As a little girl my mum would buy me countless books and I would read and love each one. When I started to get older my love of books increased and I would lose days reading, exploring the many world’s of Roald Dahl.
At school my favourite subject was English, it was so much fun learning new words and working out how they fit together, the different sounds and meanings. How could one word mean two different things? How could words sound the same but be spelled different?
Somewhere along the way something changed and while I still loved words, books and learning new things I stopped enjoying it. By the end of grade 11 I had failed English. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand what was being taught, it was simply that I didn’t enjoy it anymore so I just stopped. I stopped doing, stopped learning, stopped caring. Part of this can be attributed to my English teacher at the time who I didn’t take very well to but it was my fault too.
To prove a point and ensure I didn’t end up unable to go to university I changed classes, turned my grades around and within 12 months went from a failing D student to an A student.
Somehow since that point I have found myself in my current job, which is a far cry from anything I ever thought I would be doing. I have a good job. It is secure, pays very well, my team are fantastic and my boss is great. What more could you ask for, right?
I was lucky enough to be able to take 12 months leave from my job and Matt and I move to London to work and travel. On our way over to London we spent a month in Bali, mainly because we both secretly hoped we’d become Julia Roberts and recreate ‘Eat Pray Love’.
Being so far from home without the distractions of phones, internet, friends, family and work we started to talk and once we started, we talked for days. We spoke of being so happy together, happy with family and friends and happy with our journey together on this big travelling adventure but both feeling empty when it came to our careers and needing change. Matt asked me, very simply, “What do you love to do?” and the answer was clear. It popped up into my head immediately but I was afraid to say it, I had never spoken to him about how much I love to read and write before, it was a part of me he didn’t know at all.
When I told him I wanted to write he was a little shocked but as always incredibly supportive and, having worked for magazines in the past, was full of ideas on how I could break into it like writing for newspapers once we arrived in London.
After we settled into London life I became very good friends with a kindred spirit at my new job and listened to her talk regularly about her good friend and the success she had found with her blog. This is how the idea for littlegreybox was born.
Matt was just as excited about the idea and after some brainstorming sessions and engaging his abilities as a graphic designer we had a WordPress site, a name for the blog and a logo, a twitter and Facebook site and seeing as we were traveling so much, had it linked to tripadvisor as well.
Not long after I contacted the Australian Times and much to my surprise they said yes to me writing for them. I became a regular 9 to 5’er by day and writer by night. For the first time in my whole life when people asked me what I did for a living I was able to smile and say “I’m a writer” even though it was only part-time.
Despite my initial assumption that nobody in their right mind would take any interest in my little blog, littlegreybox started to take off and people started reading my posts. A few months after its creation one of my articles was freshly pressed and a few months later it happened again – I was on top of the world!
The blog became an outlet for me, a light when times were very dark in London and an outlet for all the thoughts and other crazy things buzzing around in my mind. Sometimes I find it hard to express things to people in person and organise my thoughts quickly enough to get my point across but when I write, it all comes out perfectly and it made me feel level again.
If you are a regular reader of littlegreybox you will have noticed a steady decrease in the frequency of my blogging. Slowly but surely I have been pulling away from it and writing less. The happiness I had felt when I was writing went away and it became a chore and something I avoided doing.
This has been plaguing me for months because I still love to write, so why wouldn’t I continue to pour myself into something I love and want to become a full-time career for me? For the same reason I failed English in grade 11. Because I didn’t enjoy it anymore, so I stopped.
It wasn’t until last week that I came to understand why this had happened. I spoke at length with a life coach last Wednesday and she helped me discover that writing for littlegreybox had made me happy in London because it was something I did just for me, but over time it had stopped being just for me and had become about other people.
I would sit down to write an article and feel burdened with pressure, trying to write something funny and topical that everyone would love. I was constantly trying to write without offending anyone, say the wrong thing, come across a certain way or sound plain stupid. This is how it became a chore and this is how it became about everyone else, rather than me pouring the thoughts out of my head into my blog.
So here we are…. You and me… reader and writer…. I love to write and I love littlegreybox so I’m not going to stop blogging. There is going to be a change in my writing though and sharing this story with you is the beginning of it.
Littlegreybox will still be about travel and stories, reviews and recommendations but it will also be about the journey I am on now, finding my truth and living it. I’m going to embrace where I am right now in my life and share it with you very openly and honestly, without fear of writing the wrong thing, because I’m doing this for me.
I’m excited to share all of this with you and I’m happy you took the time to read this post, thank you. Please, if you have any thoughts or advice on this topic, post them in the comments – if you’re having or have had your own identity crisis, I’d love to hear it!