Thursday, August 22, 2013

well hello there.

Oh, hello. Fancy seeing you here. I'd like to reintroduce myself -- my name is Julia and I haven't blogged in almost a year. 


That is a sentence I didn't think I'd ever type. But here I am, writing my first post since November 21, 2012. I'm not really sure where to begin, what to talk about, or if anyone still reads this thing. So, if you're here, and you're reading - welcome! I guess I'll update you on my life since my last post.

My life has been anything but calm since last November, and my blog starting feeling like something on my to-do list, versus something I looked forward to. I didn't set out to stop blogging last year, it just sort of happened. 

Life happened. A LOT of life happened - some good, some bad and a lot of in-between. And I've pretty much felt like I've been halfway under the water for most of 2013 - barely staying afloat. 

Sometime last year, I started to really think about this whole blogging thing. I mean realllllllly think about it. As in one night on a plane ride home from North Carolina, I had a little bit too much wine and started writing a blog post about why I hadn't blogged in almost a year (that was in March). Well, five months later, I've finally found the courage to talk about my experience with blogging - the love, hate, frustration and sadness that has resulted from my brief stint as a blogger, AND the reason that I decided to start blogging again (yay!). 

Warning: long post ahead.

I started blogging when I was very unhappy with my job. I needed the creative outlet and craved a community of like minded people. Blogging filled that void for me and generated so many wonderful opportunities for me. I met people like LaraTamra, Christin and Roxy - some of my closest IRL friends (Lara and I are even neighbors now). 

However, as anything goes, I started noticing a change in the blogging community - specifically fashion and lifestyle bloggers. What once felt like a community of inspiring women, started feeling like a group of competitive (not intentionally) comparison. I started to feel like bloggers created a false reality for themselves, and for their readers. I would read blog after blog about "wish lists" and "lust lists" and then I would see said bloggers Instagram items from their wish list the next day. I would literally stop and say, "Wait...WHAT?! Didn't they just post that this was a luxury wish list that would never be possible?!" Lies.

I also felt like blogger after blogger would up and quit their jobs and start an e-styling business, or social media consulting business the next day. This confused and worried me. It start to feel like people felt their blog was enough reason to start a business. Yes. it is without a doubt a GREAT portfolio, but call me old school when I think that you need to have real work experience as well. Like in an office. With rules. And alarm clocks. 

While these examples might seem like a rant, and you might be asking yourself, "But Julia, why would I read a blog with ugly pictures and boring stuff?" You're right. I wouldn't want to read a blog like that either. Part of the fun with blogs is that they are idealistic corners of the interwebs where rainbows and unicorns exist. But, that's the problem. It was overkill. It was TOO much. It literally made me depressed. 

Actually depressed.

It all started to really overwhelm me. I was in the midst of some personal stuff at the same time, and I started feeling very cynical about blogging. Did I want the gold sunbursts for my wall because five bloggers posted about them, or because I actually wanted them? Did I need a new couch or did the blogging world Jedi mind trick me that if my apartment was out of Pinterest, I would be cooler? 

I felt very very overwhelmed and pressured to spend money on things that I didn't know if I wanted or needed to fill some artificial void I didn't know I had. I broke down. My happy blogging corner became a place where I felt anxious, sad and depressed. And these feelings carried over into my real life, and I didn't like the person I was becoming. 

I loved blogging, I loved decorating my first apartment, and I loved the community of like minded people. But maybe it was the influx of instagram or the incessant posting of pretty things that got me jaded and frustrated. I suddenly felt paralyzed by a digital community of artificiality and pressure. #nobueno

When these feelings started to affect my life outside of blogging, I naturally stopped blogging. I didn't know what direction I wanted to take my blog, and I didn't know how personal I wanted to get. I mean all of the sudden photographers who specialize in outfit posts popped up. I MEAN REALLY? It's sort of genius, and laughable all at the same time. 

A few months ago people were talking about "5 things" you don't know about them. I was originally going to post this when Lara tagged me, but I didn't. Why? I was scared. But I decided that my blog will take a new direction now. Yes, it will still have pretty pictures, and wish lists (real wish lists), but it will also have a large dose of reality. REAL reality. The shitty things that happen, the funny things that happen, and the stories of me, a 20-something navigating post-grad life. So, if you're up for it, I'd love if you joined me on my blogging journey - 2.0.

Here are some things you may not know about me...

