I published my very first blog post on Life with Emily on February 11, 2011 while sitting in my college apartment as a Sophomore at Appalachian State University. I had been reading blogs for quite some time and with the encouragement from one of my Professors (hi professor Brittain!) I took a leap of faith and started it. It was a way to use the skills, like Adobe Creative Suite, that I was learning in class and share life updates with family members near and far. At the time blogs were still a relatively new thing and Instagram wasn’t even around…which is just wild to think about now! It became such a fun hobby and something that I decided to continue post graduation as I started my first job. As my blog continued to gain traction, digital marketing and social media kind of took off, leading to new opportunities and a way to monetize my blog. It’s kind of funny to look back every once in a while and see just how far this blog has come in 10+ years. What started as a hobby and a creative outlet turned into a full-time career for over 7 years. Last year that changed…
It’s been quiet around here for over a year now and I decided it was finally time to give a bit of an explanation and share some of my thoughts with y’all. To give a little backstory, as far back as early 2019 I was questioning if I enjoyed blogging and wanted to do this as a job anymore. Some days I really enjoyed it – I loved being an entrepreneur, enjoyed the freedom and creativity, and of course, the perks weren’t bad either. But other days, this job weighed heavily on me. I played the comparison game, I constantly had to be “on” and the stress of it all added up. If you have ever been self-employed you know that a lot goes into running a business behind the scenes, especially when you’re a one woman show. But I continued to push through. My feelings on this job and the blogging industry continued to ebb and flow. In November 2019, we found out we were expecting and, as we all know, a few months later in early 2020 we entered a global pandemic.
If I had felt uncertain about this industry before, that feeling grew tenfold, especially in the early days of the pandemic. Almost every sponsor and business I worked with pulled their contracts or put them on hold. What had once felt like a very steady income stream quickly halted. It was an uncertain time for many people, myself included. Like most of you, there were many, many emotions in those early days. I was anxious about being pregnant during a pandemic. What we had envisioned for our last months without a baby quickly changed and looked different. My job looked different. Our personal lives looked different. And although things were uncertain, it put a lot of things into perspective for me. I no longer cared about sharing my outfits, in fact, it felt disingenuous during such an uncertain time. My heart just wasn’t in it.
After many long talks with my husband I vocalized that I really didn’t enjoy blogging as a job anymore and that it was ok to have that realization. Coming to that realization really felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. We decided to just let things be for the time being since there were so many changes at bay. Sponsors came back, business was steady and things felt a little more “normal.” Once Noah was born, my perspective shifted even more. I suddenly valued my privacy more than I did before. I started to become more hesitant to share him all over the internet to protect his privacy. Let’s be honest, people online can be brutal and downright scary, and after an incident at Target where someone sent a semi-scary message about seeing me and my child, I knew I wanted to back away. My life drastically changed and I no longer cared to spend my days or weekends (aka precious time with my child, my husband, and my friends) shooting content, stressing over deadlines, or having every aspect of my business revolve around my life. So I retreated… and for 6-9 months I was simply a stay-at-home mom who blogged on occasion. I loved that time with my child and wouldn’t trade those months for anything but I knew deep down that I didn’t want to be a SAHM long term and I wanted a career and personality outside of being a mom. Those months of staying at home were rewarding, tough, challenging, and eye-opening.
In August of 2021 I started applying for jobs and in September 2021 I accepted a job as a marketing coordinator. The past year has brought on many, many transitions as I started a new job, Noah started daycare, and we had to figure out a new schedule as a family. When I first started my new job, I knew I wanted to give myself time to adjust to my new role, a new family schedule, and to be fully present in my life. Well, a few months turned into a few more months, and now, a year later here we are. But in all that time I have been happy. Truly, truly happy. I have spent the last year working for a great company and with a great team and feel so fulfilled. I enjoy the fact that I don’t have to feel “on” all the time and the stress level I feel now is completely different. It’s been really nice. I get to come home at the end of the day and be present with my family.
For the longest time, I didn’t even think about this blog. I continued to pay to keep it up and running but wasn’t sure if I would ever log back on. I thought about letting it all go, but at the eleventh hour I paid for my domain, hosting, and email service on the small, off chance I wanted to keep it up. After all, there are almost 11 years worth of memories shared on here. Some I would probably rather forget (looking at you 2012 bubble necklace outfits!!) and some are precious life moments that I am so happy I wrote down somewhere and shared.
Lately, I have been thinking about how I wanted to continue this space. I know for certain that it will *never* be what it was in terms of sharing outfits, etc. and I am ok with that. I’m at a different place in my life now and I think it’s ok for this blog to reflect that. But, I do miss the community I built, the camaraderie that was shared here as we all sort of “grew up” together and shared different life events, and just having a creative outlet of sorts.
I’m not sure how exactly I will continue to share, but I think the beauty of it is that it’s no longer my job and I no longer feel the pressure. I now have the ability to share how I want, when I want. Thank you all for checking in on my the last year and for those of you who stuck around through the radio silence! I look forward to sharing more with you… in my own time.