Personal

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You


A post by my friend Jess created a movement in the blog world and about a month and a half ago, I decided to start writing. But I never hit publish. I almost set it to publish last night but woke up and pined over it a bit longer. I do my best to be open and honest on my blog, but this felt like a little too much to share. It was after a surprise visit from Jess this weekend that I was inspired to finally hit that little orange button. Thanks, Jess!

I do fear that these honest posts may come across as negative and I really hope they don’t. The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful for anything because that is not the case. I would rather keep it real than pretend everything is perfect. And I would rather be honest than post pretty things all day long. Many bloggers paint this sunshine and rainbows picture of their lives, but doing so isn’t getting anyone anywhere. In fact, I think it’s doing more harm than good. I don’t know how my life seems to all of you, but let me be the first to tell you that it is not close to perfect. I do not have it all figured out and I most certainly do not know how to get it all done. I love what I do, but I work a lot. I have accepted and embraced that this is what I need to do right now.

After lots of procrastinating, here are the things I’m afraid to tell you: 

I struggle to balance clients (I work with anywhere from 5-8 clients at a time), editing photos, and working on The Everygirl. I tend to feel pretty overwhelmed on a
regular basis. When I meet someone and they ask what I do, just listing my multiple jobs always feels overwhelming. And then there’s all the other “life” stuff. Balancing everything is much harder than it used to be.

Since I majored in Sociology and fell into graphic design/photography (I am self taught) I often doubt my abilities and will sometimes compare my work to the work of other more experienced designers. I try to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t do, but there is so much that I’d love to learn so that isn’t always easy.

I very critical of decisions that I make and I second guess myself a lot. I was a wreck before moving to Chicago and was a mess before moving to my new apartment a few weeks ago but both big changes worked out really well. I sort of hate big changes.

I spent half of my savings in the first two years that I lived in Chicago. I was afraid of being on my own in a new city and rented an overpriced apartment in a high-rise with a doorman in an expensive neighborhood. I moved into my new place in a new neighborhood two weeks ago and am saving a lot of money each month. I also love this place (and area) so much more than I ever thought I would.

I want people to like me but I’m less sensitive about this than I used to be. You just can’t please everyone.

I worry a lot. I am a very anxious person but have been much better the past few months.

I have not kept in touch with most of my LA friends. I still talk to my best friend Jess, my oldest friend in the world, and one of my friends from high school, but that’s it. I grew apart from everyone else and realized that a few of them did not treat me very well. Sometimes, you just need to move on.

I don’t love getting dressed up and am happiest in skinny jeans and flats. But if I’m being really honest, I am actually the most comfortable in yoga pants.

I talk/sing to Buddy every day and have a feeling that our interns think I’m insane. He even has his own song. Buddy Buddy handsomeface. You’re so good and I love your face. I should take up songwriting.

I have been in a long distance relationship for almost two years. If we hadn’t been so focused on work this past year, I’m not sure we would have been able to do this. And I’m not sure we’ll make it. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

As friends continue to get engaged (and married) and as I continue to get a little older, I worry about a. not getting married and b. never having a family. With my 20s coming to an end this September, I have realized that I don’t have forever.

My relationship with my mom is probably the best it has ever been. We’ve been pretty up an down throughout my teen years and most of my 20s, so I hope things continue to be this good with us.

I have not spoken to my dad in about ten years. He was never a very good father.

Since starting CrossFit I have incorporated a little organic and free range chicken and turkey into my diet.

I feel like I’ve failed at blogging this year. I went from posting on my blog at least 5x a week to 2-3x a week, and just 1x last week and I have pretty much stopped reading blogs this year. The time just isn’t there anymore.

So there you have it. Some of this I’ve written about and some might be new to you. If you have any questions, ask away!  I’ll do my best to answer.

  • barbara@hodge:podge

    It can be hard to share the truth at times, isn't it? Blogging can really make it easy to hide the reality. I love this though, nice to see others have anxieties, issues and struggles that we all experience. Gives blogging a more human element. You are an inspiration though, taking risks, learning and growing! Keep it up, you are doing great!

  • Sue @ SimonsSistaSaw

    I've always thought your life read pretty well normally (self employed, beautiful things etc) but hearing of all your ventures, it's always seemed really clear that you worked hard, really really really hard (harder than I am interested in I guess). The meat/vegie one is something I've been struggling with. I was a vegie for ten years and over the last 6 months I've been trying different meats. I don't want to let go of the vegie tag (as I don't want a lot of meat so it's often just easier) but I don't want to lie about it either. Good luck with all that is on your plate, and I hope you and your boy make it (if that is what you want).

