Friday, March 16, 2012

Adjust-Balance


I feel like I start every end of the week post with “Man, I’m so happy it’s Friday”, but really, man, I’m SO happy that it’s Friday. I needed to step away this week and readjust and refocus, and I’m looking forward to having two glorious days to get things a straightened out around here. 

 I didn’t realize how much of an affect the Texas Style Counsel Conference had on me until I left, most notably the mentoring breakfast on Saturday. Jen and I discussed the topic of balancing your life with your blog, we extolled advice on stepping away, not getting crazy, readjusting, etc. This was all well and good, but I had a realization this week: I am terrible at taking my own advice. Seriously, why is it so hard? My main realization (among many):  I’ve been trying to keep things relatively the same around here since we moved and that’s not realistic at all. Seriously, at all. If we were talking in real life I’d be waving my arms around and slapping my forehead, because it seems so obvious. Our lives are completely different, we live in a different city, we’re on totally new schedules, and I’ve been running myself into the ground trying to hold it all together and go on with life as usual. But even then, I haven’t been living much of a life the past few months, admittedly I’ve been really down (I hesitate to use the word depressed, but close to it).  I’ve been hiding behind my outfit posts, using them as a crutch to not delve deeper; and while I still enjoy doing those outfit posts, I do want to delve deeper, improve my writing, talk about what matters to me and show you what I love. For my own well-being, I need to get out more and push myself to reclaim the other passions that have fallen by the wayside over the past three years (art, anyone? coughcough).

Since I started Orchid Grey back in 2009, my life and the blog itself have seen a lot of major changes, and I feel like I’m at a point where some changes need to occur again. My goal is to improve the quality of my posting, I feel as though, so many times, I have a great idea for a post but run out of time, so I just throw up an outfit and be done with it. Not the best strategy. I could be taking that little extra time to work on something more meaningful or connecting more with you. I’m not going to try and stick to some new blogging schedule, and I’ll still be here each week, but there will be a shift towards quality (or some attempt at it), rather than quantity. My life has been out of balance, and I need to get that balance back.

If you’ve made it this far, I seriously applaud you. There is a split box spring sitting in front of me as I type this, and Chris and I have big plans to put our bed together tonight, I can’t tell you enough how excited I am about sleeping this weekend. In a bed. That’s not on the floor (a mattress-nest on the floor seemed romantic at 18, now as a 28 year old, it’s just making my joints hurt and causing insomnia).

Anyways, if you have any thoughts on balance, life, anything, I’d love to hear it. And you can always easily connect with me on Facebook, especially if you have a question. I plan on installing Disqus soon so we’ll actually be able to have a conversation on here, won’t that be nice?

I hope you have an inspiring and productive weekend!

41 comments:

Laurel Ann Walker said...

This is SO timely and relevant. I think maybe many bloggers have awesome, creative ideas but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, we run out of time and throw up something that's maybe not our best "work." I know that I struggle with that weekly. I usually schedule my posts a week in advance but when it gets to the end of that week, I take a few unplanned days off because I don't have time to keep going. It's hard to balance real life and online life and everything going on, but I would love to be able to connect more. I really like read the inner musings of other bloggers.

Thanks for keeping it real, Julie!

-x.
Opinionated Girl
one-girl-vs-world.blogspot.com

Lilli said...

Everyone has an off day (or like me month), but don't worry just know that everything will work out. Sometimes we don't realize it but every once in a while a little change makes things so much better. I just recently graduated college, moved from NYC to Miami, and have yet to get things on track. But all it takes is for you to sit yourself down and figure things out... trust me it will all work out in the end.

I have been following your blog for a very long time now, and I must say I love it! I look forward to it's future and which ever way it may go.

Orchid Grey said...

Laurel: Exactly, I feel that often, I start out strong, and then peter out towards the end of the week, leaving me feeling...guilty? unfulfilled?

Lilli: Haha, make that four months of "off", it happens. It can be hard to step back and assess your own life. Graduating college is huge, let alone following that with a new city!

chris @ court + hudson said...

Thank you for having the guts to say this. I started to say this on court + hudson last week and then pulled a lot of how I was really feeling out of it for fearing of being exposed. The parts about being down (and fearing saying the word depressed), the part about trying to keep it together as if everything was status quo, the part about just throwing up something for the sake of it.

