H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, 28 August 2015

On Blogging, Feeling a bit Lonely & Forming Connections


Somewhere I lost sight of the sparkle that beamed whenever I was doing something blog related. It wasn't the layout. It wasn't my failed attempts to use social media adequately. It was the life curation. Editing out the meh bits sounds so brilliant, but in trying to pretend everything was fabulous all the time I forgot to let myself feel sad. Or overwhelmed. Or confused. Reader surveys told me 'woe is me posts' were awful. They weren't intended to read in that way. I wasn't a great writer back then, not that I am now, but I wasn't in a good place. It turns out, despite me thinking I can process everything in a fairly rational way so thoughts become almost entirely unimportant within a few minutes, not having some kind of outlet, a place to talk freely as and when things pop into my head isn't great. 'In real life' I'm a quiet person. I don't necessarily talk about how I'm feeling or what's going on. That's not to say I don't understand those comments. I totally do. You've had a really bloody long day at school/work/the beck and call of small children and you just want to read about beauty, look at a gorgeous outfit, or bookmark the best looking cake recipe you've ever seen in the hopes that you'll have enough time to try and recreate it one day soon. You don't want a window into someone's existential crisis.

With so many stunning blogs that have very focused and consistent posts, I'm almost entirely convinced you don't choose to stop by sailboat to see those things. Because I'm not focused. And I'm not consistent. But I am a bit lonely. Connecting with people isn't something that comes easily to me. Very recently the spectacular Tori has come into my life. We're similar in many ways. But she has this incredible ability to connect with people and make them feel like they're the most important person in the world as she's speaking to them, or listening intently to what they have to say. And I know that because that's exactly how she makes me feel. That's an intrinsic and very organic part of her nature. And somehow I've found myself exchanging lengthy emails with someone I've only known exists for a week, because I took a leap and actually said something without automatically assuming no one would care or be able to relate. To be honest it's been a bit of a revelation and I can't thank Tori enough for rebooting a little part of me I feared might have shut down forever. 

There's no danger of me going for the 'laying absolutely everything out for the world to see' thing. There's no intention to dump all of my earthly concerns or burdens on to you. But in between the beauty posts (because I still bloody love make up), or wishlists (because I still bloody love looking at pretty things), monthly lifestyle favourites (because I still bloody love weird things), or things that make me happy posts (because I still bloody love being happy as often as possible and appreciating the little things!) there may be more general musings. If they're vague they're not cryptic, they're just imperfect, unfinished thoughts that may once have been scribbled down on the back of a napkin and lost forever, or worse, lodged at the back of my mind forever being dwelt upon, that I'm noting down in order to hopefully approach them in a more objective way.

They won't always be particularly important. Will I ever eat oats for breakfast, or is toast just my thing forever? Or sad. This really hurts, do you know what will make me feel better? Or serious, because sometimes they'll just be plain silly. Is it possible to go through life without having to iron anything? People keep telling me I should at least own an iron, but I think that sounds like a bit of a slippery slope! And if you're ever feeling something similar, maybe we can connect and try and figure it out together? A problem shared is a problem halved. Not always the case, but sometimes another perspective, another mind with a different way of processing thoughts can open minds to something completely new and previously unfathomable.

Hello, my name is Jennie.
Would you like to be friends?

Banks -  This Is What It Feels Like 

* * * 


P.S. Please welcome my 'All Aboard' partner for August, Loved by Laura
And please also say hello to Emilia Leigh and Laugh with me LeLe

64 comments:

  1. Hi Jennie, I'm Ioanna and I'd love to be friends. You must know by now how much I love reading your blog. One of my favourite things about it is your writing style but also how every time I click on your blog I can't predict what post you'll share today - I love the variety! I think it's totally okay to share whatever aspects of your life you wish, including some of the not so positive bits. Xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.co.uk

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    1. Hi Ioanna! Thank you so much, that's so kind of you to say and you've made my week! I hope you're having a fabulous Friday so far! xo

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  2. Don't ever think you're alone with these kind of thoughts! And if you ever need anyone to talk to, come find me! xxx

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  3. Jennie, I would love to be friends <3 I feel a lot of connection with your thoughts so you're not alone. We can share our dismissal for ironing things xxx

    P.S. You can DM me if you want and I can give you my number. I'm all for an excessive text-chat.

