Getting Real for a Second

Getting Real for a Second
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Getting Real for a Second

I’m a lot more than just my clothes.

It’s the middle of a Thursday afternoon. There’s been thunderstorms raging for the past hour. I hate thunderstorms. They give me anxiety. I wish I could be one of those moody, romantic, artist types who loves watching the rain fall because it means a “fresh, clean start” blah blah blah – but that’s not me. I’m constantly worrying that the tree outside my office window is going to fall on our house, that our power will go out, or that someone I know is going to be injured while driving through the torrential downpour. Needless to say, summer storms freak me out. I’ve been attempting to get my work done all day, but my mind is elsewhere.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by life lately.

I don’t try to make my social media or blog appear perfect. I’ve never wanted to put on any sort of front. Somehow, it just happens no matter how hard I try when it comes to these platforms. It seems like everything is going great and my life is just one exciting thing after another. Sometimes I fail to realize that you all don’t always know what’s going on behind-the-scenes. So rather than rambling on about how you need to buy my outfit, I’m going to just be real with you all today and give you a sneak peek of how things have been lately. Not to complain, not to boast, not to make any sort of statement aside from the fact that I’m a real human being with real life challenges and that needs to be communicated!

Outfit Details // similar blazer | top | pants | necklace | similar shoes

Photos by Brandon of Erudite Productions Inc.

Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second

My wedding is just a little over three months away. Gosh, I couldn’t be more excited, but I’m also feeling that stress creeping up. Since our budget was so small for this entire ordeal, I’ve been relying on DIYs, wholesale orders, and brand collaborations to make our dream a reality. I’ve asked for help from so many family members and friends, but that doesn’t always make stress magically disappear. I still haven’t gotten our florals settled, Brandon has yet to purchase a suit, and there are just some aspects I’m completely clueless about right now. For goodness’ sake, we don’t even have a place to live nailed down yet! Each day is a matter of waking up, taking a deep breath, and hoping to conquer my never-ending to-do list so I can get to the part I’m really looking forward to: “I DO.”

I’ve never felt so conflicted over my career. On the one hand, I’m juggling more brand partnerships and thrilling opportunities than I have in the entire three years I’ve been blogging. On the other hand, my engagement on Instagram is tanking, and my blog views are struggling to climb. I’ve been putting so much focus into learning SEO, keywords, Pinterest strategies, and generally bettering my business – but I do all of this alone, and it takes a lot out of me. I’ve even considered hiring an intern to keep my head above water. Don’t get me wrong, this is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had in my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, navigating the ever-changing algorithms and attempting two or three self-timer photoshoots on a daily basis to keep up with deadlines is exhausting – mentally and physically.

After a two week-long gastroparesis flare-up during the middle of July, I finally started to get back into the swing of things, and wound up with the flu. Another week lost in bed – and a lingering cough that makes me feel like my lungs are actually going to snap in half. Caffeine doesn’t seem to cut it, and I’m collapsing in bed by 9pm each night. Sometimes I feel like my anxiety is going to end me. I guess that’s actually the anxiety, itself, talking – but it sure is miserable. Panic attacks are happening in the middle of my day over phone calls about hotel blocks, and my mind is constantly whirring with all of the things I should be getting done.

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t write posts like this. I never want to seem like I’m just whining, because I try my hardest to keep this space as positive as possible! But I also don’t want to appear fake. Just because there are happy things going on around me, it doesn’t always mean that I’m going to be happy. As someone who’s dealt with depression and anxiety for years, I’ve come to realize this as the norm for myself. I can sit here and repeat, “my life is great!” over and over again, but it won’t necessarily change the way I feel. I know I’m not the only one who experiences this, though – which is why I write these posts. There’s an innate desire to communicate that you’re not alone, while simultaneously admitting to myself that I’m not alone either.

We can do this.

I’m saying it for myself: my wedding is going to be incredible (I’m finally marrying my best friend)! I’m going to continue kicking butt in my business. These health issues won’t hold me back forever. The promotion is going to come at the perfect time.

We can do this.

 I’m saying it for you – whoever you are: you’re going to have a wonderful first date with that person you just met. Moving into an apartment by yourself won’t be that scary. Whatever it is that you’re experiencing, know that you’ll make it through!

Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second Getting Real for a Second

Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest. I’m so grateful for you.

Photos by Brandon of Erudite Productions Inc.

Outfit Details // similar blazer | top | pants | necklace | similar shoes

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley DTKAustin
    August 3, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    Girl. I am literally in the same boat with blogging/instagram. My collabs are coming in more than ever but my stats are tanking more than ever. I consider quitting on a daily basis… This isn’t my full time job but I still treat it as one at times and it’s so hard to make yourself stand out online these days!! I feel your pain.

