Sunday, February 14, 2016

An update...and some (floral) nail art.

nothing to disclose

Hello, all! Well, it's been quite a long time since I've last posted. Long story short, I'm just incredibly busy. Since the start of the new year, things at work have picked up tenfold. I'm getting married at the end of the year and FINALLY getting my act together and beginning to plan things for that (I've got my dress, the venue, and a photographer pretty much figured out!). I'm trying to get back into my routine of exercising regularly as well as learning to cook more for myself. Plus, I've discovered another passion of mine which lies in hand lettering, planners, and general pretty things (check out my other Instagram, @wondrouslyplanned if you're curious!). Needless to say, I've just been busy.

But the purpose of this post is to also offer a bit of an update on me, where my head is at, and hopefully provide some insight into why I've been so sporadic with my posting lately. I've come to some realizations recently and the fact that I'm writing this on Valentine's Day feels pretty perfect. I think it's a love letter to myself, to my blog, and sort of to all my readers. It's wordy and probably redundant and definitely cheesy, but I need to get it out of my head and off my chest.

I hope you'll stick around and read through to the end, but no hard feelings if you'd rather just look at the nail art pictures ;) I'll be mixing in today's nail art look for some breaks in the wall of text :p

So as I mentioned, I've been busy with life. When I started this blog, life was WAY less stressful and time consuming. And while the things taking up my free time now are very important to me, I truly miss doing nail art. I feel like I say this regularly - that I miss nail art and will be coming back full force into doing what I love again - but I hope that this time it will stick. I've realized that, while I love to support brands and share their polishes and products with all of you, it's not where my true passion lies. Unfortunately, I've let swatching take over my life a bit. Things have become more stressful than fun. For the past year my days have been consumed with swatching the next collection, editing photos, and trying to write a blog post that was informative but still fun to read.

I've felt like I was on a hamster wheel. I was burnt out, tired, drained. It got to the point where, when I thought about doing my nails, I just plain didn't want to. It made me sad, anxious, and just BLEH. It had become a chore instead of my hobby and my creative outlet. While I still have some swatch posts to share with you over the next few days/weeks, I will not be accepting nearly as many swatch requests. While I don't think I'm a bad swatcher, I also don't think I'm among the best. I truly appreciate those of you who have been supportive in that part of my blogging, but I recognize that I didn't gain my following because of my swatching. It was because of my nail art...and I don't say that to sound egotistical, I just know that my strengths lie more in my nail art and not necessarily in my swatching. Somewhere along the way, I got lost in a part of blogging that wasn't fulfilling to me.

Needless to say, I started feeling negatively toward my blog. I wasn't proud of it anymore. I didn't want to paint my nails. I didn't want to do anything with it. I would do nail art here and there and it would spark that flame of pride in me once again...but then I'd get stuck in swatching again. And the worst part was how guilty and upset with myself I was. I was so hard on myself because I KNEW that what I was doing was not the right thing for me and my blog, yet I didn't know how to get out of it, how to change it for the better. I was seeing my interaction everywhere drop and all I could think was that I was stuck and there was no getting out of it.

I've seen/spoken with a lot of my fellow nail art bloggers about the ebbs and flows of passion for blogging. It seems that a lot of people started nail art because they needed it to help fill "something" in their life. For me, that something was a need to be creative and to forget about how lost I felt in life.

When I started this blog, I needed a hobby. I had just graduated college, was working an awful job, and just didn't know what my next steps in life would be. I never in a million years that this blog would become what it has...and it is one of the things I am most proud of thus far in life. I built it from the bottom up. I made it what I wanted it to be. I was proud of it. I loved to see the look on people's faces as they'd go from a mocking smile at hearing I painted my nails as a hobby (how frivolous/silly/girly/wasteful!) shock and awe when they saw just what I could paint on my tiny canvases. It felt FUCKING AWESOME. I loved to be able to express myself in this little way that took people by surprise. It was what I needed at that point in my life. It helped me learn to be confident and feel good about myself. It started me on my journey of self-discovery and of finally learning to love myself. Who'd of thought nail art could do all that!?

So, it's time to get back on track and do the things that make me happy again. Things that make me excited to sit at my desk, open my helmers, discover new color palettes to work with, and get to painting something exciting and inspiring, that makes my heart feel happy. I'm tired of being so hard on myself, feeling negative and down on myself for not wanting to do certain things for my blog. I'm ready to love it again and to give myself a little bit of slack for not being perfect or for not being a swatcher, or for...whatever...sorry, cheese ball over here!

I am well aware of the fact that perhaps this blog and my passion for this hobby is a passing trend. That maybe it was something that I needed for a small part of my life and that I'm growing out of it. But after a TON of self-reflection, I know that I am not nearly ready to give up on it. I still love this. I don't want to quit. I want to be proud of my blog again and be excited to paint my nails and to show people what I can do again.

Over the past year I've done a lot of soul searching as well. I'm slowly but surely figuring myself out more and more. I'm discovering that I don't want to surround myself with things that make me feel inadequate or sad or negative. Life's too short (cliched but true). I want to surround myself with things that make my soul happy. I've contemplated turning my little blog into something more; maybe sharing my other hobbies and adventures as I pursue them. Perhaps a name change will be in my future. I don't yet know. But for the first time in a long while, I'm feeling excited to create, to be apart of this community again, and to just see where things go.

So, if you've reached this far, thank you for taking the time to read my little update. As I mentioned in the beginning, I think it's fitting that I'm sharing this on Valentine's Day of all days. I'm ready to fall in love with blogging and nail art again!

By the way, the base for this look is Cirque's Martinique and the flowers are done in craft acrylic paints! :)

Thank you all for your support over the past 3 years - I will never be able to truly express how much it means to me. I hope you like today's look! I would love to hear if you like it or not and hopefully you'll continue to stick around as I continue to figure out what the heck I'm doing around here! :D

Happy Polishing :)