Eleven years ago, I started my first blog, called Bacon is My Enemy. I was trying to lose weight and thought I would blog about it as a way of keeping myself accountable. Well, it didn’t work. It turns out writing about losing weight is boring and not really great for anyone’s psyche, so I pivoted and became the next viable thing – a “mommy blogger.”
For a few years, blogging and vlogging became a part-time business for me. I was able to earn a steady income and gain traction as an online content creator in just a few months. Companies started to send me free shit and as I grew in popularity, I they started flying me across the country to do appearances and promos. The whole thing felt intoxicating and exciting, especially for someone who never felt like anything she said was worth listening to. Complete strangers were paying attention, and it felt like magic.
But eventually – when your actions don’t align with your values – you start feeling bad about yourself. At least I did. I can remember going on a paid trip as a brand ambassador for a soft drink company and thinking – what the hell am I doing? I think soda is the devil. But the money and perks (and attention) felt so good that I had a hard time saying no. So I didn’t.
Slowly, the joy I felt at the beginning of blogging was replaced with a bit of self-loathing and misery. It didn’t feel like magic anymore – instead it felt like a job. At the time, I didn’t have the emotional maturity to know how to navigate it – so I quit and fizzled out of blogosphere.
Looking back, I can see the missteps pretty clearly. I didn’t know how to say no (and dammit I still have a hard time saying no). I never had a mission or purpose statement that I could reference to act as my north star. I let fear and insecurity dominate my actions. And most importantly, I stopped writing for myself.
It wasn’t the industry that was broken – it was me. I think a lot of creatives are faced with value judgments when trying to monetize their craft – but in reality there’s really no wrong or right. There’s just what’s wrong or right for you. Go ahead and Kim Kardashian the fuck out of your Instagram feed if that’s what you want to do. But if it’s not – you might just be miserable trying to be like something you’re not.
I still love the idea of blogging, so here I am – a decade later – hanging up shingle on my second personal blog. Writing feels like magic again and I am in a place where I love it more than ever. It’s the one thing in my life (aside from Netflix marathons) where time disappears and I sometimes have to force myself to stop.
And so it begins. Welcome to This Extraordinary Life. A journal. A creative outlet. A documentary. A place to share the things that I love and the lessons I’ve learned. And maybe someday – a community and a living.
I am so glad you stopped by.