Chelsea-May 2017-0050CROPPED

Hello friends!

I have been meaning to write this post for what seems like forever. A lot of things are changing in my life, and I wanted to share the details with y’all, including where I forsee my blog heading. There has been so much on my mind lately. I’m excited to share what has been going on!

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.comChelsea-May 2017-0047CROPPED

A Season of Change

About a year ago, I was completely sold on trying to make my blog a full time gig. I truly felt as if blogging was my passion. For the past year, I worked extremely hard at revamping my content, rebranding myself as a style blogger, and building my platform. But it started to exhaust me. I realized that I wasn’t blogging because it bought me joy….I was blogging to reach my goals.

As of lately, I’ve felt a season of change. I have lost the “spark”. I was starting to forget why I even liked blogging in the first place. I went on Instagram and all I did was feel like crap looking at other bloggers’ platforms. I wasn’t giving myself credit that I was currently balancing a full-time blogging gig AND grad school. I grew tired of trying to keep up with the ever-changing, SO annoying Instagram algorithms that constantly restrict bloggers’ posts from being seen. I worked hours upon hours building my platform, but didn’t feel as if I was enjoying the process. I found myself obsessing over every little detail- all of my blog photos, my social media platforms, and what other bloggers were doing. I started over-analyzing every part of my body- even parts of my body that I normally love, such as my arms and my legs, and started nit-picking them apart. My self-confidence plummeted. Blogging was no longer joyful for me anymore….it was a hassle. It was self-destructive. I became obsessed with perfectionism, and these unrealistic expectations I set for myself were killing my joy.

This past month, I took a step back to focus on school. Normally I create blog content weeks, sometimes even months in advance, and am constantly communicating with brands about sponsorships. I stopped replying to the emails. I got off Instagram. I left a few blogging support groups. Did my blog monetization suffer? Yes. Did my Instagram following suffer? Yes. But for the first time in my life, I didn’t really care. Normally, it would give me anxiety that I wasn’t achieving the goals I had set for myself, but I felt freed from the blogging-related anxiety itself.

While reevaluating my priorities, I realized that I been focusing too much on what others expected out of me and lost touch with why I started blogging in the first place. I started blogging 2.5 years ago because I love writing, community, and sharing content. I needed to re-visit why I started this blog in the first place. Not to gain Instagram followers. Not to make money. But to just have fun. To share. To connect.

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.com
Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.com

My Counseling Career

A huge part of the reason why I am stepping back from blogging is because my career is starting very soon, and I felt as if blogging was taking away from my counseling intentions. I only have one semester left to complete before I graduate with my Master’s in Professional Counseling. I cannot even begin to describe to you how ecstatic I am to start my career! The past 4 months, I took on a full load of credits (including a statistical research course which was death of me), and two separate internships at an elementary and middle school. It was the busiest, most stressful, yet most rewarding time of my life. And throughout all of it- the school work, the guidance lesson planning, the job searching – I was also trying to keep this blog afloat as a small business. The harsh realization sunk in that I just can’t do it all. I felt as if turning my blog into a business wasn’t aligning with my current goals. It was just getting in the way; yet I wasn’t sure how to step back. I felt as if I had failed myself.

I need to focus on my future as a school counselor. I first started this blog before I started graduate school, when I wasn’t exactly sure what my goals were at the time. My internships have proven to me how incredibly rewarding school counseling is for me, and I owe it to my students to be 100% focused on the task at hand.

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.com

The Future of My Blog

So what does this mean? Does this mean I’m quitting Inspiration Indulgence? Heck no. But I am re-evaluating my priorities and the direction of where my blog is headed. Am I still going to be posting often? I’ll try posting once a week, but if I don’t get a post up, I won’t stress about it. If I don’t post for even a month, I won’t feel guilty. I started this blog for ME in the first place. I will still publish sponsored content, but only if I feel the timing is right, and if I’m not overwhelmed. I no longer want to stress about it and rely totally on my blog as a source of income. I no longer want to feel a prisoner to my blog or my email. I want to find the joy in the process of blogging again.