I started a new job a few months ago and moved into a new apt (not a a new city however) so I very much know how it feels to just need to focus intensely on one part of your life for a little while.

You literally wrote everything I was and have been feeling. So thank you.

I wish I had advice for balance, but I'm only slowly starting to figure that out.

Jessica said...

I am totally feeling you on this post! I too am striving to get offline more and make my online moments count for more than an endless cycling for checking twitter/facebook/analytics.

I think the more time you spend away from the screen, the better your (already great) blog will be!

xoxo
Jess

pulchritude said...

This is the first post I've read since I started following your blog that gives me a real hint about who you are and I love that.

I just figured out I'm moving out of state this summer and I've already considered that my blog will have to adjust with it. I started it to fill time in this waiting period I'm in, but maybe I won't want to do it anymore? - Leah

someoneswaterlily.blogspot.com

GIRL AND CLOSET said...

Firstly, it was such a pleasure to meet you in person Julie, your sense of style & beauty just shine through + your husband is absolutely amazing too!! Loved you guys! :)

And oh man, I so relate to this post it's like these very words could be coming from my own mouth. I'm so excited for your new direction and the new inspiration behind it, it is something that I'm looking forward to bringing to my blog as well. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful/inspiring post, you rock!! :)

SWF_Terra said...

Yes. Yes yes yes.

It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the nagging urge to just post. Post anything. Just post. Some days that's okay. But some days it's helpful, even therapeutic, to say more. I'll tell you, I did a post about postpartum hair loss and I heard from so many women who had experienced the same thing. I was hesitant to use my blog as a platform for personal feelings. But after that, I was reminded that it's my space to do with as I please. And it was a sort of relief to have expressed something deeper.

I would love to see more of your passions here. In the brief time we got to spend with each other, I am so intrigued by you and your point of view. The things that drive you beyond your style. Go for it! xo

Hair Romance said...

I hear you. I took a mini break last weekend and it made this week so hard as I realised everything I was missing, like sleep! I think quality over quantity should always be a goal x

jenloveskev said...

Such a great post! I support whatever you want to do with your blog. I am lucky and get to know you outside of this blog and I know everyone that reads this will love to know that person too!! xoxo

Sofia H. said...

Beautiful post! It's nice to hear bloggers open up and to know that they go through the same things I do. Good luck!

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

I've been feeling exactly the same lately. I've been hiding behind quick posts and lazy writing because I'm SO SO SO SO incredibly frazzled 24 hours a day and the blog is me clutching at something somewhat stable right now.
If you come up with any good work-life balance tips I will eat them up with a digital spoon.

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

julie! thanks for opening up, it is always a gift when people share their feelings and fears. i moved to a whole new city in august, away from everything i was familiar with and my boyfriend started a new job and i started writing my dissertation away from my university, and i felt very depressed for much of the fall. moving was more stressful than i imagined, and it was hard seeing other people's blogs thinking "so and so who moved makes it look so easy and fun!" when really it was a lot of new stuff at once: new jobs, trying to make new friends, not knowing where anything is, trying to find my way around, missing our families, etc. there were days this fall where it was hard to get out of bed, and i had to pump myself up to shower and wash the dishes, which felt like an accomplishment! i feel much better after a few months but there are still times when i feel more stressed out and anxious than usual.
anyway, this is all to say that the advice my dad gave me was just to go easy on myself and be kind to myself. it's very easy to give this advice, especially as a woman, to give kindness to other people and hope they go easy on themselves. i found it much harder to be patient and kind with myself when things didn't go well, but eventually just going easy on myself, giving myself days to be sad if i needed them, actually helped a lot.
anyway, i hope things feel more manageable soon! however you're feeling now is not a permanent thing--human beings are such amazing flexible creatures, capable of adapting to so many new and difficult situations. and i'm sure your readers will love to see whatever you post: on art, especially! hugs to you!

A Wild Tonic said...

Julie, you're reminding me of that scene in "Alice in Wonderland" when she's lost in the woods and says to herself, "I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it." I know it seems silly to compare a children's fictional movie with a grown woman's real-life, but Alice made it out of the woods in the end and so will you!