    Megan / www.pixiecrop.com

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    1. Yayy! I think I'm coming to the conclusion that ironing is mostly unnecessary hehe. I'll definitely take you up on that offer! xo

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  4. Hi Jennie! My name is Ugne and I would like to be your friend.

    I don't think we need to ever explain why sometimes a post is not about make up and then why sometimes it is just about make up. Your blog should be your blog. I think people love reading blogs because they are personal and reflect real life, life when sometimes not everything goes well, when sometimes we feel lost and helpless. And that's ok. That's what it makes it real.

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    1. Hi Ugne! I agree, those things help us to relate and connect with people we may never otherwise have encountered <3

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  5. I love your writing posts they're always so thoughtful and wonderful to read! I hope you're feeling okay don't feel afraid to tell us how you feel :)

    hellomissjordan.com xx

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  6. With your taste in books it's ridiculous that we're not friends already!

    I love your blog and if I'm honest those 'woe is me' are refreshingly honest and they give me an insight into how other people might be feeling so thank you.

    Sophia :) xxxx

    Small and Happy lifestyle blog

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    1. Hehe yay for books! Thank you, Sophia! <3

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  7. I definitely would :) What I find about reading blogs, is that the ones I keep coming back to and look forward to reading are not ones that focus on one thing or another - when I enjoy one, it's because of who is writing and how I relate to them. I honestly like reading anything you write about, and so should you. x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

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    1. Thank you lovely Miho, you're always so kind to me! I like those blogs too, I feel I've been through some real ups and downs right there with people I've never met before. <3

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  8. Don't worry about writing these posts every so often, I find them just ad interesting and important as the others. This is why I love blogs, because it's real life. It can look shiny and perfect but also raw and messy. Keep writing, keep enjoying, and I'll keep reading :)

    x
    www.siobhanrothwell.wordpress.com

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  9. Jennie, one of my favourite things about your blog (aside from your writing - it is brilliant so don't be silly!) is how honest and relatable you are. You are absolutely right in that there are plenty of places people can go for consistency and whatever else but I think it's lovely how your blog really is like a little slice of you. I hope you're okay and like others have said, I'm always up for a natter <3

    Jess xo
    http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh Jess, thank you! You're always so supportive and kind. I'll definitely take you up on that offer <3

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  10. Really enjoyed this post. I love reading blogs that have more personal posts rather than having everything polished and the personalities airbrushed, so I like your plan.

    Plus I moved out of my dad's house like four or five years ago and still don't have an iron. Life's too short, ha! x

    http://moanymouse.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Haha I agree. Who needs an iron, right?! x

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  11. Jennie, the ironing situation doesn't get any better - seriously! I own an iron, and apparently it's a 'functional iron' but I fervently disagree because it barely irons creases at all! Ugh, I hate ironing! I think you've united all the bloggers on this issue! xxx

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    1. Oh no! That's the worst, an iron that doesn't work - all the effort for none of the rewards! x

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  12. Erm, yes, I would absolutely love to be your friend!

    I adore your blog and everything about it. Life is far too short to be consistent and focused, and one of the most important things is to do what you want to do. Your writing is fantastic, and I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I have read one of your posts and thought - 'I wish I had written that!'.

    Sending you love and good wishes, and the advise to NEVER get an iron because once you start, you won't be able to stop x

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    1. Thank you so much, Beccy! That's a compliment an a half, you've made my whole year! I think that's very good advice, I don't want to go down that slippery slope hehe xx

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  13. Jennie, I would love to be friends with you - I often think this is my favourite blog because you are real, you blog for you and I love that. In fact, you inspired me to go back to blogging for me because that's why I started. I think you are incredible xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

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  14. Hi Jennie, My name is Donna and would love to be friends :). I'm the same, I'm very quiet in person, I use my blog to express myself. I love reading your blog, it feels so personal and honest. Plus its Your blog so write whatever you want to write :) x

