Things are looking a little different around here. Freckles and Figs is no longer. Nashville is no longer. Leaving my house for work is no longer. Life right now is weird and different and good, and with so many “no longers” come a lot of “but nows…”–I’m stoked for most of them, and working on navigating others.
First up was a website change that has been in the works for a while now. When I first started my blog, I thought Freckles and Figs was a PREMIUM name and that it was the perfect portrayal of me in three words. Hellooo, I have freckles. And hello, figs are obviously a symbol of all things healthy, intricate, or beautiful (I mean, duh), aka the themes I broadly wanted to cover on my blog. I mean, were all those poetic parallels not apparent?… No, no they were not.
So, even though it was cute and alliterate, and it was, um, a “fun” conversation starter when people would ask, “So, what does it mean?”–after a while, I didn’t love the name anymore. I probably could have stood to do a tiny bit more longterm thinking before running with Freckles and Figs, but here I am, living, learning, and backtracking like a pro. After a year or so, it started to feel like it wouldn’t be a lasting name that I could, hopefully, still be posting on in my 40s, 50s, etc. Basically, cute-but-confusing isn’t the brand vibe I want to work with for the rest of my blogging life.
I went back and forth between Freckles and Figs and a new name, but couldn’t land on anything I wanted to commit to forever. I kept coming back to the only thing I know I’ll have forever, my name. So of course, as any legit millennial would do, I posted a poll on Instagram stories about whether I should change the blog name to my name.
And then I didn’t pay attention to the response because, as soon as I posted the question, I realized I wanted the new name regardless. My sister will tell you this is how I make all of my decisions: Ask for help, and then do whatever I was going to do anyway. Hey, it gives me clarity every time! (Sorry, Kels.) Fingers crossed I won’t get sick of my own damn name in two years.
(Watch me get sick of my own damn name in two years and do this all over again.)
So even though the name is different and the site got a little face lift, I still want the soul of my blog to be the same: a place for honest conversations. Not just me blabbing about clothes or decor or an embarrassing story that happened at the store last week–although, there will still be plenty of that because girlfriend has embarrassing stories for days–but more so, there will be authenticity and humor and vulnerability and chatting about growth and forward motion and struggles and faith and relationships and failures and creativity and becoming the best me I can be, and the best you you can be.
I want to use this blog as a forum to get to know my peers and inspire one another to live the most fulfilling versions of our lives, and I think the only way to fully experience that is in community and friendship with others. One thing I plan on incorporating into the site is, instead of writing only about my stories and experiences, I want to feature women in creative or entrepreneurial spaces who are killing the game, and having the time of their lives doing it. How did they get there? What are their secrets?
I want to learn and grow right along with you; if you are a creative, a hustler, a go-getter, or if you’re a little tired, feeling lackluster, or lacking certainty lately, I want you to feel like you have a friend here, because I’m all of those things, too, depending on the day.
In other news that truly isn’t news, we moved from one Music City to another: Austin! Except, we live as close to the edge of the city as you could possibly get. Drive two minutes north and there’s another town. And cows. And lots of huge, multi-named highways, several that have the guts to charge you money just for driving on them. (Yes, I lived in Dallas-Fort Worth for six years and experienced toll roads, but I’ve been spoiled for the last two years in toll-free Nashville and will continue to complain about having to pay. To drive. On a road.)
We’re embracing the ‘burbs (John now calls himself a “grass guy,” since he has his own lawn to mow), but I have also had some feelings of unease and even sadness. I read recently that, when we go through a major change, there’s always a period of grief. Seeing that was freeing for me and has been in my mind every day as we settle in to a new house in a new city and I wrestle with these unsettled feelings. As thrilling as a fresh start is, there’s a sense of homesickness for what became our norm for the past couple years.
The idea of grieving during a time of change clicked instantly for me. I always have some anxiety with big shifts like this, and I never understood why. I know I have so much to be thankful for, and looking back, I always, eventually, snap out of the newness funk. But I am learning it’s okay to sit with these feelings and mourn the things that are no longer a part of my day-to-day, even if other incredible things replace them.
While we’re on the topic of things we no longer have, I’m unemployed! Just kidding. But I do have a new work schedule that is overwhelmingly everything I’ve ever wanted–to the point where I pray I don’t self-sabotage it… Not kidding about that.
As we planned for our move back to Texas after John graduated last month, we decided I would take this transition time to chase some dreams that I’d put on the back burner on low heat for the last few years. That whole writing as a career thing is what I’ve wanted since I was little, and now I have the freedom to go after it full-time.
I have a solid number of freelance clients that I work with regularly, but this is the first time (EVER) that I don’t have to be at a job at a certain time of day, answer to bosses, request time off–you get the picture. I have this big, open space to take on more projects, some my own and some for others. It feels weird. And cool. And massively overwhelming and guilt-inducing. I catch myself wondering, Who am I to be in this position? What did I do to deserve this? What if I actually suck and no one has told me yet?
It’s those voices that I have to actively hush with music, or a podcast, or a long run. But sometimes, the voices feel valid and I start to believe I don’t deserve any of this. But I have to remind myself that, even though my career hasn’t been normal, I’ve played a lot of support roles in jobs and relationships. I don’t think my “dues are paid” or the path to becoming a full-time writer will be easy at all, but I do think it’s okay to put me and building my career at the top of my priority list for now.
I think talking about it is big, too. That’s why I’m writing about it here, even though it makes my gut feel a little twisty. But if someone else has experienced feelings of unworthiness, it’s important for you to know someone else is right there with you. I so get it, and let’s promise to work on not selling ourselves short, together. My sister reminded me last week that I have endured through some pretty trying periods to get to this freedom to create what I want, and I wouldn’t have had that outside reminder if I didn’t voice my fears and insecurities to her.
So let’s talk about it. And let’s remember the truth, which is that everything good in our lives we’ve either worked hard for, prayed hard for, or both. I sure want to enjoy them fully while I can.