It’s almost the end of September. My birthday is a few weeks away, and as we ramp up to another busy fall season around the world for #DoTheDaniel, I’m also in the midst of a very difficult personal transition. You’ll remember that earlier this year, I decided to announce that I was stepping down from the blog. In my mind and heart, it felt like the right thing to do at the time. I wanted it to be the most grand gesture I could offer my current situation in hopes that it would change it. Or at least remind those involved that nothing is more important to me. (For the record, I still believe this very much.) Unfortunately, it did not, and yesterday I announced that I have changed my mind. I am human and I am allowed to do this after all. I will not be leaving the blog and I will not give up on my dreams in hopes of forcing someone to feel something that they no longer feel. In the midst of it all, I also seemed to have lost my inspiration to write over the last few weeks. So to say I have felt overwhelmed and emotional would be an understatement. Some days, it’s takes everything in me to not break down and cry in very public settings. Because although I believe that life provides you with the lessons you need when you need them, I’ve come to a point where I don’t know how much more I can take emotionally.
So why am I talking about it? Because it is important to express when I’m not okay. Professionally, this is the best I have ever been. The blog and our staff are thriving and growing at a rate that amazes even me five years later. But when my personal life isn’t stable, it affects my performance and ability to focus on anything else. Again, there are still a few things and people who mean more to me than anything in this world.
I’ve learned that this platform is not one to air my dirty laundry, so if that is what you’re expecting me to do here, you can stop reading now. It is however a platform where I not only want amazing content to live, but where I want to express my humanity. I always want to be as honest as I can with you all – without disparaging anyone else in the process. No matter what happens in my personal life, this is after all a business and should not be used to hurt, harm or attack anyone. Ever.
I’ve made that mistake once, and have since tried to never do it again.
I think it’s also that our team is changing, and while some of our amazing Contributors have moved on to their next stages in their lives, the burden of running a business of this size can sometimes take its toll on me mentally. Again, to be clear, this is not me complaining. This is me trying to remind you that I am also human. I laugh, I love, I smile, and I cry as much as anyone else does. And if I was to pretend that everything is fine in my life, I feel as though I would be doing myself and everyone else, a disservice.
Amid doctor’s appointments and seeing my therapist regularly, family drama and losing touch with people, I have also had the opportunity to learn a lot about myself – not only the last few weeks, but also the last few months. I have come to understand that although I fight for what I feel is right deep down in my heart, some people do not. I have come to understand what my limits are when being bullied and attacked online. I have come to understand that I will overcome obstacles I once thought were mountains. And I have come to realize that #DoTheDaniel, although a huge responsibility, is something that I love. Leaving it in hopes of trying to hold on to a fleeting hope isn’t fair to me, my staff, or you. So I’m here to stay. And that’s that.
I wanted to write this blog post before jumping in my never ending to do list because writing has always been a cathartic process for me. Sharing in real emotion is a real part of our brand identity. I don’t ever want to make anyone upset or uncomfortable. I know so many people don’t like when I’m hurting or sad, but that is life at the moment. And that’s ok. It has helped me to appreciate beautiful moments and those people in my life that take time to help me along the way.
Earlier this week, someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year and I didn’t know what to answer. The visceral reaction of tears and the immediacy of my response is something that upset me. I cannot have what I want, so I said nothing at all. Turning 35, and struggling to find balance in my life when I thought I would be one step closer to the things I once thought I would have by now, is really affecting my mental wellbeing. While some of my colleagues in the blogging and influencer world might see my willingness to wear my heart on my sleeve as a weakness, I see it as a strength. Some claim that I cannot moderate my emotions, but in fact it is exactly the opposite. I use them as a lesson and I do not avoid them. There are conversations I have to avoid, subject matters I do not feel comfortable speaking on, and things I do not know yet. All while working, writing, attending events, trying to eat well, being physically fit… It’s a lot to balance for anyone. But I also have to do it in the public eye. And as much as I would like to just disappear for a week and cry it all out in a hotel room by myself with my phone turned off, that is simply not going to happen.
So I want to remind you that while I may be struggling at the moment, I am going to be okay. The world will keep spinning. Do The Daniel will continue to grow and thrive, and while I work towards whatever this next chapter holds for me, I know that my ability to be my authentic self (good & bad parts included) will help me be the best version of myself.
I might have lost my motivation for a few weeks, but even after re-reading this post, I feel as though I am working my way back to where I need to be. I hope that if this year is a legend or a lesson for you, if you are feeling overwhelmed that you know you are not alone. It is important to acknowledge that life isn’t always beautiful moments and memories. But times like these will make me appreciate those when they return so much more.
Thank you for helping to inspire me everyday. And for being a part of the journey with me.