We all have so much on our plates, and it's definitely hard to keep up with our mounting to-do lists, but really all that matters is that you're happy with yourself and what you are doing.

If you feel like writing a more personal post but don't have time, just take an extra day or two to write it! Your outfit posts are beautiful, but I'm sure your more personal posts will be just as beautiful!

Good luck, lady! I'm looking forward to the new direction you take here. :)

-Lauren

Virginie said...

I totally relate to this post Julie and I'm glad you are sharing with us. I have been feeling the same about my blog lately, I think it's safe to assume that a lot of bloggers feel the pressure. I think for me at the end of the day it's about publishing what I want to remember in ten years and the memories that I hold dear. I started the blog to document my journey in filmmaking (personal style included!) and soon I was posting more outfits than anything else because I felt the pressure of the numbers. An outfit posts gets 25 comments, an on set post gets only 10 and a movie rec only 5? It took me a while but that's ok with me now. Because the on set memories and the movies I watch are the things I want to remember in the long run, so in 20 years I can remember how at this point in my life I was enamored with Birgitte Bardot and watched old Marlon Brando movies all the time...

So I realized that, just like in making movies, you have to create something that YOU love and are proud of, and then everybody else will follow.

Sorry for rambling in your comment box, you touched something in me with this post ;)

Virginie xo

sallie oleta barbee said...

Your blog has long been a favorite of mine and I not only support, but look forward to any changes you want to make. I'm sure it will be awesome.

I don't know that anyone is ever quite prepared for how difficult a big move is. People always say that moving is one of the more stressful experiences in our lives, but those words don't always mean anything until you've experienced it. I think this is especially hard when you move away from your family and from a place that you love. This was my experience a few years ago when I move from Philly to Houston. I think it took me 6 months to admit to myself that I was not "OK" and I also skirted around the word "depressed". It really took a full year until I started to feel like myself again and another year until I actually LIKED where I was.

So all this is to say, try not to be too hard on yourself. Its really like a little grief leaving the place you love, but like all things it gets better with time. And having a great partner by your side will make it that much easier.

Rooting for you!

Jhan said...

I don't comment on your blog often, but I enjoy reading your posts.
I believe that our blogs should be anything we want it to be... no apologies necessary. I look forward to you sharing more of your passions with us readers!

Nnenna said...

Ooof, this is so true! It’s so easy to hear the advice that you need to step away from your blog/the internet sometimes and get back to real life, but it’s so hard to do in practice! Last month for FBFF (Fashion Beauty Friend Friday), we were discussing social media and how do we avoid collapse under the barrage of information hitting us. Writing that post, I realized that I know I should disconnect every once in a while, but I’m still constantly checking my email, or my twitter feed, or Instagram. Recently, on the weekends at least, I’ve been trying to spend at least one day unplugged and not worried about anything blog-related, and instead just taking the time to relax from a busy week or catch up on some reading.

I remember in my first year of blogging, I did the same thing too. I didn’t really have time for a post but I wanted to keep to some arbitrary “schedule” I’d formed for myself, so I’d throw up an outfit post and be done with it. Then I realized that I don’t want to be doing that because I know that I so prefer on other blogs that I read when there are pictures and an interesting little tidbit or story to accompany them! I was like, “Why would I post something on my blog that I wouldn’t even really want to read myself? Doh!”

Since I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, it’s so easy for me to curl up on my couch and lose hours of my life on the internet, but one of my resolutions way back in January was to regain my love of books, get out more, and try new things. So far I’ve made a bit of progress on all fronts, but I could definitely do more and this post has reenergized me to do so!

Thanks for a great post Julie and I’m looking forward to following your journey on here to regain your balance :)

charity victoria said...

I look forward to hearing more of what makes YOU, you. xoxo!

Samantha Manzella said...

This is a wonderful, inspiring post that really and truly touched me. I feel like fashion blogging and lifestyle blogging especially come with such an expectation of living this "perfect" and "beautiful" and "serene" life. In reality, though, anyone who has ever walked a day on this planet knows that that is just not real. It's just not true. I appreciate your honesty, and I look forward to whatever content you have to post! Change is often a good thing in life.

