Living over 5 years ago by Liz Adams

What’s Important

My HeartThis guy. My heart.

It’s easy to get caught up in crap that makes you forget about what’s important. For example, the stress of a new year, new resolutions, and trying to fix things in your life that might not necessarily need fixing. The pressure of having a big career, the pressure to do more, the pressure to be happy – a new year ignites a lot of pressure to be something better than you were last year – which is annoying. There have been a few posts floating around the internets {this, this and this in particular} that got me thinking about my own personal pressures and unspoken fears that ultimately affect me as a person and my life. Instead of holding in these resolutions to generally be better, I am going to pin point the distractions in my life that take away my time from what’s important.

*disappointment in my blog. M+S really made me think about this one and how obviously this was affecting me. There are a lot of blogs out there these days, things are repetitive, things are competitive, and I’ve really tried to make sure that I am myself here on S&S. But sometimes it is easy to feel like a small fish in a big sea. I just have to do the best that I can do, stay true to myself, be a good person and work with what I’ve got. I don’t want to feel like a disappointment if content doesn’t go live at 6am, if I don’t have time to shoot an outfit post, if I’d rather go out to dinner with my fiance than write a post or if my creative juices aren’t flowing enough to provide good content. I guess this means I need to be more confident in myself and this special place.

*social media. Thanks to social media I am typically blogging 24/7. Whether it is Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, I am constantly sharing. Instagram is my biggest weakness, most of the time I don’t even realize I am scrolling through and liking photos – it’s just second nature now which is s.c.a.r.y. My instagram feed is pretty, and I love looking back through this photo diary to see moments that bring me such joy. But, this in no way means that my life is constantly pretty {which I hope you already assume}. Yesterday I was shopping at Nordstrom and an instagram follower happened to be helping me in the Nordstrom shoe department, she was insanely sweet and after feeling completely flattered my second thought was “ugh I look like a mess today. I need to dress like a fashion blogger.” Ew. Anyways, I always want to be me before I am ever associated as a blogger.

*just being. I am constantly making plans. I hate downtime, I always have to have a to-do list, and I can never just be still in the moment. I think this has to do with my phone, constantly feeling like I have to reply to an email within minutes of receiving it or again, checking social media. I need to be okay with moments of nothing, and spending those moments with the ones I love.

*anxiety. You guys I am a paranoid mess. It starts at home, I cannot start the day if something is out of place. I anticipate coming home and wanting everything to be in one place and I can’t work professionally until everything is in order personally {whether this is around the house, errands, etc.}. I am a perfectionist, if I don’t like the way my to-do list looks I have to start over, if I shoot an outfit post and I don’t like the way I look the next day, I never post it. What am I trying to prove? Being a perfectionist is silly. I think I need a more hands-on creative outlet to distract me – I really want to take a painting class.

*literacy. I have a really hard time with my words. Especially when I’m speaking with people in person. I envy my blog friends who can write posts that are so well-written and informative and completely draw me in. I always feel more cultured and educated and confident in my writing when I read more often. Note to self: pick up a book!

These silly thoughts seem to constantly consume me. To the point where I notice the lack of attention in my relationships, dedication to my passions, and overall happiness. Sometimes just saying {typing} them out loud helps, you know? Here’s to focusing on what’s important in 2014, because that’s all that really matters anyways.

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  1. I feel for you, we put so much pressure on ourselves to the point where we make blogging a chore. I am definitely working on that, first of all you are person and we all have off days and I’m trying to learn to be less harsh on myself. The world will not fall apart if everything is not perfect once in a while. You have a wonderful blog and you’re doing a great job. xx

  2. Liz, I think we all feel the same way! and I actually think you have a great way with words. The blog world can be so competitive and has so many highs and lows. I think most important is staying true to yourself and your blog. I think your blog is beautiful and so you are inside and out. Oh and don’t get me started on Instagram I am so addicted and now even Matt is addicted too he scrolls thru my feed everynight to check it out!

