life

Musings & Updates After a Break From Blogging

Hello again. It’s been a minute since I posted here, creative burnout is real, especially when you’re supposed to be creative for a living, outside of your side project.

Around April I was started to feel creative burnout fueled in part by the rat race that Instagram & Blogging can feel like sometimes, but also my 30th birthday was approaching in June and it had been on my mind quite a bit (dreading).

By April, I’d honestly lost sight of why I had been blogging for so long and was so keen to keep up with everyone else around me that I couldn’t do it anymore. Why was I trying to keep up with the popular girls? I’ve never been one to do that and that’s not who I am at all.

There are a handful of bloggers whose actual blogs I still visit because they don’t feel like one giant advertisement, or like they’re constantly trying to sell something. They’re authentically authentic. Perhaps my favorite is Anouska, based in Ireland. I follow her adventures on Instagram and I love how unapologetic her blog posts can be.

But blogging has become a full time job for some people — great, it’s awesome you can do that, but if your site becomes consumed by sponsored posts, particularly if it’s a style blog, I don’t feel like I’m getting the authentic experience I once found. I don’t care about the affiliate links, we all do that but if I find myself reading a post on laundry detergent…I’m out.

And I also grew tired of seeing the same Instagram posts from a good chunk of people I used to follow. Lavender field shot? Check. A visit to Sketch in London? Check. (Instagram literally killed my desire to visit Sketch.)

What happened to individuality?  And that is the crux of what I’ve been struggling with the past few months. I focused my energy elsewhere and just recently started to slowly crawl my way back into blogging.

The Garden

As May rolled around, Ryan & I started to build our garden and that consumed a good chunk of my time this summer. It was a good distraction from craziness at work and it also felt so good to see things grow and produce food that I had nurtured from a seed.

my garden full of herbs in our greenhouse

My learnings here were broad, and I’ve already started plotting new beds for next spring as well as veggies that will grow until November/December in our greenhouse. I had failures in the garden that resulted in me ripping things out about halfway through their growth and that was hard to swallow. You watch these living things that have grown tall and should start producing their fruit soon but you realize they’re not in the right spot, don’t have the right support, and are hindering other plants around it. (There’s a metaphor in there, I’m sure.)

I didn’t plan very well going into laying out the garden. I remember my mom having a veggie garden when I was little but not when I was older. So I just kind of threw things into spots not knowing how they will grow. Like I did not need 7 zucchini plants. Oops.

The hardest thing about that is knowing you’ve failed and that you have to wait months until you can plant those particular things again. Two whole seasons will pass before you can try again. If anything it’s helped me get over failure quicker despite having to wait longer to try again.

I’m also learning how to use and harvest different herbs. Not just for culinary use but for herbal remedies. I’ve purchased a few books from Rosemary Gladstar with recipes on herbal remedies and essential herbs to have in the garden.

As I’m just starting out, I’ve learned patience is key here because my herb garden is not nearly as extensive or well developed in one season as hers may be. So patience is essential. Everything is slower in the garden, which is perhaps why I’ve found so much solace in it.

Turning 30

I dreaded turning 30. It’s just seems like such a daunting number as an age. My birthday week kind of coincided with Bass Coast Festival this year and if anything it helped me transition into turning 30.

I looked around me and most of these festival goers were seasoned. I was not surrounded by 18 year olds. This new festival culture I’ve become a part of is not commercialized EDM. It’s about community, art and personal connection. It’s about the artists who aren’t “mainstream.” Yes it’s about having a party too, and our party crew has grown exponentially. Our community has grown exponentially though as well.

I spent two months leading up to Bass Coast making my own festival gear. It was a project. My vest took over 40 hours of work. Carefully placing tiny tiny rhinestones is exhausting. I even bedazzled a bra top and added prism fringe to it. (The festival theme was Prism.) And I was proud of myself because in previous years I saw the creativity of DIY outfits and I never made time for it. I decided this would be the year I made time for it.

festival rhinestone jacket vest Ryan was in Spain for work for over a week and spent most of my evenings gluing for 4-6 hours. And I did it. I completed my project, accomplished my goal and now I’ve got this kick ass vest that no other person has. I started another project with a denim jacket that I hope to finish this fall. Bedazzle all the things!

Reaching Goals & Professional Growth

My birthday month also brought new professional growth: a promotion and a raise outside of the normal rewards schedule. I was not expecting it and it was such a delightful surprise as I went into my 1:1 with my manager.

The icing on the cake? Approval to attend a conference in London in September, which accomplishes a goal I’ve had for a very long time.

In 2008 I went to Ireland and decided one day I would move there and be a designer. That didn’t happen but at my last job there was an opportunity to do an international exchange and “work” abroad in one of the offices for two weeks. I spent 4 years at that job being told I would get a shot and get to go to our London office. The year that it was finally my turn, the selection committee decided the creative team didn’t have a valid reason to send anyone abroad.

I was devastated. My goal evolved into just being able to go on an international business trip. When I took this job I didn’t realize that would be a possibility but the number of international conferences my team members speak at is high so I knew one day I’d get that shot but never pushed for it because I was new. But the chance arose and I am fulfilling that dream.

Three trips to London in three years. Be still my heart, I never could have dreamed that this would be a reality.

Now

And so here we are. Summer is winding down and days are getting shorter and I’m sliding back into this blog thing at my own pace. Even though summer was short and I don’t want it to end, I am shopping for autumn & Halloween decor. I’m thinking about the photoshoots in autumn leaves and all the coziness our home brings with autumn & winter.

I get to travel for work quite a bit over the next month, which I’m excited about and am looking forward to. Travel in autumn makes me all starry-eyed because of how idealistic the season is to me. I love it.

xx
Steph

 

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