I'm ONE! birthday babbling + confessions

Hello, friends! Thanks for stopping by, after what, 8 months of no official blog post on my thoughts/emotions or feelings about stuff… I definitely have taken a mini-sabbatical from writing. Why? Still figuring out what is keeping me away from my keyboard… but today I did want to write a few thoughts out in reflection and decided to post them up on here- because my keyboard has been dusty and I am hoping this is refreshing for me, and possibly for you too. :)

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Today is my Blog’s 1st birthday. One year ago today is when I “launched”, if you will. It took some good guts and gumption to hit publish, but it’s been a rollercoaster experience ever since. I want to say it’s been ALL THINGS AMAZING and BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE and all of those really, really, positive and over the top things I should say on a blog birthday post… but I have learned some good AND bad things about this world over the past year. I figured I would process it with you all. That cool? If you’re in for it, here goes:

  1. Losing yourself can, and will happen if you’re not AWARE of the triggers and temptations that make you feel “not good enough” on this platform. Blog world is BIG and don’t get me wrong can be a very positive, fun, expressive and connecting place- however it is also a CHAMELEON-izing danger zone. Yep. I just made up a word, but it makes sense, right? If you’re not careful, you will start to look like everyone else. This mainly will happen when you put comparison over your own creativity. When you’re not inspired on your own, you will look at others and decide (sometimes unknowingly) that if what they do is working- maybe I will do that too. Do not get me wrong here, it’s not at all bad to BE INSPIRED by others work, work ethic and fabulous content. It’s not even bad to do similar things as others if something seems like a good idea!- however, it’s a FINE LINE. Like…. really fine line. Like… walking a dental floss tightrope. This tends to get tricky when number two kicks in…

  2. “I just want numbers” is a common side effect of blogger-ism. Followers, Likes and Comments OH MY. When your content is dictated by how many followers you will get or how many comments you will get, you might lose creativity in the process of growing your page and forget who you are in the mix. If you’re doing it for those reasons initially, that is one thing… but if you start a blog for an “outlet” and connection- you need to ask the hard questions when it comes down to this. (internal dialogue). Man, I feel like I am being super negative here and painting a bad picture of the blog world, I just haven’t gotten to the good stuff yet. Hang in there!

    * Yes. I do want to grow my following, that has been awesome and will continue to be! But i want it to be as organic as it can be and I long for REAL PEOPLE that resonate with my life/content. I can definitely get down with that, that is all I have ever TRULY wanted deep down. That is the whole reason I started “blogging” in the first place! Yes, you get more “opportunities” and “exposure” which actually matters to a degree in creating an instagram community, but if that is your strongest and sole motivation when creating content, you will go dry very quickly and very possibly fall out of love with what you’re doing. Just a hunch.

  3. Comparison is a huge symptom of chameleonizing. I've learned this about 178 times over the past year because that is how many attitude/mind/motive adjustments I have had to make over the 365 days of existing in this world. A few pointers here on how to battle comparison. Try and imagine the heart beat behind the profile. Admiration and jealousy don’t go together although they can be mistaken as the same thing. When you authentically admire someone’s page, you want to support and encourage them in what they’re doing. You see the heartbeat behind the profile and you get value from their content and you are happy for how they are doing their thing and WINNING. Support and encouragement can also lead you OUT of judgement and jealousy if you continue to check your motives as you go.

    I may have gotten a bit carried away here- but I am processing REAL and ALIVE FEELINGS and experiences that I wasn’t aware would be so debilitating over the past year. I have grown SO MUCH over this time and truly feel like no matter how much I have struggled in the comparing and chamelonizing temptations- I do feel that I am, in my own way, getting more footing in my own insta-dentity (made up that word too*). #websterwho?

    I will conclude the “hard lessons” with this: I think every human who has an instagram account and has been intentionally vulnerable to the world through this particular medium has struggled at least 259 times (on a good day) with comparison. Nobody DOESN’T compare themselves. It’s simply going to be how you respond to when you catch yourself doing it. So, what I have learned the MOST regarding all of these realizations is how to re-calibrate myself back to ME. Back to the WHY. Why am I here? Ya know?

    Because the instagram platform tends to be the easiest way to highlight your life in the way you want other to see it… we HAVE to run all of our newsfeed reactions through that filter. As Forrest Gump says, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Now that I officially “word vommed” all of life lessons junk from the year, it’s time for some mushy stuff.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Every single comment or message I have gotten that says anything along the lines of “me too” and “I totally get it” or “thank you” is what makes me feel truly happy about why I put time and energy into this platform. I love sharing my real motherhood journey with you all. I love to share fun style ideas, sales and deals and super girly stuff like make up. All of the things. I love when someone asks me what lipstick I have on... I love connecting with yall in big stuff and small stuff. I realize a lot of you don’t really read blog posts much… someone said recently that BLOGS in general are in a “recession”… it’s fine. I’m fine. Some of you will still hang out over here and that’s cool. Most of this is for me to get things out… I honestly don’t check up on my pageviews a lot… so I do appreciate you coming by to check in, even if I am only talking to my mom.

One thing about me that I do know I should work on… I am rather long winded. I have a way of elaborating something that could easily be said in 4 sentences into 198 sentences strong. It’s a real quirk and I annoy myself on the reg. That said, I will wrap it up. After being in the blog world for ONE solid year, I have seen good, bad, and ugly. I have fallen into some mental traps, been swept away in some jealousy out of comparison, been overjoyed with responses and comments, been disappointed in some as well. I have been overly attentive and not attentive enough, I have lost my footing a bit at times in why I am doing what I am doing on here… BUT I have ALWAYS caught myself. I am thankful. I am learning.

For this upcoming year I want to be MORE ME THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN. I want to grow out of that place. I don’t want to be afraid to put stuff out that has already been said or done based on what others think- I want to do it if it’s TRUE, REAL AND FUN. Gosh, I really want this to stay fun for me. As long as this platform gives me LIFE, I’m here. Ok? I hope yall stick around too. So here is to another fun year at @carolinelately!

If you want, leave a comment either on here or on my instagram post ABOUT YOU. I 100% want to get to know you guys on here! Don’t be afraid to reach out EVER. I am all about connecting. Ok. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday programming!

xo- caro