  3. I adore this post, and so appreciate your transparency. I struggle with many topics you mentioned – not being present due to social media, constantly feeling inadequate with blogging & career, it’s so easy to get sucked in. Lately, I have been trying to prioritize my life based on what is truly important, but it is a constant battle. Here’s to keeping perspective in 2014!

  4. I think we all struggle with these things. Really refreshing to hear such honesty in a public sphere. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I can relate to all of these. I am such a perfectionist and it makes me anxious ALL the time. It is no life to live and I have to continuely tell myself to Breathe! Love this post very truthful ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Amanda

    Stylesmesavvy

  6. I really love your blog – especially when you get a bit more personal. I can imagine you feel like a small fish in a big pond sometimes but that’s why I love your blog and it’s one that I visit daily. It feels genuine and not too contrived. I don’t mind if there aren’t new posts up – I’ll try again later or tomorrow. I know you have a life ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for this perspective today!

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I’ve been a lurker for quite some time and I have to say, your blog is one of my favorites. I recently stopped reading several blogs regularly because it seemed like their content wasn’t genuine – they were so focused on getting out that post at 6 a.m. or making sure they posted twice a day or whatever that I felt like the content suffered. S&S, on the other hand, still seems true to its original form (while growing and changing as we all do). I’d prefer one sincere post at 3 p.m. over a throwaway scheduled post at the same time every day. Keep on doing what you’re doing, as long as it makes you happy!

  8. I feel like myself wrote this post but you hit the nail on the head of so many things I am constantly thinking about! Several of the same things keep me up at night and then I get mad at myself for letting them keep me up at night and realize the ability to JUST BE is pretty powerful but it takes practice.

    loved hearing you open up and if you ever need to vent – person to person or blogger to blogger – i’m here for ya!

  9. This post was incredibly uplifting and inspiring to a person who pretty much feels the same about approaching the new year. Thank you SO much for your honesty, Liz, and for helping put things into perspective. This is just one shining example of why your blog is among my favorites! Keep up the amazing work.

  10. This is my favorite post of yours. It’s so nice to know that all of us are just normal people leading normal lives and that should be the ultimate focus. Yours is one of a very few fashion blogs I read because your outfits feel real and doable. Keep on just being you and showing you!

  11. Long time reader, but first time commenter: Everyone, especially women, struggle with the desire to constantly “be better.” I thought the post was lovely and honest and I hope it helps others who read it. I know it made me smile this morning because I do so many of the same things you listed.

  12. Liz,

    This was a beautiful and real blogpost. As a new blogger it is nice to read that someone who has an extremely successful blog can still have those moments where they question themselves. I have always appreciated your genuine nature on your blog and feel it sets you apart from others. You are a great inspiration for a new blogger and was thankful to have met you. Good luck this year in all you do!

    Erin

  13. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You are a real girl just like the rest of us and that’s why I visit your site first each day – You come across as so genuine. Be proud of yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Liz this is lovely! You are perfect to me and I am so proud of all you’ve done with the blog! I also think you are very well written and at times a little hard on yourself ;)! I am loving the honesty and I also love that through S&S I get a little piece of my old college roomie and best friend right next to me while I drink my morning coffee everyday! XOXO

  15. WOW! I feel like I could have written this post, it’s so similar to how I was feeling just last night. I had a major moment, like you, where I was just like, you know what – family, friends, health are what matters and everything else is actually ticking along just fine!

    I think it’s essential for us to have goals and things to work toward, but it’s so hard to keep those from spiraling into stresses instead of motivations!

    Anyway, I hope you share more of this type of thing – and keep doing you! I love S&S.

