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This month last year I quit my job to blog full-time. I was excited, terrified, clueless. But I believed in my writing, my ideas, and this community and felt it could work. And if it didn’t work, well I had made enough contacts that after a year I could try to get a new job in my old field.
It’s been a year, and I haven’t failed. Sure, this year has been hard but I knew it would be hard. Starting your own business, no matter the type, it’s hard. It’s overwhelming and emotional and all-encompassing. I’d say I work more now than I did a year ago, but that’s not true. I do work more now than I did at my old day job, but the big reason why I did quit was so I wasn’t working so much. I missed being a person away from her laptop. And I’m excited that this year, not only did I not have our house fall into foreclosure or have to beg my old boss for my job back, I became a person away from my laptop.
Recently, my Google Alert let me know I was being discussed on a SubReddit that is about blogging. Someone found me boring, and that I wasn’t providing anything special to the blog since quitting my job. My Instagram Stories were nothing other than me going to the gym and taking my kid to school. Of course, I read this the day before my period and got all upset and created an account on Reddit so I could reply, plead my case, ask them for constructive feedback, look for ways to win them over and prove I’m busting my ass with this job. But then I went to bed, woke up with Aunt Flo, calmed down, and thought about it.
Honestly, my life is pretty boring. And I freaking LOVE IT. I get at least six hours of sleep each night, I eat meals with my family, I go to the gym almost every weekday morning, take my kid to school and sometimes even have the chance to pick her up. I go with my mom to her doctor’s appointments, I volunteer at my kid’s school, I actually go to the grocery store and Target instead of shopping at 2am from my phone. I ride my trike with my family, I drink tea out in an Adirondack chair with Karl while watching the sun set. I clean my bathrooms while listening to the latest Robyn album on my headphones. It’s all gloriously boring and it’s all things I wasn’t doing a year ago.
But I do think my content is better, and a big reason is because I have had the time to get to know all of you better. We chat in the Facebook group, you email me and DM me and we have conversations. Heck, this year I even had the chance to meet a few of you in person and you’re just as awesome as I hoped. Of course, I’m creating content that I hope will make Google happy and bring in income, but I’m finding ways to do that and bring you the content you’re asking for. This year, I said no to partnering with brands that don’t have a decent size range because you asked for that. You complained that the collages in capsule wardrobes didn’t help you envision actual outfits and styling so I began real-life capsule wardrobes where Karl and I shoot me in the clothing. You criticized websites that shared beauty routines of celebs that cost thousands a month and don’t mention the plastic surgeons and dermatologists who do the real work so I created the My Beauty Routine series with real women I knew and admired. We had the time to craft better outfit shoots – better locations, better lighting, more detail shots, more shots showing the clothes in motion and from different angles. And it’s all been fun, finding new ways each day to update and improve Wardrobe Oxygen.
My goal has never been to be an “influencer.” I have no desire to be a model or spokesperson, don’t want to be on TV, don’t desire to be on the pages of a magazine. I know that fashion, especially when you’re older, can be a pain in the ass. Clothing isn’t designed to fit us, quality isn’t what it used to be, trends change with the speed of light, and knowing that sweet spot between boring and try-hard is tough. I want to help women like me, grown-ass women living their lives, desiring a wardrobe that is as hard working and awesome like them. I want to show that fashion can be fun, even if you aren’t a size 2 or 22 years old. Being a badass doesn’t have an expiration date, and you can be a badass on your own terms, with your own unique personal style. Therefore, you won’t see 80% of my day on Instagram Stories, you won’t find carefully curated pictures of my meals, or read reviews of wild and exciting adventures on Wardrobe Oxygen. Because Wardrobe Oxygen isn’t about me, it’s about us.
They say if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life. Well that’s a load of horseshit. Every job, even if it’s your dream job or your passion, has aspects that suck. But this career choice has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This has been a year of learning, of trying new things, of planning, of stabilizing. What makes it so great is you, you give all of this a purpose. I proved I can do this, and now with you, I can keep making Wardrobe Oxygen better. I am so thankful for those of you who have stuck with me, those who have recently found me and decided to stick around, and those who have not been afraid to give me feedback so I can learn and grow.
Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for you. <3