I’ve been putting off writing this blog post for weeks now because I just don’t know where to begin. 2018 has been the most difficult year to put into words. It has been the best year ever, but also the most challenging. I have had the most incredible experiences, ones where I was constantly asking myself “how is this even my life?!” but also faced some of the toughest mental battles. Looking back, I was a completely different person starting 2018. This year really changed me in so many ways. It was my biggest year of growth.
I caught 30 flights in the last 6 months. I traveled for the first time alone, which is a big deal considering my fear of flying. I made it a goal to see more of my own backyard, which meant finally ticking off different parts of Australia (Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, to name but a few) and even touching down in Europe, Asia (four times), Dubai and New Zealand (twice). Although it might sound like a lot to some, I didn’t do as much travel as I would’ve liked in the past year!
Traveling more is going to be my biggest goal for 2019. This past year has really taught me I’m not a homebody and I don’t function well with routine. I love spontaneity and to live a little more on the wild side. Being at home doesn’t bring me comfort. I don’t mind living from airports (it’s actually my favourite place to get work done haha) and being in a new city everyday. I definitely want to continue traveling even more in 2019 and focus on sharing more international destinations. Although it can make me feel exhausted, I never feel more alive. We already have some pretty amazing plans for the first half of the year which I’m super excited about.
We hit 100,000 on Instagram (and now at over 300,000!!) and nearly half a million across all social medias. I try not to focus on numbers too much, but I did want to acknowledge hitting the 100k mark as it was always a huge goal of mine and something I couldn’t ever imagine reaching. Although I think above numbers and all, I am most appreciative of the engagement from you guys. It’s what keeps me going.
WORK. WORK. WORK.
I’ve been in this industry since 2014 but I have always felt really lost. I think in the past year, and especially 6 months, I have become a lot more confident in where I want to be in this space. I became more self-assured in my content, style and direction. If you’ve been at this for years and still haven’t found your place, don’t give up. Some people find it in days, months or years.
I found myself prioritising work over most things. I have also found myself working up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am so passionate about my work that sometimes it gets hard to switch off… but then comes the inevitable burn out. Even though this business is like my baby, I really need to set proper work hours and actually give myself a break.
I debated for a long time whether this belongs in the highlights or lowlights of 2018. I’m still unsure. Earlier this year, I made Instagram story templates which went viral and saw me gain over 300,000 followers. It’s something I still can’t wrap my head around and it was incredible. A dream come true. But the months that followed were hell. Would I recommend going viral as a growth technique? NO. Nope. Not at all. Alongside a serious case of imposter syndrome, I was tormented everyday with online abuse and trolls and it turned what was once my happy space into a nightmare. After the high of gaining so many followers, came the unfollowing, which is of course expected when you gain so many followers in such a short amount of time. I didn’t know my community anymore. I had never had to deal with this kind of hate. I didn’t know how to approach my work anymore. Brands were confused. I was confused.
As people were unfollowing, I would get trolls telling me I deserved it and that my content was shit. That’s why people were leaving. Over time it just wore me down and I believed it. Even when the trolls started to stop, I was even harder on myself. I hated everything I created. I resented my job, the app, the templates… everything. Everything started to just build up and it all became too much. I thought many times whether or not I should’ve just quit Instagram as it became such a heavy weight on my shoulders. If it wasn’t for some of the people in my life constantly supporting me, I definitely would’ve quit.
I have left out a lot of details and how I felt because it is impossible to put it all into words (without this turning into a novel, at least). After 6 months of just torturing myself, I have finally started to let go. I’ve started to pour my energy into creating better content. I hate to admit it but I’m not a positive person by nature, but this experience has taught me to be one. It gave me a thicker skin. It taught me to deal with pressure and to be grateful for what I do have. So for that, I am truly thankful.
What to expect in 2019
More fashion. More travel. More inspiring content.
In the new year, I really hope to continue growing this platform and focus more on creating inspiring content. At the start of November, I announced a content refresh over on Instagram. December has been our strongest month so far and it makes me happy beyond words. Me and my partner, Daniel (who has pretty much come onto the blog part-time this year), have put blood, sweat and tears into the recent content (lol, but really). If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably seen the small glimpses behind every photo on Instagram stories. We went from shooting outfit photos every weekend to integrating fashion with lifestyle content. Even before going on trips, we have to do a ton of research, conceptualising, outfit planning, organising the right time of day and then shooting, post-production, etc. I have been investing a lot into it – mentally, physically and financially. It’s been a hell of a lot of work but so much more rewarding!
Due to all the lows happening over the past year, I put a halt on my youtube plans because I didn’t ever feel up to it. It’s so scary, but this is something I really want to pursue in the new year. Subscribe HERE if you haven’t already to be the first to know!
The blog is the heart of Sunday Chapter. It is where it all began. I want to dedicate more time to it this year. I want to post consistently and share more exclusive content. I really miss this place. I have lots of content planned already for January including travel guides, outfits, blogging tips, my skincare routine and more. Get excited!
I didn’t want to get all white girl on you and start preaching self-love, but as a personal goal of mine, I really need to be more kind to myself. I have been my own bully over the past year, so here’s some things I am hoping to do more of:
• Positive self-talk
• Taking time to actually ENJOY when good things happen
• Spending more time with friends (and making it a top priority)
• Quitting perfectionism
• Saying yes
• Taking more risks
• Keeping healthy by sticking to a workout routine and eating whole food
So that’s it for 2018! I really hope you have enjoyed following along. It means the world to have you here. I have a real good feeling about this year, so let’s make 2019 the BEST one yet!