Wanna know a secret? I don’t like looking directly at the lens. I’ve told my photographer, “Please request I look up .. otherwise I’m not gonna do it.” I feel vulnerable looking directly at the camera. Fearful even — of what you’ll see.

Will you see happy? A woman comfortable in her skin? If so, it hasn’t always been that way. You’re looking at a woman who’s seen rock bottom, given into negative self talk for years, and one who still battles self acceptance.

Dang, what if you see a Mom who struggles with anxiety and self doubt? Will the lens unveil the raw fear of driving to this location? Maybe you’ll notice the mascara smudge, a result of another side of road breakdown.

Will you see me naive — Just another blogger takin’ selfies? In truth, I’ve seen her too. That or on occasion, a woman trying to be someone she’s not.

I have always been one to wear my emotions on my face. If I am angry, there’s a visible clenched lip. Annoyed? You can bet there’s an eye roll involved. I often use that to my advantage, avoiding the dig and sort out of feelings. But lately, I’ve rid many the opportunity all together.

top | denim | booties | necklace

I’ve struggled lately my why – why I share on here each day, why I repeatedly submerge myself in a platform handing out comparison cards. What keeps surfacing – is my handle. My story. An unedited, real, authentic look into my life lens. I haven’t lived up to it.

I’ll be honest, I’d rather write 100 posts on fashion than endure the write of a lifestyle post. It’s easier to talk clothes and sales. Heck, the write takes half the time. Style comes easy – self discovery, that’s another. It’s difficult, and Lord knows, challenging. But it’s one of the reasons I started this space. And I’ve put ‘life’ into the subtitle of this blog, knowing my handle and mission to promote authenticity wouldn’t be valid if I lacked the share myself.

So, I am gonna apologize. Not for being me – that would contradict all I stand for, but rather for the absence of my stories.

Maybe it’s because I am getting older. Maybe because this blog’s anniversary is next month, and reflection is up. Could be I’ve played comparison far too many times; social media sure has a way of making you feel less than. Or despite my presence on social media, I am very introverted – reason could reside there. It’s possible I’ve hesitated to protect; this world’s criticism can be brutal. A lot has to do with getting out of my comfort zone. And I am sure it’s the same reason my photographer’s ‘look up for me’ is on repeat.

These reasons, tho thought out, still do not excuse my lack of storytelling. I know the importance of staying true and there’s nothing more noticeable than a filtered frame. If you receive anything from this post and the continual read here on the blog, my hope is you’ll see the value of authenticity. You’ll recognize the importance of looking up and share the real you. I understand not all of you reading are behind a camera often. But the metaphor relates all the same.  Looking up puts authenticity in the limelight. Your story is valuable. Every emotion is valid. And the write is most certainly worthy.

The fashion posts – they’ll continue, and most likely increase. Style has always been a part of me, and let’s be honest, it’s a lot of what makes me happy. But know there’s a wife, a Mom, a friend who’s gonna make it a point to look into the lens more. Worry less of what others think, see and conclude. This is a pledge to share more life posts – even if the write is difficult. You’re gonna learn the struggles, the victories, the milestones that have made me, me.

As always, thank you for reading. This post took hours, if not days, to write and sort out. And the fact you took the time to read validates my purpose here. Looking forward (and up) to the next stories shared. xoxo

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