Monday, February 15, 2016

making a comeback with 13.1

I haven't blogged in a long, long time. And honestly I haven't missed it very much. I got kind of tired of the sponsored contact taking over the blogisphere and the increase in shallow posts and decrease in heartfelt connections I was noticing. Then I started a business and it took most of my heart and attention, so I thought about blogging even less. Then it started to even out and I started to feel more like I knew what I was doing and less like I was a clueless pretender.

Lately though I've thought a lot about it. I love to write and while some of the connections found in blog world are superficial and forced, I do have some really wonderful friends I wouldn't know without having been a blogger.

I started to think about maybe writing again. 

Then I signed up for a half marathon and started training.

This is a pretty huge deal for me. As those of you who have read this blog for a long time, before I dropped out of blog world, know, March is my 4 year mark in eating disorder recovery. My body was very unhealthy for a long time, and two years ago I ran a 5k to make a healthy connection with it. Now, I'm running 13.1 miles on May 1st to really prove my body's strength, and my own mental strength to be able to persevere through this.

Let me tell you right now: training as a non-athletic person SUCKS. It's really hard right now and I'm terrified of race day. I've never been good at anything athletic and this feels super strange to be doing. 

Blogging has this really big benefit of keeping you accountable. If you're doing something crazy and you put it out there for the whole world to see, you kind of have to stick to it. So I figured this was the perfect time to make a least here and there. Half marathon training is hard. It's overwhelming. It takes everything I've got, mentally, physically, and emotionally to make it through the runs that feel like they'll never end. It would be so easy to quit. But putting myself out there like this gives me one more reason not to. One more reason to stay dedicated. One more reason to push myself every day.

I hope you'll join me on this journey and forgive me for my total absence from blog life. My updates come a lot more frequently on Instagram, so follow me there and keep me motivated. Also, if you have any advice for my crazy self, please share.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

through my lens

Over the summer I've participated in online photography classes, and have spent hours and hours and hours taking pictures, editing them, researching lenses, begging people to let me take their pictures, and deciding what I would call my photography endeavor so that when I do take photos I can mark them as mine with something a little better than "Kaitlin Beckwith Photography." Captured by Kaitlin Rose is what stuck for me.

I don't leave the house without my camera anymore. My family has been driven nuts by my constant photography talk. And I've found myself making lists of places to go to with my equipment when I'm not in a hurry if I drive past something cool (for example, there is a very old plantation about 20 minutes away, and in one of the fields just off the road, a lonely chimney rises out of the ground near a few trees, the last remaining element of old slave quarters). 

Last weekend, Drew and I went to the beach for a few days, and instead of showering on Sunday morning like a normal adult I got out my camera and spent around an hour just taking pictures of the marina by which our hotel was located. It was the best morning...except maybe the morning before...we ate at bisQit in Pawleys Island and I could've died right then and there and not had any regrets about my last meal.

Since I haven't really had many words for this space as of late, I figured I'll just give you some visual content instead. Happy viewing!

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

the comparison game took the joy out of blogging.

Well hey there. It's been months since I've written anything here. I kept making excuses for myself, thinking "well life is just busy right now, I don't have time." And that was sort of true. We moved in kind of a rush, were long distance a few days a week for two months while Drew finished out his job in our old town before starting his new one back in our hometown, and my work schedule was changing and becoming more demanding.

But I'm an early riser. Weekends mean sleeping in for Drew if he's off but getting up early and enjoying a morning of quiet for me. Now he works night shifts and I've got a few hours before bed of just being by myself after I've finished my to-do list for the day.

Yes I've had some health problems show up that knocked my energy levels down pretty darn low for a few weeks. But I write naturally, so energy really wasn't an excuse for not writing.

Here's what it really came down to: I was busy comparing myself to everyone else's success and stage of life and didn't feel like I had anything exciting enough to share and couldn't get over the fact that my life didn't look like I thought it should.

I can't promise I'll be a consistent blogger ever again. I live with OCD and sometimes it really does make it hard to not spiral into comparison on probably a deeper level than people with normal brain chemistry. 

I can promise I'm not going to have sponsorships again. At least not for a long time. And I won't be doing any ad campaigns for any companies. If I'm going to write at all I'm going to write from the heart.

So many posts in blog world these days are promotional. I see new product reviews, posts promoted by other bloggers because they're obligated to because of sponsorships, and superficial writing constantly because numbers and dollars are taking over the blogiverse. Page views, sponsorships, ad some point it stops being genuine. And it stops being exciting or interesting or heartfelt. 

I want to read heartfelt. I want to see the person behind the screen. Is the person behind the screen sometimes really telling their friends about a really great product they just discovered? Absolutely! I do sometimes! But most of my conversations with my friends are about things that happened that we found hilarious or upsetting. They're about what we've been feeling lately. They're about real life.

I don't want to blog if it's just about making a list of how to do this or that or why you should try this new thing I got paid to tell you about. I don't want to share posts that didn't actually make me laugh or inspire me or hit me on a heart level, so why on earth would I ever write those posts? 

I also don't want to blog if it becomes a thing that steals my joy because my life doesn't look like yours, and for some reason I think it's supposed to. For a while it did take my joy. It did leave me wondering what was so wrong with me that I couldn't be ready for the same things someone else was ready for. It made me question whether my life was even worth writing about because it wasn't full of so many new or glamorous or attention getting events as someone else's. 

So I'm not saying I'm fully back or that I'll have a posting schedule or even that I won't someday choose to quit blogging entirely. That's a real possibility someday, maybe even someday soon. 

But once upon a time blogging was fun. It was real. It was enjoyable. It let me write frequently, and I love to write. So I'm semi-returning. When I feel like writing, I'll write. When I feel like sharing, I'll share. But if I feel my joy slipping away in the comparison game or the numbers game or the growth game, I probably will quit. And you know what? That's good. Because anytime something you're doing for fun starts to steal your joy, it's time to leave, at least temporarily.

I'm glad I left for a while. I'm glad I didn't think about numbers. I'm glad I didn't focus on comments or shares or campaigns or anything else I'm seeing take over blogging everywhere. 

Time will tell whether or not I decide to quit blogging for real. For now, though, I'm just going to let myself write when I want about what I want, and not worry for a second about what my blog is "supposed" to look like. Or what my life is "supposed" to look like either.

Comparison game, peace out. Ain't nobody got time for that.
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