Saturday, 2 January 2016

Hello Sixteen

I've given up being cynical about celebrating the arbitrary increments in which we measure time. It's tiring always being that guy.

Yeah, having to be forcibly aware of every single person's 'New Year, New Me' crap is dull as hell, but it's harmless really.  Besides, why disregard any opportunity to reassess who you are, what you are and why you are? My mind forces me to do that every damn day anyway, so why stop now, right?

I began 2016 with a little self-piteous laugh to myself, as a little pop up informed me that this meant it was exactly three years since Act One of my life closed, and the second began. Three years since I rebirthed into a messy and premature adulthood. Three years since I started this blog.... and three years since I foresaw a prophecy about said blog, which I have now grandly and flamboyantly failed.

You see, at the very beginning, gathered in an excited hush with fellow younglings, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we were initiated into this world, unified by the new language we were learning, and bound by the community which stood tall and powerful above us like great hooded gods, gazing down upon the mere mortals who'd come to learn their ways, I said:

'Three years, Lads. I've worked it out. Stick it out for three years... then that'll be us up there.' I sat back grinning triumphantly. 'I just know it'.

And today is that day. And I just made a little noise, half that kind of sweet pity you get like when you see an old photo of yourself where you thought you looked super cool and really you just look ridiculous, and half of that self-depreciating hilarity that comes from the fact I couldn't have been further from the truth. A noise that can only be described as a snort, because lads, I gotta 'fess up. I didn't make it.

Sure I'm still 'here', sowing my seeds beneath the listening sun. But I never did, never have and never will be up there, wearing that cloak. I will never 'make it', and that simple fact alone saved my sanity.

Because this is what 2015 bought me; peace.

In 2014, I garnered one million hits, loathed myself if I didn't keep up with my content or missed an editorial opportunity and attended every single event I was invited to, even though I knew I was never going to blog about it. I obsessed over my follower counts daily, accepted as many sponsorship collaborations as I made a fair amount of money. I still enjoyed what I did, and realised the internet was a beautiful land of opportunity.

In 2015, I barely raked in more than 200 views on a post. I attended perhaps three or four events. Fashion Week made me want to puke a bit. I didn't earn a single penny from my blog and did no collaborations. Sometimes I only put out two posts a month. I still enjoyed what I did, and realised the internet was a beautiful land of opportunity.

But boy, did I fucking LIVE.

I travelled to Iceland to watch the solar eclipse and saw the Northern Lights. I went to festivals and left my phone behind, taking a film camera instead. I laughed, loved, got lost and moved to New York City on my own. I lived on a boat, lived in a house, lived in an apartment and lived in a beach hut. I got my heart broken and broke a few too many hearts than I'd have liked. I got two tattoos and piercings. I sold my writing and artwork to pay my rent. I cried in the rain because a boy didn't love me enough. I slashed my leg open really bad drunkenly cycling back from a dive bar whilst trying to cradle a pizza, which ended just how you would have expected. 

And all the time I wrote. In notebooks, sketchbooks, on the back of receipts and business cards, and I wrote on the internet. But I didn't blog to make content. I wrote to make art. 

2015 was a rubbish year to be Scarphelia, but it was the greatest year in the history of time to be Katie Oldham. And the greatest thing about it has been learning why that doesn't suck. Because there's still a part of me that protests that I could have made more of what I did, but I know that part of me thinks that for the wrong reasons. 

So, yeah. I guess I didn't 'hit the big time' like naive little me thought I would, but instead I got something so much better. If '14 was super pro-internet and '15 was super pro-real life, then I guess '16 looks a little something like balance. And I'm pretty damned okay with that.

So, here I remain, sowing seeds beneath the listening sun. 

And while for some, their joy is sowing seeds far and wide, riding along in their combine harvesters to reap their bounteous harvests come Autumn, I look on and wave in admiration from my little greenhouse, because I have discovered that my joy is in fact just a few little ornate pots, hand-planting each seed and patiently waiting with love and attention until those first few green sprouts start to show. 