  • a’ la mode

    You just spoke volumes about yourself by being vulnerable. I'm proud of you lil sis 🙂

  • Jess @ theJessJournals.blogspot.com

    Loved the honesty here! Life in general is not always peachy, and I don't think you sound negative or whiny at all! I can relate with the friend thing – I moved away from all my friends and nearly 4 years later in New York, I still don't feel like I have a solid group of friends, although I do have people I know I can depend on. It's hard making new friends after college! Also, I can relate about getting older etc – I'm turning 28 next month and am still single, and I worry I'm not going to be a young mom (my mom was 26 when she had me – which is pretty young, I think), but at the same time I try not to worry about it because I know when I meet the right guy, it'll all just happen and unfold the way it's supposed to. (It's hard to relax about it still though!) Either way, I love reading your blog, and admire your success and the fact that you are self-taught in graphic design! That is so cool. 🙂

  • Bradley

    Proud of you for doing this! I feel relieved knowing I'm not the only one who feels overwhelmed all. the. time. (I, too, am in a long distance relationship, and totally agree with you on it being one of the hardest things.) xo

  • Sam [The Peak of Tres Chic]

    Thank you for being so open and honest with us, Danielle! I relate to a lot of what you said. I'm glad you are doing Crossfit too and hope we can share our journeys together. Man is it hard, but it has done wonders for my mental health. 🙂

  • melanie

    1. i'm glad you shared this! being transparent on the internet can be really really tough… but afterwards, there's usually one of those "PHEW that felt so good" feelings.
    2. your interns love the buddy songs 🙂

  • anne.

    Thank you for being so open and honest! As a reader and blogger myself, it's refreshing to hear these truths. I don't see you as ungrateful or negative at all! In fact, just the opposite! Very grateful and very brave. I'm a worrier, too. My life has been messy these last few years, as well. Hearing you voice similar emotions only helps me relate to you more.

    As always, I love this blog. Everyone gets busy, and you understand consistency. I'd love to see more posts here but I get to see so much fabulous work of yours over at the Everygirl! I'll still be a faithful reader, is what I'm trying to say 🙂

    You've inspired me! Maybe I should do one of these posts.

  • Mary V.

    Amazing! I think you just gave me the courage to do it too!

    And sometimes you talk to Buddy more than the average person, but I have to admit it's pretty entertaining…I find myself singing Buddy Buddy handsome face. You're so good and I love your face! a lot in my daily life…Concerning

  • eriKa

    So enjoyed reading this. You're absolutely right about a lot of bloggers presenting their lives as being picture perfect. Even though we all know that's not the case, so often we still feel like we have so much to live up to. Also loved learning that you're a Sociology major! I'm an art major and I'm thinking about minoring in Sociology- I find it absolutely fascinating.

  • Heather

    Don't worry about turning 30 and feeling like you're falling behind in the engagement/married trend. I will be 32 this year and I love my 30s. I have more money now (I'm more settled into my career), more stable and true friendships, a house that I love, and I'm able to do so many more fun things in my life like travel to places I've been dreaming about forever. I just got back from an amazing trip to Rome, Florence, and Venice and a few weeks before that, San Francisco.
    Just because people are getting married now, doesn't mean it's going to last. I have a friend that was with her boyfriend for 8 years and their marriage only lasted 10 months. I was itching to get married because everyone else was. My husband and I have now been married for almost 3 years and I am so glad we did it when it was right for us. If you think you'll be together forever, waiting a little shouldn't be a problem.

    "You're exactly where you're supposed to be".

  • Stephanie Jean

    Thank you for sharing this Danielle! I think it's safe to say all of us can relate in some way or another so thank you for being real and also very inspiring:)

  • Kristin Kerr

    I can relate to almost every one of your "things". Career anxiety, money, long distance relationship, having full blown convos with my dog…I feel relieved knowing that I'm not alone. thank you!

  • Susan

    Danielle you are not alone. I have definitely gotten more self-conscious in the last year and am a definite people pleaser, almost to a fault that I have trouble sticking to my guns. I've also become more of a worrier, and I used to not be. But I still believe that you are one of the hardest working people I've ever seen and I'm so glad it's bringing you joy. I honestly look up to your work ethic and your amazing attitude towards your work, even though it's exhausting. Thanks for sharing girl!

  • renée [crossed and dotted]

    this was a wonderful post, and i have no doubt about how hard it must have been to write and then share. i will say that you never sound negative on the blog, only human; we all try to handle our obstacles with grace and maturity, but life is scary sometimes! congratulations on everything you continue to accomplish – you should be so proud of yourself!