  • Reply
    Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels
    August 3, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    Oh my this post, you read my mind, didn’t you? The struggle is so real with blogging and Instagram, and it’s so frustrating to be working so hard yet not seeing it actually working! You’re wedding is going to be amazing, and everything will work out for you too! <3

  • Reply
    vanessa
    August 3, 2018 at 1:05 PM

    <3 Girl. You are the best. My advice (not that you asked!)
    Looking back 17 years ago on my wedding… believe it or not, you don't notice any of it. It is a swirl, and the perfect place setting and flowers are LOST. Get a dress you adore and feel magical in. Keep it as simple as you can, the only detail that matters…the love. I promise, promise (oh and the dress… it is pretty awesome to feel so beautiful). Event aht is a way far down second. As for work, the more you come back to you, the more you share, the more real you are and the more fun you have… the more you attract what you desire. You got this. Keep going! <3

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 3, 2018 at 2:01 PM

    The few months and week leading up to a wedding are really stressful-but you got this! You have your checklist and you are on course. Everything will fall into place on game-day aka wedding day 😉 If something goes wrong-don’t worry about it or let it ruin your big day! We forgot to put the guest book out at our wedding and no-one noticed! That’s the thing, everyone will be having fun and if one thing goes astray-no-one will notice!!

    That being said-don’t worry about your blog right now-concentrate on the wedding. You will be 1000x more relaxed after the wedding and then you can go into the backend of your website and SEO it to the max etc. You got this!!

    Also-I love your blazer and how you styled it!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

  • Reply
    Casey
    August 3, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    You have an awesome balance of positivity and real! Try to take some time for you to stay healthy mentally and physically, you got this!

  • Reply
    Jean Exum Sauban
    August 3, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Smile Stephanie 🙂 I know exactly what you’re going through. You’ve got some big life changes fast approaching (i.e. the marriage, even if it is to your best friend). You’re not whining. You’re just relating. And regarding the blogging, we all know what it’s like having to juggle a bunch of different things at once. Sometimes when we take time to learn how to do things better, we pay for it in the immediate term. But we’re often happier in the long-term. And no, unfortunately caffeine does NOT by itself always get the job done. LOL. Hope you get to feeling better.

  • Reply
    Casey
    August 3, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    The weather in RVA has been crappy lately. I appreciate your balance of positive and real; it’s refreshing! You don’t come across and whining or complaining at all. Take some time for you to stay healthy mentally and physically – tomorrow is another day. You are going to rock that to do list!

  • Reply
    September
    August 3, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    Well said. Again, your honest humility is so beautiful. I will pray for you during this stretch.

  • Reply
    Kamille
    August 3, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    Ahh I’m glad you were able to get some things off your chest. Even the most cheerful people can feel down, so you’re not coming off in a negative way at all. I always see your passion and hard work that you’re putting into your blog and wedding, I know it will pay off in the end! Love you Steph, keeping hanging in there!

  • Reply
    Tanvi Rastogi
    August 3, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    Looks like we all are in the same boat (having read the comments above). The industry is growing and the engagement is dropping. I am guessing because people have so many more avenues that they can’t give all their attention to the same bloggers. I wish I have the answer but girl just keep at it. Everything always fall in place eventually.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  • Reply
    Summer
    August 3, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    You are not whining at ALL! Thank you for being so real. Not many bloggers have that capability anymore. So, thank you for that. I feel you on the IG struggles… it’s gross how bad it is and honestly, I think it’s so bad because of other bloggers who follow/unfollow and won’t engage unless you’re in their clique. It’s disheartening. But we’re worth more than all of that. Here’s to hoping brands will keep noticing us and our content instead of numbers!

  • Reply
    Candace
    August 3, 2018 at 9:02 PM

    This is a great post. I like how I can get to know you better from your blog. Btw I can’t wait for pictures of your big day. You better promise that you will give us a little sneak peek lol

    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  • Reply
    Helena Marz
    August 3, 2018 at 9:29 PM

    Aww girl I hear you! You are not whining at all…I am the same way too! It’s good to talk it out and have support from others to make you feel better. I understand blogging is hard work and I am not a full time blogger, so I am trying to balance my life to enjoy myself. I also suffer from anxiety on and off…it’s not fun! Things will get better for you girl…keep going forward and don’t give up! ❤️

  • Reply
    adriana
    August 3, 2018 at 10:21 PM

    I LOVE this. I so feel you girl. It can be so hard and so easy to get down on yourself, especially with so much going on – I’m so glad you wrote this because it’s going to make so many people in the same boat realize they aren’t alone! Including myself – it’s so difficult and I’ve been feeling SO overwhelmed lately. Thank you for writing and sharing this, seriously!!

