had known there actually is another way. The reality of it all was – I stopped doing what I loved to do for the sake of loving to do it. I started setting crazy goals, and getting upset when I couldn’t reach them. I worked until I was burnt out, and started dreading the whole process. I didn’t fall out of love with blogging, but instead I ran myself into the ground until the motivation and passion wasn’t there.
I started to work less on my blog, partly because I ran into some personal and family issues that I began to prioritize and partly because I didn’t have the slightest clue who I was and why I was writing or sharing my life online. I started to question the whole point. And then I started to realize that the reason I was had any questions at all was because it stopped being about me. For me.
The last few months I have been trying something new. I stopped setting numerical goals for myself and started simply seeing how I felt about things like posting on Instagram, making stories, writing, shooting. All of it. I think the biggest thing I stopped doing though, was putting pressure on myself. Because guess WHAT – you don’t have to do that to succeed! What a friggin concept. You get to define your own success, and it doesn’t have to feel like settling. Some days I told myself that blogging just wasn’t my priority – and guess what, that was okay! Some days I didn’t take a workout class because I wanted to go shoot, and guess what? That was okay too.
We have to eliminate the idea that working ourselves into the ground or prioritizing what other successful people do is going to make us successful. In all honesty it will probably do the opposite. You are your own person and the only recipe that will take you to the top of your game is your own. So write it yourself! Write it from scratch! Write it through trial and error, by trying out MILLIONS of different ingredients if you have to. I know I did.
And if I’m being honest I’m still far from having it right. Life does this funny thing where it gives you everything you need when you need it. So from now on I’m going to be living on my terms and doing what feel best for me. And waiting for my time to finally get it all right.