Wah wah wah, oh you just swan up to events and have endless Prets with Laura and fanny around on Lightoom all day, wah wah wah.
But 4 months into me doing this previous side-hustle as a full-time gig and here we are. My mental health is at an all-time low, my Inbox is a bursting and bustling cacophony of, ‘It’s been 5 days, reply?’ (thanks new Gmail) and I pretty much hate everyone and everything about the bloggersphere.
Alright, that’s an exaggeration but I’m burnt out – I’m allowed to be dramatic, OK?
I am basically the unmade bed. Cold, empty with no care taken over it but that contains a misery that is just so inviting.
So how did I get here?
At the beginning of September I *should* have been going back to school, teaching the children I’ve know for years, with (some) colleagues that I loved and in a classroom I could make a haven.
September signals new starts, fresh beginnings and a new sense of direction and purpose. But this September start couldn’t have been more different.
I suppose, when I worked as a teacher, I didn’t have all day to scroll social media and get pissed off at people who were rude, stuck up or fake.
I didn’t have time to obsess over feeds that made me compare myself and feel crap about what I was doing in life.
I also didn’t have endless time to sit around and contemplate, ‘what am I doing?’, ‘what is it all for?, ‘who is it all for?’.
But after illness, time off for my birthday, MORE illness and a mounting pressure to GET WORK DONE, I suppose I’ve just retreated into a cave where I don’t want to engage with any of it.
With the drama, with people I support who can’t even reply a, ‘thanks’, with the excessive push for consumerism, with the expectation to be attractive and light at all times, with the need for growth and validation.
It’s bloody exhausting!
And I know not all bloggers are like this. I know that a lot of inadequate feelings and bitterness towards others stems from my own insecurities and probably a hefty dollop of jealousy but I’m questioning EVERYTHING.
Why am I jealous of people with so many followers that they can’t even reply to a heartfelt, genuine and thoughtful message?
Why am I comparing myself to someone who has no other purpose than to shove a million affiliate links down our throats?
Why do I feel bad that I haven’t achieved x, when some of those who have achieved it have had helping hands?
It got to the point where I was obsessing over engagement rates and how quickly a photo took off on Instagram and why my traffic had halted (even though I haven’t been posting).
And it’s really fucking silly isn’t it? Imagine getting yourself into such a state? I just don’t recognise myself!
So I’ve taken a big break (for me) from my inbox. From this blog and from the things that were making me twisted to realign and readjust.
I’m now continually curating my feeds so that I am only exposed to things that make me feel good.
I’m listening to my body and brain and spending a few hours extra in bed when I need it.
I’m taking a step back from the type of content I was thinking I’d have to create to be ‘commercial’ (because this is my job after all) and only writing things I am inspired to write (other than a few outstanding and contractually obliged pieces which I will still try and make as helpful or entertaining as possible) and getting back to a place of enjoyment and creativity.
I’m even going to be shoving up on YouTube, a very raw video about my mental health journey and the realities of my anxiety and depression which is risky because it’s so far removed from being ‘commercial’ but it feels so important for me to have the catharsis but also to show others that there should be no stigma.
And do you know what? I’m actually enjoying the challenge of YouTube. It’s the one platform that I haven’t obsessed over in terms of growth, views, validation or perfection. It’s raw and it’s me and I’m trying to keep it as a place for real creativity and a different type of outlet!
Because I’m in a place where I feel completely and totally directionless with the career that calls itself a, ‘full-time blogger’ because it is a title that has no meaning, really.
I have my ‘side hustles’ in Exciting Emails, books and coaching – which I absolutely adore, but other than that, I honestly have no idea what’s next!
All I want to do is create content that is helpful, educational, meaningful and entertaining but how do I balance that with making money and being able to pay rent, save for a wedding and pay back my debts?
I don’t have a scooby.
So I suppose this post was to say that whilst I HAD never felt more done with the bloggersphere, I’ll always love and be fulfilled by blogging.
I’m using the time away to gain a new perspective, to reflect on what is really important about working online and having a platform so that I can continue to be a different kind of energy in the world of blogging and, ‘influencing’.
And if you could all stick around and maybe even be the change we want to see, that would be bloody fab!