Something new has been ignited deep within. And it feels so good. Passion. Creativity. Purpose. Joy. It’s all there. It’s deliciously exciting.
Part of it, has to do with this blog. My blog. My online space. I’ve fallen in love with it again.
We’ve been though a lot this blog and I.
Shall we take a trip down memory lane? Grab a tea (or a champagne if the time is appropriate!), and let me share a little about how I got here, and where I want to go now…
It was about six and a half years ago. I was up late feeding my little lady baby. Searching for some kind of connection, because new motherhood kind of kicked my arse. I was in a daze of sleep deprivation, a little loneliness and pure exhaustion. My husband was, and always has been incredibly supportive. But I was lacking connection. I needed to know I wasn’t alone.
I’m not sure how it came about that I started reading blogs from other mothers. It’s highly likely that it was through a vortex of online clicks after googling “how the f*ck do I get my child to sleep”? But I found so much comfort in reading the stories of other women. About their journeys, their growth, their highs and their lows. Their humour and vulnerability inspired me. It felt refreshing. And something lit up a little inside me. I used to love writing at school – could I possibly write a blog?
The two bloggers who inspired me the most were definitely the raw, real + hilarious Beth from BabyMac, and the sweet, creative + honest Chantelle from FatMumSlim. I still read their blogs, and I love what they do (both women are completely divine in real life too). The way they shared so authentically made me think that may it was possible for me to join the blogosphere.
After a couple of months of reading, and commenting (basically lurking) – I decided to start my own blog. Weddings, Babies… Everything. I had a baby and I was planning our wedding… At the time, the name made sense. 😉
I didn’t tell anyone I had a blog. Only my “blogging friends” knew.
I think my first post was something along the lines of “I am Amelia. I wonder if anyone is actually reading this”. It was kind of awkward. In fact, the majority of my first posts were awkward. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and my posts felt really stiff. I was holding back. I was afraid to be vulnerable online. At the time, I felt a little lost in myself. If I didn’t know who I was, how could I share my journey?
But I kept going. Sporadically posting when and if I felt the need. It was an outlet. And slowly, but surely – it began to open me up. This blog of mine had become an outlet.
But the thing I loved the most? CONNECTION. I remember the first time I went to a blogger event. I was stupidly nervous. By then, my husband knew that I had a blog (he was the only one!) – and he was more than a little apprehensive about me attending an event with only people “I had met online”. But I took the leap, and I ended up loving it!
I will say this though – face to face connection trumps online. Every. Single. Time.
I began to share my blog with friends. And everyone I told was incredibly supportive “I can’t believe you didn’t tell us about this sooner!”. I shouldn’t have needed it, but through their support and encouragement, it felt acceptable to be a blogger.
There came a point though, after the birth of my son, that Weddings, Babies… Everything no longer sat right with me. It didn’t reflect who I was anymore. I was already married. I’d had my two children. And at home, I was diving head first into the world of health, spirituality and self-development. Blogs like In Spaces Between, written by my now very dear friend Rach, and Such Different Skies by my equally gorgeous friend Tara Bliss, were filling up my time.
Things had changed. I had changed.
My final post read…
Hello beautiful people!
I hope all is well in your world.
As you can probably see, things have been super quiet on the blog lately.
My life on the other hand has been full of adventures and activities (let’s be honest, it’s been busy but I was trying not to use that word). And things have been plodding along really nicely.
I have, however, come to the decision that this blog is no longer for me.
I was going to do a whole redesign/rename etc and keep all the old posts. But for where I want to go, I must leave this blog behind completely and start a fresh. I have considered shutting down the blog in the past, but something always stopped me.
This time though, it feels right.
I have plans. Big plans. And in the past I’ve discussed how I never finish things that I start (you only have to look through previous posts over the years as proof of this!), but this won’t be the case in the future.
These dreams of mine are going to be realised. I just need some time to focus on them fully, and get them ready to share with the world.