  • Katelyn

    anyone who loves a dog sings to them! that made me laugh. my dog gets little ditties like "jade marie, jade, jade marie!" and there is also one about her wiping her face after she eats. haha.

    great post – thanks for sharing the hard stuff. i'm glad you hit publish.

  • Carrie Waller

    Thank you for your honesty…You are not alone!!!

  • Rhona

    Okay, so that was so honest and refreshing. Sometimes I read blog posts and I am like, wow, people are really perfect and have it all figured out. I feel sometimes lacking when I read some people's posts who are seemingly so perfect. Although you do admit off and on that life is not perfect, I think most people are good with that. I for one, can relate to almost everything you said. I just moved to a new place away from my family October 2011. My relationship with my mom is really only good now that I am not at home all of the time. I am beyond anxious and nervous all of the time seemingly. I HATE it but I can't help it. I also work like a mad woman and can't seem to stop even when I am exhausted.
    Thank you for being honest. I think you are doing a great job balancing everything in life that you share on this blog. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
    P.S., I have a song that I sing to my dog also. 'Rocky is a naughty boy, he is so cute. Rocky, Rocky, Rocky. Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.' I love it and so does my precious pup.

  • Katie

    It's so funny how things work out sometimes. I literally just clicked on your blog so I could reference some collage inspiration. You have the best collages that are so tidy and organized. I read a ton of blogs(hundreds) and out of all of them I think your layout, collages, typeface and overall appearance is one of the most professional looking out there. You do amazing work as a designer and it truly shows! Many blogs do seem like they only show the greener side but I always feel yours is open and honest. And Singing to dogs is a must! How boring would it be if we didn't. =)

  • amazeingteacher

    so glad you shared, it's good to get things "out" sometimes…even therapeutic?! i think you are totally normal and all of this is a part of life, growing older, and maturing each year. you are a great person and very talented in what you do so don't second guess yourself. these last two years have been a huge success for you and i'm so happy about that!

  • Jackie

    I love that bloggers are starting to do this! You're completely right when you say that many bloggers paint a sunshine and rainbows picture of their lives. And in all honesty, that's probably why I was so drawn to reading blogs in the first place; because they inspire me and they share an optimistic viewpoint. But it is SO refreshing to hear honesty too. That's the other reason I read blogs; because they are so personal. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • LaurAsh20

    I'm your newest follower! I love your honesty about your long distance relationship. I was in one for 2.5 years, me in San Diego him in Missouri. We are now getting married in October! The best piece of advice I can give you is don't put any pressure on the relationship. If you both are in it for the long haul, you will appreciate this time spent apart looking back one day. I am so grateful that I got some me time, even though it was tough. It made us so much stronger as a couple. Also singing to your dog…totally natural!! Best wished to you!!

  • Bettina

    I'm glad you opened up about your life and were honest in what you had to say. It made me like you even more, if that's even possible. I admire your hard work and innovative mind that's created such a great site (The Everygirl). I love your site because it shows it all, the pretty and the serious. Helping us with our finances and fashion is realistic, we need to be well-rounded women. Fashionable and smart women 🙂

    So many things that you said I am feeling right now. Though they may be slightly different b/c obvi we're different people, reading about your experiences is really comforting and makes me feel less ashamed and scared. Life is scary, but I'm such a big believer that in order to live the life we were meant to we've got to feel every emotion and embrace them, whether they're good or bad. I believe everything will fall in place for you because from what I've seen on your blog here and The Everygirl, you're a beautiful person inside and out.

  • Jess Constable

    Thank you so much for sharing this with the world, Danielle! I think you are going to help a lot of people with this. : )

  • Tina

    it's great to be honest and be scared all at once. it's a good thing you're scared of life's chances you take or else you wouldn't be human. i can tell from everything you are juggling just how overwhelmed you must feel at times – but just remember to always take a day or two to just ENJOY life and relax. ROCK those yoga pants! and dont worry about being 30 and still not being "engaged" or "married" – there is no right time, no schedule for woman to follow! it happens when it happens – and when it does, it will be amazing for you. just always follow your heart. if you're overwhelmed in life or work, something has to give. cut something out if it makes your life feel like it's a little smoother. and never be afraid to ask for a helping hand. it sounds like you've got great friends and co-workers making life in chicago a little less lonely all the time – reach out and you'll be ok 🙂 and us bloggers are ALWAYS here for you! we love the honesty, we APPRECIATE bloggers who are honest about their life and how it's not all as easy as it seems to be. 🙂

    just keep swimming! 🙂

  • Kimberly Buettner

    While this was a huge post to write, the biggest thing I focused on:

    I'm not the only one who makes up songs for my dog! (Mine is "Rocky the Rockstar, the best dog of all time.")

