I'm quite* a deep thinker, which means whenever something in my life changes, I go into a long period of assessing all other areas of my life & how they now align with myself post said experience. This is where JustMelKate comes in.
I first started a blog back in 2010. I was 19, in my first year of uni & I found this online community of awesome women supporting each other & sharing their love of things, at this time mostly of makeup/beauty. I loved the pretty aesthetic of photos, hearing from girls just like me share their favourite products & which one's could help me, but what made me want to do it, was the personal way they wrote. Something I has always loved was writing, but until I discovered blogs, it was reserved for my diary, so I decided I could combine this love, along with joining the community & also share what I was learning as I got more in touch with my beauty routine by starting a blog, birthing MelKateBeauty.
Fast forward a few years I was now 22. I had met some wonderful girls/friends, been to some fun events, been gifted some lovely things & purchased a 'real' camera. I had become proud of my photography & chosen my own blog design, but I was now out of uni & felt pretty secure in my own beauty routine or felt confident exploring this on my own, so I began feeling a little disconnected from my own blog, even though I still loved the community. A huge event in my life meant that for me, I didn't align with the material focus of a beauty blog anymore & I personally valued experience more than anything, so I chose to re-brand as JustMelKate, a place for me to share more of myself & the food & travel experiences now so important in my life & I have loved every minute of it.
This brings us to now, 2017. I am 25 & unsurprisingly have continued to grow & change & in this time the blogging industry has changed beyond anyone's wildest imagination. Bloggers now truly are influencers with more, power for want of a better word, over the upcoming generation than almost anyone else. Whilst this is incredible & a great reaction to the previous doubt placed by main stream media, it also means that the expectation to be perfect as a blogger became huge. Even with flawless photos, a great brand, consistent uploads many amazing bloggers go unnoticed & this somehow didn't feel right. Although I've never blogged full time, this pressure still got to me & I needed to take a complete break from the blogging world to find why I was really doing this, was it for me or for the 'likes' that somehow we have placed so much of our self worth on.
In this time I thought about where my blog was, as well as it's purpose for myself & otherwise with many conversations about deleting it all, but I couldn't do it. I realised that while my focus is still hugely based on experience & the JustMelKate moniker still fits perfectly with my blog, I have developed some other passions along the way, ones that I find very easy to write about & feel could have more value in sharing. Things such a feminism & equality, social justice, commentary on current affairs. This is something that comes naturally to me right now & while I still LOVE a good aesthetic, along with travel, I want to incorporate the other stuff that is me at 25 too. Whenever I get to travel, I will still be sharing it here, but I am going to go back to the early days of experiences over reviews & enjoy the sharing rather than stressing about the perfect picture before anyone jumps on the bed (I'll still be getting beaut photos because with or without the internet this is my love). I have missed writing & I love the blogging community, so this is just the latest chapter.
I will also be combining my social media. I have deleted my personal twitter where I used to keep most of my activism, so will be sharing everything @JustMelKate now along with the usual memes, pop culture references & general blabber. I will also have only one Instagram account too. Instagram was honestly where my overwhelm started. Personally, I choose to follow accounts with high quality photos, they tend to be light & always beautiful, as this is what I like, this is what I expect for myself too. When I'm travelling, this is easy, but I found myself getting anxious when back home & into daily 'adulting' that I couldn't find anything to match my theme, I was trying to create situations or doing things just for this pictures & that wasn't me. So, I will continue to take a step back with this & most probably use it mostly when traveling or if I happen upon something particularly beautiful in between, unconventional for a 2017 blogger I know.
If you made it to the end of this post, props to you & I hope to see you around again. Thank you for reading & I will see you soon for another stream of consciousness of something I care about.
*read as 'a huge overthinker'