I have to be honest, while I try to remain positive and motivated, last week was difficult. You might have noticed the lack of blog posts and if you follow me on snapchat (sereinwu) my anxiety confession. In my recent Q&A video, I explain a lot about my history. Without going too much into it and still keeping a bit of privacy, I was abused on and off for most of my life. Admitting this is difficult. For so long I didn’t want to use that word or admit it. With a few ghosts that refuse to stay dead, constantly trying to push back into my life, I’ve had to evaluate my thoughts and emotions lately. The situation is complicated and messy. The problem about admitting I was abused, is I feel like it’s not real. So much of my problems come from those around me saying I am being dramatic or overly emotional. It was always my fault. It wasn’t until I was in a healthy adult relationship, married, and removed from the situation that I was able to see what I had experienced was actual abuse. I’m not sure my husband even knew the extent of it till more recently.
This post is not about my history, but I wanted to give you a little insight as to where I am coming from. Many questions sent in recently was about how I stay positive and motivated. While I do my best to give you tips on how I keep going, I want you to know I am not alway positive or motivated. I am not always happy, and I am definitely not perfect. I have my demons and I am constantly trying to slay them. Social media is a perception. You only see what we want to share with the public. I’m pretty open with my followers, but I do hold some things back. The content I share with you is alway meant to inspire and motivate. I share with you my history, because I’ve learned that saying silent isn’t the answer. We all have our struggles. It’s about finding a way to keep going.
I want to build a community of strong, supportive, women. It’s not about the numbers. While it’s nice to grow and with growth, new opportunities, what really keeps me going everyday is this community. Many of you have shared your stories with me and I am honored you feel confident in doing so. People get so caught up with how many followers someone has, how many likes, who do they hang out with. While numbers are important on a business level, it should not stop us from supporting each other. I truly feel like I have some of the best readers and viewers around!
Sometimes a pretty picture can cheer up your day, but today I want to write about how focusing on building this wonderful community has kept me going even during the worst moments. I defiantly take time to unplug and mope, but after a day or so, I itch to come back. Why am I drawn to creating new content and responding to as many comments as possible? Because without you, I don’t know where I would be today. When I say YouTube and blogging saved my life, I am being honest.
I started blogging almost 4 years ago on blogger. It was a way to document my engagement and share some cellphone photos. Really an online journal. Through blogging I discovered YouTube, then rediscovered blogging and the possibilities of blogging. The few readers I had were supportive and I felt like I made friends from all over, who wanted to just communicate. Through the years, I have met other bloggers who I admire and were so gracious and supportive. Without my blog, I would not have this amazing community of women to share my thoughts with. There is something very powerful in writing down your thoughts, even more so when someone reads them.
Lately on top of all that I’m personally dealing with, I have noticed a not so pleasant trend with the blogging community. The snobbery. The entitlement. The idea that one person is better than another. Let’s be completely honest, everyone had to start somewhere. Unless you had someone who knew about blogging guiding you from the start, most likely your first posts and designs were not perfect. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves support. Creating content and putting yourself out there is hard work. No one should discredit it. If you don’t like a photo’s esthetic, don’t follow, but do not put them down, exclude, or discredit what they are doing.
I’m not sure if it’s getting older, dealing with an aging parent, or something else, but lately I’ve become incredibly intolerant over this superiority thought process. Life is too short. There is room for all of us to do what we love and to share the success. We are stronger together.
Recently, I was asked to join a group of bloggers to support each other and was thrilled at the opportunity. I’m so happy I said yes, no questions asked. This group opened up my community and support system. I met new women I would have not otherwise. I was also blown away at how committed each woman was to their content and to supporting each member of the group. It was mutually beneficial to everyone. During this time, I was dealing with some major anxiety attacks, but I looked forward to each new post from each women in the group. It was a lifeline.
After a few weeks, I wanted to start a group myself to encourage and support each other. Spread the love. It was scary. I wasn’t sure how people would react. would anyone even want to join? I know bloggers can be picky, but I was overjoyed that within the first hour I had 9 members in the group! For starters I was hoping to join together 15 women of varies blogs, esthetics, and regions. 15 seemed like a manageable number for all of us to get to know each other. I reached out to about 20 or so and by the end of 2 hours I had gotten 14 members no questions asked. There were a few who wanted a list of who was joining before they would join, which makes me a little hesitant to have them in the group. To me that’s a big red flag. This group is solely in existence to support each other, there are no following or subscriber requirements. So to ask for the list of bloggers, seemed wrong especially when there were so many willing to participate. It’s not a precedent I want to set for my first blogging group. It just really saddened me. I struggled with this decision. At first I thought I should accommodate the requests, but when I realized that these requests were not the majority, but the minority, I decided to go with my gut.
If you’re having a rough time, my biggest advice is to find a community. Make sure you feel safe, supported, and valued. You might not find it right away, but if you stay true to yourself and open to it, your community will show itself to you. You never know, the girl you went to collage with who you thought was a total snob, who intimidated, and didn’t like you, could end up being your closest best friend 6 years later. True story!
If you have a blog, please leave it in the comments because I would love to visit. If you don’t have a blog, but have been reading this, thank you! Thank you to all those who have stuck around and continued to support me. You truly have changed my life for the better.
Dress from Zara (in store)