Hi guys! So about a month ago, I was invited to stay at the @chltreehouse , which is a gorgeous/incredible Air BnB, with a group of amazing female creatives from the Nashville area. @Colleengallagher_ was our wonderful host and put together the most perfect weekend for all of us! I had actually never met Colleen before that trip, but quickly learned how sweet she was. When Colleen put together the list of girls that were invited, she chose women that inspired her and ones that she genuinely wanted to get to know - no matter their follower count or popularity. In a world where ones follower count has been made up to define whether or not they are on an invite list, or how "cool" they are - this was so refreshing because ones follower count or social media popularity should never be what defines a person.
The girls that made up this trip had so much more to offer than just a number. We laughed, shared amazing tips and insight in regards to our careers and life in general, shared personal stories, opened up to each other about our faults and fears, and ate some pretty delicious food. (Thank you Caviar and Bananas!!)
This trip allowed me to take a step back from the fast paced, ever changing social media world I have found a career in. While I am so incredibly grateful for it - without social media I would have probably never met these ladies or some of my closest friends - I loved being able to reanalyze my overall goals for this career and ask myself why I started blogging in the first place. It wasn't to gain popularity or become "Insta famous", which can be so easy to get caught up in, but it was to inspire young women, build connections and a community, and to express my passion of writing and style. I vividly remember all us girls laughing in the living room in our pajamas and it made my heart so happy. It was these real life connections that I was making that brought a sense of clarity to me for the new year and my goals. I have mentioned this before, but I want to build a stronger, more uplifting and supportive community this year. I want to be as raw and open with you all as possible to allow you all to get to know me past my Instagram feed and curated photos.
This past week there has been a lot of conversation about how social media and bloggers are creating a fake reality, which is leading to low self esteem and depression in ourselves and followers. And I get it. I too have fell into the trap of wanting to be like a person I follow or wishing I had the life of another girl that looks like she has it all. I think these feelings are completely human. But it is so important to recognize those feelings and remove whatever it is that is making you feel negative about yourself. If someone is making you feel sad or lesser, unfollow them or take a social media break. Don't torture yourself and obsess over a person that isn't building up your own personal happiness. Personally, I only follow Instagram accounts that inspire me and make me want to live a fuller life. I don't follow accounts that make me feel poorly about myself and you all shouldn't either. I never want those that read my blogs and follow me on social media to feel that way and I truly hope I have never made any of you feel poorly.
And always remember, even though it is difficult, that Instagram is just an app. It's crazy to think about it that way, but it is just a platform that some people use to post pretty photos. Not everything posted is real and most people only post the highlights of their lives. I know I don't publish selfies on days where I have spent the majority of it crying over something and I certainly don't post pictures after I have picked at my acne and my face has red welts on it! (It's a habit I'm trying to break lol) But those are real aspects of my life and it is just my choice not to show them.
To me, Instagram is a highlights feed of my life and my creative outlet. It is where I aim inspire you all through daily outfits, beauty tips, adventures, and beautiful curated photos. More often than not, behind a simple Instagram photo on my feed was a day full of planning, shooting photos, editing, thinking of captions, and so much more work. All just to post what looks like one "in the moment", simple photo. But all this work is to create beautiful imagery and content to inspire you all. It is never meant to make my readers feel inadequate or lesser than me. My InstaStories on the other hand are far less curated and where I like to be more personal. I use my InstaStory as a place to get more raw and in-the-moment with you all. This year, I do plan to push myself to be even more open with you guys, especially on my Stories, because I truly do want to inspire each and every one of you and be a person that lifts you all up.
Personal connections and community are both so important to me and I want all of you that are reading this to know that! I feel so incredibly blessed and honored that each and every one of you take the time out of your day to visit my little piece of the internet. Words would never be able to express how thankful and appreciative I am! If any of you have thoughts on this subject or have any tips on how us bloggers can be more personal, please let me know. I want to make my blog and social media channels places that you all love to visit and always look forward to checking out, so definitely let me know what you guys would like to see more of and I will make it happen!
Love you all so much XOXO Heather