July was a great month -- truly there was nothing for me to complain about. The past 30 days were truly some great ones for me and I wanted to take some time to share how the month went. Sometimes on the blog, I share so much about fashion and style that sometimes, life slips through the cracks. Know that what you see on Instagram, although nice and pretty, isn't always what life is like. I want to share a real like update on how things are going and where I'm at, one month into my 19th year. There are a few things that can sum up the month pretty well: working, beach, and blogging are the three that come to mind.
Work: I have worked so much this summer. You all know I picked up a second job, and truthfully thank God I did. I have been pretty good about saving money or at least only purchasing things that I know I will need, but my hourly wage at Lilly Pulitzer won't cut it when I'm also trying to save for groceries and utilities for my apartment along with my sorority bill and gas for my car. I worked 35 hour weeks during the past month. I have saved enough to cover my sorority dues which is a huge relief. My sorority isn't super expensive in the grand scheme of things, but when you have to put the money down yourself, it's a little tougher to part with the money than if someone else pays it for you.
I've come to the painstaking realization that it's impossible for me to think like a kid anymore. I can't take a day off without feeling guilty or unproductive and I can't give up a shift at work without thinking of the thing I'm going to have to sacrifice because of the money that won't be going in my pocket. I can't easily enjoy my time with friends without thinking of what work needs to be done when I get home or enjoy sleeping in without feeling as if I'm wasting time. Even on my "days off" I spend hours at my desk writing posts, editing photos, or going to location to shoot blog photos. Thinking like a kid is so out of my reach now and makes me feel kind of old. The simplicity of the world has outgrown me all too soon and I long for the days where I could walk around in my swimsuit all day and all I had to worry about was how many popsicles I could eat without getting a brain freeze.
School: Now that it's August, I am slowly but surely getting back into school mode. The countdown is on for me to pack up all of my things and move back to Harrisonburg. This year, I am living off campus and in an apartment with three other girls. Truthfully, I don't know these girls. I was in a time crunch to find a place to live the last week of school and a girl in my sorority needed a fourth because one of her roommates dropped out. I'm excited to meet new people and I've talked to the girls and they all seem really nice but I don't want a repeat of last year's rooming situation. Going into apartment living blind might be kind of nice though, I don't have to worry about any pre-conceived notions of my roommates. We can warm up to each other naturally and establish friendships organically. I also have my own bedroom and bathroom this year which is SO NICE. In addition to those, I also have a walk in closet.
I am currently in a battle for a few classes that I need too. I am already enrolled in the two main classes that I need for my major but I need some general education courses as well. I am seriously willing to pay someone for their seat in HTH100 or GEOG200 or CHEM131.
I'm a little nervous about going back to school. Part of me knows that I have work that I need to do and it's time to get back at it, but another part of me is so sad to leave home again. I'm a home body and I love being around my family. It's tough to leave. On the same token, I am a very independent person and I love not having to answer to anyone. When I'm at school I don have to be responsible to anyone but myself and I don't have to report to anyone when I'm home, what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm eating or the like. I am currently hunting for jobs and have a few interviews soon. Hopefully, I can lock one down within the next few weeks. Like I mentioned, I need money so I won't be #brokeandhungry this fall.
Blogging: I'm enjoying blogging this month like I always do but I am feeling slightly uninspired. I pour my heart and soul into this blog. I write everyday which is more than most bloggers (who aren't super well known) do and the results are starting to diminish. I am starting to really question if I am good at this or if it was just a 15 minutes of fame sort of thing. I have been blogging for two years and my numbers have been down, and followers have decreased (as compared to last year's numbers). I feel like I work so hard each day to bring new content and captivating pictures but nothing seems to be helping. I should have hit the 20K mark on Instagram last week and am still 1400 readers short.
I am also getting a little worried that with me moving back to Harrisonburg in a few weeks that I won't be able to shoot as many outfit pictures as I do in the summertime. That's where I think my downfall came this year as far as engagement and growth goes. I didn't take many outfit photos, I put the blog on the back burner -- like the way back burner. Part of it was because I had a really tough first semester of school. And the last half of the second semester was way too stressful to even put into words. I'm nervous that it will be tough to continually come up with great content in a town that has nothing captivating at all.
I always compare myself to other people -- a real road block in creativity and success but when I strive to be one of the best I can't help but think about how to get there. I find that I am focusing too much on other people and not enough on myself. Sometimes I think that I am trying so hard to compete with other people on social media, that I can never really find my groove, I am always trying to play with someone else's. For example, the hydrangea and home theme was prominent this summer. So many people were posting pictures of hydrangeas and pretty houses on quaint streets. I have to ask, are people really interested in things like this or are you just doing it for the Instagram?? I have to say, I was a part of both crowds. I love hydrangeas and I love the way fresh flowers look in a picture, but in the grand scheme of things I hated going to the supermarket to purchase three hydrangea buds for $8. I mean they die by the time I could get home to put them in a vase.
I am really going to try to be myself, not compare myself to other too much. Not worry about anybody else but me and my job. I always feel like I have to come off perfect on social media -- even though we all know I'm far from it. I would love to be able to share some great moments at school like bid day and recruitment but I need to increase my photography quality before that happens. Maybe I'll just have my camera attached to my hip the first few weeks of school! That would make for some great photography!
Personal: As far as life has been going -- no school thoughts, work, or blogging -- things have been pretty good. We have been preparing the farm for cows which we will be getting in about two weeks; trust me there will be so many picture on InstaStory! I haven't been feeling my healthiest though. I have already set my school schedule around working out each day at the gym which was something that I did not do at all this past year. I worked out a few times but not nearly as much as I should have. Over the summer, I haven't been keeping a great died. I've eaten out or at the drive through twice as many times as I have eaten at home. I'm always at work so when I leave at 10pm, I just stop at the McDonald's or The Wegmans and pick up a frozen dinner. I've been so unhealthy. I can't wait to start cycling classes three times a week and then do some toning on the off days.
I've been working on my self-confidence a lot this past month too. I lost a lot of if when going to school last year in August. I used to be the class volunteer, the one who was always prepared, the one who sat in the front row and as a freshman I never volunteered to answer questions and sat in the middle or the back. I don't know where that girl came from, but she can't come back this year. Another example of why you should never fall into the perfection of social media. I need to really work on my confidence and help bring back high school senior Lucy, because she was on point 99% of the time. I feel like I went from being big fish in a little pond to being a little fish in a big ocean. I looked around me and I saw all of these girls that are gorgeous and wore tiny little crop tops and jean cut offs and looked incredible. Those people all looked great and no disrespect to them but I just didn't feel comfortable wearing that so I would forego parties and functions for the longest time because I knew I couldn't compare to those girls. Now, I know my body isn't where I would like for it to be and I just still feel like I can't compare to the girls I go to school with so the internal strug to find my self confidence when standing next to all of them is definitely real but, hopefully I can shake that by the time school rolls around.
In other news, the beach was an incredible break from work, work, and more work. I did still blog everyday and take photos for brand collaborations but shoots hardly every feel like work to me. I love modeling for brands. It was nice to be with my family all week and only worry about how many ice cream sandwiches I wanted or how many champagne shots I wanted to make lol. If you want to see a video of our beach vacay, you can click here! This video was shot and edited by my cousin, Anna, who is SO talented when it comes to photography and videography. I could learn a thing or two (or twenty) from her!
Let me know how your week is going so far, and what you are most looking forward to this August!