Hi friends! It’s been quite a while since my last post. Many of you have reached out, which I so appreciate, and so I thought I’d give you the low down on why I took a month-long break from blogging.
1. LIFE GOT IN THE WAY
I imagine that bloggers who have made a full-time career out of their blog sometimes confuse the line between work life and home life. Since blogging is typically a job done from the comfort of your home, often times it’s hard to remain disciplined when it comes to closing your laptop, tuning out of social media and taking some time to enjoy life. For me, that discipline was absent and I was finding myself spending hours upon hours on the computer between blogging and my job at the time, which was work-from-home. I was feeling stressed and zombie-like and totally going against all of the “rules” when working out of a home office like sticking to a schedule each day and giving yourself breaks as you would at a typical job. I’ve never been one to sweep stress under the rug and I’ve never quite understood why someone wouldn’t want to pin-point that gut-wrenching, keeps-you-up-at-night feeling and conquer it head on. So, I did just that.
I started setting my alarm every day. I didn’t need to wake up at 6am, but I also didn’t need to wake up at 10.
I made it a priority to change OUT of my pajamas after I woke up. You would not believe how easy it is to stay in sweats all day when working from home.
I snacked and ate lunch at the same time every day. I was starting to feel like a normal human again…schedules are good for your sanity!
I made it a point to get some Vitamin D every day. Sun cures all…I feel for you Seattleites.
I left the house during the day. Whether it was a trip to the dry cleaners or a walk around the block, getting out was a must.
Implementing all of these changes was major for me. Not only did it create a balance in my life that I so desperately needed, but it also cut into the time that I had dedicated to my blog (which was a lot)…but for once, I was okay with that, and so I’ve learned that every so often, it’s okay to let life get in the way.
2. I STARTED A NEW CAREER
When husband and I made the decision to move home to New York from Connecticut where we had been living for nearly eight years, that decision came with some major life-changes, one of which being our careers. I had spent the last eight years working on a degree in education and teaching elementary school while he worked as a market research analyst. Thrilling, I know. We lived a cushy life and had no qualms about supporting ourselves but we were bored. So, we did the only thing that made sense being that we had just got married, weren’t planning to have kids for quite a few years and could afford to take a few months to figure things out; we quit our jobs and moved to New York.
Once we got home, we spent the summer traveling, unpacking and lounging like a 60-year-old newly retired couple. Husband had a job lined up in Manhattan starting in September as a commercial real estate broker. I, on the other hand, was totally lost. Six years of college, a Master’s degree and little experience outside of education left me totally clueless about what direction I wanted to take. Hence, the start of my blog.
P&P kept me quite busy. I decided I wanted to build my website from the ground up. Mind you, I have no experience with coding or web design, but I have always had a knack and a love for graphic design. Building my brand was so invigorating; from choosing my color and font scheme to my website layout (which mind you changed a million times before I settled), I always had something to do. Once my blog was finally up and running, my focus shifted from design to content. I supported my blog with a teaching job as a professor at an online university, which was tough at times knowing that I was trying to leave the education field.
By the end of September, I started to dabble in marketing consulting for a family member who works as a luxury real estate agent selling hundred-million dollar homes to ridiculously wealthy clients from around the globe. I would pick apart marketing proposals, re-designing them and design various digital and print advertising materials to supplement listing presentations. I found myself loving each and every project I worked on, eager to move on to the next; and that was the very first time I ever thought about a career in marketing. The thought of it terrified me because it was a totally unfamiliar realm, while also familiar at the same time, because I had self-taught myself so many design programs over the years.
To keep it short and sweet, 6 loooong months of teaching, free-lancing, blogging and changing my mind a million times over, an updated resume and an opening in the budget for a marketing coordinator at a real estate firm, led me to my new career.
Though it’s only been a month, I absolutely love what I do. Do I have a ton more to learn? You bet; Do I feel like I came in with ample experience? Definitely not; But hey, you gotta start somewhere right? The one thing I will say is I will forever mourn my summers off. RIP.
3. I GOT TIRED OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. Snapchat. Bloglovin. Updates, updates and more updates! Let’s be honest, it’s totally normal these days for social media to be a fairly big part of our lives, especially as bloggers. However I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t the biggest pain in the ass to spend my time writing a blog post, and when I’m finally finished, share it to a million different social media channels. Now, clearly it’s not necessary to do this, but the point of sharing your thoughts on a blog is to increase exposure, right? After a while, it got tedious and felt like overkill.
I would sometimes spend as long as thirty minutes curating an outfit from my blog post on LiketoKnowIt app before posting it to Instagram (hint hint, time to develop a quicker algorithm, RewardStyle!) Furthermore, I felt like scrolling through my Insta feed to like and comment on other bloggers’ photos or fishing through my twitter feed to find re-tweetable tweets felt like homework!
I learned quickly that the blogging community is a wonderfully supportive network to be a part of. I also learned that just like in gym class, if you didn’t put in the work and do your part to, no one was going to “pick you”. In this case, if I was a total slacker when it came to networking, bloggers weren’t just going to emerge out of the woodwork to invest in my content. Eventually, though, that became something I was willing to (temporarily) deal with.
The first few days I stopped posting and checking on Instagram, I was overwhelmed. I’m laughing at myself reading that sentence back because of how ridiculous it sounds, but it’s true! This is how it went: Am I losing followers? Oh shit I definitely lost followers. Maybe I’ll engage a bit. Why am I even following this person? Definitely not wasting my time with a “love your outfit!” comment. I’m over this. And it was really as simple as that. I checked out, signed out, and it felt great.
SO – the morals of the story are: let yourself have a life outside of your blog and your social media channels. Understand that if you want to grow your audience, #youbetterworkbitch. Know that if you need a break every once in a while, that doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on the brand you worked so hard to build. Sometimes, we just need a break.
That being said, figuratively speaking, I’m feelin like I just left a spa and ready to bring some excitement back into my life, and yours, with some new posts!