Let’s turn back the clock; turn it back to 2013/2014. Back then I posted on this blog almost every day. I managed to churn out content on a regular basis; taking photos, writing content, putting in the legwork to promote it on social media. I would spend at least an hour every single evening on my laptop, all on top of my stressful day job and my regular writing gigs for other websites, newspapers and magazines.
I was hustling and I was hustling hard.
Back then I had a good readership and was achieving traffic that I was really pleased with, I was tracking my numbers on a spreadsheet, working out what content garnered more clicks, what brought new audiences, and where I was getting the most engagement.
I was running my blog like a business and I was doing ok out of it. I wasn’t earning big bucks, but I was earning a little money every month, and I was being invited to collaborate with household brand names and to attend events for businesses and people I couldn’t quite believe wanted to work with little old me.
I was living the blogging dream – albeit on a small, in-my-free-time scale, but I was living it nonetheless.
But then things changed. Life happened, circumstances changed, priorities were shifted and I stepped back from everything I’d been doing and started to question it. I stopped writing for the websites I contributed to, I no longer sent copy in to newspapers, I ditched my magazine column, and my love for the blog slid down to the lowest realms it had ever been.
I suddenly felt like I was working so hard and getting so little in return. I saw other bloggers getting what I perceived to be better engagement, higher readership, more exciting opportunities, being able to give up full-time work to focus on their sites, and producing better content than me. I saw all this and started to ask myself, “What are you doing? What is the point of all this?”
I, for some reason, possibly bred from my days of being bullied, have a tendency to second-guess myself, but having stepped back from blogging and taken time out to evaluate I had what I guess could be called an epiphany.
It’s ok not to succeed.
It’s ok not to be the best.
It’s ok to just be… well… ok.
There is such a huge amount of pressure in the world now to be successful, to break out of the mould and make something of ourselves, but that’s not always realistic and that expectation can become unhealthy if it’s taken too far.
Don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe that we should do our best, work hard, be humble and live our best lives, but I also think it’s important to know that it’s ok just to be ordinary.
From a blogging point of a view, there’s so many of us out there, so many people writing content, dedicating hours to getting the perfect photos, coming up with witty descriptions, tweaking our SEO, sharing on social media, and trying to rise above the noise in this over-populated industry, that it is – quite simply – impossible for all of us to make it. In fact, the vast majority of us never will. But that’s ok.
There’s people out there trying to start their own businesses, nurturing them from their spare rooms, piling their money into it, but it’s not always meant to be. Not all of us are made to run our own companies. But that’s ok.
There’s people out there seeking their other halves, walking through the minefield that is dating, wondering when it’ll be ‘their turn’, but not everyone will find their one true soul mate and settle down forever. Some of us are destined to be kick-ass alone. But that’s ok.
The body of a model. A house of your own. A gaggle of children running around your feet. A nice car. A healthy savings account. The job of your dreams.
All of these things we are told to aspire to, to strive for, to add to our To Do list and work to achieve, however, not all of those things are meant for all of us.
But that’s ok.
In a society that forever tells us what we should have, what we should do, what we should be, it can be easy to feel like you’re falling by the wayside or you’re watching other people far ahead of you in any given sector of ‘the perfect life’ we are advertised, but I’m going to try not to focus on that anymore. I’m going to stop counting blog numbers or wondering why mine “isn’t good enough”. I’m going to stop comparing my living arrangements, my savings accounts or the potential use of my womb against other peoples.
I’m going to just do my best, live my best life, be happy, be kind and be grateful. Because at last, at the grand old age of 31, I’ve realised we aren’t all meant to succeed, and that’s ok.