Working Towards, What, Exactly?

I forget, quite often actually, that this little space is all my own to be me and post what I want without any expectation. There’s no need to share perfectly posed pictures except that I like the aesthetic of that and it makes me feel like I’ve got something put together in my life the way I want. Reality says otherwise and yet I can snooker myself a bit into believing things are as organized and beautified on my Instagram.

Is it wrong to see a beautifully curated setup? I didn’t think so until the last few weeks. Sometimes you start a project with a fuzzy idea and then you get a little lost in what the point of it was much like telling a long story. You start down one road and somehow end up somewhere else completely thinking, “now, what was the point of this story again?”

This blog restart, for example, I restarted this summer because my brain opened up a vein of creativity that I followed happily and hungrily. I was writing like crazy, posting consistently with tons of ideas in my head. I grabbed my wonderful husband any time I had an idea and we would go shoot some photos for the heck it, him figuring out my camera, me trying to figure out how to stand, pose, use my hands, etc.

I felt like I was gaining ground, but on what, I wasn’t too sure. I figured it would come to me as we kept on going. When I started to focus on work (Hello, love my job—and my paycheck—so of course that deserves attention!) Lately in trying to jump back in, it’s felt off. My writing ideas dried up, everything felt forced (Hello, Julie! Probably because it was!) and I had a particular disappointing shoot that really shot my confidence. I had to ask myself, “what the heck are you working towards, exactly, and who the heck are you trying to be?”

In my deepest of hearts, I want this site to be a curated site, a perfect presentation of what life is for me. The reality is anything but that. Yet, I crave having that perfection because the outward appearance is so appealing because it feels like my life is lacking something sometimes. In essence, I starting deviating from being me and starting trying to perfect things because I thought that’s what things needed to look like or its what I craved for things to feel and look like.

And in saying that, I’m reminded of this wonderful quote,

Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

- Judy Garland

It looks like I sort of forgot that in my pursuit for what I thought things should look like. No wonder I wasn’t feeling like myself. Being influenced by others in style, be it in fashion, art, work, whatever, happens all the time and isn’t necessarily a bad thing…so long as you don’t forget yourself. How easy it is to do that at, apparently, any age.

All this to say that maybe another social media break would be good. Shut down insta for a few days—and by that I mean no checking or scrolling ‘cause to be honest, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve really posted. I think I need to actually do some hands on projects that don’t require anything but pure interest. There’s a half-way made afghan calling my name and a pair of pj pants I’d like to make. Oh, and my guest room is in serious need of finishing. That room has been in lacking some decoration for 5 years now. It’s way past time to finish that room.

Let me see if I can right this train: Essentially, I’m forcing something here and in doing so completely losing track of me and maybe that’s because I’m judging myself a bit in what I think people want. Who am I doing this for? Well, me. Or at the very least I should be posting what interests me and if it pulls people, awesome.

So, maybe I don’t know what I’m working towards or am trying to figure that out right now. Can I still post prettily posed pictures? You betcha and I probably still will, but I’m not going to let a lack of perfection stop me from writing or posting because I don’t want to mess up “a look.” I’m also not going to second guess what I want post any more. Just take a leap of faith and be you, baby. Er, be me. Whatever. You get it.

Alright folks, too much musing for a Saturday and yet, all good things I just needed to work through out loud. If you made it through all this, I thank you, and if you’re trying to find your voice in social media, too, I feel you. We just need to get back to our roots of just being ourselves and drop the idea it has to be perfectly posed something of what someone else wants or needs.

Happy Saturday, y’all!

You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?"

- Dr. Seuss

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Drumroll please...

TA-DA!

Julie Blue got a makeover!

Well, the blog did! I gave this little site a facelift and I'm loving the changes so far! Sometimes all you need is a little change of pace and boy-howdy, this blog sure did need it! 

Take a look around, see all re-do's and check out each page. I've really enjoyed this process! Thank goodness I've got a platform that allows me to change, adjust, re-do, and tweak as I want. Squarespace, you rock! 

