Thank you to Kate Spade for all of the moments of style and inspiration.
May we continue to live colorfully and curiously. 💞✨
May we continue to live colorfully and curiously. 💞✨
It’s funny how having faith in the unknown can be one of the most comforting feelings. Even though it’s hard to be in “limbo,” having endless possibilities is both exciting and encouraging.
My friend Ashley tweeted this quote a few years ago, which has become my go-to any time I feel discouraged. In the five years I’ve known Ashley, we’ve both moved states multiple times, switched cities, changed boyfriends, left jobs, started websites, and one of us was even on a TLC dating show.
Needless to say, both of us have had little clue as to what was going on in our lives.
I’ve written for Ashley’s website Kinda Kind for two years now, and I’m ever-so-grateful to her for providing a platform for me to segway into writing about mindfulness and self improvement. Two months before my first Kinda Kind post I accidentally deleted my fashion blog; even though I have no idea how it happened (not to mention my initial mini meltdown), it was a breath of fresh air. I was ready to get rid of my fashionista identity and wanted to start a writing career with substance.
It was also around that time in 2016 when I started to purge my possessions, focus on quality over quantity, and made meditation and mindfulness a top priority in my life. 2016 was an extremely rough year, but thanks to the struggles, I gained a whole new strength. I had no idea that my challenges would result in a life of mindfulness and minimalism, but I’m sure glad it did.
Back in 2016, Ashley left San Francisco to move back to Chicago, and I left New York City- the place I thought was my heart- that July. The year ended on a positive note with my move to Boston and a newfound optimism, faith, and zest for life. I just knew there was something wonderful out there for me- and even though I didn’t know what it was, I was confident I would find it.
I’ve had a lot of changes since moving to Boston. Over holiday break I started to re-think teaching, concerned about going a week without pay. Although I adored it (with the exception of the biting and hitting), it was barely enough to cover my rent. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you made 4X the money a decade ago, straight out of college. I considered a part time job, but I knew it would be too stressful for me to manage it all. So, with no idea what I would do, I continued to write, put in the legwork, and reach out to my connections.
I’m proud of myself for how I handled my “limbo” phase. Sure, I went hermit for a while and was a bit depressed, but I pulled myself out of it and re-gained my energy.
Once my energy was back it was time to start pounding the pavement. Last Monday I spotted a post on Facebook from one of my San Francisco friends, looking for someone to hire for a part-time role. It seemed perfect- an Austin-based fashion brand had a huge need for someone to help with messaging and customer communication. By Thursday, I had a company email address and got started on my first projects.
It gets better. The following day I met with a criminal defense law firm about a marketing and assistant role. Some of you may know this, but most of you probably don’t- prior to marketing, I worked at a San Francisco law firm and studied for the LSAT. On a warm spring day back in 2009 I walked over to the University of San Francisco to take the test- with absolutely no desire to actually go to law school. I’m not sure what happened in those six months, but I was certain law school wasn’t in the cards.
Although I decided I didn’t want to be an attorney, I’ve always loved law firms. I don’t know why- I think it partially has to do with the fact my father was a lawyer (I used to “help out” when I was a little tike), but also due the interesting nature of the cases.
Fast-forward to a week later, I officially have two jobs doing things I love, I’ll be working with great people, and will still have the time to write. I couldn’t have planned this out more perfectly on my own, which just goes to show that worrying is a waste of time and energy.
It’s amazing what the Universe delivers when you have faith. Ashley and I chatted about this the other day- now living in Los Angeles, she’s also looking for that “next step.” As she grows her brand I offered to help in whatever way I can. That said, I’m excited to share that I’ll be a regular contributor to Kinda Kind, focusing on self-improvement and relationships! I’ll be sure to share the launch of the new website sections when they’re live.
I’m grateful to have someone in my life like Ashley. She totally gets it when I share my life challenges- no judgement, no eye-rolls. Both Capricorns yet free spirits, we have a million ideas in our heads, but sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize. This is exactly why you just need to go with the flow of the Universe- one door may close, but there’s a shiny door waiting for you just down the road. Trust me.
I’ve had my share break-ups over the years. That newly single feeling is strange; while part of you is happy to be free, another feels a bit lost. What will fill the new emptiness? A couple of years ago I experienced one of my worst break-ups of all:
I ended a long-term relationship with a blog.
It sounds funny, doesn’t it? It all started as a hobby in 2011, right after my San Francisco years. With a basic layout and Instagram-fed posts, I began sharing photos of bayside scenes, outfits of the day, and what I had for lunch on a Tumblr account. It was quick and simple- I didn’t bother with links or text, just photos. After a couple of years it morphed into something completely different- it was a daily documentation of my personal style.
I loved my “photo journal.” I felt every outfit, color, and scene I chose came together to tell a story, each for the reader to interpret. Every morning I would use a self-timer app on my phone to capture my outfit of the day, always in front of an interesting backdrop or within nature. The water was always my favorite place to shoot- hence the blog name, K on the Bay. From photography and editing to merchandising and marketing, my blog was my baby. It was also my identity- I could hide behind my signature shades and be whoever I wanted to be. No one else in Northern Michigan was doing anything like it at the time, so I felt my progress and impact much more than I would have in a big city. It was fun, and it felt good.
After a while I started working with small companies and up-and-coming designers (often friends of mine), helping them promote their brands by providing content. They’d give me clothes, and in return I would wear and style the pieces, provide photos, write-ups, and social media posts. Once I started to get inquiries about collaborations with bigger or more expensive brands (pieces I probably wouldn’t have bought on my own), I made sure to throw in budget items and thrift store finds as usual. I wanted my blog to be accessible for a creative, polished smart shopper.
I moved to New York in 2014 and was still blogging in full-force, but my creativity wasn’t up to par. Taking photos without people in the background was nearly impossible and I hardly strayed away from my beloved all-black ensembles. As I received more and more items that didn’t feel like “me,” I would whip up a post just to get the content out there, never to wear the pieces again. I was going against everything I stood for: authenticity and meaning. I was taking outfit photos for the sake of the photo, not because I felt strongly about the brand or actually wanted to share the pieces with others. Doesn’t that completely discredit the entire concept of influencer marketing?
It’s crucial for me to do all things with meaning, or else I won’t put in the effort at all. Blogging seemed more like a chore than a joy, and I could feel my passion rapidly fading. My intuition continued to tell me it was time to focus on something new, and slowly but surely I started to realize how meaningless all of my “stuff” was. I began downsizing after abruptly deleting my blog on New Year’s Eve 2015, started a new Tumblr, took more photos of the beautiful world around me and, most importantly, began writing from my heart. I used to only be comfortable sharing what was on the surface- oh, how freeing it is share from the soul!
Earlier this year I wrote about how a fashion girl went frugal, which was picked up by Thought Catalog. My transition into minimalism was a natural one that has lead me on a whole new path to spirituality, serenity, and self discovery. Break-ups are inevitable, but there is one relationship that will always fill the void: the relationship with yourself.