In addition, I plan on changing my content up a little. When I took my blogging break to focus on school, I realized that there were so many things I wanted to blog for MYSELF, but I never did because: 1.) I felt my readers didn’t care; and 2.) I felt it wasn’t “professional”  or “inspirational” enough. Like I wasn’t living up to the “Inspiration Indulgence” expectations. I would like to blog more day-to-day personal things, such as weekly or monthly wedding planning updates, school updates, more casual OOTDs (but not needing professional photos each time) and just LIFE updates. For example, sharing my monthly goals, my weekly highs and lows, etc. I noticed that I love “life updates” from other bloggers but always felt insecure about doing them myself. So, I’m hoping to incorporate more “real” stuff with this blog. I plan on posting “Life Lately” posts, as well as a “Wedding Wednesday” series once a month with planning updates. I am now grasping that I don’t need a world-altering idea for every blog post; my blog posts can just be simple life updates, and my readers will likely appreciate those!

I know that not all of you are crazy about fashion, but I will absolutely stay true to style blogging. I absolutely LOVE sharing my style; in fact my weekly series, My Current Obsession, has brought me SO much joy! I need to be true to who I am!

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.com

So with that, I’d like to introduce you to my first “Life Lately” post. I’d like to point out that I’m especially inspired by my blogging friend Summer from Coffee With Summer and how she is able to cultivate such an honest, open community with her followers. Her “CWS Happenings” posts have inspired me to cultivate my own community through just ….life happenings!

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.comView More: http://shaunaeteskephotography.pass.us/chelsea

If we were to grab a cup of coffee together, I’d share with you…

  • How refreshed I feel now that school is over this semester. I have a 3 week break until I start summer class! I plan on spending the time reading for pleasure (wait, what is that?!) hanging out with Shadow, and spending more time with the family/friends that I neglected throughout the school year!
  • Speaking of Shadow, he is growing SO fast. When we first brought him home, he was 9 lbs…now he is 45 lbs! He is so stinkin cute, I literally can’t even handle it. I’d like to do a shoot soon with him!
  • How incredibly sad I was to leave my internship sites this semester. My kiddos have changed my life and have further instilled why I am so passionate about school counseling. I loved every second of it! It’s so hard to build meaningful connections and then say goodbye! I can’t wait for stability and to end the #InternLife. I only have one more internship, and then it’s graduation time!
  • I’m teaching summer school at one of my past internship sites. The district has given me complete freedom to create classes to teach, which is very liberating! I will be teaching Character Counts, Team-Building Exercises, and Creative Writing. I’m incredibly nervous, yet excited! My degree isn’t in “teaching” so it will be interesting to see how this goes! School counselors teach guidance classes, but that is only a small part of our job, so I still feel as if I’m not an expert at classroom management.
  • Trevor bought a boat, and I’m so excited! As a child, I spent many summers on my family’s boat. Those are some of my best memories, and I can’t wait to create the same ones with our family!
  • Our wedding is about 4.5 months away and it’s starting to totally get very, VERY real!
  • I’ve been focusing on my health lately to get in shape for the wedding. I started a 6-week health challenge and did great the first 3 weeks….and then sort of gave up. I plan on starting over this upcoming Monday, now that I’m done with school and will be able to focus more on my health!
  • My summer class is called Addictions in Counseling, and we have to give up an “addiction” for 8 weeks. I have been really intentional about thinking of what to give up. I think that I am going to give up fried potatoes because I eat them all of the time, and in a way, it really does feel like an addiction! Plus it aligns with my current health goals.

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.com

Get caught up with my recent posts!

My Current Obsession: Florals
Q&A About Me: Fill in the Blanks
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Under $50 with Bay Park Square Mall
How I Deal with Body Insecurities
My Current Obsession: The Midi Skirt

Blue Floral | InspirationIndulgence.comJean Jacket // Charlotte Russe // Dress // Charlotte Russe // Sandals // Charlotte Russe // Purse // Almost Famous Clothing (out of stock) // 

What about you guys! What’s going on in your life? Do you have any suggestions for my blog on what you would like to read more of? Please leave me a comment below!