83 comments :

  1. Your writing is so beautiful~
    Hope you have a great year with both, creating content and truly living your life to satisfy your wonderlust.

    http://forever-hibernating.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Carmen - happy new year! x

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    2. So beautiful. You literally gave me breath when you wrote "But I didn't blog to make content. I wrote to make art." Standing ovation. Honestly, I read the whole thing and that is very rare for me to do these days with blog posts.

      http://crownedondrea.com

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  2. Major lurker here, but I wanted to say this: I loved your blog in 2015 more than any other year yet, and I can't wait to see what you have in store in '16. And though you probably don't care for it much, your blog has inspired me to write more honestly and truthfully than ever on the Internet.

    Despite what popular social media websites use as their catchphrase, it's actually very difficult to be yourself online. Not only are you making yourself vulnerable to rejection, there's always the risk that you will be defined completely and forever by one interaction on your FB page, or, Heaven forbid, you go viral. Your blog is a testament to change over time, and you're awesome for being open about it. Rock on, Katie.

    Katya
    https://intothequicksandswego.wordpress.com/

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    1. Aaaaah Katya this has made me so happy thank you so much. At times I had a little bit of a crisis about wether I was doing the right thing, but it's times like this when I know that I did. You are wonderful x

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  3. I'm rooting for you this year, Katie. Your blog is both inspiring and refreshing. There are thousands of bloggers out there trying to be the 'next best thing', but that 'next best thing' is never someone who copies what the current best things are doing, they do something different. I believe whole-heartedly that you could pave the way for new, honest blogging - but time will tell with that, as always.

    Just know that to me and some of my readers, you've made it. Keep living, keep documenting and keep inspiring. You've got this.

    I wrote about my own realisations over the blogging industry, which you may be able to relate to: http://www.pippasays.com/what-ive-learnt-from-six-years-of-blogging/.

    Big love, Pippa Says x
    pippasays.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh god this means the world to me, thank you so much. I've really felt the pressure of 'having a niche' over the past couple of years and it can be really destructive... all I want to do is write but its often way too long to be a blog post but I think, who am I trying to impress here?! It's a relief to let things out in full, even if I think it'll never be read haha. Going to check out your post now! x

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  4. So many thoughts on this brilliant post. Your year sounds incredible, because you remembered to live! You, my dear, should write a screenplay. The way you feel and see the world is beautiful. Perhaps people don't realize your brilliance, but I do.

    xoxo - Kelly
    www.dreaminlace.com

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    Replies
    1. I would love to write a screenplay in the future but it seems so daunting I wouldn't even know where to begin! I'm going to take this year as a restorative educational year though, so hopefully I can find a class and learn :) x

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  5. I've loved every single post off yours this year, and I think you should be so very proud. Life is about experiences, and you certainly did that x

    www.ohjanuary.co.uk

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  6. I wanna hug this post and cry on it tbh god bless, good luck this year. I'm going to Iceland in a bit because I decided I'm not gonna be scared of travelling any more and just go the HELL there and enjoy something.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Lil you're such a babe, thank you for always givin' me the time'a day x

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  7. To me, you and your writing are both such an incredibly inspiriation. I really hope that one day I can write as beautifully as you can. Until then (and after..) I will gladly read your blog to get inspired and feel good. Thank you for this! <3

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    1. ahhh thank you so much Leneth - you've been here since day one! And truthfully your constant support has meant so much to me. You've filled me with joy, thank you x

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    2. Excuse me while I hide in a corner in shame of all the spelling mistakes in that comment. Blame it on the enthusiasm. <3 x

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  8. Last year the opportunity for me to go to New York for a few days arose just after I read some of your NY posts and they played a big part in me actually getting on the plane (terrified of flying at the time). So thank you! Your writing is fabulous, although I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that, and I really admire your honesty. <3

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    1. ah this is so awesome to hear - how amazing is nyc though?! I'm going back this weekend and can't really believe it's true I'm so excited. Thank you so much for reading Jennie x

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  9. What a great post so many people get hung up on the new year as a clean slate when really it is a mere number. I like that you haven't given into the media "peer pressure" in 2015 and done everything for you, a lesson many could and should look into. I have tried blogging but without a niche thought it was hopeless. This has inspired me to rethink, many people benefit from personal ramblings (if you don't mind me calling them that) it takes a strong individual to be different and you haven't disappointed! Good luck in 2016, it will be whatever you make it! Xx

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    1. Haha no they are definitely personal ramblings! Thank you so much for your kind words, I think something I'm learning is that it doesn't really matter if you don't have an answer or advice, sometimes just writing when you're compelled to write about something can help someone in ways you never knew how. Sometimes it's just about knowing you're not the only one. Thanks again, Maria! x

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  10. Seriously you are so cool it hurts, I would prefer to have an amazing life over a successful blog any day because that where it really matters.

