Almost 11 years ago, I was 15 and had just visited New Orleans and during that trip I took pictures of strangers on the sidewalk with my Canon Rebel. A few weeks prior I had gotten my hands on a copy of a book of street fashion by the Sartorialist, a street style blogger who essentially does what I was attempting to do in New Orleans. But ya know, professionally.
Shortly after this trip I started up a blogspot blog, and it turned in to a fun little space for me where I attempted to be a fashion blogger. This was before social media was really a thing (minus Facebook a la 2009) and it didn’t really go any farther than my closest friends and my boyfriend. I started it my sophomore year of high school and was pretty diligent with posting, until my senior year when I started to get made fun of for it. Eventually I let other people’s opinions of me take hold and I stopped blogging.
Shortly after high school I got married and started another blog, this one way shorter lived. Again, because of other people’s opinions. I was so concerned about the opinions of strangers on twitter who didn’t even know me, that I stopped doing something I loved.
After a couple years in Italy, I started this blog, Bustling Grace. Originally it was faith/travel focused and I did keep up with it on occasion for a solid 6 months. But then a WHOLE lot of life happened in the following year (two HUGE moves, a career change, and a baby) that it just fell by the way side. Eventually when I became pregnant a second time, May 2018, I decided it was time to brush the cobwebs off of my website and get back to it. I made two whole posts and what do you know, I stopped AGAIN. But this time not because of the opinions of others, but because of the effect that their opinions had on me. I had let this dream of mine die so many times before because I was either made fun of or attacked online, and I completely let that scare me in to really diving in to this whole blogging thing. I was so convinced that it wouldn’t be good enough or interesting enough, that I didn’t have a pretty enough Instagram feed with 10,000 followers who could “swipe up”, and I didn’t have 100 perfectly coordinated boards on Pinterest, so who the heck was I to have a blog? Surely I must be kidding myself.
Which leads me to now. Recently the urge to have my own space where I can share my thoughts freely has been eating away at me. I’ve got so much to share and to say but I’ve been terrified that no one would liked or read my blog. I’ve been jumping on here every day for the last month just trying to work up the nerve to write absolutely anything.
And then an email popped up in my inbox. An inbox that said this websites hosting was about to expire. I had 30 days to renew it or not. This was my sign from God that it’s finally time to dive head first in to this. It’s time to stop being afraid of other people’s opinions. I’ve spent the last 10 years being too scared to speak my mind and share my opinion (hello, my fellow enneagram 9s!) and that makes me so deeply sad, because there’s no telling where I could be now!
My family is currently heading in to some pretty big life changes and I want to be a light for others that might be facing this same journey. I want to help other women not be afraid of childbirth and breastfeeding. I want other women to know it’s OKAY to get help when you’re not feeling like yourself after having a baby. I want young girls to know that yes, it’s 2019, but it is TOTALLY FINE to aspire to “just” be a wife and a mother. In fact, it’s a HOLY calling that should be encouraged and rejoiced! I want women and girls to know that it’s totally okay to have views that are totally counter cultural to today’s society. I want to share my Orthodox faith and how much it’s helped me grow and find myself. I want to spread the good news of Jesus and the Church far and wide!
I just want to help others, and I’m so tired of not doing so because I’m too scared of conflict and other people’s opinions.
So here’s to the rest of 2019, and finally creating a space to speak my mind and share my voice. I can’t wait to have you along on this journey!