This was originally published August 2015. Edited August 2016.
In the hopes to diversify the content of my blog, and display some more of who I am, I’m going to do things a little differently this time. Instead of a beauty product review/first impression, style collage, shout out, or the like, I’m going to discuss a question I think we all as bloggers have been faced with – why do we do it? What is it that propels some of us to continually devote hours of our lives on something many see as just a hobby…when to us it is so much more?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I blog because it has given me a voice.
I’ve never opened up about this on here, but I suffer from major depressive disorder. It has been a huge hindrance and nuisance in my life for many years, and has had an immense impact on my social life, relationships – platonic and romantic, physical health, and of course mental and emotional health. For YEARS I have felt like a prisoner within my own mind.
A lack of self-worth and self-love led to self imposed isolation, a deterioration of friendships, repeated disappointment, misery, loneliness, and most importantly, an overwhelming sense of despair and lack of motivation to continue on. So many self defeating thoughts and negative affirmations would constantly dart through my head; I couldn’t sleep, I would drive myself to the point of not being able to eat, my body was weak, I was constantly tired….my body and mind were rapidly deteriorating. It came to a point where I felt as if I were at a loss.
Through all of this, as I mentioned before, I was isolating myself to an extent. In this time, when I wasn’t asleep, I was on my computer watching beauty YouTube videos. I had been watching these “gurus” for a few years now, but found that these types of videos were increasingly providing me comfort in a way. I could watch the videos and learn, and more importantly see how much knowledge I had picked up over the years. I don’t know what it was/is about these videos, but learning about all of the new products, seeing how they are so creatively used by so many to create countless looks, and understanding so much information about such a vast array of products fascinated me.
Watching so many of these videos, especially those done by people around my age like Lauren Ross made me think, “I know a decent amount about products, what’s stopping me from talking about them?” Now, I was in no way, shape, or form prepared to delve into YouTube, but I did (and do) enjoy writing. What better way to combine the two than start a blog?
So there I was, a short while before Thanksgiving Break, with my new blog. At first it was just an outlet for me – a place where I would go to spend time and take my mind off of the annoying invasive negative thoughts that were plaguing me. Over time, I began to pour more and more time into it: paying closer attention to the content I was producing, working to improve the additional aspects of my posts like photographs and images, learning graphic editing to improve the aesthetic of posts, and working to improve the design of my site.
So what does that have to do with why I blog? Everything.
Blogging has transformed, for me, from a hobby and way to pass time to a “therapy” of sorts. Through blogging, I have broken through the initial layer of my fear of my success. Every little achievement I have seen through blogging, from new followers to number of posts, has given me an affirmation that I do have some semblance of ability. My words do mean something to at least one person out there, and I am able to succeed at something. I’ve been able to engage with so many lovely people both on here and on Twitter, and each engagement teaches me something new about blogging that I am able to use to improve my skills. As I improve, my confidence only increases.
This is something that I have put so much time to, and to see it unfold the way it has provides me with such a sense of elation…I can’t even explain it. Blogging has re-introduced passion into my life, purpose, and a new sense of drive. Of course, depression doesn’t just stop. I still go through peaks and troughs….highs and lows where sometimes those feelings of despair will come back, or I’ll overthink myself into a crisis, but when that happens I am now able to focus that energy on communicating with other bloggers on Twitter, or curating a blog post.
I’m no longer highly skeptical of the heights I can reach, or my abilities. I have goals that aren’t driven by the motions of life, but an inner passion that grows stronger each day. Most of all, I feel a sense of worth. It is for those reasons that I blog, and why I will continue to for as long as I am able 🙂
I am not looking to turn this into a career or anything or that sort, but since I originally wrote this, I now have a firmer grasp on the idea that I will pursue my passions and live happily off of them. I refuse to submit to the idea that I have to sacrifice what I love or what makes me happy in order to reach success. Of course, sacrifices will have to be made, but there is no reason why I should have to hide myself or my journey. I hope to use my background and experiences to help others, and I refuse to cower behind them or be made to feel like they make me a weak person.
I hope that wasn’t too somber of a post, it is just something I felt the need to share. Over the past few weeks, so many opportunities and growth opportunities have blossomed, and I couldn’t help but sit back and feel thankful for my blog for helping me connect to all of these opportunities and great people. I am not allowing those who feel as if people can’t take blogging up as a hobby are less than or anything of that sort.
For some, this is truly an outlet and a way to heal, don’t take that away from them by invalidating their reasons for starting.
I’ve shared why I blog, but why do you? Please share, I would love to hear 🙂
Until next time