"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Christopher Columbus
First and foremost, thank you dear reader for stopping by! Whether you already know me or are just meeting me now, your support is very much appreciated and I wanted to make sure that you knew that before reading any further :)
I decided to begin this post with that Columbus quote because it has always resonated with me. I can't achieve anything that I want to achieve in life unless I take a bit of a risk (a.k.a lose sight of the shore) By making this blog, putting myself out there into the world, I am taking a risk. I risk judgement, failure, emotional breakdowns, etc. But there is also so much to gain from making this blog and revamping my website, and so I have therefore decided to FINALLY cross the damn ocean. But I have on a life vest and some swimmies and a row boat on standby, don't worry.
I have contemplated starting my own blog for years. Beginning in late high school, and then carrying throughout college, my desire to create a blog never died out. I began noticing more and more bloggers making a career out of blogging, and I wanted to know how they were doing it, because I loved it and felt that blogging was such a nice way to encapsulate all of the things that I loved into one: design, writing, photography, fashion, DIY, etc
When I sat down and started making an account on Blogger during my sophomore year in college, I was very overwhelmed at how to customize things to look the way that I had wanted them to. I'd also like to add that I've never been computer savi or tech savi by any means - I have always managed to get by with Google searches and the help of friends, but for the most part, coding and all things technical have always deterred me.
And so, after trying and failing to get juuuusstttt the right template, I closed my laptop in defeat, and gave up. Additionally, I was enrolled in 18 credits worth of classes at the time and was up to my eyeballs with school work - so even if I had nailed the oh-so-perfect blog template way back then, I doubted and feared that I could have kept up with it. I commend anyone who is able to successfully maintain a blog while still enrolled in school! Teach me your ways.
So, fast forward two years, and I was a senior graduating college (I survived) and by that point, I had fixated on the idea of becoming a designer, and wanted to work at a branding agency of sorts that focused solely on graphic design. Like many other grads, I also harbored the overwhelming pressure of having to secure a steady, full-time job due to astronomical student loan payments looming in the near future.
And so, I set out on my quest to be a designer and went on a bunch of interviews at a variety of places - ranging from branding, packaging, fashion, etc. I went through the typical interview process of picking my outfits out carefully the week before, printing out several resumes and making sure they weren't creased or bent en route to my portfolio, and of course making sure that I got to the interviews on time via Google Maps (thank you Google Maps)
Well, after lots of clammy handshakes and nervous "Thank you for your time"'s, I ended up being offered only an internship, at a place that didn't necessarily thrill or excite me, and the pay was not something that anyone could realistically survive off of living in NYC (unless you felt okay living with 8 other roommates in a basement apartment in Bushwick) It was nothing personal, I just had a gut feeling that the place wasn't right for me at the time.
After going on a few more interviews later that summer, I finally landed my first full-time position as a freelance graphic designer at TOCCA in late July 2014. Fast forward a few more months and I had moved on to my second full-time freelance job at Refinery29 by late fall. After leaving Refinery29, I felt a bit more experienced after having freelanced at two different companies full-time.
By early February 2015, however, I was left to figure out what would be next for me. Except this time, I felt different. I had experienced two different spectrums of design - one being more physical/tactile, the other being more digital based, and I had enjoyed many aspects of both. Both companies dealt with fashion, which was something that I also enjoyed. I didn't, however, know where I saw myself next. But I did know that I wanted to try working for myself and "starting my own thing" - whatever that thing was going to be.
I slowly but surely began building up my social media presence and editing my online portfolio. I continued to apply for design jobs (because money) but nothing ever felt like "the one" (I know that your first few jobs in life aren't always the one, but I just had this yearning to do something that I really enjoyed all while being my own "boss," so to speak) I loved thinking of an idea and executing it all the way to the end product. I started assigning myself little personal projects that I'd post to Instagram for various holidays or occasions, and really enjoyed doing it.