<3 Samantha
http://www.nerdysam.com

blue roses said...

to echo the many sentiments already well articulated on this thread, what a perfect, timely post, in regard to mirroring so many of my own emotions; obviously, we are not alone. it can be a tenuous and delicate balance, incorporating our passions into our daily schedules such that we allow ourselves the opportunity to indulge and participate in them, without having them become this mundane routine.

i have enjoyed your blog immensely the past few months since i began following; indeed, i admire your personal style, your beautiful and compelling outfits, but i return because i love your voice and your charm. hearing your perspectives, being given a chance to read your thoughts on other areas of interest to you, art, film, your new city, whatever, would be a delight.

when i started my blog, i had been fake laid off by my employer (long story), desperate, and seeking an outlet for my frustration, both professional and personal, with regard to honing my craft and my love, writing. having compiled, and continuing to compile, copious rejections from an array of literary magazines, my blog as an arena to write freely, without care, on more superficial topics, if i wanted, like outfit posts and vintage jewelry, or heavier topics, like struggling with professional dissatisfaction. lately, i have been yearning to explore areas, in text, of intellectual interest, and question whether my blog is the appropriate avenue. i am, in fact, kicking around the idea of starting a new, collaborative publication with friends; while clothing, shopping, and personal style may come into play, i hope to use this new forum to delve more substantially into areas of import, perhaps string together some veritably cogent ideas.

anyway. glad that you feel comfortable and confident to share with us, your devoted readers. i look forward to your continued challenges, triumphs, and inspirations.

thank you!

http://dallianceswithsuitsandskirts.blogspot.com/

Noémie said...

Hi! I don't usually ever feel compelled to comment on anyone's fashion blog as I feel that saying exactly the same as every other person who's commented about how nice your wedges are or how I wish I owned that jacket aren't the most productive comments to leave...

I've also had many blogs in my teens and only just started a new one at the end of 2011 which I hope will include a lot of adult/meaningful stuff about my life, what I like and what means a lot to me... It did take me 5 whole years after moving from the East of France to London, being an au pair and studying a whole degree in a language that wasn't in my mother tongue, as well as struggling to make ends meet for a whole year and a half before I could "put pen back to paper" in a coherent way!

So after reading your post I want to tell you how brave I think you are; putting yourself out there on the internet and say real stuff (like this post) and be real rather than just show the good bits in your life; it is a scary thing to do and I applaud you for writing it. I believe that you have been doing what you say you want to do in snippets and that is why I have kept silently reading your blog for the last 2 or even possibly 3 years! I think seeing that other people such as yourself are following their dreams and are working hard to overcome their struggles is a hugely empowering and inspiring thing and it also makes you more approachable and very possibly closer to your readers...

Thank you for such real words, they made my day!

Noémie
no-et-mie.blogspot.com

Mona Gray said...

I am sure I would enjoy anything you want to put up into your public space here!

I think having a schedule for blogging is just too unrealistic because there is real life to be lived and that has to come first. I just took a trip to another city to visit friends and although I had planned to take a lot of pictures of whatever that didn't end up happening because I was just too busy being with friends I hadn't seen in a long time and enjoying our time together. And not a regret was had!

And now its time to enjoy this awesome warm spell!

snow me white said...

Julie,
There's so much pressure out there for bloggers to post all the time and "stay relevant" to keep up with what followers want. Whenever I start feeling that anxiety, I remember I started my blog for Me. The people who matter will understand that You started the blog for You and if you need some time off or a different structure, no biggie. We'll keep reading.
Take care of yourself as you adjust to the move and new lifestyle.
All the best,
Sonja

Melissa at bubbyandbean.com said...

I discovered your blog recently, and really enjoy. (And this is my very first comment!) I completely relate on so many levels - partly with my blog, but in so many other areas of my life as well. I've been a clothing designer for a long time, and was very successful at it until a couple of years ago when the economy crashed. Money has been so tight since, and I've felt very stuck. My husband is on the road with his band for half the year, and has been home only 17 days since the end of December, which doesn't help. I find myself doing almost nothing but working - on the clothing line, on the blog, on my art. It's almost like I've completely abandoned the concept of enjoyment. Life has become desperately trying to get back where I was, when instead I should be reworking things for the future. I think taking a step back and trying to get out more and actually remember things that made me happy outside of my little bubble is so key. Thank you for this post! It's good to know I'm not alone.

xo,
melissa

Courtney said...