So, what do you think?!

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Hello, Hello, September!

Do you remember the (twenty) first day of September?

It's September, ya'll! Last month of the summer season but inevitably the time where everyone starts dreaming of fall. It's hard not to start thinking of cooler temperatures, baked apples, cinnamon smells and of course, pumpkin spice everything this month. We've still got 21 days until the actual fall season drops! Plenty of time to prep! 

School is up and going, we're definitely getting into the thick of it now. I've already got grading to do, a show in the works, and to-do lists like you've never seen. That's fall, folks. I like getting back into the groove of work and I've got a new focus to help me stay accountable with everything there is do. Sometimes you just got to look through a new lens! 

Looking ahead, I can already tell you this month is going to be dominated by work--it always happens that way and I'm 100% fine with that, but girl's got some goals over here for this month, too! 

Friday Five: September Goals

1. Little More Reading: It's easy to hop on your phone each night before you go to bed and scroll and scroll and scroll....and scroll. I feel like a zombie and yet my hand instinctually reaches for the phone. Best way I can think to break this habit it pick up an an old favorite one, reading.

Got some books you love? Send them my way! I got a library card burning a whole in my wallet! 

2. Gardening: It's surprisingly cooler here in Oklahoma these days so I might as well take advantage! We've got pumpkins coming up and our summer crops are on their way out. I'm looking forward to planting some mums in the front again and finding fall florals for our pots! 

3. Little More Time in the Kitchen: I've been enjoying flipping through my cookbooks and trying new recipes the last two weeks. I truly love meal planning and dreaming up delicious things to whip up for dinner.  What's even better is when I get to actually make each recipe up.

There's some baking about to go down. Expect food pictures. It's totally happening. 

4. Rearrangements: I've had an idea to rearrange parts of our house for a while now. I'm in the mood for a shake up, some organization and a little shopping. I'm thinking there's going to be some serious internet retail research for area rugs going on, maybe even house plant info to flip through, too (When Succulents Die--title to my future book on gardening. I dream of a house with more natural light. So do my plants). 

5. More Blogging: I think back on my first little blog often. I wrote almost daily about adventures and dreams, funny stories and thoughts I wanted to share. I've censored myself a lot lately or tried to fit a mold I'd like to be in--in reality, it just isn't fitting and I guess that's why I haven't been as active. Much like clothes, I've tried on a style and now I need to make it my own. 

Best way to find out my own? Just be me. So we're going to try that for a while. Some things might work and somethings might not. I might have to get out of my comfort zone a bit, follow what my gut is telling me, and we'll see what happens. Either way, I want to be on here more so that's exactly what I'm going to do! 

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Enjoy the long weekend, hug your family members, kiss your sweetie and love on those pets. With all the Hurricane Harvey craziness, this is a good time to take the time to be with those you love!  

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True Confessions from a Worry-Wart

Hello. My name is Julie and I'm a worry-wart.

It's true. I play an exceptional game of "what if" in my head constantly and I bet I could beat the pants off you if you ever wanted to play, too. In some cases this is a good skill to have, to think of all the possible challenges of what could go wrong and how to problem solve. That's a skill for people who need to be quick thinking like teachers, performers, stage managers, event planners and more. You notice I tend towards the entertainment route, it's what I know, folks. 

Or, you know, to think of all the things that could go right. Hello, Julie? The flip side of that negative thinking is positivity. Sometimes I forget to go down that positive road, I'm so concerned about the crash and burn part because that part hurts the most. What's funny about that is nine times out of ten, people comment on my positive nature, energy, spirit, whatever. I am a see-the-glass-half-full kind of gal, that's very true, so to admit I'm a worry-wart seems absurd. 

All worry stems from fear, I think. These days there are certain catch phrases and ideas that promote leading a fear free life, embracing the unknown and jumping off the cliff and trusting fate.

