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 Lara, Tamra, 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.
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...
- My parents still financially support parts of my life and I'm forever grateful for that
- 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
- I see a therapist each week for reason #2
- I think I started sleepwalking this year and it kind of freaks me out (no I don't take ambien)
- I have several guilty pleasure TV shows and get emotional watching them (such as The Vineyard)
- I still watch American idol (see above)
- My list of things I want to do never ends and can make me anxious (see #3)
- I quit my first job after college after 10 months and never felt more liberated and scared at the same time
- 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
- 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
- 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.