Dear Clumps Readers, Supporters and Fans,
This letter is long overdue. I should have written it a week ago. Or maybe a month ago. I didn’t want to force my words (as I do far too often) but this morning I woke up with a message and knew that today was the day. Can I keep it real with you all? I mean, really real with no filter or fluff? This will likely be a lengthy post so brace yourself…
Blogging is hard work. Yes, I know to many of my readers it may appear that receiving beauty products, the occasional trip and fancy experiences seems like…fun! And don’t get me wrong, it can be. But it all comes with a cost. I have been blogging since July of 2007. I was a college student who would be graduating a month later and then across to country to Los Angeles. I was young and carefree. Clumps was my passenger on this journey. I didn’t make money back then. I didn’t care about money. I just wanted to write. Clumps has been apart of my life for 7 years and together we have gone through…
-cross country moves
-residency at over 8 homes in 5 cities
-working unfulfilling jobs
-having the courage to take a different career path
-a relationship that turned into a marriage
-pregnancy and motherhood
-trips around the world
-launching a business
-sudden job layoffs
Clumps has been there. While I blog publicly, most of what is listed up there was not shared with the world. Even as a writer, I clutch tightly to my personal life. I’ve always been this way.
A few weeks ago I went through a time where I cried every single day. Every day. One morning I was crying before I even opened my eyes. The sadness enveloped me and made it difficult to blog. I didn’t care about a new mascara or NARS new lippies. I began to resent Clumps. I was so upset that my joy of a blog started to feel like an anchor.
I’m not just a blogger, guys. I am a mother first. I am a mother to a toddler and a wife to a man who works many, many hours, some of them out of the state. I am a mother, a wife and an employee at a demanding job where the only solace I get is 1 hour during lunch. I am a mother, wife, employee and do’er. I have to do. Sometimes I feel worthless if I’m not doing something. So I volunteer, I manage social clubs, I do fun activities with my daughter, I overwhelm myself so that I feel purpose.
I have many kinks within me that need to be worked out. I have gone through a stream of self-awareness these past few months and I am realizing that hey, while I want to, I can’t do it all. Someone lied to me. Or maybe I lied to myself. Where did I get the idea that I can do it all? Who said I could a be a wife, mother, full-time working employee, business owner, volunteer, blogger and attentive friend and gym go’er? Despite being a perfectionist, I am okay with failing at the inability to do “it” all. I am scaling back in my life. It is time that I push Clumps to the side.
Truthfully, this breaks my heart. Clumps is my first child. My first business. My partner in crime. My career. Clumps is my longest relationship. Clumps has given me confidence. Yes, I may work for others but Clumps showed me that my true talents and passions are within the written word, helping others and entrepreneurial ventures. But Clumps has also robbed me of something so precious. Something that I can’t get back.
Clumps is a full time job with very little pay. Yes, you may see the sponsored posts and ads on the site, but please do not be confused. These do not pay my bills and if they do, only just a small portion. A reader left a comment a few weeks ago and she said, “I miss when all of your posts weren’t sponsored posts.” That hurt my feelings. It wasn’t a mean comment. It was a true comment and it made me feel bad. My voice means everything to me. I don’t want you, my readers, to feel like I’ve lost it for a dime. I looked through my past few posts and yep, most of them were sponsored posts. I tried to justify it.
“Well,” I said…“Clumps is a job. Don’t we get paid for jobs?”
Yes. We do.
“So screw this reader. It’s not my fault that she can’t understand that. She doesn’t know the time and energy I put into this blog. She doesn’t know that even after working 8 hours a day, I go BACK to computer and work again. She doesn’t know how demanding toddlers can be? She doesn’t know how hard it is to run a household without any help because your family is all scattered about. She doesn’t know how hard it is to put so much into a craft and still feel like you aren’t making any steps ahead. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my life.”
I became angry. That anger has subsided but what hasn’t is…time. I spend a great deal of it on Clumps. Time that could be spend on being a more hands-on mother. Time that could be spend on be’ing instead of do’ing. I haven’t read a book in months because well, I don’t have the time. When my husband comes home at 10pm, I barely give him a kiss and hello because I’m writing a blog post that needs to be up in time. I only get a 5-6 hours of sleep because I just don’t have enough time in the day.
Do you see this? I do. I want more time. I don’t want my blog to be an anchor with crazy demands. I don’t want to keep being undervalued, ignored or harassed by PR people that want me to write long and elaborate posts on their $20 product. I don’t want to apologize for not tweeting, or Instagram’ing my life or disappearing from Facebook. I don’t want the pressure. I don’t want deadlines.
I just want to write. But somehow, the ease of that has been lost.
And so I feel like I need to back away for awhile. I need this. It’s time. I never truly went on maternity leave. I’ve never really stepped away from Clumps. But I need to.
A blogger friend said to me, “This is such a scary thought, B. What happens if you don’t gain monument when you get back?”
I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Then I will do something else.”
I want Clumps to push through this 7 year itch. But I also want there to be purpose in what I do. Right now I am struggling to find the purpose. What is my mission? What are my goals? I don’t know. And I haven’t known for years. Stepping away for a few months, I believe, will grant me clarity. Maybe I will come back with a fresher look for Clumps. And maybe I won’t.
If I don’t, I will be sad but I will be proud of myself. At almost 30 years old, I have held down a 7-year old job that I created. I launched a business. I branded myself. College didn’t teach me this. I learned this all on my own and I could not be more proud of myself. But right now…life needs me. My family needs me. I need me.
And the money that I make with this blog? I’m turning a lot of it down. Which is a risk but this is why I have never believed in ONE money source. I believe in multiple sources of income. Financially, I will miss some things. But the holidays are coming up and I am so excited about doing Pinterest activities with my girl in our new home. That excites me more than the new holiday beauty collections. My life is shifting. I am okay with this.
This isn’t goodbye forever post. I really think I’ll be back. I’ll be around on social media (sometimes), I’ll be tossing up a post for the Makeup Wars in a few weeks and I’m thinking I’ll do a post a month. Just to say hi.
I love you all. I really do. Thanks for standing by me. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ta ta for now,