Friday, December 6, 2019

A personal update.

    I haven't blogged in 8 months and I have to admit I'm a bit rusty at it. I honestly didn't mean to step away for so long but it was something I needed to do for myself and my mental health. For those of you who have never tried blogging or becoming an influencer and putting your life out for the world to see you might not understand why the break was needed but I'm going to do my best to be fully transparent and share with you. 

     Blogging is a lot more than just writing words onto a page and hitting publish. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that no one ever sees. You have to do research on SEO and coding, figure out what's trending and who your target audience is, and learn about every different social platform out there in hopes that your blog has a chance to be seen. Not to mention doing the project or review of whatever your post is about, photographing, editing and finding your keywords.

     Basically, you have to find the secret formula to success. While doing all of this, it's easy to start comparing yourself to those in your niche, wondering why they have found success while you struggle. Or maybe you're on the opposite end and success happens almost overnight and one of your posts goes viral. The pressure to keep up that momentum can cause a person tons of stress as well.

     After 6 years of blogging with quite a few small breaks in between, I realized that I wasn't truly happy. And I should have been. My life was finally on the right track, my kids were happy and healthy. I'd gotten engaged and bought a house I love. I was finally getting the opportunity to travel a bit, my job was going well and I was healthy. I should have been ecstatic!

     That's when I realized that I was unhappy with myself, with how I was feeling and with how I felt others saw me. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough to be a blogger and those feelings were coming through in my writing and my desire to write.

 Here's a quick back story, right before I got divorced I was diagnosed with situational depression.  I kinda laughed at it at the time because everyone has situations in their life that are depressing. I didn't put much weight in the diagnosis, to be honest, and just kept going on with my life. That was the wrong thing to do. Instead of getting the help I needed I tried to validate myself through blogging, placing my self worth in the success of my blog and how many likes I got on Instagram. What was I thinking! That was the exact opposite of what I should have been doing, it was only exacerbating my depression and I  needed to take a step back.

     I'd just hit 40,  put on more weight than I'd like to admit,  and was feeling frumpy and lost. I was happy on the surface but deep down something was off, I just didn't know what. I struggled with these feelings for 2 years. Telling myself I was just feeling sorry for myself. The post I wrote reviewing the Instant smile product sort of opened my eyes to what was going on and set in motion some much-needed changes. Since writing that post I have undergone 2 oral surgeries and have 8 more to go. The changes can't be seen yet but the fact that I'm finally doing something about it has me feeling empowered! 

     I made some lifestyle changes and the weight I loathed slowly started to come off, which gave me more energy. With that extra energy, I was able to spend more time with my kids playing games, taking walks and exploring places near our home. My heart is full because of it and I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm now really living instead of just going through the motions and that is something that I haven't done in a very long time.  As an adult and mother, the responsibilities of everyday life and taking care of others can often take over and cause us to form a day to day routine that leaves an emptiness. That emptiness slowly grows and before you know it you're left feeling like you've either lost yourself or that you're a shell of what you used to be. At least that's how it went for me.

     Now I may have been extreme in my thinking but I decided to start my own business, make a little extra money to help support my family, continue the remodel on my 104 yr old farmhouse and challenge myself to break out of my comfort zone. That's why I chose to become a presenter with Younique. Not only am I learning skills that I've always wanted to learn when it comes to makeup application but I've found a confidence I didn't know I had. If you would have asked me to go live on Facebook a year ago and do my makeup I would have laughed you out of the room. Now I do it once a week. Yes I make mistakes and yes I'm still nervous as hell when I do it, but I do it, and that's huge for me. Just like with my nail art, I try to show the realness about it, the struggles that some of us have and just be me. Someone that people can relate to, and maybe even learn from. 

     Because of all the changes in my life I've decided it's time for the blog to change and evolve with me. I want to share my thoughts on things outside of nail art but still beauty related, maybe throw in a few clothing related posts as well. I don't have it all figured out yet, am I going to continue with this blog or start a new one? (I hate the thought of throwing away 6 years of work) Do I want to do a scheduled rotation of material? How many posts do I want to try and do a week.? Just like me, this is a work in progress and I have a feeling I'll figure it out as I go.

      I no longer place my value on how successful my blog is, how many views or comments it gets. I don't count likes anymore to validate my choices. I just want a place to share my thoughts and interests and to chronical my journey of self-love and discovery.

    I just hope that you'll stay on the journey with me and we can learn from each other along the way. That my struggles might empower someone to make the changes they need to be fulfilled and happy and maybe just maybe someone will be inspired. 

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