You guys. This month marks Seven years of The Curvy Fashionista. OMGGGG Can you believe it? I cannot either! Last week, we kicked things off with a great giveaway and they will continue to happen this month, but my, how far I have come. As a blogger, businesswoman, and owner, this was never a path I set out for myself, but one I surely did embrace!
But along these seven years of the blog, as I have grown, evolved the blog, and have pushed myself out of my own box, I wanted to share with you a few things that I have learned and that have been tantamount in the successes and losses of the blog!
Please read on and share your thoughts!
7 Things I Learned in These 7 Years of The Curvy Fashionista
Growing In My Confidence
Listen, there have been many a time I questioned if I could do something, if it was enough, or my own value in this blogging world. As I have created this space for you, I PROMISE YOU, your words, stories shared, and the topics we tackle have done a lot for me. I have to say these past two years in particular have been eye opening personally, professionally and emotionally.
I am big on taking huge leaps, I like living life without wondering “what if” and knowing that I gave it my all.
However, this ish is scary. A lot of times I have no idea what I am doing, I just lean on my vision, education and life in retail to make it all work!
BUT after the last event, the TCFStyle Expo, it allowed me to see that I can do this. I can step into my own power and make things TWERK. Literally I have had this idea for like, three years or so, but my fear got the best of me, and I constantly tabled it… until Atlanta!
Yes, I do get nervous, second guess myself, and wonder about if y’all dig what I am doing over here quite often!
But what I have realized, is as I have faced each issue or challenge, whether or not I make it work, the fact that I tried it, and that I have survived, I DID IT.
Stepping Outside Your Box
This would apply this to just about everything from my hairstyles to my evolving personal style. But even more so? Getting from behind the computer and out to more events, in front of the camera more, and doing more video! As a Virgo and UBER Beyoncé fan, I have an inner Sasha Fierce pining to get out and have a bit of fun… BUT as years have passed, as I have been trying to get this blog off the ground, I have gotten comfortable, have turned into a bit of a Ambivert, and have long quieted my inner Sasha Fierce.
But, if even in baby steps, I have been allowing myself the chance to step up and out a bit more… doing the things I quietly wished to do, but never gave myself the space or time to do so!
This means being more present and visible. This means dragging myself out to events. Getting all fancy. Doing more videos. Just doing MORE of what I envisioned and have dreamt about…
This means more outfit posts, videos, pushing my personal style outside of my norm. No more longing for Something that I longed to do, it is all about doing it, no matter how uncomfortable or scary it feels or seems.
JUST DO IT.
The Hustle is Real
Being a full time blogger is no small feat. Listen, I am every role and am constantly scouring the net to find the newness, all while maintaining the site (it adds up), negotiating opportunities with brands, planning events, working social media, and so much more! Whew!
A girl gets tired… but then it is so worth it!
While I sit here and worry, pray, and strategize about blog operations I also have to make sure home is taken care of and over the years, it has definitely gotten better. HOWEVER, there was the two years at my mom’s house, the roommate I lived with, and the first year and half in the bay, where I literally lived on hope and a prayer.
Losing my job in the 2009 economic downturn meant no one was hiring an MBA graduate. Not even Starbucks. I had to dig into this blog, learn ways to stay transparent to my dream and vision without compromising myself for the cause!
There were times where I had to decide which bill was going to get paid, which bullet I had to bite, and which events I was NOT going to. There was little to no social life for me! So I dug into my blog, grinded harder, sacrificed a bit more (hello no kids, my blog was my baby), and sucked it all up- for the vision.
These are all the things very few folks got to see.
Things as bloggers that are not so openly talked about…
How resilient. How innovative. How smart. How impassioned.
And how you wouldn’t change it for anything.
Be and Stay Grateful (FOMO)
It is very easy to get caught up with what you do not have versus what you do.
I have gotten so used to grinding it out and achieving one goal after the other, that sometimes, I forget to stop and smell the roses.
Or, while I am grinding it out, I look up to see a few things happening around me, and I wonder or question my work, if it is good enough… just enough, basically.
And in the world of social media, seeing all of these curated events, happenings, and celebrations, it is easy to get caught up in wondering…
But by not being appreciative, focusing on what others are doing will take you off track, discourage, or detour your blessings and gifts. What is for you, is truly for you and once you start walking in your purpose and truly understand that, these feeling will fall to the waist side and your blessings will start to flow, however big or small they are- being thankful for each is key!
This Walk of Faith is Real
This entire journey has been a faith walk. I would be speaking in vain if I did not acknowledge this walk, this journey, and my growth without mentioning how my faith in God has greatly impacted rather, has been the reason why I am here, in Atlanta, growing and learning!
Each major milestone has been at a place where my faith was most tested. My move from the bay, back to my mother’s house, the move out of there, to this move to Georgia!
Along the way, friends made, lessons learned, and revelations have all been a result of my prayers, listening, and stepping out on faith! Even the process of growing has been one of faith. And I consistently lean on this verse for guidance:
“Trust in the lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. For in all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
You ever have a dream or idea or thought and immediately shut it down? I do and did that often. However not anymore! Hahahaha!
I would have these ideas and then would think, nahhhhh, that’s crazy. Or I would think no one would come, support or believe in that!
As each year goes by and the many of you that would support, especially after this year’s TCFStyle Expo, I realize that these ideas and thoughts and the things that scare me and JUST the things that I should be doing!
So with this, what I have planned for next year? It is more of like, why not?! And if it scares me, then I am on the right path.
Or am a masochist…
Either way, you cannot grow in areas of comfort, it is in those uncomfortable areas that growth happens! So here we go and I hope you are along for the ride!
This is my theme for 2016.
After I spent most of this year learning to give myself permission with this thing called life, faced fears, and embraced my unique ness and voice, I am ready to charge full steam ahead! No matter the missteps, failed attempts, homeruns, and successes, staying humble and remembering where you started, all while stepping boldly into your blessing, this upcoming year is going to be all about me owning it.
What does this mean?
But what I do know is that with these lessons all coming together to show me just WHO I AM, understanding that everything happens for a reason and in his timing, knowing that what is for you is for you and that no man can take that away, I am all fired up and am ready to receive and OWN IT!
And with YOU along for the ride, we can do this!