I am someone who, until very recently, sought comfort and assurance in relationships. I had two extremely long-term boyfriends before I turned 20 years old. These relationships had a hand both in shaping and masking my true identity. And when, suddenly, I was no longer in one, I was at a loss for what to do with myself and what my future held.
While going through a rocky but necessary breakup last summer, on the surface, I was so angry about how much of my life I had planned around my boyfriend. We had been dating for two years and I thought that we were so in love. And now he’s gone and ruined all my plans, I thought. How could he let me believe for so long that he loved me equally and wanted everything that I wanted? And then he just suddenly gave up on everything we had.
I was willing to follow him wherever his job might take him one day, to have a family together … I honestly think I would have ignored my own career aspirations and secret dreams to make him happy and make our relationship work.
I considered myself a feminist and yet was perfectly happy to just ignore my firm beliefs and my own interests to save face and have the life I convinced myself I wanted.
Commitmentophobia is not something I’ve often struggled with. I loved the idea of commitment. I tend to care deeply for people very quickly and I thought that being in a committed relationship signified I was some sort of mature adult.
I suppose it was my pride that drove me to make everything in my life as pretty and perfect as possible, and I never even considered that all of my best-laid plans for our beautiful suburban life together would fall apart.
And then they did.
“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both.” – Brené Brown
My desire to not succumb to my broken heart is what drove me to try new things and finally take the reigns of my life instead of allowing someone else’s whims to determine my future.
I signed up for the Gather Workshop for creative thinkers and small business owners, terrified that I wouldn’t amount to these women I looked up to, but determined to go and learn from them anyway. And they were more welcoming and inspiring than I could have imagined.
I found out about the conference because I love following creative types on Instagram – peeking into their thought process and seeing where they find their inspiration. There’s an exciting, thriving community of people with big dreams and innovative ideas in Athens, Georgia and the women who started Gather were, in my mind, the women who epitomized that kind of passionate, authentic drive to create and share beauty in the world around them.
I had no idea exactly where I wanted to go with my relatively new desire to build a career but I knew I didn’t want it to be an office job. It needed to be where I felt like I could express myself, be creative, and hopefully inspire others at the same time. I left Gather with new friends, new inspiration for living and creating without fear, and a big idea.
Throughout college I have gained a love for personal style. I believe it serves as an expression of personality and uniqueness. What started as a challenge not to wear t-shirts to class turned into an ever-growing love for playing dress up – showing a different side of myself with each new look I tried.
My blog writings are meant to show experimentation with what I have – as well as documenting where I find inspiration. Travel, music, and art are all things that influence my thoughts and my style. My plans for the future focus on collaborations with people in Athens whose style I admire.
In my senior year of college, I would love to document not only the unique foods & sites of the city, but more so the people who have made up my amazing Athens experience. Style, to me, is a reflection of who you are, what you care about, how you want others to see you, and it colors the landscape around you. Athens is a place that’s teeming with so many unique ways of thinking and living and I love seeing that personified through peoples’ outfits around the town.
In summary, my journey from heartbreak to finding confidence in my goofy, creative self has taught me a few things:
I try to be as “me” as possible on my blog in hopes that whoever reads it won’t feel like they can’t attain whatever look I’m portraying. Instead I hope they might feel inspired to proudly fly their freak flags and stop worrying about what others think – whether it’s when they’re getting dressed in the morning or speaking up about something they believe in.
It’s an amazing thing to see someone who is really his or herself and not sorry for it, and an even more amazing feeling when you can get there yourself.
Check Sarah out on thefluf.com or on Instagram @theflufgirl