I’m not going to lie, there have been many times where I considered ending it all. I even begun drafting my farewell The Chicagolite blog post. I found myself losing inspiration and losing my drive to continue creating content. Going to events and writing about them started to feel like a chore. Event after event started to feel monotonous. Walk in, get champagne, eat some food, leave with a goodie bag, take a pic of you having oodles of fun, rinse and repeat.
When I write, I rely heavily on emotion and positives feelings. I have to leave an event feeling on top of the world before I write. If an event leaves a so-so impression, then I will not force myself to write. I would go out and find myself disappointed. Eventually, I slowed down on going out altogether and declined pretty much every invitation.
In year two of The Chicagolite, I took the longest break I had ever taken on the blog. It has been four months since a new blog post was published. Consistency had gone out the window and I decided to only write when the spirit moved me. If we’re being honest, I wasn’t moved enough to feel consistent and I would literally sit down and force myself to write anything even if it’s a newsletter. It felt terrible and I begun to dread blogging.
Surprisingly, my page views didn’t drop and people kept subscribing (shout out to all the new folks). However, as the seasons changed I realized that my last post was about enjoying the last last days of Summer and here we are in Winter.
Those days were filled with both disappointment and relief. I felt relieved that I didn’t have to sit at my computer and find the words for a blog post. But I felt disappointed in myself for being ok with taking such a long break. I essentially beat myself up for slowing down.
Now What?I‘ll be honest, this emotion first came over me as soon as I got my job. I used the blog to discover my purpose and calling, and lucky for me, the job of a lifetime came at the perfect time. The blog helped me find my purpose which was super dope. Once I accomplished this goal, I found myself wondering what was next? I always knew that blogging wasn’t the end all be all and I never wanted to be known as a blogger. I didn’t want someone to think I’m just out here going to events with no real purpose or action behind why The Chicagolite exists.
As I discovered my passion and purpose for experiences beyond blogging, I found myself NEEDING to evolve. This meant not going to any and everything and being strategic with where and how I use my time. It’s kind of like outgrowing old clothes. Sure you can try to keep getting into those too small jeans, but the only way they’ll be comfortable is if you size up or shed the pounds. With The Chicagolite, let’s just say we need some entirely new pants.
I’ve been in a state of reflection for months and if we’re being honest, there are still times where I ask myself why I am doing this? Like, I have my bomb job and I have this fabulous life, why on earth do I still need to blog? It’s certainly not paying my bills and it’s only so much free food and gifts you can take.
As I reflect on what 2017 meant for me, I would say it revealed why I still need to keep this blog up and running. It’s not about me, but it’s about fulfilling a greater purpose. I can say with confidence that there is a market for the experiences and content that I strive to put out so I can’t give up on that.
I don’t want to just party and write about it, instead I just simply want to do a lot more creating and sharing my gifts.
Two StrangersNow that you’ve heard my whining and ranting, there are two people that I randomly met who encouraged me to not stop blogging. Funnily enough, I now consider them big advocates of my success. Upon our first meeting I was in shock that I met two individuals who were so invested in my success and progress. They encouraged me to keep going and to keep evolving. They mentioned how dope The Chicagolite was despite my inconsistency in posting.
They’ve set up meetings for me to meet some inspiring creatives and that reminded me that I’m not alone in this creative journey.
It couldn’t be just purely coincidence that I would meet them when I had considered not blogging anymore. Because of them, I have a new revitalized energy into making The Chicagolite better. Instead of getting mad that these jeans don’t fit anymore, I know that I can’t just keep tugging at them without any change. I’m really dragging this jean analogy but you catch my drift.
To be completely transparent I suffer very severe imposter syndrome. Regardless of what I accomplish, I feel like it’s never enough or I need to do more for it to be something worthy of pride. People would tell me how much they liked The Chicagolite and I would reply with a very self-deprecating response. Essentially, downplaying all of the work I put into it.
I find it hard celebrating my accomplishments so I just keep it moving after I hit each milestone. Rarely, do I take a moment to just relax so I guess in these last few months I did just that. I guess you can say that’s what I did for the last half of 2017.
The Year of The TrinityIn the year of the trinity, I know that the content has to evolve in the same way that I am evolving. Also, I need to learn to be ok with that fact that I am indeed a work in progress and I shouldn’t rush my way to the finish line.
It sounds incredibly dramatic but I owe my entire life to The Chicagolite. Without The Chicagolite I wouldn’t have met the amazing people I met and I wouldn’t have found my career as a creative strategist. I low key wouldn’t have much purpose because I wouldn’t have found it without this blog. I still lay down in my bed and say to myself wow, this is my real life. Everyday really feels like a dream.
Whenever I feel down or I want to shut down the site, I look back on my old blog posts. Each post serves as a running log of all of my accomplishments. Flipping through those pages I can’t help but think “Wow, I really did that”
My Lemonade MomentI’m certainly in a stage of transition and I know that in this year, an evolution needs to occur. What does that mean? I don’t know. But the fact that so many people have told me not to quit and you still read despite me slacking, means a lot. Plus, this blog opens doors even when I’m not quite ready to walk through them.
I’m going to end this reflection post with a Beyoncé reference. I feel like she’s a good reference point when you are in a state of transition. And the reason I reference her is because her evolution as an artist has been out of this world. I’ll be honest. I didn’t join the Beyoncé train until her “Beyoncé” album and she surprised dropped her album at midnight. It was at that moment where I realized she is destined to be more than an artist, but an icon.
The first two years of The Chicagolite is akin to B’Day. It was cool and it was catchy but the world didn’t stop and pause when it was released. When Beyoncé and Lemonade dropped we now ask ourselves, where were you when this moment happened. I’m trying to give everyone “Beyoncé” and “Lemonade” vibes and I’ve still got a ways till I’ve reached that point of my evolution. Trust me, we’ve got a long way before I can truly express myself the complete way I envision.
But at the end of the day, I’m allowed to have a break, I’m allowed to take a step back if something’s not working and I shouldn’t beat myself up for that.
I’m more than a blogger, always have been and it’s time to explore exactly what that means. I love sharing experiences with you all and I’ll continue to do that. I’m just approaching this new journey with a lot more intention and purpose.
Year one was an amazing year of intense growth and development. In year two the stakes were raised and the opportunities were even more grand. And year three? the best is certainly yet to come.
Thank you for another wonderful year, and as always thank you for reading.
*All photos courtesy of Ally Almore
*Makeup courtesy of @contrarymua