I think I picked a really strange topic for my first blog post back here, but… oh well! Since I’m all about shining a light on things that matter these days, and speaking my truth, I figured I better not play it safe with a boring, predictable heading. Not that this is click bait or anything, I promise.
I want to talk about over-editing life…
More to the point, what we put online (or rather, DON’T put online) for fear of upsetting other people – or coming across as a little more vulnerable than we’d like to.
(Side note: this post is also an update on a few other things).
Here’s the thing: read anything from Brene Brown (love everything this woman stands for, really – go check her out!) and you’ll get a TOTALLY different perspective on what being vulnerable is all about.
Believe it or not, being vulnerable (the right way), is NOT a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of courage.
Think about it. You feel strongly about something and you share it online or speak up about it. That my friend, takes major guts. I mean… it’s right there for all the world to judge… To comment negatively on. To roll eyes about. To laugh about. To gossip about.
Exactly… that’s not easy!
I guess that’s why I stopped posting things here for a while. It felt safer creating this other brand, this blog where I could write about self care and things that were important to me, and write them to my heart’s content.
And I DID write from my heart (mostly), but I edited the sh*t out of everything.
It literally took HOURS to publish a blog post.
(This post right here? The words are literally rolling off my fingertips as I type! I MISSED this so much).
I loved creating that blog over the last year… So damn much.
BUT, it got to the point where it felt like I WAS this blog. I couldn’t dissociate myself from it. And that was a major problem.
I’d lose myself in it.
I’d go to bed thinking about it.
I’d wake up thinking about it.
I’d go somewhere just to take photos for it.
I’d prioritise it over EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything – people included.
I was so determined to make this insane creative business in under a year… from a blog! I mean, HELLO? Just what planet was I actually living on??
Live and learn, live and LEARN.
And you do sooooo much of that when you’re wearing all the entrepreneurial hats, oh my goodness.
This year has taught me more about myself (and the digital world and everything in between) than I’ve learned over the last 10 years. Honestly… it’s opened my eyes BIG time.
It made me see things I didn’t really want to see; things I’d pretend weren’t really happening.
I realised the other day that as much as I was learning with this blog, I’d somehow managed to put myself in a creative “box”. The very thing I try so hard to avoid.
I became annoyingly obsessed with how my Instagram feed looked.
Was it the right tone?
Were the images catchy enough?
Was the copy a mini blog post with a take-away bit of inspiration every time?
And the stories… I’m so camera shy it’s not even funny, but I saw other creative entrepreneurs and bloggers talking on their Instagram stories so I was going to do it too! And I did it, and I think I did it pretty well… For a while, anyway.
And then it felt forced. Filtered. Edited.
Once you start something like that, you’ve got to keep it going.
Lately, I’ve been dreading things that used to bring me joy… things that I used to jump out of bed about.
It’s so weird.
Maybe it’s because I’ve finally realised that I’m 35, not 25 and chasing dreams doesn’t have to be a full-time gig.
Ten years ago, this would’ve been a totally different story. But blogging and creating an online business these days, no matter how small, costs money. A lot, actually if you want to stand out. (Marketing, advertising… you’ve got to do it).
And freelancing on the side just isn’t for me, I realised that this year too.
Sometimes I just want to be raw and real, in that moment – not a certain way because of a brand/blog “box” I’ve created.
That’s what I’ve been missing.
I used to LOVE writing from the heart and sharing my thoughts and musings about life. But then I got into digital marketing and it felt silly. Who would want to read THAT?! Was I over-sharing?
But that’s part of who I am. I can’t change that, nor do I want to.
Another thing I learned this year?
OWNING MY DAMN STORY.
Loving MY story. Loving who I am and where I am right now.
Embracing ALL the quirks, the awkwardness, the imperfections.
I’m an empath and an HSP, which means I feel the feels and I need to get them out somehow.
