After months, and months (and months?) of not blogging, I finally decided now would be a good time to pop in to update all of you on my whereabouts. All is very well. Probably the best it's ever been. I never did an "official" announcement/post about what I was doing in terms of the blog because, to be quite honest, I really didn't know. All I knew was that my priorities shifted and I couldn't explain it. People would ask when I'd post next or if I was still blogging and I couldn't really answer because I knew that while I loved blogging and this site we created over 5 years ago, I just didn't have a logical or well thought out answer, other than it just felt right to take a break and focus on other things.
So, after forcing myself to think about it and talking with a handful of other bloggers I realized a lot.
First, I came to the simple conclusion that blogging is just plain difficult. And time consuming. And when you've done it for years and years, and catered your life around it, after a while it can start to feel like a time suck. And that's the honest to goodness truth that probably not many bloggers will ever be willing to admit, at least not on the internet. There's a lot of guilt inside of me for not blogging and part of me feels like I should apologize. But then I remember that we started this thing for fun, worked hard at it and are blessed that it turned into so much more, but when it starts to feel like a chore it should be okay to give yourself a break. Posts that used to take 30 minutes to compose started taking hours. Creating content, editing photos, linking to this, that, and the other thing. Making separate documents for printable recipes. It was time away from other things I loved doing because sadly there just aren't enough hours in a day and girlfriend needs to sleep. I realized that I'd be turning down opportunities to spend time with people I cared about and be social because I told myself that I "had" to get home to blog. Or I'd rush out of work whizzing by co-workers to get to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a recipe I wanted to blog about before sunset. We all know food photos are better in natural light! But you know what? Sometimes it feels darn good to just hang out after work with co-workers and chat about absolutely nothing. I realized that It's good and healthy to step away from the computer and to just be present.
Second, the past 6 months have been great in terms of other design and creative gigs that came my way. I was able refocus my work life and I was fortunate enough to significantly cut back on hours at my other jobs so I could spend time taking on more clients, which is really what I've wanted to do my entire adult life. I created a new job title for myself. I was told in a meeting I had with an agency last summer, that what I was doing was more in line with consulting and I was limiting myself by only referring to myself as a graphic designer. I do more than design. So after some digging, asking around, and a whole lot of thinking about what I actually do, I realized that calling myself a Creative Consultant is far more fitting. And, to be honest, by broadening the umbrella, it's opened up a heck of a lot more doors. I even got my work website re-vamped, which feels great to finally have a home solely dedicated to all of the creative projects I'm working on.
And third (and fourth and fifth and sixth?!), I've spent the last handful of months doing a LOT of soul searching, digging deep into what I wanted out of life, what was lacking, what needed to improve, and all of that good, bad, and ugly stuff. I've felt every emotion known to mankind the last handful of months. It's been a roller coaster for real. I grew up in Massachusetts and have lived there my entire life. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks. And I've been wanting and needing a change.
As you may remember from my posts last year, I went to Texas a couple times to visit my sister and brother-in-law who moved down there last Spring. Each time I visited, I'd look at apartments and had it in the back of my mind that moving there was always an option. I told my sister that if they had a baby I might move down there and I semi-jokingly said if they had twins I would definitely move down there. Welp, in May homegirl had twin boys. And it's safe to say I'm obsessed with them. As in my heart actually aches when I'm not near them. I'm also starting to think I might need to become a professional shopper for babies because I can't stop buying them things. Baby clothes = life.
That joke turned out to be pretty serious because it's also safe to say that I've officially packed up my apartment in Boston where I lived for the last 7 years, am currently sitting in a hotel room in Lancaster, PA in the middle of a road trip. My final destination: Dallas. The day after I arrive, I'm opening up a new Paper Source in Plano, Texas. And a couple days after that, I get the keys to my very own brand spanking new apartment.
Things are changing and while I'm scared out of my freaking mind part of me is excited to just allow life to happen and to allow myself to be a little uncomfortable. I love Boston and with this move I realized just how absolutely wonderful everyone in my life there is. People helping me pack and lug my crapola down 4 flights of stairs (no elevator. Won't miss that!), coming over to hang out with me while randoms from Craigslist came to get my furniture to make sure no one stole me, going away parties, gifts galore, offering to drive down to Texas with me so I don't have to go it alone. I'd be a liar to tell you that I didn't think about canceling the move and staying in Boston. But my biggest regret was looking back on my life years from now and asking myself if I really, truly made the most of my time. I knew if I stayed, the answer to that question would be no. And as so many people have already said, Boston isn't going anywhere, so if I need a change again down the road, whether it be next year or 10 years from now, I can always go back. It will always be home.
In terms of the blog. Since we're being honest here, I definitely struggled with finding good content to share the last year or so. I felt like I made every recipe known to man (proof is in the multiple boxes of spices I had shipped down to Texas last week) and went to almost every restaurant in Boston. I've always been a firm believer in posting on blogs when you feel like you actually have something useful to share and not just writing for the sake of publishing a post. I felt like I was repeating myself a lot and in a sense, exhausted everything there was to share with our readers. So, with this move, I'm really hoping that once I get settled down in the Dallas area, I'll be able to share fresh new experiences from time to time with all of you again.
And while we're on the topic, I don't have any friends in the area so if you live down there, let's grab a cocktail. HEYO! 😉
Also, my PSA for the day. If you're ever in Connecticut go to Stew Leonard's. We stopped there today and I actually thought about canceling the rest of the road trip to call CT home just so I could go here every single day. It's a maze of grocery store heaven and everyone needs to add it to their bucket list. They even have a petting zoo!
