Good question. You may or may not have wondered what happened to the ol’ website that is frecklesandfigs.com for the last couple of months. I have, even if you haven’t. I’ve asked myself way too many times, How long can one avoid blogging until they need to remove “blogger” from their Instagram bio? The truth is, every time I’ve sat down to brainstorm topics to write on or started to click away on my keyboard, one of several rotating excuses pops into my mind.
First, though, let me say how much I hate when people in my life make excuses for things I understand they want to prioritize. For example, when my boyfriend expresses that he wants to workout but simply doesn’t have the time, in my head, I’m like, You’ll have the time when you make the time, buddy.
Isn’t it sad and hilarious how the things we tend to harp on about others are often the things we dislike in ourselves? So, yeah. I’m going to be honest about the excuses that have been keeping me from this place that has been such a wonderful and powerful outlet for my all-over-the-place thoughts and musings.
Before we get to those, I’ll tell you where I really have been. I’ve been traveling: home for my grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration and to Texas for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party in the hill country and to Asheville, NC, for a trip full of card games and delicious food with my boyfriend’s family. I’ve been adding freelance clients to my roster, whom I write several pieces of content, including blog posts and social media copy, for every week. I’ve been spending time with my sister, who has lived in Nashville for the summer doing travel nursing, going to concerts, drinking too much rosé, and talking about life face to face, which we haven’t done so regularly since high school (the chats, not the wine and concerts). I’ve been tip-toeing more and more out of my comfort zone — I joined a small group at my church, have done some volunteering, have attended way more spontaneous social get-togethers than I would prefer. (I’m a planner; have you noticed?)
The point is, I haven’t NOT been busy. And, in the meantime, I have been really, really happy. But, even in the midst of happiness, I’ve also become more aware of a hole, which started small and has grown slightly larger by the week. You know, the hole that forms when you’re not doing the thing that makes you feel most fulfilled. Do you have that, too? Because I believe we all do.
While the extra freelance work is exciting, because I get to expand my portfolio and work on different projects, it isn’t the writing that makes my heart race when it gets published. Some of the writing is about electric vehicles and regulatory compliance — interesting topics to some, and totally out of my wheelhouse, therefore a fascinating learning curve, but I don’t think anyone would call it enthralling. (Even my clients who assign it. Just saying.)
The thing I’ve missed is the writing that gives me a vulnerability hangover (learned that fun phrase in my small group) and the writing that gushes my truest and most authentic stories, feelings, and desires, even the embarrassing ones, even the ones in the deepest corners of my soul. So, a few excuses that I hope to kick in the booty have kept me away, and while I’d love to say, “I’M BACK FOR GOOD!”, I’ve gotten in trouble (with myself, mainly) with over-promising in the past. I’m not here to tell you, readers who are probably just my mom and other family members, that I’ll be blogging three times a week from now until forever. But I do plan to prioritize better for myself.
So, here are the things I’ve been telling myself the last few months that have kept me from doing what I love most. And, because I think there’s a solution to most every problem, let’s talk about those, too. I believe transparency is the biggest healer and connector to others, so let’s get digging into my flaws. (Fun!)
I’ve been worried what people think of me. I mean, really, this has been a problem as long as I can remember. Crippling self doubt is truly such a gift… A good therapist would tell me (edit: has told me) to screw what people think. I understand, of course, that not everyone will like me, care about what I’m doing, and be on my side. But — WHY CAN’T THEY? This is my issue. I want so badly for everyone to agree with me and like me, even though I know that logically that is impossible, that I water down what I’m doing, or stop doing it altogether. That’s what I did with blogging.
I heard, specifically, that one person was mocking a post I’d written, and I let it torment me. To that person, and I’m really working on believing this, I wish my choice to write with bare honesty didn’t affect you to the point that you felt you needed to spew hate about it, but since it has, I hope you can find your own happiness that doesn’t involve tearing down others. And if you can’t do that, then I’ll make sure my side of the street is clean and that I’m doing everything in my power to make myself happy, and that includes being vulnerable and writing about the things I love. And agonize over. And learn from. And laugh at. If you don’t like it, I’m happy to have one less subscriber. 🙂 Bye.
I started to feel like a narcissist. Look, I know a lot of bloggers get their followers and monetize from stunning pictures of themselves and their families and their outfits. That works for a lot of websites, but it just never felt like me. I felt so awkward and selfish paying for professional photos of myself to go with blog posts where I talked about budgeting or career complacency or being a controlling asshole. (Yep. Search it.)
I’m still not really sure what the fix is to this, because I understand that, for SEO and social media, consistent and eye-catching images are important. Maybe I just need to care less about SEO/social media (probably) and more about the writing (definitely), regardless of who reads it or how many page views I get. Either way, for now, the fashion-slash-lifestyle-blogger-y part of my site is probably going to go away. If you like long-form, over-sharing type content, well, this is the place for you. Ha.
I’m really sick of my blog name. Ugh. This one is painful to admit, because I started Freckles and Figs with the idea that it represented my individuality, like each individual freckle flecking my skin, and all things beautiful and healthful, like the stunning fruit that is a fig. I know a lot of people haven’t exactly gotten that message from the name; that doesn’t bug me. But I started it with the intention of it being a lifestyle, fashion, and health blog where I wrote about real things.
It has turned into more of a place where I want to talk about those things sometimes, yes, but I feel most authentic when I share the struggles and triumphs that come from inspiration, relationships, disappointment, fears, and so on. Freckles and Figs really doesn’t encompass all of that the way I would like it to. So, I guess this is sort a buried announcement that I’ll be rebranding the website. That seems to be the most straightforward solution. Mostly, I want a simple, one-word name that allows for flexibility in the discussions we — you and me — have in this place. If you have any ideas for me, hit a sister up in the comments or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), because so far I have a whopping none.
And finally, I’ve just been lazy. When any of those first three concerns weren’t popping up, I used the excuse that I’m too tired or I’ve already written a lot this week (for clients) or I’ll get to it later. All of which are synonymous to one word: laziness. And, just like my feelings toward excuses, I really don’t like laziness. So, that’s enough of that.
Now, to bring it back to anyone still reading this, first of all, thank you. Thanks for reading a bunch of words about my struggle with following my purpose, and thank you for being patient as I figure out what that is. Because that’s the thing — I don’t have it figured out beyond that I just really love to write about life. The heartaches and the good, uplifting, juicy parts and the little moments in between.
Which leads me to a big question: What do you want to read about here? Are you a creative-type trying to figure out your own routine, too? Do you like health-related posts or posts about finding motivation, dealing with communication issues, or the power of prayer?
Nothing is off-limits, and while I’m not an expert in much (except, like, copy editing — this chick loves grammar, y’all) I do promise to deliver truth and encouragement from my heart to yours. Let’s get the ball rolling.