I don’t know why God made me this way. Why I’m able to read people’s emotions quickly or pick up a mood/tone in a room that no one else does, or feel pain because I’ve accidentally stepped on an ant.
I really don’t know… still trying to figure that one out, to be honest.
But what I do know is this: I LOVE to write about the feely-feel stuff.
Thankfully, I’ve had a bit of time to understand that not everything should be shared online (duh).
There’s being vulnerable and truthful, and then there’s being respectful about my privacy – and the privacy of the people I love.
I thought I wanted to be a creative entrepreneur.
I thought this was my life’s purpose…
To write. To inspire. To learn. To teach.
But, it’s not.
That’s just part of it, it’s not ALL of who I am.
In some crazy way, over the last few weeks, things have been placed on my heart. You know when you suddenly really don’t want to do something anymore? Or when you out of the blue feel a “pull” towards trying something else?
That’s where I’m at right now…
There’s this shift happening. I don’t know what I’ll do with the other blog… I put so much work into it, it feels a shame to give up on it altogether. Maybe I’ll just scale it back and keep the content as is.
But the craziest part of all this self-revelation these past few weeks is this:
I genuinely miss working with people in an office. Really.
I NEVER dreamed I’d ever say those words again.
I miss having a boss. I miss having a salary every month. I miss going away for weekends. I miss a lot of things.
Working for yourself is HARD. Damn hard. (This is a whole other post for another day).
Most of all, I miss seeing my husband get excited about holidays and some new tech gadget.
Being a dreamer is awesome and everything – and I’d never change it, but it’s soooo easy to become selfish.
And I own that, I know I’m one of the most selfish people out there – I’m working on it!
(Thankfully I’m self aware and I have the most awesome husband who I can always count on to steer me back to reality).
So. Change. YES, I’m ready.
It’s time to get out of my own head (and little self-involved bubble) for a bit.
This year has been incredible in terms of growth – both professionally and personally.
I’ve learned SO MUCH, like who I could count on in tough times and moments to celebrate the small wins…
And who I couldn’t.
It taught me one really important lesson though… and that is, to SHINE – not to SHRINK away.
Life is short, and there are no guarantees of tomorrow.
As a (former) people pleaser and (now proud) introvert, I made friends with the sidelines way too often…
For fear. Fear of the spotlight. Fear of upsetting people. Fear of conflict.
When you start letting go of people pleasing... you learn to be yourself.
You learn to be OKAY with not everyone liking you. And that’s some pretty powerful stuff right there.
Less editing REAL life. I’ll save those edits for WORK.
As far as THIS blog goes, this is where I’ll be writing filter-free like I used to years ago… again. YAY.
Because, I realised that I’m a multi-passionate… (and maybe you’re reading this feeling like you’re one too. That’s OKAY).
I can’t just stick to one creative thing for years on end. Just as I grow and evolve, so do my interests and passions.
Which btw, is totally normal!
Speaking of evolving…
I’m starting something up again… I’m giving PODCASTING another go.
Because, I don’t quit everything that doesn’t work out the way I’d imagined it to.
Not when I feel a calling to try again.
This time though, I’m doing things a little differently. There is NO creative box.
I’ll be asking for input from people, maybe even doing some interviews.
I’ll be talking about things that matter – I’m shining a spotlight on the important stuff.
Like mental health.
Like purpose and life and the messy seasons and eveeeerything in between.
Because I’m so tired of all the filters and wrapping things up in a pretty little bow.
And I’m tired of keeping quiet about things that I want to talk about (or editing them).
When I over-edit things, I feel like I’m losing a little part of who I am.
And that’s NEVER a good thing.
This was a little ramble, but I felt this crazy urge to just type away without mapping out the structure.
Maybe the next post will be a little more thought out. If you’re still reading by some miracle, THANK YOU – you are AMAZING.
I’ll be posting updates as I go here, but I’m also back on my personal Instagram account @melachiz so please come say Hi!
Till the next post…