It’s been a little more than a year since I started my blog. I got into it after seeing the success of “influencers” on Instagram: Young women who were posting about beauty, fashion and everyday life. It looked like fun. I have always considered myself to be fashionable despite not having deep pockets, and was the go-to for my friends and sorority sisters for make-up advice and assistance. Plus I have always liked to write. I was in desperate need of a hobby- there was a deployment pending and I needed a positive way to fill my time. I figured, why not give blogging a try!
The first couple months of blogging were great. I had a full closet of clothes to choose from, a tropical vacation on the horizon, and my husband/photographer at my side encouraging me every step of the way. We were able to hunt for new places to take pictures and explore our city together, making it that much more fun, like mini dates. When Jake left for the Middle East in late June, my life drastically changed. I moved to a new state and set up a new home. I started a new job that I eventually quit (because it was awful), then I started another new job. I have been hit with many curve balls during this time apart from my hubby, and have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions all while balancing our household. Through all of this I have tried to keep up with Instagram posts and blogs, but I was failing miserably. I was no longer putting out content that I was excited about. Rather, I just was trying to get something out…just to say I posted something. I was beating myself up and comparing myself to other bloggers with thousands of followers who consistently were posting, on stories, sharing sales and giveaways and blogs, and always looking flawless. As a perfectionist I was so upset with myself. I always– no matter how unrealistic it may be, want to be perfect, and will make myself sick worrying about perfection. My page wasn’t perfect. I was so disappointed in myself. I wanted to balance it all and do it all. I expected myself to be superwoman, but due to all of the upheaval in my life I was extremely anxious and exhausted. Correction: I AM extremely anxious and exhausted. It is a constant state I cannot seem to shake. I am at the point in Jake’s deployment where I am just done; absolutely worn out. On my days off I want to wear sweats and not do my hair and go to the grocery store and clean my house without feeling like I have to go take pictures. I was putting too much pressure on myself and came to the realization that I wasn’t having fun with my hobby any more.
I was pushing myself so hard, trying to be at the same level as these professional bloggers who have been doing this for years…bloggers who have managers, PR companies, and brands that pay them to wear their clothes and promote their products. Bloggers who can afford to frequently go on extravagant trips with their husbands and girlfriends. I had to have a “Come to Jesus” moment and remind myself that this is not my job. I have a satisfying and demanding full-time job. I don’t work from home. I do have a budget, and I cannot constantly buy new outfits. I had to remind myself that I started my blog and IG page as a fun, positive hobby. I had to reexamine my expectations and needed to get back to that original mindset.
So, with that (very) long-winded explanation, my goal for 2020 is to get back to a healthy outlook. As this deployment draws closer to the end, I am really starting to feel the effects of the months of stress and constant anxiety. I have not given myself very much grace nor much time to breathe. I want to focus 2020 on self-care and curating a healthy lifestyle with less stress. Honestly, I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this quite yet, but I do know that blogging and IG will have to take a bit of a backseat until my husband returns. I want to get back to sharing content that I’m excited about, and share things that truly inspire me and that I have a passion for. That might mean a little less fashion and more beauty, product reviews, and home décor. Who knows?! I am looking forward to finding out!
I want to genuinely thank all who have been supportive through this crazy year of ups and downs. I know there is a good chance that I will lose followers, but it has never been about numbers for me. Please understand that I am not going to stop blogging or posting on Instagram, just taking a moment to catch my breath and take some of the pressure off in the hopes of bringing you all better content. Thank you to those who are still along for the ride – Cheers to 2020!
XOXO, Cait B.