  16. this is an absolutely lovely post. thank you for sharing. i can’t imagine you struggle with blog stress as your blog is one of the big ones i aspire to! it’s all relative, girl! and best of luck with realigning your priorities. you’re lucky to have a support system to help you do that
    ladies in navy

  17. Great post, Liz. I really do love your blog! It’s okay to have off days and I think your content is fantastic. I’m also trying to be more okay with having moments of nothing and not looking at my phone all the time for 2014! It’s harder than I thought.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Hi Liz! Thank you for sharing. The people like me that follow your blog understand as we would enjoy your posts whenever you’re ready, we dont look deep into the words as what you write makes sense to us, we like your style, appreciate your details and love the genuine touch in everything you do. We know the repetitiveness out there, but we as users also know who’s who.
    Cheers for a blissful and free year!

  19. I love your blog, and I adore you even more when you share posts like this. I guess I have a tendency to think the grass is always greener for everyone else, and I always assume others have it all together. I think that’s why perfectionists tend to get down on themselves, because it’s easy to make comparisons and convince yourself that you and your decisions are less than everyone else’s. It’s nice to know that you struggle with a lot of the same things I do. I’m so much better at expressing myself when I write; however, I come off as a hot mess when speaking to others. Whenever I meet someone who follows my blog, I have this fear that I’m going to let them down because I won’t come off as eloquent and perky as I do on my blog or Instagram. I really loved Bri’s post on anxiety and perfectionism. I downloaded the Brenรฉ Brown book that she recommended, and I already really like it. I hope it encourages me to accept my imperfectly perfect life in 2014 and reminds me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in this season of life! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts:)

  20. I totally love hearing you release your honest feelings about life and the blogosphere. We all can relate, and it’s so helpful to hear it spoken about. Thank you, and you’re blog is a favorite of mine!

  21. What a great post Liz! As a relatively new blogger, my favorite thing about blogging is the community. While I consider myself fashion obsessed the best part about viewing my blogroll instead of a fashion magazine is the honesty. We’re not all model thin, air-brushed, and have access to the top beauty products in the world – this is what is so inspiring to me, we’re real people.

    And trust me, the Instagram follower who was helping you at Nordstrom probably thought to herself – phew she isn’t put together all of the time and it made her feel better about herself. We’re not perfect and that’s what makes us so inspirational.

    Keep being you!

    xx,
    jen

    http://www.comfortably-chic

  22. I love the fact that blogs are the perfect place to throw type all our problems out so we can actually sit it threw and see what it actually is and why we feel that way.
    I go threw the same the same problems perfectionist is the worst. I had to take a few months off [which can kill a blogs momentum] but I found myself in doing so.
    Now this blogger is trying to be herself so bad but it is still so hard.

    I’m so happy to see I am not the only one.

    xoxo
    Brooke

    http://www.inaworldofbees.com

  23. Hi, Liz! I’ve never commented before, but, as a long time reader, I just have to today. This post could have come straight out of my own journal (that, admittedly, I’m too scared to write in because that means acknowledging all this big, heavy, scary stuff…and I hate taking the time to write in my most perfect handwriting so the completed journal looks perfect!!). That said, when I find the time each day to sit down and read my Feedly, I always turn to your blog first. You’re down-to-earth, fun, thoughtful, and going through lots of the same stuff as me (engagement, job stuff, wedding planning, etc). Thank you for being a “friend” to all of out here! Keep on keeping on, please!!!

  24. Your blog is one of my top 3 favs….but this post was by far the top of my list. Happiness is unique in that it is so individual to every single human being, yet we find society always trying to put a mass barometer on it. We’ll spoken (and always we’ll written!) girl, kudos to you!

  25. I love this post. I have not updated my blog in a month for all of the reasons above. Your post has the one thing many posts lacks…and that is sincerity. Love how genuine you are!

  26. Thanks for your honesty, dear. I know that it can be difficult to share as well as to be “on” and a “blogger” some days.

    But we have to keep writing, keep going, and stay true to ourselves. I’m proud of you.