All the while, I contemplated starting a blog. What would I say? I constantly thought. Could I make the commitment and stick with it? I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe and have this fear of things being "forever" - like once I put myself out onto the internet, I can never take it back, or once I commit to something, I can't get out of it, etc. That type of thinking. Of course I felt the additional fears of failure, judgement and the comparison game of "what makes me different from the million other bloggers out there?" I still feel that way, but I have also learned to get over that fear of putting myself out there on the internet because it's the only way that I feel that I can truly accomplish any of my long term goals/dreams/aspirations. I also really enjoy it, but just because you enjoy something doesn't mean that it isn't also terrifying. I've never been someone who is out spoken or who has loved being in front of people (I still don't!) and so the idea of putting my thoughts, words and personal experiences out there for everyone to see was/is a bit scary.
Additionally, I have not yet honed in on any one specific skill that really defines who I am, what I do, and what exactly this blog/website will be about. I love too many things to limit myself to just one category or skill set. I like to dabble in many different creative facets, beyond the few things that I have done in my young professional career thus far.
While trying to define what exactly my blog will be about, I began to think about other blogs - some are strictly fashion, others are strictly DIY, and they are so successful. But what would make people want to read what I have to say? I have thought about this over and over again. Will they think, this girl has no idea what she's doing or what she's talking about? The truth of the matter is, I have NO idea what anyone will think, but my inner control freak needs to let that go, and just roll with what comes from just being me and doing the damn thang!
Anyway, while I continued to live in Should-I-Make-A-Blog-Or-Not limbo in spring 2015, I unexpectedly received a direct message from Instagram congratulating me on becoming a Suggested User. This was a total shock and complete honor. It was the jolt that I needed to get my system and brain going that finally said - MAKE A BLOG NOW. So, after some shaky tears of joy, I sat down the very next day and started editing my website, in hopes to update it and make it look more blog-friendly as opposed to straight up portfolio as it has been for the past 1.5 years. This has in turn, taken me a lot longer than I thought it would.
After putting off editing my website for the past several months due to various events, projects, and a pinch of procrastination along the way, my website was unfortunately put on the back burner (whoops) And the more I put everything off, the more I began to question everything in my life, and if I was even doing what I really wanted to be doing as far as blogging/freelancing goes. I was constantly questioning myself and second guessing, so this has been a slow process, but I am glad to have finally gotten somewhere.
For the past few months, I have continued to build up my social media presence, have connected with brands for sponsorships and projects, made some great new friends, and I am now finally, finally launching this new version of my website. I am very nervous for this new chapter of my life but I am also very excited. I feel as though I am finally taking a leap of faith and following my gut feelings that tell me that this is what I should be doing. It has by no means been easy, and I have worked really hard to get everything in place (and will continue to do so) but I am glad to finally get it out into the world and to all of you!
As far as what you can expect from this blog - I'm not quite sure, if you'd like me to be completely honest. I love a lot of different things as I mentioned above, and so I think that I will hone in on specific things as I go, but for now, everything is fair game and will serve as an experiment - what does and doesn't work, etc. For now, expect anything and everything on this blog, and I mean that in the best of ways!
Thank you for sticking around to read all that I had to say! That must mean that you care! ...maybe...possibly? Or maybe you're just bored because you've already watched everything there is to watch on Netflix, and this is the only thing to help you pass the time at the moment, or maybe you're just avoiding whatever you have to do at work and are instead reading this - but that's okay! I don't care how you got here, I'm just glad that you're here, and hopefully that you're here to stay. So, please follow along with me on my journey to find myself as a creative, as a designer, as a blogger, and as a 20-something trying to just be herself in the world (Sooooo basic, I know, I know) Let's inspire each other!
All the best,
P.S. The photo below is supposed to be me telling all of my insecurities to fuck off ;)
Leather Jacket: ASOS, Similar | Top: Gap | Cropped Jeans: ASOS, Similar | Bucket Bag: Kate Spade Saturday | Sandals: Forever21 | Sunnies: Charlotte Rousse