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  15. Hi I'm Fran and I would love to be your friend (as does everyone else haha) And I'm going to be the completely truthful in my comment. This might come out weird, but I love your blog and the only reason I followed you is because you stand out for me. I love your beauty and lifestyle posts, but posts like this feel more personal and (human?) because you're not just one of those bloggers that come across as a robot that processes out beauty review after beauty review with no personality coming through. Your writing is amazing and you should be proud, and anything that's creatively mused on is right up my street! <3

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. This is all the very reason I love your blog. Everything you write is so real and so relevant that I'm always furiously nodding along. I think your personality shines through so well which I always find inspiring and comforting. xx

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  17. Why aren't we friends already?! I really enjoyed this post. One of the best written things I've seen in a long time and very relatable!

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

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  18. My favourite blogs to read are the personal ones, the ones with some imperfections. I know blogging is an actual industry nowadays and blogs can be as serious as magazines, but that's not what I read blogs for! You keep doing what you do :)

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  19. I absolutely loved this post! I think, for me personally, reading a blog post where someone is being genuine, and honest, even if it's not always the prettiest, is when I like them even more because we are all humans. We have the same range of emotions. It makes me feel like hey, that person really is like me! This was beautiful, you're a great writer! XO -Kim
    www.thethirtysomethinglife.com

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  20. What a lovely post. I love these types of posts! If you ever need a chat, drop me an email! I too, don't own an iron and prefer toast over oats (and who cares eh!). I prefer these types of posts to beauty/fashion posts, as they're more interesting to read (maybe I just like being nosey!). Hope everything is okay xx

    www.beckieeschle.com

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  21. Hi Jennie, I'm Emily.
    I absolutely LOVE your blog, and I have done for a good couple of years now! I remember accidentally stumbling across your blog when I was looking for a Glossybox review way back when, and then becoming hooked and reading every single post. Subconsciously, I think your blog inspired me to start my own. Blogs are our creative outlet, and should be open to any type of post - in fact, the personal ones that you often post are my favourite kind :) P.S. Don't worry, never mind owning an iron, I've never even attempted to iron a single thing!

    Emily xoxo (asmalldistraction)

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  22. What I come to your blog to see is exactly the types of posts you create, beautifully articulated pieces that always resonate with me, regardless of whether I can relate or not. People often think that no one can relate to them, but more often than not everyone else is just as scared to express the feelings. x

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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  23. YES, we most certainly can! I adore your blog Jennie, I always take the time to carefully read each post because they are truly capitvating - you have such a beautiful way with words and I just know you have a beautiful soul too (please don't spew at that haha). Ironing is the most boring chore on the planet! Let's campaign for an iron free life.

    Tara x

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  24. Oh Jennie, you glorious thing, let's be friends - although I hope we might already be! I'll always visit sailboat and the book journal as your way with words is truly mesmerising <3

    Chelsea x

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  25. Hi, Jennie, I'm Andreea and I read your blog every time you post (remember that awkward mail I sent you when you first commented on my blog?). I am here for all the posts, especially for the life ones and I love your random posts (and tour writing). As for the iron... My mum gave an iron when I moved out five years ago and I never used it once - my boyfriend needed it once and we couldn't find the damn thing and guess what, nobody died.

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  26. I'd love to be your friend Jennie, after all these years reading and following your blog I feel like I know you a little already! Your blog is one of my absolute favourites, I love the way you write and you've really inspired me through your words and photography!

    Sophie xx

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  27. Don't ever worry about what posts you think you should or shouldn't write. I personally enjoy these posts as they're so raw and honest. It's your blog, fill it with things that you want to. I look forward to all of your posts! :)

    http://IAmLinderella.blogspot.co.uk

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  28. I absolutely adore your blog, and whatever you post, for me it's your writing that makes me want to read not the particular topic! Although I do love your book posts!
    Sometimes I worry that what I post is too 'happy' or materialistic and it isn't a true representation of how I'm feeling, but then I suppose I treat my blog as an escape from the pressure of everyday life. Truthfully I feel lonely a lot too, but it is definitely nothing to hide, and it's actually refreshing to see someone be so honest, rather than hiding behind constant reviews etc.
    Sorry for the ramble, but basically keep doing what you're doing, because I love your blog, it's one of my favourites! xx

    Also, I can't remember the last time I used an iron... They are definitely not necessary!

