Hello, dear readers (AKA five of my favorite, hand-picked family and friends),
I’m writing to you now, candidly, for the first time in probably forever since I started this blog two years ago. I just came to a weird, yet liberating mental breakthrough, and I thought it best to just let it flow from my fingers and onto the (web)page for all of you.
For literally years now, I’ve idolized the idea of being a blogger. Fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, whatever. I had this image of myself taking beautifully-photographed OotDs and landscapes of my latest adventure. I moved to Oregon convinced that it would provide new opportunities for me to “be discovered” and finally live out my dreams of working from home and being someone’s idol. I’d have the creative freedom I’d always wanted, and my work would be taken in and admired by all of you and more. I could write, act, produce, sing, whatever, and people would take it. I mean, technically, I can still do all of these things, but it became incredibly frustrating and disheartening when none of these things added up as quickly as I had hoped. For some reason, my naive self pictured me here, in Oregon, two years later, ready to pack up and move to New Zealand with a published book and an online business in the works.
Obviously, life is hard, and you have to work at it. Tonight, while procrastinating cleaning, I was in a YouTube spiral which led me to this interview of Leandra Medine by Alexa Chung for British Vogue. Of course, sitting here working on the same blog-editorial calendar I’ve been nitpicking since LAST MAY, I was intrigued as to how to become a better blogger, but I had no idea what was in store. Watching this two, unabashedly them women, I was inspired. I’m inspired by their style, their stories, but most important, they’re DGAF mentality. Leandra, in the interview explicitly says, “Don’t try to be something for everyone, be everything for someone.” And that really struck a chord with me. I feel like, everyone has been telling me this for years, I know, but for some reason, tonight, this hit me. Hard.
I paused the video, stared down at the notebook in my hands, and freaked out. So much of my interests were poured out on the paper, but in this weird “blogger” version of myself that I’ve tried to be for so long now. So many of my ideas were hipster and cookie cutter, and frankly a little too-Portland if you ask me, and I just realized a few things about myself.
Firstly, my blog has been a huge stressor for me. Much of my anxiety stems from the fact that I’ve spent an entire day without working on my blog, hence why 2016 was such a difficult year for me. I consider this space the perfect compilation of all of my dreams. All of the goals I’ve been daydreaming about for years now are meant to come to fruition in this space, and the fact that they haven’t yet, stresses me out.
That being said, a huge reason I haven’t followed my dreams is because of a lack of passion in the content I’ve been creating. I think this entire time, I’ve been formatting my posts to fit some sort of “niche”. I told myself I was being genuine and that these posts were helping others as well as myself, but in the end, I was incredibly displeased with everything I’d been producing. None of it was to my impossibly high standards, and everything seemed too formal, too on-balance to be unapologetically me. And I think, in that, I was trying to change myself.
I realized tonight, over a long-winded (on my part) conversation via text with Rochelle (hi, Roch), that I have been holding myself back from the things I’m truly passionate about, because I keep forming these bizarre standards about how the world should be. I’ve been making my blog posts too cookie-cutter, because I feel that’s how the internet views “perfection”. I’ve been going to work in all black because I feel like anything else, the world views “unprofessional”. I’ve been avoiding that STUNNING blue lip color in the bottom of my drawer because, in my opinion, the “respectable people” of the world will frown and scoff at me. In reality, I’m only hurting myself!
I don’t know, this is long-winded and convoluted, but I think it’s important for me to be candid. It’s important for me to type all of this out, and let you all know that from here on out, I’m going to be me. This space is going to be mine. It’s going to ooze bright colored makeup, and sequins, and I’m going to talk a lot about Lord of the Rings and my favorite British boyband members. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, that’s fine. But you should read anyway, because I’m going to need all the support I can get.
I decided that my word of 2017 is “Adventure”, assuming that it’d inspire me to travel more, but I really think I was meant to embrace the adventure within myself again. I look back on the blue-haired me at the coast, not-knowing an engagement was about to spring onto her, and I see confidence and happiness. She was beating to her own drum, and she was comfortable and happy in a place she loved with a human she loved. But when I really think about embracing my own adventures, I need to look back even farther, back to that blonde-beehived girl in the sequined dress, singing her heart out for her friends and family, always craving that center stage. She was truly following her dreams, and I think I can pull a lot of inspiration and adventure from her.
Thanks, as always, for reading xo
Love, Amanda Jean
P.s.-What is one adventure of yourself you’ve yet to embrace? Let’s do it together.