  27. wow you just wrote out basically all the things that have been on my mind lately!

    i am trying really hard this year to just be better, and work on maintaining a positive attitude. i easily can get upset and because i am kind of ocd, can’t focus on anything until that one thing is fixed even if that one thing is just the house being dirty.

    instead of making resolutions for the year, my husband and i decided that we would do them month by month, that way we can reassess and focus on what is really important. also our resolutions are going to be more along the lines of volunteer, mention what we are grateful for at the end of the day, pray slower and more intentionally, etc instead of eat healthier and workout (both still good resolutions).

    good luck this year, and may it be a year of true joy for you!

    xo mk

  28. I loved this post and how different it was from the usual 2014 resolutions post. I can relate to all of the topics you mentioned; they are things I think about and aspire to be. Thanks for being so real ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I love this post. It is so honest + so many followers can relate (including myself). I faithfully read your blog every morning because I love your style and am always eager to see what you will put together. Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I love this and I completely agree! With social media (especially Instragram) these days it is so hard because you always feel like everyone else has a “perfect life”. You want to look like them, travel to all the cool places, and wish you had all the amazing clothes that do, but in reality we have to remember that life and peolpe aren’t perfect. It is ok to want something and work hard for it, but when we sit and envy others it has the opposite effect. I need to take a step back as well when it comes to sitting on my phone at night while I’m on the couch with my husband because he truly matters more than anything else! It’s ok every now and then to do these things as long as we don’t lose ourselves ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved this post and you and your fiance are so cute!

    I don’t think I’ve posted before, but I love following you and I love Chicago! My two cousins live in Lincoln Park and it’s a great time every time we’ve visited! Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Its really hard to be a woman in this world today and not think that in order to prove ourselves, that we (women) need to be doing a million things all at one time. Not even most men probably do as much as you do, or as much as other women do throughout their day to day lives. Women work really hard, and yet, we still don’t get the break or the credit we sometimes deserve, or else we’re at the risk of being called “lazy” or “unmotivated”. Keep calm and blog on, and don’t worry about the pressure of it all. I recently thought about starting my own blog, but with my busy full-time work schedule, the volunteering I do in my community, along with keeping up socially with friends and family, I just don’t think adding ANOTHER thing to my list would be the best thing for me. But, the more I think about it, the more I feel like its something I really WANT to do, and not because I feel like I NEED to do it. I might do it for fun and see how it turns out for me. Remember to keep doing things because you WANT to do them, not because you NEED to. You never really NEED to do anything in life, its all a choice.

  32. Liz,

    Thanks for your blog post today! I usually have a hard time speaking to people and expressing myself with the right words. Your blog today showed me that I’m not the only one.

    Thanks! Happy 2014!

    Rayna

  33. Liz,

    I absolutely love S&S! Thank you for being so personal and candid on a topic that so many of us struggle with. I definitely struggle with being a perfectionist, finding a balance and being a little too plugged in. 2014 is definitely my year to work on that and start fresh!

    I read your blog everyday. I just love your personal style. Your outfits are completely doable on all budgets whereas most fashion blogs seem too out of reach for those of us on budgets. I also read S&S everyday because it feels real. Too many bloggers are caught up in product endorsements and contrite posts. There is no reflection of who they are. Your blog is a welcomed change from all the white noise out there. Keep on doing what you’re doing girl! You’re awesome! Enjoy 2014 and all the excitement you have coming up. Congratulations on the engagement and stay warm! ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Erin

  34. Thank you for sharing this! As I read it I felt like someone had taken thoughts straight out my head and put them on paper. All of it. When I really stop and think about it, I’m happier with my life and who I am becoming than I ever have been, but I can’t seem to turn those little voices off. Those little voices that want everything to be perfect. The voices that wonder if I’m wearing the right thing, saying the right thing, making good decisions in my business, posting good content on my blog, and doing everything I can be to make meaningful friendships in a new city. Oh, and “…if I donโ€™t like the way my to-do list looks I have to start over…” ummm, YES! I do this all the time!

