Can you believe that a week today is Christmas Eve? I can't. I can't believe this year has gone so quickly, it only feel like yesterday that I was celebrating the New Year of 2017 and what a terrible year that turned out to be. It's nearly the end of 2017 and I cannot wait to start a New Year and a new chapter in my life. But before I start a new chapter, I need to close this old one and explain to you all the reasons why I quit blogging for so long.
Blogging has been something I have been doing since I was in my very early teens so not doing it for months has been so strange, but I wanted to sit down at my laptop on this freezing cold Sunday afternoon and pour my heart out about what has been happening in my life, how I have been feeling about it all and explain to you why I really quit blogging for so long. So, go grab a yummy hot chocolate and a festive mince pie and get comfortable because this is gonna be a long post...
Blogging turned from my hobby into my job and looking back I realise now how unhappy I was. I was trying to keep everyone else happy and stay relevant in this big beautiful mad world of the blogging community. But secretly deep down, I felt like I'd lost my blogging mojo. I was looking for happiness with blogging in the same place I lost it. I felt like I had to be this perfect shiny blogger who never says a bad word or gives a bad review when in reality, I started my blog to be open and honest, and although I have always been truly honest on my blog, there have been times where I have held things back from saying on certain blog posts because I wanted to be the blog post to be liked by who was sponsoring me for it. We all as bloggers feel lost and alone sometimes, and I know now that it's okay to feel that way. It's totally fine to feel like your blog is failing or that you aren't good enough because it's them thoughts and feelings that give a person character and help them grow.
I was struggling and I was scared to admit it. This year has been a really hard year in every way you can imagine, and my mental health has been the worst it has ever been. I've been on a mad, bad, sad, rollercoaster ride and I had no idea how to make it all stop. I wasn't able to control anything going on around me and it was all go, go, go. I was in an all-go numb like hateful pain with myself. I was in so much numb-like pain I didn't even know how to explain it or what to do about it. I felt alone. I felt depressed. I felt numb. I felt in pain. And that's one of the worst things about pain, it demands to be felt.
I was promising too much to people and brands and I was working myself into the ground to try and keep up with it all whilst inside my own head all I was thinking "no matter how good I do this blog post, I will never be good enough anyway". So I quit. I left.
I took two months away from social media and I took nearly four months in total away from blogging, and it's the best thing I have ever done. In that time I took care of myself. I got my health, mentally and physically, on track to the best it has ever been. I took the time to nap and meditate and relax properly. I took the time to make new meals and try new food instead of eating the same old vegan meals over and over. I took the time to spend time with my husband and make memories because even though he never complains at all I knew I was neglecting him
I've realised I don't need to share certain things on my private life with my followers because let's be honest although I adore you all a lot of you don't really know me so I don't need to be sharing personal things with you. It's okay for me to say "Sorry that's too personal for me to share with you". Because if you support me and aren't just being nosey then you won't take any offence, right? I've realised that if I don't blog life goes on and my readers who love my blog will come back time and time again to see if I've posted anything.
I have been away from my blog for four months and I can count on one hand how many bloggers actually took the time to send me a message to see how I was doing or if I needed anything. Them bloggers know who they are and I absolutely adore you all for doing so as you helped me on my 'time-off' journey more than you know. I once read somewhere that you should keep the people who heard you when you never said a word close to your heart forever, and that's what I intend to do. I've had one of the hardest years of my life this year but I am so thankful for it because it's made me realise that no matter how hard life gets, storms don't last forever.
So what now? I have absolutely no idea. All I do know is that next year is going to be my year because I'm determined to make it that way. I'm going to be turning thirty next year and I have some big plans for it! I'm going on holiday, it's going to be my parents' twentieth wedding anniversary and so many more. Plus so many exciting things which are happening blog-wise next year that I cannot wait for the year to start so I can begin them all and I can't wait to share everything on my blog and be proud of it again. The biggest change in my life right now is that feeling when I wake up every morning and I am happy, and I cannot wait to start my day and see what it has in store for me. My days now begin and end with gratitude, joy, love and happiness.
Please learn from my mistakes and go spend some time with some
With love, Alisha Valerie. x