*Insert beautiful video of free spirit youngins running through a field of gosh-knows-what with happy gleeful smiles and waving arms as they fly through the unknown.* 

No ma'am sir. I am not that person. Trust me. I've tried and I've found that I like a plan. I like to know my options. I love security. It's awesome--what more could make you feel better than to have a safe cocoon around you so that when you jump off that cliff with your parachute, you know that your landing is on a cushioned position of securely built certainty? 

Nothing my friend. That's all I need, certainty. 

And yet, here I sit with nerves all balled up in my stomach, my heart fluttering and I'm desperately trying to push out all the negative thoughts from my head. I'm nervous. I'm a little scared--I even got teary the other night. The ridiculousness is that it really started over a stinkin' Facebook page for this blog. 

It's ridiculous because it's something simple, a basic way to funnel information to a group of folks who want to stay connected and up to date with the blog. Nothing more. This new Facebook page is supposed to help keep my personal page separate so it can be that, personal (Which is also private for a number of reasons, not completely helpful for this blog.).  But I'm supremely nervous about it anyway. 

Sending out invites to friends was an anxious process. For a long time I've linked my blog on posts but it felt like a safe way to share. Blogs have been my own corner of the world to share bits of my life, things I love, stories, mess-up's, whatever I wanted. Making it a more public site, something anyone can see, feels very revealing in a way I hadn't anticipated. 

Side note: Yes, I do realize my blog is a public place and that I've made it so. I never said this thinking was a rational pairing with this project. 

Let me paint you a picture here: I love New York City. I think it's a vibrant place to visit, but I hate riding the subway. I feel 100% more comfortable driving around anywhere new in a car I control. Why? Because in a car I'm (1) in control of the adventure and (2) safely confined in a bubble, able to allow people in if I want or not. Subways aren't like that at all. Everyone gets on and it's crowded sometimes and empty others. People are pushing and rushing past you and it's easy to get knocked all over and around the place. Plus, you're not in control of anything there. You can't even guarantee there's a seat for you or that the schedule will run on time. 

That's what it feels like right now, like I'm opening myself up to a ride where I'm feeling a little more exposed than in my safe little car. There are pros and cons to every little thought about it, too. Trust me, I've run through them all! 

Parts of me is excited to see how building this little page will go! Parts of me are supremely nervous at the thought of expanding--what if it doesn't go well? What if it never builds?  What if people really don't like it? What if it's not exciting enough? What if they think it's silly?  What if...what if...what if...

And on and on those thoughts can creep in. Well, more like bust through the door and invite themselves in. Shutting off that running faucet of crazy-scary "what if" questions is a struggle. 

But...

What if people do like it? What if my life does seem adventurous to someone else? What if I reach out and relate to a few people who enjoy my posts? What if it leads to a new idea to build something wonderful?! What if! What if! WHAT IF! 

Those are the questions that force me to keep going because what if it all turns out fine? 

Taking steps out of your comfort zone can feel uncomfortable. Majorly uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like running back into the safe house would be easier and feel better than exploring what's outside. When you do that for so long though, it only grows those nerves, it doesn't help diffuse it at all. I'm really tired of being inside that safe house though. I think if this was just a passing phase it would have ended back when it started and I wouldn't still be trying eight years later. 

Now I'm determined to make it what I've always wanted happen and that's required stepping out of my safe hut and letting friends know, "Hey. I really want to do this and I'd like your support."

That's all. There's nothing really scary about asking for encouragement in something that's important to you. 

Sometimes opening up that possibility feels daunting and opening up about those honest feelings can be, too. How easy it can be to scoff off real feelings as being "silly" or "ridiculous" but how real those feelings are! 

Maybe you've been struggling with stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new like beginning a new career path, traveling by yourself or even starting a side business.  Try giving up those worry-wart tendencies and just reach out for that help, and most importantly, ask yourself "what if it all turns out fine?"  Because it just might and oh, what a wonderful possibility that is! 

Happy Sunday, ya'll! 

If you liked the page, thank you, thank you, thank you! It's a boost of confidence and it's very much appreciated over here! If you haven't yet, there's a button at the bottom of the page and you can click it to send you through to the Facebook link. 

 

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