Photos by Shaunae Teske

Xoxo,

  • I love you, Chelsea! You seriously rock – love that you’re getting refocused on why you started blogging in the first place – for community and for you! I’ve been reflecting on that myself lately, as that’s why I first started. Super encouraging! I’m excited for you, your new career, and the future of your blog! <3

    AND thank you for mentioning me! Happenings posts are such a great way to round everything up!

    • Thank you so much, Summer! It means the world to me to have your support. Yes, sometimes we just need to step back and remember WHY we starting blogging! And of course! You inspire me SO much. <3

  • Love this post, Chelsea! I think a lot of bloggers are having similar thoughts/feelings right now because it seems like the joy lately has been sucked out of blogging as a whole with the constant challenges bloggers face in having their content reach their audience. I can completely understand the direction you are heading and I respect the line of work you do 100%. You will be an amazing counselor and how exciting that your wedding is getting so close! Just have fun and don’t stress and it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Life is meant to be enjoyed and if something no longer brings you joy then kudos to you for realizing things needed to change! :)

    • Hi Cara! Thanks for your sweet comment! Yes, it seems that many bloggers are going through the same troubles, unfortunately. :( But it means the world to me that you will stick by all the craziness in my life. Thank you for saying that I will be an amazing counselor. That means the world to me! <3 Love you girl!

  • Good for you, Chels! Always do what’s best for yourself and, most importantly, what makes you HAPPY!

    I recently went through something similar with my blog. I felt discouraged and I couldn’t remember why I started in the first place. So, I stepped away and I feel much less pressure because of it.

    I’m so excited for you and the future of your blog! Working with kids can be so rewarding and it makes me happy to read about how much you love your job! By the way, if you need any teaching help, I’d be happy to lend some ideas (I used to be a high school English teacher)!

    • Aw Em!! Thanks so much for this comment! It made my day. I think sometimes we have to re-visit what brings us joy. I feel much better after reflecting over this insight and taking a step back! Thanks so much for your support!! xoxo

  • Addison Kraus

    Yay!! Good for you girly!
    So glad to hear about the changes you plan on making!!
    I’ve often found myself playing the same ” comparison game” with things I see on insta, and have since used it considerably less than I once did. I saw a post a while back where an Instagram model went into great detail about what was really going on behind the scenes of the pictures and what she really was feeling and it totally changed my perspective on the platform as a whole.
    It really brings about the old ” the grass is greener where you water it ” and the whole ” comparison is the thief of joy” thing.
    At the end of the day, staying true to yourself and will always be the best for long term happiness and contentment in life.
    Loved this, can’t wait to see the new posts!!
    Best Wishes Always,
    -Addison

  • I’m relating to this SO MUCH right now! Honestly with how busy I’ve been with work lately, I have felt really drained by also having a blog to work on. I haven’t posted in nearly a month – something that normally would have had me in a panic, but that I’m surprisingly okay with now. I was so focused on growing and monetizing my blog, and it really got to be too much. Right now I’m really enjoying my full-time job, so I’m going to let that have my energy right now and I’ll blog when I have the time and desire to do so.

    • YAS girl! So happy for your comment and that you could resonate. I think that it is especially hard for us because we are so goal-oriented. But we need to give ourselves more grace!! I’m glad that you aren’t freaking out over posting. In the end, we aren’t perfect, and it’s okay to take a step back!! Glad you are enjoying your full-time job. Best of luck as things continue and evolve!! xo

  • Courtney

    I love this! I’m a counselor (I graduated with my MA last may!) and have to tell you that your self-awareness and focus on personal health and boundaries is going to make you GREAT at what you aspire to do! If all you ever did was help other apply what you have learned and applied through your own self-reflection you would certainly impact so many people!

    • Aw hey Courtney! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I love that you’re a counselor! Are you clinical or school?

  • Rachel Ritlop

    I’m so happy for you! Seriously, I couldn’t imagine trying to juggle the blog, interning, and school. It’s too much. Especially with how focused your content was, I would’ve been so unhappy. I love Summer’s happenings series too. It’s a fun way to actually build a relationship with your readers. I’m excited to see more wedding updates and hopefully some honeymoon planning stuff?? We just finallyyy booked ours! haha but we aren’t going until September!