    Thank you for being you and for continuing to write one of my very, very favorite fashion blogs! To a happy 2014 and to quieting those perfectionist voices, even just a little bit…Cheers!

  35. I always read but just had to comment today. I love coming here to get some inspiration. I don’t follow many fashion blogs but I adore yours because I feel we have similar styles. I’m drawn in even if you don’t write a lot…so don’t worry about that…we all have our different blogging styles and strengths…we can’t be all and do all. You have a magic formula here that has everyone coming back ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to reading more in 2014! All the best this year. xx

  36. Hi Liz,

    Don’t worry too much, (I know, i know that is easy to tell and not so easy to practice) but honestly and from the bottom of my heart, there are just three blogs that i check it up every single day, and yours is one of them, just because we can feel your soul in it,so true! The blogosfera these days looks so shallow and competitive; bloggers are more worried in what they advertise than deliver a true,simple and honest content (specially brazilian bloggers). Keep going, with your sweet and genuine soul, you rock girl!
    And about a lack of ideas, is natural, I own a blog as well, and (shame) has about a six months that I dont update, I have nothing to say! I’m trying to find my way and trueness.
    XOXO from your brazilian fan.

    Carmen – http://www.luseeinthesky.blogspot.com

  37. girl i feel the same.. its good to have to do lists, i read an article recently that the most successful people live by their to do lists. the main thing is to do your priorities first. if you are really procrastinating at something then maybe it could mean that it’s not of interest to you! i have started to give myself a certain amount of time to each task. then you won’t lose focus. it’s important to switch off for some part of the day and iive in the moment, the rest will fall into place.

    http://supposeishouldblog.blogspot.ca/

  38. Liz, I love following your blog. You DO have a wonderful way with words! I especially appreciate your integrity – ‘staying true to who you are’. It shows in your posts.

  39. I absolutely love both your blog and your style – I think you have an authenticity that a lot of other blogs don’t have and I love your style of writing. I’m so excited to keep following this year! (I’m also the definition of perfectionist and incapable of having downtime – trying to work on that too!)

  40. Hi Liz!

    Honestly, I love your website. I follow a lot of other bloggers and while I do love the, what some would consider “over the top,” yours is so relate-able and has been a source of inspiration for my own blog. You have a great sense of style and your outfits are wearable for the every girl who wants to look cute, chic and stylish everyday. Your content and words are so easy to read and as I said before, just simply relatable to, I think, most twenty-somethings! I understand how hard it is not to compare yourself to others, especially when the blog world is such a saturated market, but just remember that there are so many of us out there that enjoy reading your work and look up to you! I start off almost everyday with a cup of coffee at my kitchen table reading your latest posts. You have stayed true to yourself, and the authenticity shines through on your blog. Thank you for keeping it real! xo

    PS. Congratulations on your engagement!

  41. Liz,
    This post was so interesting to me. So goes the insecurities of professional women. It is hard to be perfect and yet we strive every day for it. More than anything, we want to be taken seriously and earn the respect of our peers. Liz, you are a great writer and I look forward to your blog. I check every couple of days and feel so happy after I have read what is going on in your world. It is so different than mine and that is what I love about it. I see you adding more sponsors and your blog has grown so much. Stay the course, you are on the right track! Your life is rich and strong. Be yourself and you cannot go wrong. You have to also realize your life plan evolves and may change over time. Be fearless! xoxo Patty

  42. Liz, a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine from here in Atlanta moved up to Chicago. She knows no one and is worried about making friends. I’ve been following your blog and Instagram for a while now, and have always felt you were so genuine and kind – traits that I don’t think many others in roles like yours exhibit like you do. I told my friend to follow you and try to be friends with you. Even thought I don’t know you, I can tell you have a sweet spirit. I hope 2014 is everything you deserve and more.