    Bethan Likes

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  29. Hi Jennie, I'm Anastasia. I would love to be friends and it looks from these comments as though you've got plenty more here too! I've been feeling really similar to everything you've described about my own blog for a while now but I don't think I'm brave enough to be more personal yet! I love your blog already and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with it from here. <3

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  30. OH JENNIE

    I don't really know where to start, except that I know I have to tell you how much I adore you (kindred spirits stuff, all over again), and how much this post touched me (the reach into my heart kind), and WOW, the response, my friend....the response....I hope you take from this knowledge that there is always someone out there, reading, thinking, wanting to reach out. All these beautiful comments prove that. And let it be known that if you want to post stuff that might be of the more 'personal' kind, then you should do exactly that, because this is your place to create, and to give to, and pour into for yourself, above all...if people aren't comfortable with that (and some aren't, which is ok) they don't (and won't) have to read it. To each his own, they say, but it goes both ways...always have this be your own, dear one.

    And can I also just say that it seems you've made connections, my love, even without realising...this is quite the community, so supportive, and caring, entirely generous with their kind words. It's so heart-warming to see. To read.

    Jennie - I barely know what to say, however, in response to these wonderful words offered towards me....golly, that I had such an effect, well, I wasn't expecting it. That I have found you, that we found each other, rather, means so much - I'm looking forward to our friendship developing, and to one day hopefully grabbing a cuppa over a slice of cake and getting our thoughts out, in the from-the-mouth rather than the fingertips way, as it were! You're a fantastic human being, and my life is all the better for it.

    Oh, and you ARE important. Which is why I speak to you in the way you do.

    Very much so.

    With love, Tori xxx

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  31. After reading this I feel (if I didn't already when reading your blog) like we are so alike. It was such a beautiful post to read, refreshing, something real in a world where lives seem to be glossed over to make out everything is perfectly fine and life is amazing, only to end up making you feel even more awful because 'why can't my life be perfect like there's'! I feel at times I fall into this trap of not having a fair representation of how I feel day to day on my blog and do try to be a little more even in my representation of myself because like you say, although people like to look through blogs as a way of relaxing or escaping at the end of a long day, sometimes all you want to do is read something totally relatable to feel you are not alone in this world with how you feel, this post did exactly that for me.
    I love your blog Jennie :)
    xxx

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  32. Love this post, I can completely relate. It's as though connecting to the beauty blogging / vlogging world disconnects other parts of ourselves. Which then leads to one imagining that no one is interested in those other parts. Which as you have proved here, is certainly not the case. Looking forward to more of your musings!

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  33. Hi Jennie, I'm Ang and I'd love to be friends.

    While I'm a bit rubbish at letting my thoughts stream onto the page/screen/whatever, my friend Tamara is brilliant at this and I think you'll enjoy reading her blog http://tamaracamerablog.com/ Also, the main reason I chose to hang the "lifestyle blog" tag around my neck is so that I can write whatever comes into my head. I think the slow, sleepy, lazy post I did while I was on holiday is tons better than the very wordy and highly edited posts I normally write. I'm sure I had a train of thought going, but it seems to have been derailed.

    Write what you want to and what you NEED to. It's your blog after all and no one can tell you that what you're doing is wrong xx

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  34. It's taken me so long to get round to actually commenting on this but I wanted to write something remotely coherent and meaningful, before I realised you've pretty much expressed most of my thoughts about striking the balance between being personal and portraying a more 'professional' face on your blog.

    I think it's very human thing to want to hide away our flaws and bad feelings and keep them separate from our 'blog persona' (I am so damn guilty of this, gosh). But I've always found the best blogs and my favourite blog posts are often the ones where I see the person behind the blog post. Honesty resonates with people Jennie, and personally if people don't want to see that side of you on Sailboat maybe those aren't the readers you want. This is your personal space and it should be your decision to choose what to post in it.