    • It’s too much. I can do it all, but to an extent! Setting boundaries are so important. Yay for you guys!! Honestly we haven’t started thinking too much into it yet. We aren’t going until January. But definitely somewhere tropical!

  • Leah

    Chelsea, I am so happy for you. This is such a great and real post. I am totally with you. I haven’t posted in about a month as well, but it isn’t bothering me. I am trying to discover what fires me up as a blogger and then starting from there. Even though I am a very new blogger, I did feel the stress of “keeping up” with all the other bloggers out there. I began to lose sight (so quickly) of why I started my blog in the first place.
    So proud of you for taking control of your life and being true to you. You’re such an inspiration to me and I always love your posts. Looking forward to seeing where your blog goes from here. Best of luck with starting your career. You’re going to make an amazing counselor.

    • Aw Leah sweetie!! Thank you!!! That means so much to me. I’m happy to hear this post resonated with you. And you know what? It’s totally okay to take a step back when we need it! Who needs the added stress. We are restricted by the rules and expectations we set for ourselves!

  • Chels, I am right there with you girl!!!!

    I started my career (after 5 years of a whatever job) 7 months ago and my opinion toward my blog shifted entirely!

    I’m still doing it and love it, but my posting frequency, push for monetization and instagram worries dropped away… sometimes it stresses me out and I think “what am I DOING?” But honestly, I enjoy blogging much more now than I did at any point last year because it’s on my time! It’s my passion and hobby but not my existence.

    You’re such a great lady and I know you’re going to KILL IT at your career while keeping a great blog.

    All the best!
    Xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • Good for you, Laura! Hearing you are happy brings me so much joy in that I can learn to be okay with not being “perfect” and juggling it all. You’re the best, lady! As always, thanks for your support. I appreciate you so much!

  • Zana Djakovic

    I don’t even know where to start… girl, you inspire me day by day.. wow! I salute you for this heart open talk with all of us. I feel your honesty and how real you are.
    You totally got my support. I love these changes and as not only your fan and as a simple reader but as your blogger friend, I am here for you. And actually I can not wait for those posts, because I know that you have a lot of things to say. I love fashion posts as well but I prefer this one where we can just talk about life, our goals etc.
    P.s. This outfit is my fave ever from you!!! You are shining, my love!! Keep inspiring us all!

    Sending you lots of love!!❤

    • Aw thank you so much, sweet Zana. I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship! I’m thankful this beautiful space has brought us together <3

  • All of this is so relatable and your new direction sounds wonderful. I love honest real life posts and look forward to more of those from you! I spent a few months heading toward monetization (not very much, but some) but realized that a) I’m in a different place/phase in my life that won’t allow for the type of content I would prefer and b) I’m doing this for me, and if people show up and read and become my online friends that’s extra. The connections are everything! You have to do it for you; I promise you won’t regret the change.

    I’m so happy for you that you’ve found direction through your internships! I wish I had gone into counseling myself but I don’t want to go back to school. (Missed opportunity because I once seriously considered it.) The classes you get to teach sound really fun! I think creative writing, when viewed as a form of self therapy, is so important. You’ll rock at this!

    PS, I love love love your dress.

    • Hey Emily! Thanks for your comment, love! It seems like we are all shifting as of late…I’ve noticed even the “big” bloggers have been taking a step back. That darn Instagram is just ticking everyone off. Thanks for your kindness and continued support. It means the world to me!

  • Lena Chernous Onate

    Chelsea,
    Girl… You wrote exactly what I am feeling and fighting at this time. I started my blog in 2015 to share life experiences, and have a place to document life and travel and just lifestyle stuff and my photography. But I found myself falling into the trap of competing with other bloggers and trying to live up to their goals and trying to make a business out of my blog. I felt myself drowning in stress about posting and making everything perfect and try to focus on one niche. IT WAS HORRIBLE. I felt all the joy of blogging leave me. and this year I’m back doing my undergraduate in nursing and working my career full-time. But I have realized that I’ve missed blogging. And what blogging really means to me. And now I know for sure that it’s not business. Chelsea I’ve been following you since you began Inspirational Indulgence, and girl you friggin inspire me!! I am too happy for you and your success in getting your graduate degree in counseling!!! It feels so amazing to have a career, learn and help educate others.