  • Reply
    Zamaie Chinye
    August 3, 2018 at 11:13 PM

    I know how you feel about not wanting to whine and publish posts like this, but it’s good to get things off your chest and let other people know what’s going on behind the scenes. I love these photos of you, Stephanie! Your smile is so cute! You’ve just earned yourself a new reader. <3

    zamaiewrites.wordpress.com

  • Reply
    Kileen
    August 3, 2018 at 11:28 PM

    I love your honesty, and one thing I’ve learned is that life is hard and it is okay to not be okay! Take a deep breath, and have a solid self care session. Sending you lots of love and positive vibes, you got this babe!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  • Reply
    Melissa
    August 4, 2018 at 7:50 PM

    Good to hear from a fellow blogger. I often wonder these things and if I am insane for getting stressed out over my blog and social media. I love that you got down to real talk. I was just looking at these little libraries the other day and trying to find one where I live!

  • Reply
    Lee
    August 4, 2018 at 8:39 PM

    Aw I’m sorry you’ve been struggling girl! Know you are not alone in the conflicting blog feelings- I’ve also been getting way more campaigns than ever but my Instagram likes are plummeting by the day and it’s so frustrating.
    Thanks for sharing some realness today!

  • Reply
    Stephani
    August 5, 2018 at 12:13 AM

    I love how real you are in this post! This whole blogging thing can be a lot and so hard to keep up with sometimes! Definitely gives me anxiety! And about your wedding, it will all fall into place and be your best day ever!!

    Xo, Steph

  • Reply
    Tara Fuller
    August 5, 2018 at 9:43 PM

    girl – take care of yourself and get lots of rest. i think blogging can easily lend towards feeling overwhelmed and super anxious – I have to take breaks all the time and remind myself to be “present” and less consumed with keeping up with social media.

  • Reply
    Mollie
    August 6, 2018 at 8:31 AM

    Girl, I hear you!! Social media is truly such a highlight reel – it can be easy to get lost in it!! Never feel like you shouldn’t write posts like this because I love your honesty! We’re less than 3 months from our wedding and I’m also FREAKING THE F OUT. I’m so freaking stressed I’m going to be cutting back on blog posts for the remainder of the year leading up to the wedding. If you ever want to vent, hit me up!! We are also planning a wedding on a tight budget, and moving to London meant we lost my full-time salary. So yeah, everyday I have anxiety over one thing or another. I’m so excited to be married but kind of just want to get it over with already!!

  • Reply
    Laura Leigh
    August 6, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    Okay one, you look absolutely beautiful in this look. This blazer was made for you and I just adore it on you. Two, I completely understand the overwhelming feeling. Especially with your wedding being so close. That feeling is bound to happen but gal the overwhelming joy, relief, and happiness you will feel on that day and following is incredible! Promise it will all be very worth it. As always, I admire you for your openness and honesty! Always, here if you need an ear!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

  • Reply
    Deborah
    August 6, 2018 at 9:43 AM

    Thank you for sharing your struggles! I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with all of this and I’m glad you’re getting real on your blog – as a reader and a fan, I like knowing that the influencers I admire are human too. I really hope you know that you’re definitely not alone!

  • Reply
    Kasey | Running in Heels
    August 6, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    I love this real talk! IG is a struggle lately. It’s so hard putting so much time into it knowing it’s not coming back! Your wedding will be gorgeous, take a breath and enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Sharon Wu
    August 6, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Love how you always keep it real girl! Just like you I feel overwhelmed by life sometimes too and it’s just important to remember to take a break and know when to restart. Keep your head up – you have so many exciting things ahead of you! XO

  • Reply
    Delia
    August 6, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    First of all you always look adorable and you always have the BEST pictures! Secondly, don’t get too caught up in all the “stuff” concerning blogging and “influencing”, the minute it stops being fun is probably the time you need to shut off your computer and just do something that relaxes you….get a massage, watch a great movie, read a good book, have a cup of wine, go for a run, pray, etc. You’ve reached so far in your career and lots of girls would love to take your place! You’re about to take one of the most important steps in your life (getting married) and there’s a lot of awesome blessings coming your way so don’t get too caught up in the negatives (although believe me, it’s so easy to do that)! Btw, a lot of us are feeling the same way you do but we have to remember why we started doing this in the first place and just get back to that awesome feeling of independence!

  • Reply
    Lavenda Memory
    August 10, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    I’m all about getting real plus your style is ADORABLE babe!

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