The Best Thing I've Ever Done for Myself

Ever feel like you have so much you want to say and you're not exactly sure where to start? I've got this web of ideas that I want to dive into and it could get kind of tangled, but it's worth a shot, right?

I'm pretty sure the best and most kind thing I've ever done for myself was quitting What I Wore. I debated it for years and there were a few reasons I kept on doing it - I was making great money to support my family while Adam started his own business, I was (and still am) kind of vain and liked looking at photos of myself, and I also liked building friendships from people around the world. Probably in that order if I'm being honest. 

Well after Bea was born I kind of lost my steam. I didn't feel great about the way I looked and my sponsorship offers stopped coming in (read: ground to a fucking halt!)  I wasn't super active on pitching any either. After a while I gave posting outfit photos another try, but with two children to look after, getting "ready" each day and dragging them somewhere to shoot photos (and often feeling really bad about how I looked in them) just made me miserable. Then we decided to sell our house so keeping it clean and ready to show at a moment's notice just meant my plate was overfull. You know what happens next - we move and have a new house to deal with and "deal" is the wrong word because moving here is also in my top five best things I've ever done for myself. This place is magical and I love being here with my partner and kids so much.

Anyway, I wasn't making money, I didn't feel good about my appearance and I just didn't like the direction I was going in (or the direction of the fashion blogging world for that matter). It just felt (and still feels) so freaking salesy! It went from creative and resourceful to one big commercial. I mean, I did it too, so I'm not shaming the players, I'm hating the game. 

So before I wrote that last post (a gift to myself for my 35th birthday), I mentally just let WIW go. I didn't feel dread when it had been two days without a post. I didn't even open my laptop for days at a time. I started to feel really good and I knew it was time put that little blog to bed. I cannot tell you how many mornings I would be frustrated to tears because I'd gotten up early to shower and put together some new outfit and then it didn't photograph well and it felt such a massive waste of time. 

Fast forward to now. This is the part I want to put to words and I'm not sure if I can do it properly. I feel so light! I feel so free! And I feel more beautiful - inside and out - than I have in a very long time. It's so much bigger than downsizing my wardrobe to a sweatshirt and jeans. It's really not about the clothes at all. Someday I might care about that again. But for now, clothes are just things I wear to do other things I love. Sometimes it's a cute dress, sometimes it's my work jeans. I can still feel good even if there's no photo to prove what a good outfit it is/was. #picoritdidnthappen 

So lately I've just been radiating joy. Most days. I still have times when I'm knee deep in another tantrum or sick of changing poop diapers and just OVER IT. But more often than not, I'm frustrated little things. Things I can deal with. Not frustrated with myself, my online "brand" (ugggghhhh), the game or the judgment. 

I don't want this to come across as an anti blogger or anti shopping kind of sentiment. I still like blogs. Well... let me take that back. I like some people I've found online and I've realized I don't have to follow folks who bring out my jealous side (my fault, not hers!) or my insecurities (again - that's all on me!) As for shopping, cue the Macklemore and find me at the thrift shop. I still like collecting things. Now they're 99 cent baskets instead of J.Crew new arrivals, but whatever. The shift has been really good for me. Maybe the best shift of all is just letting myself be ME, like I have in those instastories or in these rambling posts. 

And I think the gratitude I've been feeling for this new mindset is just attracting even more goodness. In a material way, I'm finding things left and right (be they in the garage, attic or at the thrift store).  My marriage has improved so much. And as Oprah would say - I feel more fully present in the deeper world around me. That's why giving up my old job was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Have a great weekend, friends! I just saw some daffodils blooming on campus and I can rally around that! Spring is coming!