    Best,
    Lindsey

  43. Liz, thank you for writing this post and sharing your distractions– all of which I can relate–minus the disappointment in my blog (I don’t have one, but you girls make it look so fun!). I have followed your blog for over a year now, and while other blogs fall off my radar, yours is one I always look forward to checking out. I think you’re doing a great job! Life isn’t always glamorous so, I truly appreciate a real gal like you letting yourself shine through!

    Take care,
    Emily

  44. I really love the fact that you highlighted your distractions, because it’s real. You’re telling us the truth and I really love that about some bloggers. Thank you so much for sharing this! You have inspired so many [as I had to scroll really far down to get to the comment box ;)]

  45. You should feel so proud of yourself, you have an amazing blog (wish mine was as popular) you always answer to emails like mine one day when I asked you advice, I have been feeling so down lately about so many things in life and get very anxious but then I read your blog and some other blogs and it does put a big smile on my face … I am such a perfectionist and make to do lists all day long and these days we are at a temporary place and my life has been in boxes for 5 months and I find it so hard to cope with it all … So a big thank you for making me realise that we are all a bit too much anxious and disappointed in things … you are a true source of inspiration for me and so many ๐Ÿ™‚

    xo

    Sylvia

    http://sylviadennis.blogspot.co.uk/

  46. Liz, your blog never fails to bring cheer to my day! You’ve created a lovely space that I so enjoy visiting every day. Your honesty only makes the blog that much more authentic. XO

  47. I have marveled at the number of events and trips you have taken in the last year. I love following your instagram feed and following your very, very, very fun and lovely life. When I saw that you had visited NYC and Charleston in the span of a few weeks I marveled at your energy to keep packing and unpacking and traveling and attending events. I felt a little down on myself that I wasn’t living my life to the fullest. I was feeling run down and exhausted from my own travels to florida, returning home to host thanksgiving, then traveling 4 hours north to see my family the weekend prior to christmas., followed by hosting family for xmas eve and xmas day. I was feeling like why am I so grouchy and run down and some people just go go go and seem to not need any down time…
    Thanks for the reality check you gave with this post and letting me know that even the beautiful glossy girls who blog and seem to have boundless energy get to feeling a little overwhelmed and burned out…
    Keep the real posts coming!

  48. Thanks for posting such a personal note to the New Year. As proven by the number of comments you already received, you most likely speak to the hearts of many people. The internet opens the world to us but all of a sudden there’s this sense of competing with the whole world, too. I think it’s so important to stop and look what’s close to you and your heart. You do a tremendous job with your blog, which I have been following for a while, and it’s so refreshing to “see” the person behind it. Thanks for being real and best of luck for you and your fiancรฉ!

  49. I have read your blog on and off for a while and I think you are doing a great job! I love your outfits and content. I’ve never commented before, but I felt compelled to after reading this post because I am NOT a blogger, but I feel all of the same things you mention in your post. I feel insane pressure to have a super successful career. I feel crazy pressure to be perfect (mostly self-inflicted). I have a lot of anxiety and get really down on myself when things aren’t `perfect’ in my life (or that they don’t look `perfect’). I just wanted you to know that your post is relatable to all female professionals and that it was helpful to hear you voice your concerns, as well.

  50. Thank you for this amazing post!! I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days when I first read it! I totally understand you because I share with you some of these struggles… I prefer to think that everything is gonna be okay and that I’ll deal with all in the best way and I will beat them!
    Happy New Year!! =)

    xx
    MySweetPearls

    http://www.mysweetpearls.blogspot.com

  51. Liz,
    As a long time reader and fan of your blog, this post was so meaningful and a highly necessary read in my life. Your truthful words and openness regarding your anxieties, fears and hang-ups really hits home with me, and seeing the comments from other readers… apparently them as well. In this fast-paced, often overtly glamorized world of blogging it’s so refreshing to hear bloggers who have stuck with their roots and not let their new found ‘fame’ influence them. So thank you for being you, for being so honest and candid to your readers and fans. It truly means so much as a budding blogger and makes you that much more inspirational to me. All the best in this new year! xx