I have been having so much fun with these spur of the moment life update posts lately. You guys ready for this one? I may or may not have just taken an anxiety pill (don’t worry – it’s prescribed ;)) because my day went from wonderful and relaxed to stressful far too quickly, and I decided it was time to calm myself down and write a little heart-to-heart to you guys.
I had a huge realization the other night. I was at the Darling x Lou & Grey dinner with a lovely group of inspiring ladies all around me, and we were asked to go around the table and discuss what we were most excited about in our lives this year. It could be as personal or work-related as we wanted it to be, and I loved hearing that most of the women around me were excited to chase their goals by pursuing an alternative career path working for themselves and doing what they love. (With a wedding or two sprinkled in there too, because come on – exciting to the max.)
In my life, the last few years have been bursting to the brim with exciting things. Last year I would have said my book coming out was the most exciting moment of my year, hands down. The year before that it was my blog taking off, developing TBV Apparel and deciding to pursue blogging and writing full-time. Before that, it was graduating college, working on a novel and diving headfirst into the vegan lifestyle. Before that, it was studying abroad in Italy, becoming a yoga teacher and exploring my passions after finally being single for pretty much the first time ever.
See? I hopped from one exciting thing to the next and in a way I let those various projects and ventures define me in a way that I didn’t even realize. Yes, they are all exciting and each of them are huge accomplishments and experiences that I am so glad to have under my belt. This year however I have purposely made the conscious effort to not take on a project so huge that it becomes my whole life — instead of diving into writing book #2 or hosting the yoga retreat I was planning on co-leading with my dear friend Emily (they are in Costa Rica on that retreat right now BTW!) or jam-packing my calendar with events and commitments all over the country… I decided to start practicing the art of saying “no” to certain things in order to open the space back up to have room for the things I knew I needed but didn’t have time for.
Those things range in simplicity from merely cleaning my apartment to having time to blog every day and create content that inspires me and hopefully inspires you guys too. I chose this superbly awesome and alternative career path for a reason, and that reason is mainly because it fulfills me in a way that is so satisfying and soul-fueling it just feels right. I really can’t imagine a more fun or fitting career for me. And a huge part of it now has to include saying “no” to things that also rock in order to make sure I continue to have time for me, for this blog and to keep putting stuff out there that you guys like to read and look at.
So, what was my answer to the question then?
To come back to the dinner question: What are you most excited about in your life this year? I almost didn’t know how to answer it! I went with the very honest and perhaps surprising answer of: “I am excited to focus on myself and relearn what’s important to me. I am excited to give my own personal health the time it deserves by finally going to the doctor’s appointments, facials & therapy sessions I’ve put off for over a year. I am also excited to have the time to create content for my blog, which funny enough even though it’s my job I often have very minimal time for because of other types of work and travel that end up being really time consuming. I’m excited to have random adventures with the people who matter most to me and to get more deeply involved with causes & companies that really matter to me. Oh, and I’m excited to spend a shit ton of time cuddling with my kitten.”
In a way, my answer may have come off as either scattered OR as someone who was concerned to not have one big, huge, massive project to work on or release like I am used to. But realizing that what’s most important to me this year is the pure and simple truth of focusing on myself was actually quite groundbreaking for me. I’ve never really thought about it that way, and perhaps my “Year of No” is finally coming together to help me realize what I am now saying yes to… I’m saying YES to everything I have started to piece together over the last few years:
Creating this blog, working on it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in order to help it grow, cultivating an audience and building a presence for my brand that is so authentically true to who I am at my core that I have upset tens of thousands of people to get here. (Dramatic numbers perhaps but doesn’t mean it’s not true!)
At the end of the day, I am a 25 year old girl learning new things about myself every day of the week. I created this blog and my brand along with it two and a half years ago, and it’s grown and evolved right alongside of me. In a way it feels so cool it makes me want to cry because I’m living out the job of my dreams, and in a way it almost makes me laugh out loud because I can’t believe that my career comes down to having this online diary.
I guess my point is I’m realizing that life isn’t so black and white. It’s about the ups and downs of the day to day (mainly the ups, because we all want to be as happy as we can) and because I share my life on the Internet — my ups & downs are just a little more out there than most. And I’m cool with that, because hopefully it accentuates your own ups and downs and brings you the whole relateability factor. Or at least hopefully it makes you realize that compared to me you are really ridiculously normal. (Lol.)
Where am I going now?
You might wonder where I’m going with this. I pretty much just felt like telling you how I feel in this exact moment, and what I feel my brand identity is turning into. I love that this is what I do for a living– love everything about it. I love sharing products with you that are meaningful to me, and yes it hurts my feelings when someone on Instagram tells me that I have been doing way too many product review posts lately, because A) Girl’s gotta make a living and B) I spend so many hours a day putting content out there that simply comes from my heart that I get zero dollars for, so it is a bummer when people see a product review post and get upset without realizing that a lot more goes into maintaining this job than that. For every product post, there are 10 straight from the heart posts, thousands of pictures & Snapchats, an entire unpublished novel that I walked away from to write for the bloggy full-time… etc. Ya feel me? No complaints whatsoever but just a bit of an explanation from my side of the screen.
And, to be perfectly honest, I always want you guys to be honest with me, so I definitely don’t take that criticism lightly. (Even if it hurts my feelings. I have thick skin, I can handle dat ish.) Which is why I am going to continue carving out time and creating space for what really matters… Which is sharing my heart, my passion for wellness/healthy lifestyle/LIFE, and my musings and photos with all of you guys. End of story. I love it and that’s my life and I always want to hear your feedback so I can keep this thing going for as long as humanly possible. (Hopefully forever?)
My Xanax has definitely kicked in by now, so this is the most stream of consciousness you’ll hear me get for a while. Would love your thoughts & suggestions for posts to come over the next few weeks… Sneak peeks include Nike running, Ted Baker‘s new activewear line, a sinfully delicious vegan & gluten-free black bean brownie recipe, a spinoff post from my friend Erin about being an outgoing introvert, and so much more.
OH & check out the DARLING MAG article I wrote (p161 of their latest issue), as their fabulously curated dinner conversations are what brought this post idea to life.
Grateful for you all, grateful for this life, and grateful for being able to calm down thanks to the healing powers of a supes fulfilling writing sesh.
From my TBB heart to yours,