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Paper Bag Pants & Figuring Out the Next Step

paper bag pants outfit

Paper Bag Pants, similar—also love this pair | Crop Top, similar—also love this one | Leopard Clutch, also love this one | Strappy Sandals, similar | Sunglasses, similar

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve struggled to sit down at my computer and write content for this blog the past few months—maybe you’ve noticed? We all hit creative ruts, and I’ve been in this place before, but it’s never lasted quite so long.

For the first time ever, I just let it be. I felt like I needed a break, so I gave myself one.

It was hard though! I’ve been running this blog for so long, it’s hard to slow down, let myself go a week (sometimes longer) without writing a post or showing up less and less on Instagram. But, man did I need it!

So much of this year, I’ve asked myself, “what the hell am I doing?!”. What was the end game here? Did I really want to blog forever? Honestly, no—not forever! Not because I don’t enjoy writing or photography, in fact, I still love those things—but not when I feel forced to do them.

After we got back from Colorado, I felt so rejuvenated! I don’t think I realized how much I was craving that time to disconnect, spend time in nature, with family and without the pressures of everyday life.

paper bag pants
paper bag pants

I realized while we were there that I’ve been spending so much energy this year trying to figure out what’s next. For whatever reason, I’ve felt like I have to openly declare that I’m a certain type of blogger–wellness, mom, fitness—whatever it is.

But, here’s the deal…

I don’t really know exactly what type of blogger I want to be, and I don’t think I have to decide. So, for now, I’m going back to just enjoying it—sharing my journey and life with you guys when the inspiration strikes.

After having Owen, something really shifted inside of me. I was already having this “what’s next” itch, but that really sent it into overdrive. Our lives had changed dramatically, as one might expect!

The hustle and bustle and constantly being “on” of being an “influencer” was sucking the life out of me. I found myself turning inward and just wanting to be with my family without the added pressure of documenting it all on social media. I’d feel guilty when a whole week had passed and I’d only posted once or twice on Instagram, even though the break actually felt me feeling recharged!

chicago blogger
chic summer outfit

The nature of being a blogger or influencer is that you’re always on, your personal life is made public and to continue to grow and be successful doesn’t allow you much time for breaks. And, I’d like to be able to step away from my inbox and phone for a week or two without it having a direct affect on my paycheck.

What used to be an exciting job started feeling like a hamster wheel of sorts. Every month it was the same song and dance—I’d start back at zero and re-start the whole process of securing more brand collaborations, push out more affiliate links, blog posts, Instagrams and in the back of my head continue to wonder—was this it? Was this what I was destined to do the rest of my life?

The go-go nature of it used to be something I thrived on, but now it just felt like I was always behind and I was constantly stressed about how I was going to balance it all. I couldn’t just enjoy the moment, because as soon as I’d finish one project or blog post, it was onto the next. I’d rarely even take the time to properly share and promote that great piece of content I’d just written! I was creating content for the sake of creating content—not because it was actually making a difference in people’s lives.

paper bag pants outfit
paper bag pants

It was exciting for a while, but eventually it started feeling a little bit empty.

The part of blogging that has always made me happiest is knowing that I’m helping people—even if it’s just one person!

My biggest problem? Knowing exactly how to help you guys. I’m not an expert in most things I talk about here, but what I lack in professional expertise, I make up with in passion and dedication!

In my efforts to find a better balance between work and life, I wanted to create something that would help people, but not require as much daily energy from me. Something that wasn’t fussy or complicated or difficult, and something that was built out of my own personal struggles and experience. Something that allowed me to be more present in my own life, but also serve more people simultaneously.

I wasn’t 100% sure what that was yet, but I did have an inkling of an idea that I was really excited about!

work wear outfit
paper bag pants outfit

So much of my life, I’ve had ideas and then forced them into being. Some have panned out, some didn’t. But this time around, I did something I wasn’t as great at in the past—I listened. I took my idea, set it on the shelf, took my ego out of it, asked questions, listened and then built something based off of that feedback. It wasn’t always easy, but the end product is better for it. And, I learned that I’m more stubborn than I’d care to admit, haha!

After listening to a podcast last week, I realized that I’ve kept so much of my journey this year private. Why? Well, if I’m being honest, I’ve been terrified. I was scared that if I shared that I’m not loving my job as a blogger, I might jeopardize my future in this career path. I was scared to admit that my life is not pulled together. I was scared that my new venture might fail and that I’d be embarrassed. And, most of all, I was scared to openly admitting where I’ve slipped up and even failed—as a mom, wife, friend and business owner.

But, here’s what I’ve learned this year—suffering privately doesn’t do anyone any good.

I’ve always prided myself on being real and honest here, but I’ve done a pretty sucky job of that this year. I’m sorry if I’ve made motherhood or owning a business out to be this blissful, easy, perfect, rosy thing because, it’s not all that. Sure, life is peppered with those moments, but there’s a lot of difficult, trying moments that shouldn’t have to be experienced alone.

paper bag pants outfit

One of my favorite things about my job is the community I’ve been able to build around me, and by trying to hold all of this inside this year, I feel like I’ve isolated myself a bit. But, the moments where I’ve allowed myself to get vulnerable and real with you have been priceless. So often you’ve jumped in and given me words of advice, comforted me, told me I’m doing a great job, calmed my worries and simply sympathized with me.

Motherhood and entrepreneurship can be lonely and I’m so grateful for each of you that have made it feel like I’m not alone in this!

Anyway, I’m excited to share more of this year’s journey more openly and honestly. I’ve got a few more posts coming that are personal and give you more of a behind the scenes peek at being an entrepreneur—everything from how an idea was born to what we’re working on next—I hope you guys enjoy it!

Have you found ever found yourself in a similar place? How did you work through it?

BTW,