I’ve never been one to follow the rules of when you’re “supposed” to do things. Now is no different. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year, it’s to speak your truth – it is the bravest thing you can do. And while it’s probably more standard to save essays like this for the “New Years Resolution” posts, I couldn’t help but feel like now with the launch of the new website, was the best time to share my truth with each of you.
2018 was a beautiful year. I was finally living my life long dream of being in New York with my husband and loving every minute. I went into 2019 with higher hopes, bigger goals, and the best intentions for myself. But in looking back, what I learned is that no matter what our intentions are, the universe at times has a different plan for us. And no matter how hard we push back, we are always met with a force that is greater than us.
It has taken me almost nine months to get to this point to be able to share it with you. A large part of my struggle through this journey has been to do the work it in silence, it’s work that I’ve needed to do with myself. Internally. Not on social media or the blog. It’s only through hours of meditation, self-reflection, speaking with other women, and journaling that I’ve gotten to the point where I feel full enough again to be able to share my story with each of you.
To give a bit of background, I’ve always been an incredibly self-aware person. I’ve been independent and introspective since I was a little girl. I make decisions intentionally and with conviction. I’ve always had pride in these traits and credit them to why I am where I am today, personally and professionally. I am confident as a woman and as a creative. But in March of 2019, I suddenly felt this looming uncertainty to almost everything in my life.
3/12/19 “I’m lost. I don’t know what’s up or down anymore. In work. In life. My eyes are filled with tears, and my heart physically feels like it’s aching. I don’t know what to do or say or articulate how this feels. I want to feel settled, secure, and confident, but I feel the exact opposite. Nothing I am doing anymore is working.”
This is what I wrote in my journal from March after returning from Paris Fashion Week. I found myself lost in overwhelming and gripping anxieties that were coming from a place of stillness. When I wasn’t doing something, all I could think about was what I needed to be doing to make myself feel the validation of “success.” I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t reflect, I could hardly breathe because of the expectations I was setting for myself. I was literally running on empty.
3/17/19 “What I am feeling right now feels like an identity crisis. I am allowing these outside elements like social media to validate myself. I don’t feel fulfilled in my work and loathe how much power Instagram has over the way I feel daily. It’s not healthy AT ALL. I feel physically paralyzed with fear of failure. I realize that I’ve been living life dictated by the thought that my work validates me, this is not right. Why do I spend time scrolling and comparing and then breaking myself apart with reasons I am not good enough. It takes everything happy that I have left inside of me out. I’ve never been this way, why now?”
Looking back, I have chills thinking about the dysfunctional state I was in. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t living my life in the moment and instead was just going through the motions. I had a lack of enthusiasm and gratitude when it came to working and was looking at everything through a negative lens when something didn’t go right – always blaming myself. I was consumed with how things “should” be done based on what I thought others needed from me. I couldn’t be an authentic version of myself because I feet like a vessel of myself, not identifying with what I had created in the past and couldn’t create anything I was proud of because I had no vision for the future. For the first time in my career, my images weren’t matching what I was feeling – I felt inauthentic, like an imposter.
That’s the complex paradox of Instagram, right? Our real-life never truly match how we’re actually portraying it. Somehow we’ve become so socially detached and disconnected, and we’ve crafted these versions of our self, our social personas, that we’ve become lost. And lost I was. I couldn’t connect to anything greater than me – I couldn’t connect with myself anymore.
Was this the force I was feeling pushing back on me? I was suddenly faced with this internal creative suppression that was clouded in my very own doubt and fear? What was most frustrating for me was that my job, probably one of the most glamorized – and something that started out for me as a hobby – had somehow started affecting my life in a totally unexpected way. So naturally, I pushed back. I started out with a clear and simple vision to create editorial content for brands that I loved. And I accomplished just that. My audience has always told me that my platform is a form of escapism for them, I guess a part of me didn’t want to disappoint by talking about what I was actually going through. After all, doubt, fear, and worry stem not only from our internal dialog. Resistance can also be met from those around us who are operating on their own agendas.
The landscape of blogging and social media is vast, yet I’ve always felt blocked by these boundaries of topics I’m “supposed” to talk. I guess after five years of blogging about the same thing, I hit a wall. I was craving a more in-depth conversation on my platform because I was turned off by what I felt was inauthentic on Instagram – I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to talk about something real – but would it be accepted? Would people judge me for my truths? The conversation about “the perfect Instagram photo” and “how to get a million followers” is so antiquated. It’s time to have real discussions about real topics that matter, that make us sit back and think. That empowers. That inspires.
I was blocked, my blog posts slowed almost to a stop, and I was posting to Instagram maybe twice a week. But I was ok with that. They say that in times of uncertainty, do nothing, and the answers will come. So I took the position of serving myself, so I could eventually better serve everyone around me – friends, family, and each of you. I needed to step away, get some perspective, invite presence into my life. And that’s exactly what I’ve spent the past nine months doing.
I can’t remember where I read this, but I wrote this quote in my journal;
“Being is of more value to us than doing. It’s only the being that you bring into your doing that matters.”
By stepping away and taking this time for myself to reflect – I was able to fill myself back up with inspiration, but in a way I’ve never felt before in my life. And it feels better than ever to feel like I am back – not to my old self – but to a newer and more self-aware version of me. I devoted myself to a routine of meditation, exercise, journaling, weekly social media breaks, reading, trying new things, saying no to things that didn’t serve me, and patience. All things I didn’t even realize I was missing, and all things that eventually brought me to the space I am today.
All of this space I created for myself paved the way for growth and everything I’ve been building over the past few months. After confronting my fears of failure and acting with the mentality that I couldn’t fail, my creativity started flowing again. I focused on the strategic side of building out my app TIVVIT. We also found a new home just outside of the city that has a backyard and a park across the street – because something I realized this past year is that I value nature tremendously and need it daily. As much as I tried to convince myself I needed to live in Manhattan, it just wasn’t a right fit and I didn’t want to accept that.
And finally, I had the vision to create a new site that felt more reflective of me. The launch of Margo & Me is truly a reflection of my transformation and growth over the past year. I intend to include more thoughtful topics on lifestyle, charity, wellness, and family. I want to have a more candid dialogue with you because if there’s anything I’ve learned from the outpouring of support I’ve received, it’s that not one of us is alone in how we feel and it’s so important that we speak our truths, connect and take time for ourselves.
If you’ve made it this far, I appreciate you holding the space for me, and as I embark on the new paths that life is guiding me towards, I couldn’t be more thankful to have you by my side. I am so excited to reconnect through the new Margo & Me. If you are facing any of the issues I brought up here today, I urge you to trust the wait. Growth lives in the uneasiness, the in-between. Embrace the uncertainty and enjoy the beauty of becoming. And as Oprah said best, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear the path.”
Ps. Healthy distractions come in the form of seeking tools for knowledge where you have perhaps not looked before. A few books that were incredibly powerful to me on my path this year were;