So later today I will be shutting down this blog. For good.
I’m going to keep the Facebook page open though, so I can fill you in on what happens next. So if you aren’t already a follower, but want to keep in touch – make sure you hop on over.
And now… for the obligatory speech…
I am truly grateful for this blog. Thanks to this blog, I have formed the most wonderful friendships (real life, beautiful friendships and also some amazing online friendships). Friendships that I will treasure and hold close to my heart forever.
I have also been given the most wonderful opportunities in my career. Through my blog, I now have a job that I love. A job that has enabled me to not only be inspired and feel useful, but also has allowed me to earn a living while staying at home with my beautiful children (for that, I will forever be grateful).
The online community is insanely awesome. And anyone who knocks it, only needs to step inside this little online world and take a look around. It’s so full of friendships, laughs, advice and love (I choose to look past the whole “troll” thing… because they are the minority).
So it is bye for now.
I hit “un-publish”.
And a few weeks later, Nurture and Shine was born.
A funny, bright, totally dodgy logo that I made myself, because I was so desperate to open my site that I just went for it (I never have been the most patient of people when it comes to these things). But the dodgy logo didn’t matter to me. Because it was bright, cheery and reflected me at the time. And I just wanted to be writing online again. I wanted to be sharing my newfound passions.
I shared everything I was learning in my Health Coaching course. I shared recipes. I shared my crystals. And I filmed my first “video post”.
This post still makes me smile. I was a bundle of nerves, kept checking my notes (thinking I was being oh-so-subtle) and fluffed my way through the whole thing.
I was head over heels in love with my new online home and consequently decided to back myself – I paid an ace designer for a proper logo.
I became a health coach. I successfully launched my business. And my blog came along for the ride.
Then something about Nurture and Shine started to feel a little off. So I changed my website to my own name… because, well, nothing reflects me more than me, right?
I continued to drift in, and out of posting. Hiatuses grew longer. There were promises made of new content. But something still felt funny.
Behind the scenes, I felt stuck.
When I started Nurture and Shine, it was with the intention to grow a business and to share all that I was learning about health, wellness and spirituality. But it wasn’t just a blog anymore, it had become part of a business. And through that, I placed this immense pressure on myself to ensure every single post had some kind of message to it. I wanted you to take something positive away with you every time you visited. I felt like each post had to be profound or wildly insightful.
That will explain the gaps in posting. When I’d feel my most inspired – I was with my clients, or with my family – I didn’t have time to sit down and write. Or if I had time to write, I wasn’t feeling inspired.
My blog became a chore again.
But I didn’t want to stop writing. Something had to give. Again.
And here we are today.
No expectations. But a desire to continue to connect.
I’m proud to say that I’ve never posted anything that felt inauthentic. It’s always felt right for me at the time. But we grow, we evolve, and it’s only natural that our online space (if we have one) – grows with us. It’s been a bit of a mish/mash – but hey, that’s me. And it’s accurately reflected every step along the way.
I’ve thought a LOT over the past few weeks about what I want from my blog. Right now, I want it to reflect all of who I am, rather than little parts of me. I want to share what I learn, and what I’m doing. From a place of vulnerability, humour, truth and fun!
So if Weddings, Babies… Everything and Nurture and Shine had a baby – this blog would be it!
It may change one day. Because, change. Inevitable. And maybe it won’t.
Things feel balanced now. And what you’ll see here? Me.
Because I like health, I like crystals, I like spiritual texts, I like champagne, I like the Real Housewives, I like Harry Potter, I like gardening, cooking, yoga, creamy French cheeses, smoothies, home interiors, photography…. the list goes on.
I’m diverse. I contradict myself. I don’t fit into a box, and that’s ok. Because no one fits into one box – we are all unique. And that’s what makes this world exciting.
So that is that.
Whether you’ve been here for a day, or from the very beginning – thank you (I hope you enjoyed your tea/bubbles). It’s ALL as it should be. And that feels oh so right.