I’ll be honest, I’ve been meaning to write this blog post since the beginning of the year. How it’s nearly the end of March now, I’ve no idea (seriously, how are we almost 4 months into 2018 already?!) but I guess it’s better late than never! It’s no secret that I’ve been seriously off the radar over the past few months, and my life has become one big list of things I’ve been ‘meaning to do’ since January. Well I’m finally ready to start crossing some things off that list and get back on the radar and to me it feels like this post is a necessary way to explain my absence, tell you my plans for the future and kind of act as the turning point, written evidence of the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Plus, I’m super excited about this year and it’s about time that I started damn well writing about it! So here goes….
2017 wasn’t exactly the best year for me in a lot of ways. I got stuck in some seriously toxic situations, the kind of situations that make you question everything about yourself and what you believe, somehow lose your identity without even realising and leave you empty and confused for a long time even after you’ve managed to get out. The past few months for me have been a truly amazing time, getting back in touch with myself, reminding myself of the things I love and figuring out how to live a life more in-line with who I am and what I want. It’s been a time of incredible self-growth, and I’ve honestly never felt better! It’s like somewhere in my had a switch has flipped and I’m suddenly in-tune with myself in a way I’ve never been. My whole mind is different, my energy is different, instead of being a struggle, things are just seeming to flow. It feels like life is just beginning again, I’m so excited for everything to come and at last I’m in a place for self love: to appreciate myself, the things that I have and just how far I have already come!
At the end of one year and the start of the next, I love to look back on what has been, take some time to appreciate how much I’ve achieved, how much things have changed, notice the highs and the lows and the things I’ll take from the year. And then look at what’s to come, how I can live better in the new year, the things I want to do to make me happier and the goals I want to achieve. The best way to focus on what I want for the future is to sum up in a word what I envisage the year being about. 2018 I decided was going to be the year of Self. Sure, it sounds like a bit of a cliche, like ‘Woooh 2018 is gonna be MY year!’, but I mean it in the most honest, stripped back, down to earth way possible. Self love, self discovery, being alone, being true to myself. In a nutshell: learning to be happy just with myself. Learning to trust that my Self is enough, whatever that looks like. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things that we think we ‘should’ be doing, social pressure, stress, and the endless assault of information, FOMO and ideas that the world throws at us every single day. Unless you take a step back, you end up just powering along without taking the time to think about whether you’re actually doing what’s right for you, instead of what you think you ‘should’. It’s scary that once you do look at your life from the outside, you might realise you can’t actually see yourself in it. I’ve been realising more and more over the last few months that the only way any of us will ever be really truly happy is if we’re living a life that’s in-line with our true selves, our core values at the base of it all and living for what we genuinely need rather than what we think we should want.
The only way to be truly happy is by living for what you genuinely need rather than what you think you should want.
There’s a hella lot to say about all that, and I’m sure I will do in many posts to come, but for now I’m just going to focus on one little bit of it: what all that self love means for me and my little corner of the internet. I have always loved creating, and creativity is without a doubt one of the values that I need to live my life by in order to be happy. If I’m not being creative, I feel stunted, shrunk and useless. I’ve been blogging for a long old time now (coming up to 8 years I think!) and I realised at the end of last year that somewhere along the way I’d fallen out of love with it. I originally started my blog because I wanted a place to be creative, and because I had always just loved to write. But at some point it had turned into just another ‘should’ on my to do list. I wasn’t doing anything creative with it, I wasn’t writing about things I really cared about or wanted to share with the world. It had become a really negative drain on my energy, something shoved to the bottom of my to do list day after day, another stress hanging over me of a task that I never seemed to have enough time to do. I knew I didn’t want to stop doing it (after all, it’s what I’ve built my entire career on) but I knew that something big needed to change in the way that I thought about it, and what I was doing. So I guess that’s where I’ve been for my impromptu blog hiatus over the last few months: brainstorming and figuring out what I really want to be doing here, how to make myself fall back in love with it again!
And guess what I figured out the answer was (surprise, surprise..)? Be more myself. Yep, it really is all about Self love. I have this space on the internet but it hasn’t really looked like me for a long time. I was sharing only the things I thought I ‘should’ instead of what really mattered to me. I was editing out parts of my life or interests that weren’t obviously instagrammable enough. When what I actually want to be doing is learning to build a life based around self love, sharing my own thoughts and stories, doing things that I love, using this space to write about things I really care about, talk about real things, create something that I actually want to give the world. I’m not sure what it was holding me back from that before, but now that I’m no longer held back from being myself in the rest of my life, it seems like a pretty obvious thing to do the same everywhere else!
So from now on, that’s what I’m doing here. Less ‘here’s what I wore today’, more of my actual thoughts and interests. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my fashion and beauty content and I want to continue creating beautiful imagery, but instead of writing bland posts about what I was wearing, I’ll be writing the thoughts that it inspired, or how I felt, or what I was thinking about that day. I’ve got so many interests in real life and so much to say, so why don’t I share them here? No wonder blogging wasn’t making me happy when doing it meant shrinking parts of myself down and editing my personality so that I’d fit more neatly into an instagrammable square.
It’s scarier in a lot of ways to be more open on the internet, more yourself. It’s easier to facetune out the parts of your life that you don’t like, arrange your personality into the perfect instagram layout, but it’s definitely a lot less fulfilling.
I hope that you will all still like it, that I won’t feel stupid sharing my own thoughts and opinions on life and the things that I’m learning, that I won’t feel like a condescending fraud pretending to be able to write about real life issues or giving advice, or a crazy hippy talking about being zen, or my thoughts on mindfulness and mental health. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because I’ll be going back to blogging for the reasons I started: because I loved to write and I wanted to create something that I was proud to put into the world, even if no one actually read it. I hope that you’ll all stick with me to try out the next part of this story, I can’t guarantee you’ll love it but I can promise you one thing: it will be mine.