I understand completely, sometimes we just have to take a minute for ourselves (even if it ends up being a lot longer!). I love your blog, and adore all of your outfit posts (you've been quite the inspiration), and look forward to all posts you write. I hope everything falls into place for you, and all is well!

Raj said...

It is amazing how spending time with other bloggers can get you thinking so deeply about your blog.
I attend BlogWest this weekend and came back feeling like I need to give my blog more of a direction and be committed to creating better content also.
For balance, the best thing I've found is shutting off from technology once a week. No computer, phone, or tv. Sometimes being alone with our thoughts is what we need most.

Dana said...

I have been trying to focus on the important things while cutting out the less-important ones that are not such a great use of my time. I look forward to seeing the evolution of the blog! :)

Anonymous said...

I think this happens to everybody, for those like me who have no blog to express themselves I may end up feeling also doing the same stuff or talking about the same things (though really I didn´t get that impression from your blog, I think you´re very sweet, honest and sensitive person and all that is reflected on your blog). For me it works to start something new, now it´s yoga I´m doing and it´s amazing for body /mind and I´m also getting back to play the piano, so take your time to think about what really passionates you and give yourself a treat and start doing it!!! New energies will come around for sure!!! Big big hug!!!

Abigayel Bryce said...

interesting post!


i laughed a lot at this "(a mattress-nest on the floor seemed romantic at 18, now as a 28 year old, it’s just making my joints hurt and causing insomnia)."


i'm 18... its so true. hahah... glad you got a bed, though!

: ) abi

Lauren Hargrove said...

Balance is a word that I use a lot. To me each person has their own balance.

I am constantly working on balance as life throws things at me to get me off balance. I have realized that I need to learn to say "no", to not let someone else's balance dictate my balance, and to learn to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed so that I can get back on balance.

Congrats on your bed! I don't know how you lasted on the floor so long.

p.s. Thanks for your weekly posts with cute things from Bluesville. I am now the proud owner of a great fitting snakeskin dress and yellow/grey leopard pencil skirt... They are fabulous!

Sandy a la Mode said...

i too sometimes just throw on a outfit and call it a post, but you are right, i think it's better to be intentional and connect with readers! maybe i'll start reevaluating my own blog and do the same! thanks for the inspiration!

Kyla said...

Oh, honey - I could've written every word of this myself (except fot the bed on the floor part - which is good because my floor is covered in clothing and other shit). In fact, I've started paying someone to help me with these realizations and game plans - no shame. TXSC was exactly what I needed to take my blog where I want it to go, but with no deadlines attached. It wasn't even the conference itself so much as connecting with everyone. And just TALKING for once! I spent the entire plane ride home writing ideas in a notebook and allowing myself the time to expand on them. Then, I came home and spent $35 on a new notebook that I could customize to help me better organize my thoughts. Because you are exactly right - I throw up outfit posts (and shallow ones at that) instead of flushing out the million other ideas I'd rather be writing about. And deep breath ...

Lottie said...

I have been there and it was so hard. We got married, moved, husnamd got a new job in liket two weeks and it was stressful. And I felt overwhelmed totally especially as I am not the best with change and my blog became more of what I thouhgt it should be thatn what I wanted it to be.

And over a year later I finally feel like I am getting back on track--my voice is becoming stronger.

Bu then I am moving next week which will probably result in total disaray again--wish me luck.

Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage said...

I had a baby and was FORCED to step back. It's hard to find the right balance for me because I want too many things and can't have them all. It's nice to hear other people feel the same way- one of the reasons the conference was helpful and as always inspirational.
Marie @
Lemondrop ViNtAge

Marie said...

