A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had this post burning inside of me and I was dying to share it. Well, the day is finally here; my secrets are coming out!
Who wants to guess how many versions of this post I’ve written? Anyone?
…This is my 6th draft! I’m not sure why this one was so difficult to write, but it’s a bit different than my other Becoming Bella posts and I wanted to make sure it fit nicely into the series and had as meaningful of a message to share. I think I’ve finally strung the right words together. 🙂
What I want to talk about is staying true to yourself; something that I feel like I’ve failed to do recently. Let me explain.
I started my blog almost 6 years ago. At that time, two things were for sure: 1) nobody really read it, and 2) I was broke. Like so broke. I had a full time job, but did not have a lot of extra spending money. Shopping for fun wasn’t much of an option, so I loved to post about my super cheap finds. Mind you, on top of my no-spending spree, I was also a serious bargain hunter (at least when it came to clothes)! I almost titled my blog “The Frugal Female” or something along those lines LOL. I vividly remember one post in-particular; I had a $10 voucher to Bob’s Stores and I was like “I need to go get as many things as I can with this money!” …because I felt like I didn’t have enough to post.
As my blog grew and more people began to read and engage with it, amazing opportunities and collaborations began to fall into my lap. I no longer struggle to find outfits or products to share on here, and that’s truly a blessing…but what I recently realized is that I don’t often blog about things that haven’t been sent to me. I don’t really talk about the things I buy or the places I shop. And I couldn’t really figure out why, and then it kind of clicked…I think I was a little embarrassed.
On top of that, I was spending so much time pumping out content for all of these stores and companies that I had stopped reading and engaging with other blogs I used to love, I stopped bringing you into my working wardrobe, I halted my What I Wore This Week series (something I plan to revive), I just started to feel like I wasn’t being 100% me. I was like…ehhh…80% me.
As a blogger there’s an image to uphold, almost everyone is sharing cool new things… but in my heart I’m still that girl who will try to stretch her $10 Bob’s bucks (seriously, I just did it last month LOL)!
I had a few lightbulb moments over the last few weeks that encouraged me to address this:
1) A girl that’s been following me for a long time messaged me to essentially say thank you for being so real in an industry that can be so superficial and how she likes that even as I’ve grown I’ve remained the same. Like, holy moly! Before her message I was already feeling like I was beginning to go astray and here was this girl going out her way to applaud me for staying the same. Um, wake up call Amanda! Note to self: don’t lose sight of who you are – people like the OG version of you!
2) I recently mixed a couple of pieces from Walmart into my outfits for two different events…but nobody knew. I personally didn’t care and loved the looks I put together, but I kept my mouth shut and feel like I should have been more willing to share that here! I love finding hidden gems at Walmart and I know a lot of other women do too.
3) I’m becoming so obsessed with the concept of minimalism. Unfortunately, when you’re blogging about fashion and beauty, living a minimalistic lifestyle is kind of contradictory. However, I feel like the mentality for so many bloggers is sell, sell, sell! I’m a member of Reward Style and Shopstyle and I’ll of course share my affiliate links, but I don’t want to be the girl encouraging you to buy a ton of new clothes and makeup 24/7. I don’t want you to spend your hard earned money on things that may be cute, but haven’t really changed my life and probably won’t change yours either – it’s not me (and that teeny tiny commission is not worth it at all LOL). I’m determined to start introducing more minimalistic practices into my content in a fun way. Nobody needs a ton of clothes and accessories and I’ve been actively cleaning mine out. For future collaborations, I’m trying to figure the best way to pass the free items and clothes I receive to people who will truly love and actively use them (yes, many of them will be up for grabs to you!) For me, being stylish is all about confidence. It’s about how you wear the clothes, not the clothes themselves…so we’re going to dive more into that! 🙂
I will always collaborate with brands I’m interested in because I LOVE to, but I also want you to know that most days, I’m not wearing fancy and funky things. I’m very much a normal girl …and that’s okay too. Becoming Bella is all about creating a beautiful life from the inside out and to properly do that, we need to be true to ourselves. I definitely have to check myself every 6-months or so as a reminder to stop worrying about my image in the blogosphere and just be who I am.
My message for you today is to be PROUD of who you are and don’t be afraid to share that with the world! The things that you may find embarrassing or “un-cool” are what make you you! There will always be people who are going to stick up their nose, but there will also be people who understand and relate to you – and those are the people who you want to cultivate. 5 people who you can really connect with and provide something positive for are worth way more than 5,000 who can’t.
I’ve always gotten so much farther, opened so many more doors, and built much more meaningful relationships when I actively stoped worrying about what others were doing and just decided to be myself. I promise it’s the magic weapon, and I’d advise any one else to do the same.
If you read through this, thank you – I hope you enjoyed it.
Wishing you guys a wonderful Monday and an amazing week ahead! 🙂