And just like that, I’ve been blogging for 18 months. To celebrate this not-so-monumental event, I figured it was time for an update— on my life, on my blog, on everything.
Two months ago, my boyfriend moved to Austin, Texas for an incredible career opportunity. Luckily, I have always been a fairly independent person. Even when we lived together, I liked my alone time (you know, to watch Grey’s Anatomy in silence). However, not having the option to binge-watch Netflix together, or grab a pizza and veg out on any given day, has been hard. While I miss him, every second of every day, I think the distance has helped us find peace— both individually and as a couple. Being in a LDR has forced us to focus on the good of our relationship, pick our battles and communicate more, but it has also forced us to devote time to our own individual happiness.
I work from home, so aside from my swim team and workout class, I am rarely around colleagues or friends during the week. It gets lonely. In an effort to keep busy, I have been investing a lot of time in myself. I finally bit the bullet to test new beauty hacks that I’ve been itching to try for months, like sampling new eyeshadow pallets, jade-rolling, trying the most coveted serums and dry-brushing. I’ve taken up new hobbies (selling shit on Poshmark, reupholstering my grandma’s vintage chairs and making dip-dye wall hangings) and resumed old ones (running). I’ve been doing more with my girlfriends on the weekends, which is an instant morale booster. And, of course, I’ve been blogging— a lot. Writing about my life is oddly calming, which makes me realize why diaries were such a hit in the 90’s.
My point here is that I think staying busy is key, because it keeps me grounded.
The Ocean Minded has been such a labor of love, but it has kept my hands and heart so full. At 18-months, I am so incredibly proud of where this blog has taken me. It gets discouraging at times, and I get burnt out, but it also builds me up. Over the course of the past five weeks, I have felt really unmotivated— not to write, but to take photos. I wasn’t feeling “pretty” (whatever that means), and standing in front of the camera was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. I’m not a model, and sometimes taking photos just doesn’t feel natural (or fun). I was half-heartedly posing, just to get a blog post up, and I realized that’s not how I want to run things. It wasn’t until recently that I decided if at any point blogging becomes more of a chore than it is fun, it’s time to take a step back. And I did. I unplugged and recharged. I took a few days off from social media, and I didn’t log in to The Ocean Minded for a week. It was refreshing, and it totally hit the restart button on my creativity.
Sometimes I get frustrated that I don’t have more to show for all of the hard work that has gone in to this blog, but the majority of the time I feel so incredibly lucky to have networked and connected with such inspiring and encouraging humans. The brands that I have partnered with along the way have been incredible, and my Insta-friends make me so happy— and that makes this all worth it. I never started this blog with the intention of making money, but last month I received my first paycheck from a brand collaboration, and it totally validated all of the hours I have put in to this website.
Blogging can be intimidating and superficial, but it is also a tight-knit community of really talented people who support one another and boost each other up on a daily basis. I know not everyone understands it, but I wouldn’t trade this blog-life for the world.
So, here’s to you TOM (The Ocean Minded), and the next 18-months of craziness.