    Off topic on irons! I have one. Probably use it like once a month? My mum would be horrified if she found out this fact lol

    And by the way, I'd totally be proud to call you my friend ^_^ my inbox is always open if you wanna chat

    Much love Xx

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  35. Hello again Jennie, I'm Charlene and I'd love to be your friend.

    I love your blog exactly because you do share such a variety of posts, including little snippets of writing and snapshots into your life and how you're feeling that day. I've read Sailor Jennie for years (I read your blog long before I started mine!) and the feeling that I'm getting a little insight into the wonderful, interesting, sensitive girl behind the blog has captured my interest so much more than a blogging schedule of beauty posts ever could.

    x

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  36. Hi Jennie,

    I've read this post a few times now and love it more each time I do, so figured I should let you know. You are not alone in feeling like this, it can be difficult to get the balance between blogging about what people want and writing about what you need to for you. You get the balance right and I enjoy reading your blog as a result (I rarely comment, but I love seeing your posts pop up in my Blogovin' feed).

    My blog has changed a lot over the years, I started out beauty blogging and while I still love make up and skincare products writing about them on a daily basis wasn't something I could sustain. Now I describe my blog as being about 'life, politics, books and skincare' and that often includes sharing some general musings as well. I'm much happier with it this way and at the end of the day you have to be happy with the content you're producing.

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  37. You perfectly worded the exact things I adore about Tori. We are so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives. She's incredible.

    I've been stopping by sailboat for years now, and I come for you, I come for your unique perspective on the world, YOUR world. I come here ~because~ it isn't like everything else. I'm sure you have seen just how much blogging has changed of late, and I'm holding onto those blogs that still remind me of cold lonely days in 2010 where I would browse through blogs that made me feel less empty. You have always supported and encouraged me in my endeavors, and I will always come back to this space to share that support right back.

    Keep at it, Jennie. You're truly great <3

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  38. I've always thought from reading your blog that you'd be a lovely friend. :)
    Also, when you second guess your blog, I think it means you're overthinking. As you described my blog- I write what I feel like writing, when I feel like. You should do the same. Unless you want to make this into a regular old 'job', it should be something you enjoy and want to do.
    If it helps, I'm not a regular reader of a huge amount of blogs because a lot of them are very samey- endless PR samples of the same things, and the occasional outfit post. Your blog is so refreshing. There's a bit of everything, and your personality really shines through. Your blog is at the top of my favourites list. :)

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  39. I, like everyone else, would love to be your friend! What I love about your blog is that, to quote Forrest Gump, it's 'like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get!' I love the variety and the honesty, never once have I read a post and thought 'Ugh, get over yourself.' We're all human and yes, life could be worse, but that's not to say we're not allowed down days too. Real life is full of ups and downs which is what makes your blog so relatable to so many readers.

    You're fab Jennie, keep doing what you're doing! x

    Josie’s Journal

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  40. Jennie,

    This was a wonderful, raw post and it's one of the many reasons I love your blog. You're so honest and you write beautifully. I recently emailed Tori and you are right - she is incredible and everything you've written is true - I'm so glad both you and I have found comfort in her words and hopefully she knows how much we appreciate her, too.
    I know how you feel. I've felt for a long time that I can't write honestly on my blog. I used to write posts just to vent and let my thoughts tumble out but I don't feel like I can do that any more which is sad. I am more aware that my family read my blog, and that I put it on my CV now so things need to be 'professional'. My blog is definitely different now than when I started, and I admire you sharing your personal posts. I think I am going to vent into my journal rather than my blog, but I wish I could do the same and hear comments from other lovely people. You are always welcome to email me if you want to, lovely Jennie. Remember that you are not alone xxxxx

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  41. i can indeed relate in some way Jennie. i've been struggling to find a voice through blogging and despite the heavy beauty related posts i've been itching to throw in more personal posts only to find it really hard to open up and not feel like i'm putting readers to sleep. i guess it's the subconscious self-awareness to "entertain" and filter out pieces of my life that do not seem as blog-worthy. but at the end of the day those may be the parts that are most worth writing and reflecting about! i'm still trying to find that balance but i sure appreciate reading about your thoughts. again and again you inspire me. thank you for the encouragement (as always!)

    rachel x
    blush&brunch

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  42. I've read your blog since the start Jennie and I always find it very inspirational. Your realness and rawness cut through the saccahrine and photoshopped falsity of everyday and I really appreciate that. Never stop being you.

