After leaving my job in April, knowing I’d be back at home with my kids and that I’d need something to stimulate my brain, I decided I’d start a fashion and lifestyle blog. I even took an Instagram, social media and blogging course, which was super helpful and I highly recommend this one if you’re thinking about starting any kind of online business that involves blogging or social media.
With the course under my belt, I was ready to go and so I went. It was really fun for a little bit. I even got some free and discounted products out of it. But then things unrelated to fashion started to come up and I realized I couldn’t just shut up about them, like the earthquakes in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Then the #metoo movement gained momentum like never before, and I participated. You can read why here. Then Roy Moore ran for Senate in my state and I definitely couldn’t be quiet about that.
But the shame voices were LOUD in my head. As I started to write about these things, shame whispered that I was failing at what I had set out to do, that I couldn’t just make a plan and stick to it, that I was too emotional and too controversial, that I was too loud and had too many feelings, but the things I had to say just kept coming out of me onto my keyboard. And I realized I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling like I’m too much, but I’m realizing now that this “too much” is only “too much” for people who aren’t ready to hear the truth of my experience. Women receive a lot of messages from birth about staying small and sweet and pretty, but I’ve decided that I don’t want that role anymore. It’s not my job to be small and quiet and pretty to keep everyone around me comfortable. My only job is to be who I was created to be and that person has a voice and it is loud and affirming and I have a lot of stuff to say.
Praise be! The things I needed to say were louder than the shame voices. And it turned out that they resonated with a lot of people and made a lot of women feel seen and heard and validated. And I felt a lot of relief after having said them.
So I stopped planning outfits and taking pictures of them. I unfollowed a lot of fashion and beauty bloggers and followed a lot of feminist, body positivity, social justice and mental health activists. At the same time, I realized I wasn’t constantly comparing myself to other women all the freaking time either. Hmmm. I still love a good outfit and will probably post a few here and there, but appearance is not the focus anymore. It turns out that I have way too much to say to be a fashion blogger and the world needs so much more than another pretty girl. It needs need our voices and our truths, our experiences and our perspectives. It needs our questions and our frustrations to foster change and growth.
There are still some lifestyle bloggers I follow that I love because of their humor and their authenticity, but it’s because of who they are, not because of the name brands they wear or what they look like. There’s nothing wrong with loving cute clothes and pretty things and sharing that with the world. I just couldn’t fit all of me into that one box. I’m way too much for that and that’s a really good thing.