    Also, I think those who strive for greatness often question themselves…

  • The Domestic Plate

    I'm a new reader to your blog but I related to most of the things you said. It's tough to keep the right perspective but one thing that helps is putting it out there and realizing that no one has it all figured out!

  • Vanessa {Vanilla and Rose}

    I'm really glad you did this. And I agree with you completely about how some bloggers try to paint the perfect picture. I use to follow a few like that and after a while it got overwhelming and sickening. No one has to perfect life… so why fake it? Your honestly is great and I can definitely relate to a few things. I talk to my two kittens, which makes me feel like a crazy cat lady, have had similar relationships with my parents and, although I may be 26 not 29, I am no where close to where I thought I'd be at this age when it comes to relationships, being married or starting a family. It's great to know their are other bloggers out there with similar thoughts/worries. Thanks again for sharing! And don't worry about not keeping up with this blog, you're doing an amazing job with the Everygirl! Any true follower of this blog understands! 🙂

  • taylor

    thank you for having the courage to push the little orange button 🙂 i admire your honesty and work ethic. i love that you are living the true everygirl lifestyle. you are inspiring, danielle!

  • Lauren

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Since you don't blog as much lately, it's always like a little pleasant surprise when a new post from you pops up on my bloglovin'.

    Plus I always get to "see" you over on the Everygirl. Hope that takes the pressure off a bit 🙂

  • Stephanie

    I really appreciate this…the honesty and realness of it. It's ok you haven't been blogging 5x per week. Sometimes blogging less makes better posts (in my opinion). You certainly haven't failed though!

  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    I think we all have some trouble trying to balance everything that we like and need to do, is natural, and to be honest, thank goodness you're struggling, otherwise Danielle you would be Super woman, I mean, look at everything you do, and you do it ALL so darn good!
    And don't even say that because you're only posting 2-3 or even once a week you feel like failing, this blog is what brought you everything else you have right now, it was the bridge, now you have other priorities 😉

  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    I think we all have some trouble trying to balance everything that we like and need to do, is natural, and to be honest, thank goodness you're struggling, otherwise Danielle you would be Super woman, I mean, look at everything you do, and you do it ALL so darn good!
    And don't even say that because you're only posting 2-3 or even once a week you feel like failing, this blog is what brought you everything else you have right now, it was the bridge, now you have other priorities 😉

  • Nicole

    After a horrible night, you made my day. No one is perfect and it takes a strong person to let others see their weaknesses.

    We love you.

    And don't stress about age, the 30's are AWESOME- you grow into yourself and the bullshit starts to fade away…

  • Chelsea

    First, I love this movement and applaud you for your honesty! I think that it truly makes us all realize that we aren't alone in our fears and insecurities. Thank you!

    Chelsea
    http://www.hautechildinthecity.com

  • Alexa

    Danielle thanks for this. I really enjoyed reading all of the responses from everyone because it certainly brings a level of honesty/real to the blogging world that I sometimes think isn't there at all. For the record I hate change and I am a huge worrier as well.

  • Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine

    Honest posts are awesome posts. I know you have been busy and I think it is understandable what you are going through and all. Ever since I moved away from Europe to California I lost friends. I gained friends too. And I know that life continues no matter what. It is okay not to talk to your father. I haven't spoken to mine in over 16 years and it won't ever happen again. And the friends/babies/marriage thing…trust me, at 32, I'm getting nervous. But life is good.

    Thanks for posting this terrific post!!!

  • rueyou

    Refreshingly honest. Thank you. You.are.amazing.and.wonderful!
    xo
    B

  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    I just meant to say "relieved" instead of "glad" on my comment 😉

  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    I just meant to say "relieved" instead of "glad" on my comment 😉

  • Model A designs

    I love reading posts like this, it is nice to hear that I'm not the only one who feels overwhelmed sometimes 😉
    Also I graduated in education and am self taught in graphic design {i feel inadequate daily!} Thanks for sharing!

  • South on Broadway

    I am proud and envious of your honesty. Your ability to put the truth out there is commendable and something I need to do myself. Thank you for being real and willing to share that with all of us.

    – Jaime

  • Natasha @ Northern Light Blog

    Good for you for hitting that orange button!!
    Bet you feel great right about now, lighter and free ??

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • RosaLovesDC

    Thanks for sharing this girl. And BTW, I also talk and sing to Lola all the time.

  • Chic Coastal Living

    I love reading these posts about being honest. I'm so sorry that your father is not there. It's so sad…I didn't have my father around when I was young and I think I was less confident because of it. I'm learning more about myself now that I've turned 40. I pray that you will get married, have kids and feel blessed. You are a beautiful person. God bless you…:)

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