It’s no secret that for the better part of this year, Life with Lyss has been quiet. 2016 was a year of enormous change and, to put it simply, I felt lost. For the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to The Lively Show, a podcast hosted by Jess Lively, that has shed light on so many different topics and really helped me broaden my horizons (I highly suggest giving it a listen if you’re looking for some new-year inspiration). Jess’ most recent episode was titled, “Things I’m afraid to tell you.” She was raw and real, and her confessions to how she has been feeling almost brought me to tears. She invited her listeners and content creators to share, as well. This was exactly what I needed: the extra push to write out exactly what’s been going on this year. So here they are: the things I’m afraid to tell you.
1. I lost my passion for the content I was creating.
This is hard to write… to actually put it down in writing for the world to see. I simply lost my passion for blogging about style. I no longer enjoyed the photo shoots, the styling, the clothes, accessories. I didn’t enjoy taking Insatgram photos (or the nagging feeling that if I didn’t, I was not really a blogger). The whole process just didn’t excite me. I was frustrated with myself more than anything. I didn’t understand why there was this change, and why I no longer wanted to do something I had been doing for years. I fought this feeling for a long time (I dropped from 4 outfits a week, to 2, to maybe 1… to going days to weeks without posting).
2. I convinced myself that there’s only one way to success (and I wasn’t allowed to change).
Building off #1, once I reached this point (to posting very, very infrequently), I told myself, “well, you blew it now.” I convinced myself that if I wasn’t going to seek success in what I had been doing (style blogging), there was no other way to do it. I had spent 2+ years building a blog, an audience, an engaged social media community… I couldn’t just change. I cornered myself into this very narrow tunnel that I wouldn’t allow myself to deviate from. I was sad I had lost my passion, I was angry with myself for not understanding it, and I was overwhelmed with competing priorities in my life. My solution to all of this was to simply stop what I was doing. I wasn’t sure how else to cope with my shifting interests and feelings.
3. I’ve been enjoying other things.. that I have been too nervous to share.
To help myself internally deal with emotions of conflict I was feeling, I tried to stop forcing myself into doing things I didn’t want to do. I no longer wanted to take photos on the weekends. I no longer wanted to take Instagram photos. What did I want to do?
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to do things that really (sometimes, to my surprise), made me incredibly happy. I spent time with a friend on her resume, focusing on the design and words. I took engagement photos for some of our friends whose wedding photographer is in a different state. I designed some print material for their wedding (and my own). I found a very common theme among all these things: I loved creating for others.
4. I felt guilty for wanting to change.
Blogging has been in incredible journey. I’ve learned so much, met incredible women, and connected with people all around the world. Building a social media audience of 25,000+, being featured on LaurenConrad.com, working on a piece with Seventeen magazine, collaborating with Macy’s, Windsor, and dozens of other brands… why wasn’t this all enough to keep me happy? I felt guilty for not wanting something I had found success in and felt whiney for no longer feeling fulfilled. I was listening to the Lively Show one day and there was a message that really resonated with me: if you don’t ever see yourself working to the top of whatever you’re doing, change it. I didn’t ever see myself as a top style blogger, or attending NYFW, or anything like that. I realized it was OK to change. I shouldn’t feel guilty for evolving, changing, or really just becoming more of who I am meant to be.
5. I am still learning.
This list could go on and on forever about all the thoughts in my head, so I’ll end this list with this: I am learning. I don’t have it all figured out. I could read this post in 6 months and say, “what the heck were you thinking?” But this is what is on my mind right now, and I am so thankful I listened to that episode of the Lively Show today that finally pushed me to write this. Now that this is off my chest, I hope I feel free to create content I love. To do things I really enjoy. I have high hopes and dreams for Life with Lyss – I just don’t know exactly what the end result looks like.
So what’s next?
Phew. Are you still with me?
This stuff has been heavy on my heart and mind for a long time. I hope that by releasing these feelings (that I am still trying to make sense of at times), I’ll make room for other things that will allow me to create content that I really want to create. To share the things that I really want to share. To make the impact that I want to make. To re-connect with the readers I’ve missed so much.