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You all loved my #realtalk post a few weeks ago about the reasons I cut my hair (which you can read here), so I’m going to keep them going as things come to mind. The other day we were talking with someone about weekend plans, which part of included a quick photo shoot my husband was going to be in for my blog. Someone responded to my husband it was embarrassing for him to have to be in blog photos with me. I started to speak in response, but instead bit my tongue. Those who know me, know this would not have always been the case. I’ve been working on not responding as often as I may want to and not being so blunt. Being more blunt served me personally well, as I was able to express how I thought or felt about something, but it did not always serve other aspects of socializing well. When I’m able to say something out loud, I move on from it much quicker. Instead, I now try to keep more to myself. The downside is that I continue to think about things and am not able to move on from them as quickly. I continued to think about this statement made about it being embarrassing for my husband. The analytical side of me came out, as it tends to do when I keep something in, leading to me over-examining potential meanings or even ways the conversation could have gone. This brought me to the #realtalk coming your way today. The overall idea? Just be supportive.
The first place my mind went from this statement, and likely the first thing I would have said, would be ‘why is that embarrassing?’ I want to understand things from others’ perspectives (remember, my day job is in the field of Psychology), so I often start by questioning to understand better. Is it embarrassing that my husband wants to be supportive of his wife? That he is my biggest supporter and fan? Perhaps someone thinks it’s embarrassing to take photos and put yourself out there. Maybe it’s not quite ‘their thing.’ This is one of the biggest criticisms going into blogging. You really have to say ‘screw it’ and put yourself out there for the potential embarrassment, failure, and criticism. However, this is true with many ventures in life. While some may happen less publicly, most great successes are going to take risks. Opening a store, starting a business, going to graduate school, investing in a start up. All of these take risks. You may fail. You may lose money. You may make all your dreams come true. Did you know that when one of the creators of Snapchat came up with his idea and proposed it in one of his classes at Stanford that his classmates ridiculed him? He became the youngest billionaire in the last few years. Do you think that every small business owner has felt supported through their business? My husband supports me in my blog in any way he can because one, that is just the kind of person he is, but secondly, it’s just what you do. You support the ones you love in pursuing what they love.
Whether you’re being supportive of someone’s hobby, or a hobby turned job, or even something else simple, that is what relationships and community is all about. I recently went with a girlfriend so she could get her lips done. Is that my personal ‘thing?’ No. Was I there to talk her through it, give input when asked, and hold her hand if needed? You betcha. Why? Because that was going to make her happy. When she asked my opinion I shared that ya, it wasn’t my thing and told her I personally would get more than one opinion and air on the side of caution to not get them overdone. Everything other people do doesn’t have to be your cup of tea, but you should support them in their pursuit of happiness or their dreams. I don’t care if you think its embarrassing or not cool or overdone or whatever the case. Just be freaking supportive.
What else is embarrassing? Is it embarrassing that I turned a hobby on the Internet into a second job and career that is helping my family? Blogging combines several things that I loved in my spare time: photography, fashion, and writing. I also absolutely love to travel and share some of my favorite places with others. Blogging allowed me to do that outside of just my friend group or with family. I also love making new recipes and sharing those, or trying out new products and telling someone about it in hopes they may also love it. Is it embarrassing that I’ve been able to contribute more to our family to help us travel and meet some of our goals sooner? I certainly don’t think so. Is it embarrassing that I work so hard towards goals I make for myself that I’m often working fifteen hour days? (See more on that here.)
Is it embarrassing that brands who I couldn’t even get to respond to my emails in the beginning are now emailing me wanting to work together? Places where I used to spend money are now giving me clothes to wear and paying me for to photograph and post them. What’s embarrassing about that?