    XO Amie
    www.creditcrunchchic.com

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  43. Hi, Jennie, my name is Rosie and I would love to be friends. I don't think you're alone in feeling this way. We start blogging for ourselves, but when we realise that we actually have readers, it's easy to post what you think they want to hear all the time, and then maybe you stop talking about what you want to talk about.

    I love your blog and that it's a mix of topics. I like that you don't put up a front that your life is perfect like so many other bloggers do. That makes you more realistic and relatable. I actually feel like I get to know you, or understand what you're feeling / thinking. I get that people don't always want to share the more personal things in their life, or the bad parts, but without that things can come across as too perfect.

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  44. Another reason why I love your blog, it's honest and not edulcorated to appeal to a wider audience and thus losing yourself in the process.

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  45. Blogging sometimes feels a lonely path, I feel lonely on my blog most of the time, but no matter what, I do this for my self, and If I can inspire someone that is a plus. I never going to change the way I blog, because is part of my self. I started blogging as a way to let go my fears, so I wrote about my anxiety issues, I don't know if people read my first posts, but the thing is, by doing that I grew a lot and I'm almost healed, thanks to that! So I encourage everyone who is feeling down or confuse to write and blog what ever you want.
    ---
    Blogging has help me to find my voice, so you can find yours through blogging too! Beautiful people from earth don't feel discourage to do what you really want, write about your life, your dreams, desires, whatever you want, no matter what others say or thing.

    Love love <3<3

    Mushroom Rain Blog

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  46. Your blog is one of a kind Jennie. Reading your posts has got me through some very dark and lonely days where I've felt a bit lost in the world. You are a special girl and I feel lucky to know you, even if it only is through the internet xxx

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  47. You've always come across as such a truly lovely lady, and I've always felt that I could get along with you even though we've never met in real life. I totally get where you're coming from with this blog post because I've been feeling the exact same recently, in fact I think I've always felt like it but there are some days when it's harder to mask than others. I think getting the right amount of personality into a blog is one of the hardest things about blogging because like you say you want it to be a personal outlet to an extent but you don't want to feel like you're burdening other people with your woes because that's not generally what people come to read about however I do think it's important to let people know that you have feelings and that your blog isn't just a total fakery so a post like this just reminds us all that there is a person behind all this and they might be struggling a little bit, and that's fine. Nobody judges you for that :)

    Jade x
    Girl Up North | UK Lifestyle Blog

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  48. As someone who has been blogging for years, as much as I love the 'perfect' 'brand' blogs I do still enjoy the personal ones with a smattering of everything about them . I think because blogging has become such a 'thing' these days and is professional there's an assumption we must all be like that but sometimes you just need to follow your heart and make your blog as an authentic version of you as it can be,

    I for one will still be reading!

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  49. I just want to give you a cuddle! I love your blog (you're actually my favourite and one that inspires me to do more with my more often than not, forgotten blog) and no matter what you post, what you write about I will be sat here reading it!
    All of my love,
    Lou Barker xo

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  50. Sending all my love Jennie! I think I often feel the same (or fairly similar!) as you've articulated so well in this post. Somewhere in the mix I lost momentum, and while in my heart of hearts I know it's because I decided to pursue a career whilst my immediate peers at the time threw caution to the wind and blogged, I can't help but wonder where I fit in. My blog is a bit of everything nowadays, an eclectic mix, because fashion takes up so much of my 9-5 day! I go through phases where I feel like my blog has been waysided as everybody follows a particular path, and others where I'm incredibly happy with how my blog has become an online replica of myself. Lots of hugs J, I adore and always have adored your blog. xx

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Thank you so much for reading! I love when you leave your thoughts so I would love if you left me a little comment, I read every single one, they mean so much and I try my very best to reply to each one!

You are very welcome to leave a link to your blog in your comment, but please just leave one link and I ask you not to promote giveaways. Thank you for understanding. With love, Jennie May xo