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  11. I bet it's been said over and over in your comment sections below many of your posts, but you, Katie, really do remind us that life is about experiences. And from all your posts I've read this year, it really is the one thing that comes to my mind of when I think about the reasons I love 'Scarphelia'. You truly are a role model on this one. Next to your post on becoming a more dedicated writer pinned on my wall, I've stuck a quote you may know ("This is your life, do what you love and do it often [...] Live your dream and wear your passion"), and I feel like it sums up pretty well all of this that in some way even by sharing your writing with us you teach us.

    By the way, when I sent you my letter, I remember writing something like "I don't admire you as a blogger or a writer yet but (blah blah blah)" and now that I think of it... How wrong was I! I definitely adore your writing, of course I do! And even though the definition of blogging varies from certain people to the definition of writing, with your outstanding ability to manipulate words, your posts feel so incredibly profound and genuine -- you're a hell of a wonderful writer, Katie!

    Oh, and I almost forgot, happy new year!

    Giulia xx

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    Replies
    1. Oh giulia, thank you so much as always, and I promise I will reply to your letter! x

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  12. Your writing gets more and more beautiful every time I read a post of yours. I seriously wish I was more like you, you're so bloody cool! I miss you, let's meet up soon x
    http://georgie-awaywiththefairies.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ah thank you so much for reading Georgie - hope to see you soon too! x

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  13. I just love your writing, it's so beautiful and honest. I can totally relate to loads of what you've said, here's to another year :) x

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  14. Where do you find your inspiration for new, fresh posts? What advice do you have for those like myself who would like to avoid the cliché, overdone topics and want to do MORE? I work 8-hour days at least and do not have a lot of free time so I feel like I don't have too much of my life to pull fresh ideas from. what do I do??

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    1. I think firstly - never be afraid of the cliche. All of my stuff is suuuuuuper cliche and self-indulgent but it's still the truth! I think to just write fearlessly and honestly is what a lot of people respect and enjoy reading. I don't really know where I get my inspiration from (which is the most annoying answer I know). Just from everyday conversations, movies, bands I go and see or movies... my mind is just always prattling away and conversing with itself that it comes up with all these stories and ideas and opinions. Most of the time my posts come from something which bothers me or makes me feel bad, then I start writing why it makes me feel bad and figure out a solution!

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  15. Do you keep a personal journal as well? How does it differ from your blog? (Random I know but I'm curious about writers and their habits)

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    1. I do but I'm not totally committed with it. I just keep it by my bed so when I think of stuff before I go to sleep then I can write it down and it reads much like these blog posts but I don't always turn them into blogs bc sometimes they're just private things I realise about people or myself or stuff I want to save for a book/memoir one day! When I'm out and about, my 'notes' folder on my phone is my go-to for sporadic thoughts and I also have over 50 unpublished draft posts saved on blogger which are mostly just thoughts or titles or bullet points I want to expand on!

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  16. Yet again, you wrote something so touching that it just feels nice to read your blog. thanks for this and wish you a great new year.

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    1. what an absolutely lovely comment! Thank you so much Deepak x

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  17. It's so weird. I started blogging when I was 15, before anyone could make money off of blogging. It's been very strange to see how it developed into this huge industry. I was tempted for a while to take brand collaborations and try to make money off of my blog. But boy did my content get boring. I have gone back to what I set out to do with blogging in the first place: share beauty and thoughts in hopefully a safe and welcoming place. That comes from living a life you are proud of as well. And it seems like you have been living an awesome life so congratulations! I don't know if a lot of people in the blog world have figured that out.

    xx
    scarlettandgiselle.blogspot.com

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