I started reading your blog my sophomore year of college when I desperately needed a little inspiration and an image of a fashion forward (but un-photoshopped) REAL woman. You were my first blog! Its strange how emotionally attached I become to the blogs I read weekly. Especially because I like reading about the lives of REAL women from around the country, not fairy tale magazine editorials tied with a bow. I cried looking at your wedding pictures, because your happiness was genuine and not staged. And its posts like this that remind me why I keep coming back to Orchid Grey. Obviously you are lovely and creative and stylish to boot; but you are also just as equally lovely a person. Everyone falls into ruts, feels depressed and behind on life. Like you're always chasing something just out of reach. I so appreciate you being honest about it in a very public way, and most of all your pining to overcome it! Sorry for the epic spiel, but I also come with advice! Back away from the laptop and do something with your hands other than typing! Personally, I do embroidery, super easy, cheap, and fun. sublimestitching.com has amazing patterns, the woman who started it embroidered a portrait of Iggy Pop! Secondly I keep a journal, its fancy and personal and a great place to keep notes and look back at small beautiful memories. I don't journal daily or even weekly, just when I feel the need to get pen to paper. And lastly (promise!) vitamin D has worked wonders for me. Its a natural way to alleviate depression that seems too mild for hardcore prescriptions. Google it and see! Whew, I hope you're not exhausted from reading that! I hope I could help :)

Kate.Stoltzfus said...

Hi Julie,

Although I have never met you IRL, I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I love your style. And I think no matter what, you personality shines through... even if you feel outfit posts are not as personal. As one of your readers, I still feel a connection!

At the same time, I think the epiphany you had at the blogging conference is just what you need. Such a huge realization! It's crazy how life sends us messages right when we need them.

We all long to go deep. To connect. To share what is most meaningful to us. I think this is just the beginning for you. I can't wait to see what is next for Orchid Grey!

If there is anything I can do to make your adjustment to Pittsburgh better, let me know.

Believe it or not, my first few years in Pittsburgh were a little challenging. It's crazy to think that now I am head over heals in love with this city even after a bit of a rough start.

I'm hoping one of these days our paths will cross, Julie. If you are up for tea sometime let me know!

Kate, yinzpiration.com

nicola lynde. said...

Oh this is so relatable. I have done pretty much the same thing since moving to Denmark. Tried to maintain the exact lifestyle I had in Canada. Never mind the 6 hours of language classes the hour a day commuting by bike and the full time job I have to hold down. The amount of times my boyfriend looks at me like I'm crazy, Danish homework in one hand, putting on my make-up on with the other, all the while stressing over blog posts. I think it's such a female trait to struggle to balance our lives. We want to do it all, and it's not to say we shouldn't, but sometimes we shouldn't put so much pressure on ourselves to everything perfectly. I think your blog is lovely and I always enjoy your outfit posts, but also think I would love it just as much if the posts were less frequent and had more written content. Good luck with the balancing act (I'm really trying to get mine in check right now too)
Thanks for sharing!

mk said...

My husband and I made a big move back in October. The following months (and even now) have been sooo encredibly hard. I also tried to continue life as normal but it just wasn't working. I am not at all where I want to be with my adjustment but I have noticed that as soon as I let life take it's course (and in my personal journey with God) I have found that my move has caused such a shift for me that I am starting to blossom in other areas that I hadn't pre-move. I also had to force myself to get out more and meet people even though I was soo tired of it and out of my comfort zone. I totally hear ya on this post! It's just simply stinkin hard to start over!! If you need any more encouragement or anything...feel free to email or something! It's good to know that we're not the only ones who struggle with big life changes!!

Johanna said...

Thank you for your blog and being so open and honest! I read style blogs every day and really enjoy yours! I have been talking about starting a blog for quite some time now, and all of your comments and openness might have given me enough inspiration to get there! I work as an engineer full time, so I have very little need to be artistic. I miss using that part of my brain!

Sorry to ramble. Don't stress out, and remember your readers are pulling for you!

House Of Jeffers said...

Hey Julie,

I just wanted to say that your bravery in being so honest with your readers has really inspired me - I'm actually writing a post on my blog tomorrow based off of a similiar topic of feeling like life is sorta crazy and unbalanced. I feel like I'm going through my own troubles, so just know that there's someone else feeling a little down and out lately... and you're not alone. My husband and I moved recently... and I've just been all sorta of out of whack - so I can sympathize with how you're feeling.

Sending you positive vibes and even brighter thoughts!

xo
Jen
House Of Jeffers

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