Blogging has changed so much since I first started.
But then again, so have I. I began writing Lindsay Living back in November 2010, during my first year teaching elementary school in Seattle. So much in my life has changed since then. I’ve really grown up all over again in that time. Writing this post from my new home in West Seattle, as I’m pondering the future of this blog, it’s become very clear to me that my time on this site is far from finished.
When I started this blog, it was a meager fashion tumblr with snapshots of my outfits taken on an old Nikon point-and-shoot camera. I was stressed, overweight, sleep-deprived, working terrifically hard, and needed a creative outlet for when I could pry myself away from grading papers. When I found What I Wore (now Stars + Field) and Kendi Everyday, it was as if I had stumbled across a secret club of cool, real girls that shared all my interests. I couldn’t get enough.
As hobby blogging has become a full-time money-making job in some cases, blogging seems to be more about building a brand, selling yourself, and creating an image, rather than simply writing ideas worth sharing. Blogs have become businesses, transcending their original purpose and entering into the world of media, influencers, and ostensibly commerce. I’m so thrilled for those who are pursuing this if that is what they are passionate about. I realized some time ago this was not my blogging journey. Yeah, I used the word journey.
2017 was a year of adventure, transition, and change for me. I’ve cleared the clutter in my apartment, closet, friend group, schedule, and mind. I’ve moved to a new apartment and neighborhood. I’ve identified my true home decor style, experimented with meditation, embraced sleep, and found out how wonderful it is to say no and to relax. I’ve discovered minimalism, the joy of cooking, and learned to focus on what’s important to live a more meaningful life.
As I begin 2018, and after months away from this blog, it’s time to make a decision about the future of Lindsay Living.
Here are a few things I know to be true as I move forward…
I want to share the things that add value to my life. For a site that started as a humble personal style blog, I don’t know how much more I have to say about clothes. Lately I prefer jeans to dresses, flats to heels, and designing a life I love to designing my outfits. I’ve donated and sold countless bags of clothing and whittled my wardrobe down to a small closet and bureau. Monthly shopping trips are now a thing of the past. I no longer feel the call to photograph my outfits everyday. Beyond that, I just don’t spend my time thinking about clothing all that much. As I have changed, it’s time for Lindsay Living to change with me.
I’ve always been a researcher at heart, and I’m always searching for new ways to live my best life. I’ll get on a kick, research the hell out of it, try a bunch of new things, and slide into a new normal before moving on to the next passion project. Whether it’s clearing clutter, organizing my files, personal fitness, designing my home, cooking, minimalism or mindfulness, I feel like I’m always in motion toward a more meaningful life. I haven’t shared enough of this with you, and the possibility excites me. If I’m going to write a blog, I want to fill it with all of the most important things in my life.
I want to treat my time like the precious commodity that it is. Like many of you, I have career that keeps me busy, hobbies and connections with others that take time to maintain, and I have to make choices about how I spend my remaining time. I know I don’t want to spend it researching SEO, colorizing my Instagram, or tracking graphs of followers at various social media outlets. I never intended Lindsay Living to be a business, a money-maker, or a vehicle to fame. I have always thought of it as a creative outlet, yet over the years it has often digressed from its original intention. I want to write because I’m passionate about it, not to pursue it as a side hustle.
I want to find a way to integrate blogging into my life in a way that doesn’t feel stifling. In the past I’ve gotten really down on myself if I wasn’t posting five days a week, or three days a week, or some arbitrary number that I felt would make me a real blogger. As I’ve been simplifying my life in the last year, I know that I’m opening up more space for writing and other creative pursuits. I want to post about the things I care about, at a rate that works for my life and still allows me time to relax and enjoy the people that mean the most to me. I don’t want to spend my precious hours away from work focused on the blog like it’s a second job.
I want to be authentic, not perfect. Like many things in life, blogging has become something of a sport, and it’s easy to get caught up in the race toward perfection. I needed several breaks over the years to deal with the comparison game, feelings of inadequacy, and other creativity-killers. I want to produce quality work that brings value to your life, and mine, instead of letting my vision get clouded by my admiration for others. I want to write more essays, and less snappy posts. I want to be vulnerable and real, instead of only showing my best side.
I’ve taken a break from a lot of social media this year, and it feels good. Instagram was a big one. I was posting everyday, was constantly checking the app, responding to comments, liking and commenting on other people’s posts, etc. I began to feel like an instagram robot, looking at new versions of the same photos over and over and wasting hours of precious time that I could have been reading, sewing, writing, painting, or creating something of my own. Ultimately I found this was not adding value to my life. Sometimes doing less is the best option and has the joyous side effect of freeing up time for other things. I’m tired of being “busy” all the time and have begun to wonder why “busy” seems to be the new badge of honor. I’m tired of trying to appear “perfect” because I’m not. I want to write about my real life and experiences, instead of the Instagram-ready version of it.
I want to share my ideas through two of my passions: writing and photography. The best reason to simplify your life is to create space to live a more meaningful life. Having spent months decluttering my way to simplicity, and having run out of junk drawers to conquer, I had to identify my true passions, the things I want to spend my precious days on this planet pursuing. Beyond my biggest passion, teaching my sweet third-graders, I keep coming back to painting, writing and photography as the endeavors that bring me the most joy. I have always been interested in photography, but this blog pushed me to really learn how to take a quality photograph. Writing was always my favorite subject in school, and I love helping my students to grow as writers today. I want to make more time for my own writing, and this blog is the perfect place to do that.
Well, there you have it, my friends.
That’s what’s been rattling around in my brain for the last several months. I’m looking forward to writing a new Lindsay Living for you from here on out. One that is in alignment with my values, reflects who I am today and who I want to become, and that can hopefully bring some value into your life. Now let’s get out there and do something great with the rest of our day, shall we?