Well, I'm finally back after four months! I've written and re-written this blog post about one hundred times now, and just can't seem to form the right words. I'd like to say that I missed blogging, but taking a break for a few months was something I really needed to do. I'm feeling a tad more motivated to create some new content for myself and for you guys, and am nervous/excited to see what happens.
There's many reasons why I took a break from blogging, but sometimes it just feels too personal to share on the internet. But then again, I feel like I'm not being honest with myself and you guys if I'm constantly lying. I've always had trouble finding the balance between being honest and oversharing on the internet - I really don't want to portray myself as having a perfect life, because I am far from it; we all are.
To say I've had a bad year-and-a-half would be a huge understatement. My parents have separated, I'm suffering from depression and anxiety again, I had a full on breakdown right before my HSC exams, I'm having some health problems and just feel like all order in my life is falling apart. Every time something good happens in my life, it's like I can't even enjoy it properly because I'm so stressed and anxious. No matter how much I desperately want to be happy, most days it's just impossible.
I needed to take a step back from my blog because I just felt so extremely fake. I used to feel so inspired to create awesome content and take beautiful photos, but my blog had become solely about me trying to take quick photos of a sponsored product and post them ASAP with some sort of fake caption/writing. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with promoting products on your blog, and I will definitely do it again in the future. I just personally felt (at the time) as if I was creating generic content and not putting any effort into creating something unique or even semi-creative. Every time I went on a photo-shoot I would get so incredibly stressed out to the point where I would argue with my mum (who takes my photos), come home in tears and then hate all my photographs, causing even more insecurities to arise.
I have spent so long comparing myself to others I see online, which is why taking photos for my blog caused so much stress. As soon as I woke up in the morning, and every night before I fell asleep, I'd constantly check Instagram and various blogs and feel crap about myself. "Why can't I take photos like this?" "why does she have more opportunities than me?" and "why am I never good enough?" are constant questions I asked myself, and it has caused me so much damage. I am SO sick of allowing myself to constantly be compared to other people. Again, I am definitely not blaming this on social media, as I believe (when used correctly) it can be an amazing place to meet awesome people and connect with like-minded individuals, it was just my own mindset causing me to think like this.
When I took a break from blogging and posting regular Instagram photos, I started to feel less stressed out, and asked myself why this was? I initially thought that maybe I had "grown out" of blogging or something like that, but soon realised it was because I had stopped comparing myself to others, and forcing myself to post fake content just for the sake of it. I'd stopped watching my view count and number of followers drop each day, and I'd started to focus on other aspects of my life. Although these other aspects weren't always positive, drawing myself away from this constant competition and need for more likes and followers allowed me to refocus, and ultimately realize how damaging that type of mindset is.
I really, really want to get back to why I started blogging in the first place - to share my interests with awesome people on the internet. I don't want to feel like it's a competition for the most likes, or like it's something that needs to hold me back from having a "real life." Since taking a break and dealing with issues in my own life, I believe I'm at a state where I can begin to at least try finding enjoyment in blogging again, not just stress. I need an outlet, somewhere to escape to when life gets crappy, and who knows, maybe blogging can provide this for me as it did when I was younger?
So I don't keep repeating myself, I'll leave it here, but I just wanted to finish with a massive thanks to you guys. Thank-you for sticking around and putting up with my constant excuses as to where I've been! Trust me, I'm sick of them too. With the new year approaching (eek!) I have lot's of ideas of how I can re-gain my creativity again and start experimenting with some new ideas and passions. For obvious reasons, I won't be talking about any of my family or health issues in detail, but I felt the need to at least address it. Everyone goes through rough patches, and here's to the start of a new chapter for me - a chapter filled with inspiration instead of stress, new ideas instead of constricting myself to old ones, and encouragement instead of comparisons. x