Thoughts After Stepping Away

Well hello there! The last week has been interesting, to say the least. I haven’t posted anything on here for a while because I’ve been struggling with what to write. And also because I was in Yosemite with my family and no cell service or WiFi. Minor detail. I got back last night and can hardly keep my eyes open this morning, but it’s a busy week so I’ll be drinkin all of the matcha!

Stepping away from the internet and social media over the last few days, especially in such a majestically beautiful place, was just what I needed after a really intense week before that.

In the two days that followed this post, I was a bit of a mess to be quite honest. For the first time in a long time, I had literally no idea what to do next. The things I learned and saw I will never be able to unlearn or unsee and it affected me in a really intense way.

I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years. How many shirts have I sold that are made by a mistreated garment worker? How many dresses have people bought because of me, worn once, and ended up in a landfill? It felt like I had hit a major crossroad, and I didn’t know where to turn next. And the guilt was eating me alive!

During that time I decided two pull out of two major contracts because I didn’t feel comfortable promoting the brands anymore. It was probably the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever done on the backend of my business, but it also felt like the right thing to do. The anxiety of losing the income that family was counting on, plus the guilt I described above, threw me for a loop.

My family trip to Yosemite came at the perfect time. I was thousands of miles from home where I could step away, take (forced) time off of Instagram and emails, and was able to put things into perspective. When you’re in a place so big and so magical, it makes you realize how small you really are… But in a good way.

I spent a lot of time with my very wise 92-year old grandmother who reminded me that I did the best with what I knew for all of those years, and I can take what I’ve learned to shift going forward and we can make small changes together.

We can buy durable, classic clothing that will last longer, we can re-wear that durable clothing more, and when we discover brands and people out there who are making a difference, we can share that knowledge with each other. All of us can always keep learning and growing.

I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming tomorrow! Just wanted to let you know what’s been going on. Have a great Monday!

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  1. Dana said:

    I hope this also means more Rewear it posts, because I find them really inspiring.

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m on it! So happy to hear that you like them.

      5.6.19 · Reply
  2. Maureen said:

    Grandmothers have a special place in our hearts.
    Mine did. (I really only knew one –one passed when I was young).

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      They really do. I was lucky to have all four grandparents for a very long time and I was extremely close to all of them. My grandmother is the last one living and I truly cherish every moment with her.

      5.6.19 · Reply
  3. Elizabeth said:

    I love your honesty! I think that your grandmother is absolutely right, you did the best with the information that you had. And to quote Oprah, “when you know better, you do better.

    The world is all about instant gratification now and frankly I think a great many people love the look of designer clothes but cannot afford them, that is the facts. They see bloggers posting fabulous outfits daily and do not realize that sometimes they are gifted, or that sometimes the blogger buys the clothes, takes the photos and then returns the items.

    Everyone wants to look nice and do it on a budget if they can. I think that the idea of wearing an item once is what is most disturbing.

    I hope that you have a great week and look forward to hearing more about your beautiful trip!

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I totally agree and I hope that I can help change that in the future!

      5.6.19 · Reply
  4. Kelly said:

    I hate how people can guilt-trip us about things we’re not even aware of (and maybe shouldn’t be, to an extent). I think your grandmother’s words are wise. There’s no use in dwelling in regret. As someone who identifies so closely with your struggle with anxiety, I know there’s only so much I can care about at any given point of time so I hope you have grace to extend to yourself too. We’re all doing the best we can! You don’t know before you know. Just keep on the continuous upward trajectory you’re on and let bygones be bygones! You are an excellent steward of this platform and your sphere of influence. You send more good into the world than you contribute anything inadvertently negative. Maybe look at it as a positive that you have an audience of compassionate followers who care about the issues of the world, who can lovingly illuminate things you may not be aware of, and everyone rises together henceforth. No shame, no judgment, no unnecessary remorse, just rising higher, together.

    5.6.19 · Reply
  5. Rebecca Titlow said:

    You do great work, Julia ~ and your candor on this subject is important and needed. Thanks to you, others are now paying attention and we want to learn with you. Keep doing you, and look forward! You can do so much to influence people with the network you have. We are behind you!

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Rebecca! Appreciate it xx

      5.7.19 · Reply
  6. Rachel said:

    This is so commendable. Your last post weighed heavy on my mind all week. Thank you for shedding light on this topic!

    5.6.19 · Reply
  7. Caroline said:

    Yes, thank you for taking the time to learn, and to share what you learned about fast fashion with us.

    I feel bad for the heat you took for that post. If it had been Zara or H & M you probably would not have gotten the response you did, because people love to hate on Walmart.

    I also love the shop your closet posts!

    5.6.19 · Reply
  8. Jennie said:

    Oprah (my everything) always quotes Maya Angelou: when you know better, do better. Now you know better! I can’t wait to watch the documentary.

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes yes yes. Love this quote so much! Definitely watch the documentary and report back!

      5.7.19 · Reply
  9. Hannah said:

    I appreciate you saying these things. I’ve had similar feelings even though I’m in a different field ( therapist). When I find that I do thing that align strongly with my values then more things that I align with come my way. Even if financially it seems like a silly decision to people around me. Looking forward to following along on how things change.

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I love to hear that! Funnily enough I just got a sponsorship from a clean beauty brand I’ve always wanted to work with so I think you’re right.

      5.7.19 · Reply
  10. Rachel said:

    I would love to hear about your journey as you explore a more ethical, sustainable take on on our consumer driven world. After reading the aforementioned post I explored the Good On You app and was excited by how many well rated brands are out there. Keep working through this challenge – who knows where it will take you! Maybe your own sustainable brand? I know your thoughtful prose and fantastic sense of style will always shine through!!!! Thanks for doing what you do!!

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I totally agree and I hope that I can help change that in the future! That would be SUCH a dream OMG. A sustainable brand of striped clothing? Yes please!!!

      5.7.19 · Reply
  11. I enjoy the shop your closet posts and more of those would be awesome. Thank you for considering the many issues associated with textile manufacturing. Unfortunately, the price of labour and skill set needed make manufacturing clothing stateside nearly impossible. When I look at the dirth of old mills throughout the Northeast I see them as a memorial of sorts. The fast fashion of today is never something that I willingly bought into -there is a better way. I’ll continue to share my belief that a small wardrobe of cherished pieces is what we all should strive for.

    5.6.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes I’m on it! Or styling one piece three ways which is a great way to share how one well-made item can be reworn.

      5.7.19 · Reply
  12. Pamela said:

    It appears that you have reached a turning point regarding your blog promotions. I hope you can get behind lifestyle products you will be proud to represent.

    5.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m certainly trying!

      5.7.19 · Reply
  13. Maggie said:

    Would love to hear the brands that you pulled your contracts from so were are aware!

    5.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m not going to share out of respect for the people we work with there. I feel that it would be unprofessional, so sorry!

      5.7.19 · Reply
  14. Rebecca said:

    Hello Julia… I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time…you are a lovely lady with a beautiful family! I am fast approaching 60 and have daughters your age. Your grandmother is spot on with her advice!! …You are doing a great job with your blog, we can all learn from each other!….I really love all your photos, so bright and pretty!
    Happy Mothers day to you!

    Rebecca 🙂

    5.8.19 · Reply