Two months later and hello! In case you were wondering, I took a little break over here. It wasn’t really on purpose. One week, I missed writing a blog post, and then the next week I didn’t write one, either, and then again and again the next and next weeks.
I kept thinking to myself, I should really write something, but then I’d get bogged down with what outfits I’d shoot (because that’s what lifestyle bloggers do, gosh dang it), whether or not I wanted to (or could afford to) pay for photography that week, not wanting to just write “filler” content (see: my last post where I was really reaching to get just about anything that came to mind written and published), not feeling inspired, and blah blah blah. I feel like I’ve been here and written about this inner-tug to slow down and step back before. Oh, why yes, I have.
So, I’m not complaining over here — just being honest: I let life get in the way of writing and then wallowed in the realization that I let life get in the way of writing. And then (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard this story) something awful happened to the unrelenting people pleaser that I am.
I heard that someone I used to work with, and looked up to, was reading one of my past blog posts aloud to a room of people to mock and ridicule it. Okay, I know what you may be thinking: Who cares? Unfortunately, and I’m working on this, I care a lot about what other people think of me. (Even people I shouldn’t care about.) And I really, really like people to like me. I am 100-percent not one of those people who can make someone mad or get into some conflict and just let it simmer. I NEED resolution.
So, when I hear that someone who has way more interesting things to talk about took the time to make fun of someone doing what they love, it stings. I know that, in perspective, this is a sand fleck of misfortune that will happen in my lifetime, but it kind of felt like a kick when I already felt down.
I couldn’t get out of my own head and kept thinking, If THAT person gives a crap to drag me through the mud, who else is taking the time to badmouth me? How many other people think what I’m doing here is silly and laughable? And then, after spoiling way too much time thinking about this, and after my mom told me, semi-kindly and more than once, to “GET OVER it,” I finally began to feel bad for that person.
I realized it is pretty pathetic that someone with as much success and accolades as this former mentor of mine feels the need to make cracks at a young person going after her dreams. Sad, and, in the slightest, if I twist my brain enough to get there, flattering. As Taylor Swift says, “Haters gonna hate.” (I can’t believe I just wrote that…)
Anyhow, in the midst of my accidental hiatus, I’ve been sitting back, literally, and considering a few things. One of them is what, precisely, I want to do in this space that is Freckles and Figs. The idea I’ve maintained about my blog is that it’s a place for women to come, read, and hopefully relate in some way to the messes, triumphs, and sincere words I (try to) write. And I want it to start conversations about independence, creativity, relationships, failure, authenticity, and life, to sum it up in one word.
I still want all of that.
But I also want to somehow free my brain of the confines I admit I’ve placed around this space, which is technically a lifestyle blog. When I see other lifestyle bloggers unwrapping their new clothes and beauty products on Snapchat, or posting their LIKEtoKNOWit photos on Instagram, or having perfect photography and hair and skin and flat lays — I find myself trying to keep up with the Happily Grey’s and Cupcakes and Cashmere’s out there. But all that is not really me.
I relish words, the stories and communication with like, and unlike, minds. I do think beautiful branding and consistent messaging — visually and written — is important for a successful blog, but I don’t want my aesthetic and social presence and comparisons to other bloggers to dictate what I’m doing with my site. I want those aspects to be more of a secondhand experience, with conversations paving the way foremost. Basically, I don’t want to overanalyze the look of what I’m doing and, rather, focus wholly on the message I aim to get across in each post.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is the idea of getting out of your own way. Michael Bosstick, the husband of blogger Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential, spoke about this notion on their podcast, called Him and Her (highly recommend for creatives and entrepreneurs). He said that we all have reasons for why we are or, more importantly, are not making certain moves, but all of those reasons come with a clear choice. If you want something and talk about wanting something, but do nothing to move toward that something, you are in your own way. Move.
So, here I am, moving. Not making excuses and instead making a choice to keep on pursuing all things that make me feel happy and fulfilled — no matter what anyone else has to say about it.