Hi Friends. It’s been a little quiet around Apt34 this past week (though this home tour is so good). Apologies for that. If you’ve been following on Instagram you might have seen that I’m currently spending some overdue time with family and friends in my hometown of Seattle. While it wasn’t my intention to go silent, sometimes life just jumps in the way.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about this space lately – really assessing how it serves both you and me. SO much has changed in the past decade of being a blogger. What once seemed like a tight knit family is now a sea of millions. These days individual voices just blend together in a blurry, cacophonous scroll of the Instagram feed. While blogging became my career accidentally, now peeps grow up with the goal of being an “influencer.” Yet, I’ve never been particularly comfortable with the mantle. I didn’t even use my name or show my face on this site for the first five years! Talk about a cultural shift.
If you’ve ever wondered how I managed to create this brand, or wonder how I “keep it all together,” or look at me like I’ve “made it,” don’t be fooled. I aspire to achieve the elevated lifestyle upon which Apt34 is based on the daily. I rarely succeed.
I certainly don’t have it all together. I feel as if I have a split personality most days, jumping between mom (and a reluctant one – details here if you missed it), wife, friend, entrepreneur, writer, stylist etc etc, regularly racked by pangs of inadequacy and self-doubt in each role.
I’ve also had many a struggle that are certainly not Instagram-worthy. A devastating death in my immediate family. A lay off from a full time role (that I’d stupidly taken while doing Apt34 and having a baby but hindsight is 20/20). While I was miserable in that job, the blow of being let go shattered my self-confidence and caused me to question my value, my knowledge-base and self worth.
And don’t get me started on politics. Suffice it to say election night was on my birthday. Whomp.
Oh and I’ve also spent four years working on a house I’ve yet to finish. You better believe I feel massive guilt about that one.
I read constantly that social media has a negative effect on our self esteem (this article is particularly interesting. Also this one about how much on social media is fake). I certainly regularly fall victim. I suspect you do too? I rarely feel confident about what I’m putting out in the world. I feel like a doof on Instagram Stories. I agonize over likes and wonder why one thing resonates when another doesn’t, when really it’s all probably the algorithm and we have way better things to do with our time anyway – phew.
And am I pulled together? Ha! Many days I don’t make it out of workout clothes (nor manage to actually work out). My bed is rarely made. My closet often a mess. The whole fake it till you make it thing is my mantra, but half the time I feel as if I’m fakin’ it more than makin’ it! (I very much enjoyed this piece advocating for self-compassion vs self-confidence btw).
But I want to do more. Share more. Help more. Have more of an impact. For you and for me. I constantly have ideas of new content for you, new series, a podcast, videos, a weekly Insta-live, but the daily grind just seems to get in the way of bringing things to fruition.
I also shifted Apt34’s focus to “inspiring tips & ideas for an intentional approach to modern living” this year. But what does that even really mean? Do more face masks, meditate and buy less stuff? Those are all positive things, but in world that has a lot of really messed up stuff going on in it right now, I’m not sure switching to matcha goes deep enough.
So for the first time in the more than 10 years of Apt34’s existence, we’re going on hiatus for the month of August. I’m going to use this month to reflect and invest, both in myself and in this site to give you the absolute best content you deserve. Other things are going to happen. My kid will start school for the first time. I plan to read a book from start to finish. It will be earth shattering.
In all seriousness, I’m actually super inspired by Erica’s post from a few months back. If you’re struggling with a similar feeling of stuck (I‘m turning stuck into a noun. The state of stuck), I highly recommend you check it out. She offers some very practical tips and a good ole fashioned to-do list for trying to get out of the muck. I’ve cribbed a few of her ideas; I’m going to be working hard on a quality morning routine, a daily practice of creative input (vs constant output!) and some good old fashioned exercise. Have I not done cardio in three years? Yeah, maybe not. Whoops.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. Everyday I’m going to share some of our greatest hits from the past decade. Content I loved that maybe never got seen and some posts you’ve probably seen plastered all over Pinterest. I’ll still be on Instagram and Stories but with no set schedule and no goal in sight. And I won’t let myself scroll for the first 30 mins every morning! Bad Erin. No phone for you!
Obviously if there are things you’d love to see, questions you have or past posts or series you’ve loved, I would be thrilled to hear it. Definitely feel free to comment below! It can be easy to put things out into the ethos thinking only your mother pays attention but Apt34 is a place for you almost more than it’s a place for me.
The last 10 years have been a crazy ride and I certainly feel optimistic about what’s next. I am excited to dig in and do the work to find out what that will be.
art by brittany teng