Travel is always the time I find my clarity and make big life decisions, and this trip to Canada was no different.
After much deliberation in the snowy mountains I am afraid to say, dear reader, I have decided it is time to say goodbye to this blog.
Four years ago I made my first public post, I was in a very different headspace and needed an outlet for my creativity whilst working a desk job. Now my full time job is all about creativity and I feel like there’s just not enough to go around.
I have known for a while now that I am spreading myself too thin; between starting my own business, this blog, Instagram, YouTube, and everything that comes with those creative outlets. Something simply has to give as I am reaching burnout and also feel disappointed that I am not doing any of them justice.
I have put way too much time and effort into this blog to let it wither away and die due to neglect so I am giving EmmaInks.com the respect it deserves with an official send off in the form of this final post.
When I first started using this space to express myself I was very self conscious and socially anxious. Even when around my own friends I couldn’t find comfort in my own skin.
I lived with a constant feeling of worry and self loathing that sat in the pit of my stomach, which when teamed up with negativity spiralled around my head creating a very self-conscious, closed off Emma.
It was a destructive and dark spiral that I had to find a way to escape from, and that is what my blog became. It was a place to focus on the positive and get to know myself again.
Now, I am still that same awkward weirdo, but I have embraced who I am instead of focussing on what I am not.
This drastic change of thought, as well as so many other learning curves, has made me progress and do so many things I never thought I would. For the first time this blog gave me purpose and the space I needed to be 100% myself and, to my surprise, people got it!
In the vast world of internet ramblings my words got noticed by people and they reacted by reading, commenting, following me on various social media platforms, inviting me to events, sending me gifts, and even paying to be part of this space I had created.
It’s so unreal to me that my words, a good internet connection, and a MacBook could result in such a major change in my life!
Becoming part of the blogger network was not only a catalyst for me to connect with new people and enjoy new experiences, but also gave me the confidence to take centre stage in my blog, and my own life.
I have always been on the side lines but, gradually, this space made me feel worthy enough of the spotlight.
My writing and photography turned from being general guides (with pictures of places and things) to me unabashedly sharing snaps of ME enjoying MY favourites places, brands and talking candidly about MY thoughts and feelings.
Sharing myself unapologetically and authentically online has helped me lead a much more confident and carefree life and helped me achieve personal goals that once seemed impossible.
I know social media can have an negative impact on mental health but for me it’s been the opposite experience.
This blog initially started as a way for me to share the positives in my life so that when I was having a down day I had a place to go to remind myself that I had so many wonderful things to live for – and it worked.
Focussing on the positive, but keeping it real, has kept me grounded and changed my attitude towards life.
After this experience I fully believe in the power of positive thought. I’m not talking sunshine and rainbows (unless that’s your thing) or being fake happy, but simply trying to see the good in life. Putting out positive energy (instead of retreating into darkness) has attracted so much more light and joy to my life and is something I now actively practice.
Another hugely positive impact on my mental health has been connecting with others.
To expand on the above it goes without saying that the number one unexpected, and most amazing, part of all of this are the people who I have met along the way.
I am, by my own admission, a little strange and find navigating friendships (especially female ones) extremely difficult. Even when surrounded by people I have always had a lingering feeling of loneliness or felt like I didn’t fit in, but times are changing.
Through blogging I have made online and real life friends who bring so much happiness and wisdom to my life. I cannot even express how much it means for this awkwards little emo to feel a sense of belonging.
I also feel that being more open on here has also brought me closer to many of my friends outwith blogging. I am a little closed at times and letting them into my world more has allowed them to have a better understanding of who I really am.
Another unforeseen positive of blogging is that it has brought Pablo and I closer together. He has always been really into film and photography so shooting for my blog, Instagram and YouTube has allowed him to get creative again, taught us how to communicate better with one another and given us another joint area of interest.
I’m not gonna pretend it’s always been easy working together, there have been many stand up screaming arguments in the street but I think out of that passion we’ve co-created some pretty cool content.
So whether we have had one conversation online, or meet up for drinks on the regular, thank you – I am genuinely eternally grateful for your time.
For me this space was never about getting work, and I still haven’t plucked up the courage to pitch for work; but despite my shyness I have made it on to the radar of some of my favourite brands.
The one that stands out most for me is Urban Decay.
I remember so clearly when the first Naked Palette launched. I was at uni and working two jobs as well as doing my degree and even though I was broke I needed to have it.
That palette was my pride and joy, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that a box of all the Urban Decay Naked Palettes would one day arrive at my door just because of words I had written online.
I have been really fortunate that there has been many other brand opportunities for which I am hugely grateful; for me a standout highlight was getting “highly commended” at the Blogger’s Blog Awards.
On the day of the awards I was a nervous wreck – imposter syndrome had hit me hard and I felt unworthy of the support I had been shown; but after working on myself and learning to accept the love that people are willing to give, this recognition by my peers has become one of my most cherished memories in my blogging career.
Just as important as these milestone moments is every share or mention online, without support I would be invisible in this online world so when a person takes time to share my work it never goes unnoticed and is always hugely appreciated and validating.
Aside from what I have learned about myself personally I also have a whole bunch of new skills that I probably never would have tried my hand at if it hadn’t been for this blog.
I had no idea when I set up my site for free on WordPress that I’d gain an understanding of social media SEO, photography, writing, Light Room, Final Cut, how to navigate contracts, invoicing, finance, PR, branding, marketing, and so so much more.
These aren’t just skills for blogging, they are for life and have been an integral part of building my business.
So what now?
When my finger shook as it hovered over that blue publish button I had no idea what this space would bring me. At that point in my life I was feeling a little lost in London, I hadn’t made any new friends in this big city and spent most of my days at my 9-5 wondering what I was doing with my life.
Now I am doing my own thing – which I never would have had the courage or confidence to do so without my blog.
So, as for future plans, I’m not disappearing off the face of the internet, my YouTube channel is going to be a big focus for me, and I’ll still be sharing my daily life on Instagram and Twitter.
Also, there’s no way I can give up writing and I’ve got a couple of exciting ventures coming in the new year. One is a creative journal to go along with my store and the other is a collaborative project which I’m super excited about. So I’ll still be around, just not here.
There’s so many things I could cover in this post as this blog has given me so much, and I hope that it has given you a little something too.
I feel like I am going round in circles a bit with this post because I’m terrible at goodbyes, but ultimately what this final post boils down to is saying a huge thank you for all your love, support, and friendship over these past few years – you have helped me grow as a person more than you will ever know.
Please don’t be a stranger and hit me up on social media as often as you like.