Bed now and up bright and early for our long drive to Asheville, NC in the morning!
Thanks for sharing your update! As a regular blog reader, I have been wondering where you went. 🙂
Good luck with this new and exciting adventure. A wise friend once told me "you never regret the things you choose to do, only the things you don't do". It's been true for me, and I hope you will also find it true as you embark on this next phase.
Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) says
Yay! I'd been trying to figure out what happened to you--glad it's only good things! 🙂 And congrats on the move to Texas, I'm visiting for the first time at the end of the month and am SO excited. A few other friends are moving there, too. Maybe I'll also fall in love with it, we'll see!
You know, I face these things all the time too. While I still do log on to blog something, the length of time that passes between posts can vary from a few days to a few weeks. My blog is more a hobby than a business and when i dont feel like posting or if my posts seems like I have said it a million times before, i just dont write it. If there is anything I love most about your blog, its your honesty. All you have done is proved that you are human and taht you are maturing.
I am turning 30 in a few months also and have had that tumultous feeling. Am I in a good place for 30? Have I accomplished enough? Will i have any regrets 10 years from now? I think its totally normal. And looking back, i see how much I have changed! Congrats to you on your big move! Being an auntie is amazing and I hope you enjoy every waking moment of it. Cheers to the next chapter of your life!
I used to live down the street from that Stew Leonard's! Miss it so much! WIshing you all the best in Texas!
Good luck with your newest adventure!! Definitely seems like the right move 🙂
this is so exciting Chels!! congrats!! and yay for being closer to family and those sweet little boys - it'll be worth it, for sure.
Best of luck! I had wondered about the "We" but figured one of you two would share whatever your readers were meant to know. I'm always proud of people who make the tough-but-right-for-them choices. Enjoy TX!
You're amazing and Texas is going to be great!!!!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
Thanks for the updates, and good luck with the big move! How exciting!! I went to Dallas a few months ago and the food was pretty awesome. Make sure to check out Sissy's for fried chicken! http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/restaurants/fried-chicken-and-a-bowl-of-offal-at-dallas
Congrats! Sounds like you have a LOT of exciting things going on 🙂 So happy for you
Short and sweet: I adore you, Boston will miss you, Texas is lucky to have you. xxoo
wishing you the best Chels. thanks for this post. xx
Great and honest post, Chels! Hope you find a way to write about this latest adventure somehow!
Best of luck to you Chels! This is just the next chapter in your journey - so proud of you to take the leap and go for it. I hope we can keep in touch through social. All my best!!! Barbara
Leah | So, How's It Taste? says
Congrats on the big move! I bet it's so refreshing to have figured some things out and headed on a new adventure. I'm kind of in the process of doing that myself and reading your post made me feel so much better about wanting some big changes. Best of luck in Dallas!
Good luck to you Honey, you will have so many exciting, new adventures
Good luck on your adventure, Chels!! I know you'll have a blast and I can't wait to visit!!
Erica @ In and Around Town says
Good luck with what lies ahead - sounds so exciting! Congrats!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Wishing you the best of luck on your new journey! 🙂 Lancaster has great markets, I hope you get the chance to check them out!
It's been a joy reading your posts on wearenotmartha! Thanks for sharing! All the best to you!
Thanks for the update although (and maybe you figured this out on your break) you don't owe us - the readers - anything! This is your site that we choose to come to for recipes etc. As great as it is, there are at least a few other recipe blogs on the internet 😉 What's most important is you and your happiness so it's great to hear that you've sorted it out and found a new heart path that excites and inspires you. As a midwest resident that generally likes winter, I have to say I am pretty jealous of your escape to the south. Best of luck!!
Chels, this is so exciting! All the best to you, and looking forward to hearing about new adventures!
Michelle Collins says
Yayyy, congrats on everything!! Sounds like some amazing opportunities are coming your way. Can't wait to hear more!
Congrats on the huge and exciting changes!! It had been a long long while since I've read up on you guys and it was refreshing (and somewhat comforting) to know that I'm not alone in the 'I need a break from blogging/need to get back to real life' thing. So happy for you! Best of luck in your new city!
aw congrats chels, such an awesome opportunity and change and just yay. i saw the instagram posts and wasn't totally sure if your dallas hashtags were for a trip or a move and now i know and i'm just excited and happy for you. wishing you lots of awesome adventures and loveliness friend xo
I have so much respect for your honesty and sense of adventure! Congratulations! Enjoy those beautiful nephews!
I can't believe you actually got twin nephews!!! congrats! I completely understand about blogging. As a new blogger, I had a goal of posting regularly, but it all became too much to handle when I was trying to write my thesis and I realized that my readers will still be there when I am done with everything and that I created the blog to have fun and enjoy it, not to feel pressured to deliver content. I am actually going to be moving as well, so yay for new adventures 🙂
Just like the rest of the readers, I have been wondering whatever happened to you. All different thoughts came to mind and, for a moment, I got so worried. Good to hear that you're doing well with a bright future ahead of you.
From the tone of your post, I felt complaisance and peace from within - which is really good. On that note, good luck on your future endeavors. Be sure to keep us updated from time to time. Take care 🙂
This is the first blog I ever started reading so I feel like I almost know you guys! Congrats to you chelsea! I did the same a year and a half ago - packed up and moved to the lonestar state too - moved to Austin! I moved from Orange County CA back to my childhood home because I needed a change and had just turned 30 too. It's very bittersweet and scary but so exciting and such an AWESOME experience! I'm sure TX will treat you well. It's always awesome to have a built in friend/sister too! PS - check out breadwinners cafe in uptown Dallas - I guarantee you'll blog about it!