I’ve heard people complain about taking photos whether that is for me or for another person I know who blogs. Really, what’s the big deal? Is it their favorite thing to do? Probably not. My husband’s favorite thing is not to be in photos nor to take them, but he does it. This brings me back to my original point. Just be freaking supportive. Your friend wants a photo (or lets be honest probably 20+ to get one decent one), so just do it. If they blog, they have the ability to post that photo and earn commissions off of it. It’s supporting their business. Ultimately, blogging doesn’t give you true days off. If you’re traveling, that is content that often does well for us to share. I’ve had some trips where I’ve been able to ‘break even’ or even end up in the green after the trip (even with all travel expenses) because of commissions earned after I shared my outfits while traveling. Regardless, if it makes someone else happy and is a way you can support their little venture, just do it for them. Is it THAT big of a deal? Complaining about it or even walking away as someone else is snagging a photo for them because people are looking and its ’embarrassing’ doesn’t help the situation and isn’t supportive. I can think of a lot of times I’ve done something I haven’t been stoked about because it will make someone else happy or will be in support of them. It’s what relationships are all about.
Being passive and never asking someone about something you KNOW they put a lot of time and energy into and that they love and are pursuing is another way of not being supportive. Sure, you may not really be interested, but it’s the give and take and it shows your interested and trying. It’s just as hurtful when someone never even asks you how things are going in relation to something you’re working so hard towards. This has happened in aspects of my life from studying in graduate school to blogging now. If you don’t “get” something, try to ask more questions to understand. If nothing else, its a chance to learn!
I don’t really get what is embarrassing about supporting people. Life can be hard sometimes. It can be messy, stressful, and harsh. In a world where people may let you down at any time, try to build up those around you. Be the friend who is supportive. Be the family member who believes in someone. It doesn’t matter if you think what they are doing is cool, or will even work out for them for the long term, or whatever. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what they are doing, or if its not your cup of tea. It doesn’t matter if a market is over-saturated or if its something you personally aren’t into. Just be supportive. When you’re asked your honest opinion, feel free to give it. If you’re not asked, they probably don’t want it or already suspect what you’re thinking. Get over yourself and just support how you can. None of us are perfect, but we can all take steps towards being more supportive.
What if Beyonce’s family had not been supportive of her dream to sing and dance? What if J.K Rowling stopped trying to sell Harry Potter after all the rejection letters and all the times those around her doubted what she believed in? There are so many people that give up because they aren’t supported. Be the one that encourages. There are so many people who never take that step to really pursue their dreams. Be the one that motivates them. Be someone who is supportive of your friends and family whether sometimes it inconveniences you, whether you think it’s cool, whether you fully understand it, or whether you think they’ll succeed.
There are opportunities every day to support someone and show them you care and are there for them. Check on your friend the mom and tell her you’re thinking of her and know she’s doing a good job. Tell your friend who just got out of the relationship that you’re proud of her for having the strength to walk away from what wasn’t right for them. Tell your friend in school that they’ll make it through. Tell your spouse you’re proud of all their hard work. Tell someone who wants to start their own business what you like about their idea. Shop at your friends store. Go to your friend the dentist for your check up. Bring your friend working so many hours they don’t have time for lunch something to eat. Ask someone to tell you more about their latest investment or their start up company. Go to a workout class with your friend trying to lose weight. Grab a smoothie instead of a cocktail with your friend doing the Whole 30. I’m not saying I’m perfect at this or don’t have room to grow. I think we all probably do. I’m just trying to inspire you to look at how you support those you care about and how you may be able to do improve to make those around you know how much you care about what makes them happy and them reaching their goals. You’re never too old for another goal and there is always room for someone else in the world to go down a path they are interested in.
Support your friends, support your family, support other women. There are so many ways to do it, but just be freaking supportive. Or at least, try your best, because that’s really all we can do in this crazy life.
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A little on this look: I went with some over-the-knee boots and a red lip for this post because, I gotta be feeling a little sassy for a #realtalk post. My jeans, white t-shirt, OTK boots, and round sunnies are as classic a combo. Even the denim jacket is, too. This one has a fun twist though. I LOVE the sherpa lining or faux shearling, whatever you want to call it. Point is, it’s a fun twist on a denim jacket and its really, really warm. It’s also currently marked down along with the whole site! XO