When I first started my blog, I had endless ideas flowing through my brain. Every item I bought or product I tried, I couldn’t wait to take photos for the blog and write about it. I made business cards and notepads, bought blogging planners, met with friends to share all my ideas, and couldn’t wait to dive in. But what I didn’t plan for was the hard stuff- the competition, the pressure, the lack of creativity, the need to “keep up.” With the movement that is happening on Instagram and in the blogging community right now, I can’t help but feel the need to speak up; to share my experience and my story, and the honest truth of why I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to.
Starting my blog, the idea was to be an intersection between fashion and wellness. Gratitude & Grace stood for the journey I was on to becoming more grateful, more graceful. However, if I sit here and reflect on what I’ve delivered through my blog, I’m not sure I’ve stuck with my intention. The constant need to keep up with what other bloggers were doing took away from the true authenticity of what I was trying to do. I didn’t start this blog to become famous or make a ton of money. I started it because I had a love for writing, a passion for wellness, a shopping addiction, and some extra time on my hands. Scared and afraid of what I was getting myself into, I decided to create the blog for me.
Yes, that may sound selfish being that a blog should be written for your followers, right? Well I can attest to the simple fact that when you start writing the blog for people other than yourself, you start to stay away from the true intentions of what drove you to start it in the first place. The “blogging world” and social media comparison game is intense, y’all. I went from posting merely what was on my mind to obsessing about what I wasn’t posting enough of. I began comparing myself to the posts other bloggers would write, the photos they would share, the outfits they would wear- I became OBSESSED with feeling not good enough. And I became so overwhelmed that I just stopped. I stopped writing posts, I stopped coming up with ideas, and I stopped writing the things I was truly passionate about.
Every now and then I would feel the need to write an honest post about something that was weighing on my heart, but then I would immediately freak out. Maybe this isn’t what people want to see or read, maybe this is too “real,” maybe people will find it heavy or depressing. But what was happening in those moments is that I was being vulnerable. I was opening up, sharing perspective, normalizing struggle, embracing failure. Sure that is scary as hell, but it is also very real. Rather than seeing it as an opportunity to challenge norms and take risk among the blogging community, I saw it as a lack of creativity. I would start thinking that maybe I don’t have cute enough clothes to post, maybe I’m not skinny enough, or just maybe people didn’t want to see somebody like me in this space.
The truth is- I’m beginning to not really care. I don’t care if my blog isn’t what you’re used to seeing, I don’t care if my blog has less outfit posts because I don’t have a constant photographer following me, and I don’t care if only one person reads it. Because I’m doing it for ME. This is my space and my digital diary, that I can look back on one day and see where I was at as a 20 something year old girl in a crazy world.
So let this be an honest post about my insecurities as a blogger in a world where perfection is overrated and competition is everywhere. Let this be my declaration that moving forward, I will only post things I WANT to post (not what I feel like I need to post) WHEN I want to post them. Maybe that’s once a day, once a month, or once a year. Whatever it is, it’s okay and it’s enough.
Let 2018 be our year of vulnerability, truth, reality, and togetherness. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to what we feel we “need” to be and start being who we truly are. In closing, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
BE YOURSELF; EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN. -Oscar Wilde