I wanted to start this post by giving you my definition of what it means to be a blogger.
To put it simply, a blogger is someone who enjoys sharing parts of their life online. You can share just about anything you want on the internet, and as long as you’re influencing people who choose to follow along with your content, the list of ways you can make money from a loyal following is endless. Obviously, you can blog as a hobby, but if you’re calling it your career then I’d assume it’s generating income.
To be more specific, I’m a fashion blogger that dabbles in 20-something lifestyle content. Lifestyle is such a broad term, but that’s the best part – I never feel boxed in when it comes to what I want to write about. This means my content can always be evolving and that I can make the executive decision to publish whatever I feel compelled to share. I love cultivating my sense of style and sharing my creativity to inspire my followers. Especially my petite readers! I totally understand the struggle to find clothing that fits and makes you feel confident. I use my website and Instagram to inspire outfit ideas, decor inspiration, organizational methods, to share my faith, thoughts, and a lot more. I advertise for brands and for products I believe in and want to share with the world. Ultimately, I do my best to use social media to show young women what I think it means to be both classy and bold in all areas of their lives.
I think of my blog as an online journal – somewhere to process my thoughts. Whether I’m sharing how to get through a break up or how I organized the drawers underneath my bathroom sink…the information is available to anyone who cares enough to stick around and read it. I love sharing a few of the 123875898 thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis with you. I’m a compassionate person who craves human connection more than most things in life, and my goal on here is to connect with you whether it’s bonding over how comfortable a new pair of boots is or sharing a piece of advice from a lesson I learned the hard way.
Which brings me to the topic of this post.
In the past, I’ve struggled finding the right balance between my two contrasting worlds. Wedged between the glamorous industry of fashion & beauty… and life as a Christian woman. I’m not saying the two worlds can’t coincide -I follow so many incredible girls that do an amazing job of sharing their both their faith and style through their platforms (like Brighton Keller & Kara Stout). But, I do think things can get a little confusing when it comes to chasing success in my career while simultaneously searching for my identity in Jesus. I can say this because I know what it feels like to work 150 mph towards your goals, achieve them, and then still feel like something’s missing in the end. This year I learned that sometimes success in business requires huge sacrifices, and at times I found myself sacrificing things like a healthy work-life balance, my relationships, and even my beliefs. It’s easy to get a little lost when hours of my day are spent on social media where materialism thrives, comparison is unavoidable, and the more edgy the content the better it performs. I’ve always viewed fashion as an expression of creativity and to me it’s never been about vanity or having the latest and greatest. Yes, I love beautiful outfits and interiors, but there’s also the Olivia who hibernates at home in the same Arizona Tea sweatshirt 3 days a week and writes and listen to podcasts to escape from all the fluff – and I love that life too.
So let me tell you about a time I posted something on Instagram that I’m not too proud of. It was last year in Cabo at the time when my Instagram was growing really quickly and I was beginning to notice that the amount of likes I received increased whenever my clothing in the picture decreased. Look you guys, I’m human. And of course it feels good to post a picture on a beach when you’re feeling confident. But the moment I hit publish on this very cheeky bikini picture, marks one of my all time fails on Instagram. It took about 3 minutes before I realized what I just did, and then I deleted the picture immediately. As confident as I might have felt in that bikini at the time, the type of message that picture sent was no where near who I am or the type of message I wanted to share with the thousands of girls following me. I take so much pride in showing girls that you don’t have to be a bikini model on Instagram or post sexy pictures of yourself for justification or attention. You guys know how it is, you scroll through your explore page and see so many beautiful women with perfect figures and minimal clothing. In my opinion, that’s not something that needs to be shared with millions of strangers on the internet. This was the first of a many posting mistakes I’ve regretted on Instagram that I’ve learned from.
Choosing not to conform to the ways of this world was never meant to be an easy task. What’s easy is to go along with what everyone else is doing – to fit in with the crowd – to blend. But as Christians that’s not what we’re called to do. We’re called to set an example of what it looks like to a life influenced by Christ. I have the best examples of Christian women in my life who are paving the way for me and showing what it looks like to live a life of purpose. My mom and both of my best friends Linds & Rachel. They understand what is means to express yourself through style, beauty, and creativity, without letting it overshadow their true purpose. I encourage you if you don’t already to draw closer to the women in your life who are inspiring you to be a better person. Whether you live in New York City or Granger, Indiana – you can find wonderful & inspiring people everywhere.
Obviously, work is work. And at the end of the day we all have to do our best with the talents, gifts, and circumstances we’ve been given to make a living. It’s how we survive and pay the bills! Whether your job is to help manage someone’s finances or you’ve been given a platform to share your ideas on how to plan a bridal shower, we’re all making a difference in each other’s lives with our careers. Sometimes all it takes is changing your perspective and seeking out ways to positively impact people’s lives using your unique skills and talents in your job. Which is what I’ve been trying to do more of through my platforms lately. If you’re feeling burnt out at work and lacking purpose in your job, remember this verse: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” [Colossians 3:23]. If you keep this in mind, I can almost guarantee your mindset at work will change. There are so many ways you can use your career to better the world and make someone else’s day, and in that you will find more purpose in what you do.
I’ve found the key to keeping the right balance between my career and my faith is constantly keeping myself in check. To balance my drive to be financially successful with my desire to be spiritually successful. To always ask myself every time before I publish something – does this align with who I am and what I believe in? Am I posting this for self-serving reasons or so I can benefit or inspire someone today who might scroll past this? Am I using my platform to share the light that’s been given to me?
I mess up a lot and I’m not perfect, but I’m still trying. If we had all the answers laid out perfectly for how we’re supposed to live our lives, I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’m writing this because we don’t, but I’m doing a lot of soul searching during this season of my life to figure it out. I thought since I share so many other areas of my life with you guys, why not share more from my journey of faith and how I feel as a Christian woman pursuing a career in the fashion and beauty space in New York City.
Do any of you struggle with any of these things? In what ways have you guys found more purpose in your careers? I’d love to hear more about how you incorporate your faith into what you do. And for those of you who are influencers, what are you thoughts on the topic of bringing Christianity in the blogging space?
I’m ending this post with one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes that I think applies to anyone searching for more purpose and God’s will for their lives. “Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else.”