  1. My parents still financially support parts of my life and I'm forever grateful for that
  2. I have a paralyzing fear of being unsuccessful and miserable in my career and thus have a hard time living in the present/extreme anxiety 
  3. I see a therapist each week for reason #2
  4. I think I started sleepwalking this year and it kind of freaks me out (no I don't take ambien)
  5. I have several guilty pleasure TV shows and get emotional watching them (such as The Vineyard)
  6. I still watch American idol (see above)
  7. My list of things I want to do never ends and can make me anxious (see #3)
  8. I quit my first job after college after 10 months and never felt more liberated and scared at the same time
  9. I sometimes think I'm a 45 year old women trapped in a 25 year olds body because most nights I would rather sit on the couch with a bottle of wine then go out
  10. I don't think any job should involve being at a desk all day and I often daydream of my "big idea" (TBD) and how I can stop sitting at a desk all day
  11. I've seen Taylor Swift in concert 4 times now and I'm obsessed with her (and I don't care who knows it)
So, that's my life the past year. It's not been a good year, and I'm not going to even remotely sugar coat that. But, I'm optimistic that everything really does happen for a reason and that things will slowly start working themselves out. I want blogging to be a happy place for me again. I want to WANT to blog (and I do!), and I want to come to this corner of the web and feel inspired. 

I'm not sure how often I'll blog, probably a few times per week (that's the goal). But I promise that each post will come from the heart, and have the same dose of sarcasm and reality (I hope) you've grown to love. 


Tamra {ever swoon} said...

Preach! Amen sister. I share many of those feelings re blogging and life is best spent in the moment. Do I still have not blogging guilt? absolutely, but i think that guilt just got a little smaller after reading your post. I love J! Can't wait to follow 2.0.

Lauren said...

Welcome back miss Julia! You're post is SPOT ON! But there are still some corners of "magic" happening - you just have to find them again! If there is one thing that was said ad nauseam at LuckyFABB but is so insanely true its - "Be Authentic." So excited to see what comes of US - 2.0 style!

Sheri Ann || Sprinkles and Style said...

So glad to see you blogging again and can't wait to see where this blog 2.0 goes!

I couldn't agree more with everything you said about blogging in this post. It hits really close to home because it's how I've started feeling recently. So glad to see I'm not alone!

Alessandra said...

Get some gurl. You got this.

Grace - Stripes and Sequins said...

I loved this post Julia (although I have to admit, I often shop off my own wish lists.. BAD!) But this reminds me so much of a post I wrote on my blog last year... you said so many things here that really resonated. Just do you and get back to having fun with it... that's what I'm trying to do, anyway! xx Looking forward to reading 2.0.

ashley nicole catherine said...

So much of what you've said resonates with me and how I've felt about the blogging community and my own blog and life. I commend you for taking a step back when you realized it wasn't working for you and coming back when it feels right. I can't WAIT to read more "real" posts and I'm trying to do more of those myself. Because after all, life gets really real sometimes! xoxo

Mariel Torres said...

Welcome back Julia!
Here is the thing, I somewhat "quit" blogging for exactly the same reasons... now I blog when I truly have something to show and in my mind I only post what I would want to share with my family/closest friends who I don't see for most of the year. The real important, fun, and exciting things. Since this is real life a whole month might go by before I post again and I am OK with that. It's my life and I'm not looking to impress anyone... just share small snips of my life.

Chelle {Everyday Polish} said...

Welcome back! This post resonated so strongly with me because I've constantly struggled with similar emotions re: blogging- it seems as though something that started out as this great source of self-expression and inspiration has become this ugly competitive online version of High School and I've backed away from it several times rather than invest time and energy into an outlet that makes me feel stressed out or "less than." I decided to come back to blogging on my own terms and I'm glad you did as well! And btw, I'm as old school as you are- I think blogging as a career is great for the independently wealthy or those who marry rich but for most of us it's a side hustle to our day jobs and that's totally okay.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Julia this post really resonated with me. I am in a pretty similar boat with you. I still live at home with my family, struggled with a job that was not what I was hoping it would be, and have not blogged in weeks. When I have blogged, it has not seemed like "me" and I have felt that same pressure to keep up with things in the blogging realm. I have realized that's not who I am either and know that I have to be happy with what I have and who I am. I just got a new job too that I have been putting my whole self into and I think that it's going to shift my whole life in a good way. So I am definitely with you on keeping it real and respect you so much for it. Have a great weekend and I'm excited to read your blog again!

sara @ the hudson diaries said...

I love you and this post. I'm so proud of you! xx seeeeeeesta

Sam (Savvy City Chic) said...

I'm so glad you are back. Your blog was always one of my favorites to read especially since I was stuck at completely miserable job the same time you were. I completely agree with everything you said since I do feel like it is hard to find blogs where people post items that are realistic for people with budgets to buy. Also I am so glad I am not the only one addicted to guilty pleasure shows. I am dying to know what happens next on The Vineyard.

(Eileen) a creative day said...

So glad you are back! This post is the truth girl. I find myself all the time looking at others perfect blogs/ perfect instagrams and struggling not to compare. I always think about that quote that was floating around pinterest 'comparison is the thief of joy' and that brings me back. here's to blogging on our own terms!

Morgan Rudy said...

glad you're back! always enjoy your blog :)

ENG4815 Section 3 said...

This post hit home, not just because your list of things is very very similar to mine (Taylor Swift included!) but because I stopped writing a year ago because all my thoughts were overwhelming unhappy and instead of relieving me of my feelings, it made it worse. This inspired me to write again. Thank yo.

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