This might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever written for my blog. It’s definitely one of the most personal, but let’s just get into it.
Sometimes it gets hard to be authentic.
Having so many pictures of me, putting so much work into self-promotion, and feeling like a pain when I need pictures of everything are all aspects of being a blogger. But also sticking to that “social media persona” and fitting into your “aesthetic” and niche are all things I’ve learned to do and (I’ll admit) struggled to do. So what did cutting my bangs teach me? (Well, besides being reminded I should always let a professional do it.)
- Pursue Your Interests
This might seem like a no-brainer, but do what you want simply because you’re interested. You don’t have to explain yourself or only do something for other people (or even ‘because you should‘). I don’t know if it was because of the people I kept seeing with bangs, or the needing a change, or wanting to do something a little scary that made me suddenly want bangs. I kept joking that because of my minimalism journey I was going to shave my head because “hair is vanity” but something about the idea struck me. Bangs take more effort, but it was effort I wanted to pursue. Hair is vanity, but it’s okay to just want to look good! Being a little vain is not the worst thing, as long as it’s not your only concern.
So how does “pursuing my interests,” which I seemingly always do affect my social media persona? It means I’m a new face! I’m a woman with bangs – a new woman! (I know, I know, they’re just bangs, but hear me out.) People first recognize me by my face on social media, so now that I’ve majorly changed it, I may lose some of my audience. So much (especially on Instagram) is concerned with how you look – making a major change can be a little stressful. But that encouraged me! If my followers aren’t interested in growing with me, I’m not interested in connecting with them.
- Be Confident
Also known as ‘It’s Okay to be Proud’ of your work, or even your choices. Like I said earlier, I probably should not have cut my own bangs – but hey, they turned out alright! It’s not like I hacked up my hair and people are calling me Britney. I can be proud of simply choosing to take the risk and go for bangs.
The same is true for this weird pursuit of the blogging lifestyle. None of my friends are trying to make a life out of blogging, so it can feel slightly overwhelming when I get concerned with things like numbers and engagement. Before pursuing the business side of it, I never really cared how many followers I had or how well a post did. Suddenly being concerned with stuff like that felt gross. So instead, I’m just going to focus on the work I put out there and be proud of what I’ve accomplished. Numbers will never show a true journey.
- Recognize (and Respond) to Support
To be perfectly honest, I got more people asking “if I did something different,” than compliments when I debuted this fringe beauty. I know I work in a mostly male workplace, and I know I tend to keep to myself at work (working on my blog mostly), but I was surprised by how many people I interacted with who had no clue what was different. However, I was more surprised by who actually noticed and went out of their way to tell me something nice. I thanked them of course, but I also made notes to reach out to anyone trying something new – compliments are so easy to give and so great to get! A little goes a long way.
This small connection is the same with creating an online community. If there’s someone whose work you admire – tell them! We all work so hard on blogging, photography, and social media platforms, and what the heck ever; there’s no reason not to tell someone that you see their effort and you love their work. And reversely, when you get those kind of comments yourself, make sure you’re kind and grateful – don’t be “too cool” to tell someone thank you. Because that’s kind of the opposite of cool.
- Reflect on Your Decisions
It’s always important to evaluate where you are, where you’ve come from, and where you want to be. Part of goal setting is finding out what makes you happy and what didn’t make you happy. So almost as soon as I cut my bangs, even though they looked ‘good,’ I had a bit of regret. I wanted to give them some time before I gave up on them, but as I evaluated my feelings on Day 3, I realized bangs weren’t for me. It took way more care in the morning than I was ready for, when you’re in nature a lot they don’t always sit perfectly on your face, and weirdly, I missed my forehead. It felt like I was hiding. My eyebrows were gone and so I felt less expressive. (Not great for a storyteller who is always ready for attention.)
So, yeah, you can make mistakes. You can decide something you tried wasn’t for you. Processing through all of that, reevaluating your work is all important to continuing forward to becoming who you want to be – and the kind of creative work you want to share. In the moment I meant it, and that was enough for me. So even if I’m not interested in, say, a NOLA pub crawl in ten years, it was still a part of my blogging journey and meant so much to me at the time.
- Seriously, Try New Things!
Trying new things is the only way you’ll keep growing. You can’t be the same person every day, every week, or every year. Take risks and try all the things you’ve been wanting to try. I wouldn’t have this blog without that mentality! I wouldn’t be who I am currently without the failure and the growth. I learned that having bangs just wasn’t me. But that’s better than not having bangs and only dreaming of being the “real” me when I got bangs. If I hadn’t gone for it, I’d still be stuck in that idolization!
Fitting myself into this person who was the same all the time was no good. I wanted to promote this thoughtful, happy, considerate person in every post. Someone who had a handle on things – but that’s definitely not me 80% of the time! Some days I’m goofy and some days I’m introspective and some days I’m kind of crazy and some days I just can’t care about posting to a social media app. I’m done trying to fit myself into a box. Overall, all the stress and desire to make quality content made me just too serious. You really shouldn’t take anything too seriously, especially when you’re talking about blogging and bangs.
So, the purpose of this blog was never to “make it big” or anything. Just like the purpose of my bangs was never to suddenly become a beauty guru or suddenly amazingly chic. I just wanted to share my stories because I was so excited for what my life had become! Then I realized how much more of my life I remembered, what with my notorious bad memory. Then I realized my passion for writing and sharing my adventures could maybe be something more. (I won’t say the dreaded word “career.”)
I had to rediscover my why to reignite my passion for what I was doing. To “collect” moments is too passive. I want to catch those moments. I want the effort to show. I want everyone to know I am actively making decisions all the time to become the person I want. I’m struggling, I’m learning, I’m trying bangs out for some reason.
Okay, be honest, who’s ready for me to publish a self-help book?