stepping out of fear and into faith
When I was a little girl I was always told that I had a wild imagination, that the world wasn’t big enough for my mind. Growing up that remained true given the fact that I wanted to be everything from an astronaut to an aspiring actress. Granted some of those dreams didn’t last long *cough cough, being an astronaut or singer* but most of them sort of did, in a way. I pursued acting for 12 years. I did everything from theatre in my school’s cafeteria, to musicals (again I can’t sing for the life of me), to Disney commercials, to strangely dark indie films. I also pursued dance. I danced for 14 yrs. of my life and I loved it. Continuing this performance art passion throughout high school the internet quickly became my go to audience. It was everything from sharing my videos on YouTube, writing deep and emotional journal entries on Tumblr, sharing my favorite underground artists on Myspace, or just outfit photos on my Instagram. Fast forward six more years and here we are today, on my blog. Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with this “new” thing I’ve been advertising on my social media accounts and I promise I’ll be getting to that soon but I wanted to really paint a picture of who I am before I show you edgy photos of my face, and if you think about it afterwards, it will make sense why this is a lengthy post.
Just a year and a half ago I started, As Told By Amanda, a fashion blog as a way to show my love for fashion in a way YouTube at the time wasn’t allowing me to do. It also was a lot easier for me to create written, still content rather than videos, and my laptop would also have to agree. I had no clue what I was getting into and if I had known, I may have procrastinated this blog until it was “perfect”. Let’s be honest here, nothing is ever perfect, am I right? But as the year and a half continued I learned so much and met so many amazing people. So much so that I have had the amazing opportunity to speak at different events, and make real life friends that I talk to every day. But I couldn’t deny the fact that something had gone wrong along the way. Something was missing. I begin this hunt for this missing “something” and at first I thought it was sheer talent. I am missing a talent to be a blogger. Then my friends would encourage me, I would get a collaboration with a brand and then I thought, “No, that can’t be it.” My next thought was education. I wasn’t educated enough to be a successful and happy blogger. So I educated myself on fashion bloggers around the world. I watched hundreds of Ted Talks. I registered for webinars with some of Social Media’s elite entrepreneurs, I went to a blogging conference and I felt like my brain was filled to the brim with information. I applied all that I had learned but still my heart was unfulfilled. Then I went to New York. I hate to say this, but if you’re new to my blog, my social media, or just to me, here’s something you should know about me. I have fallen head over heels, deeply in love with New York City. It’s something that I can’t explain, unless you allow me to add God into the conversation, but if not just think of the most magical beautiful thing, and times that by 100. That’s what I feel for NYC. So I went there with a friend and my perspective changed completely. I realized exactly what I was “missing” and I am embarrassed to say that the thing that was missing was…me. I was missing from my work.
There were so many other things that trip did for me but if anything it showed me how for months I was creating content that I knew would get likes, or collaborations or new interested readers, but it didn’t showcase everything I am. It wasn’t an accurate depiction of my life, my passion, my calling. I was only showing you fashion, and an occasional emotional journal entry. Don’t get me wrong some people are solely fashion bloggers and are happy, but that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t happy or proud of anything I would post and I had no courage to change it. In fact, I was afraid if I changed it I would lose followers, or likes, or comments, or DM’s and I had just started getting a hang of it. Pause, if you’re afraid to do something you know you should do because of something so trivial like followers, you probably should get a new hobby or do some serious soul searching. Which I did. I came to find that I had lost that 12 yr. old imaginative, adventurous Amanda who thought she could do anything and nothing was stopping her, and found this insecure, shy Amanda who was afraid to even tell people she liked to dance, or wanted to write poems. There was a side to me that was hidden to my followers, and more importantly to myself. It made sense why I felt unfulfilled. I wasn’t reaching my potential. I wasn’t creating everything that my heart desired. I wasn’t being my 100% self.
I say all that to say that the trip I recently took to NYC where I realized this and so much more about my life, was a trip where God reminded me of the many dreams I have in my heart. That He created me to be this emotional and creative person. That it extends far beyond the iPhone screen and that at the end of the day, I love people and art. That it’s okay if I am awkward at parties. Parties don’t give me a chance to talk or get to know people, and God created me to be someone who thrives off of deep and meaningful human connections. It’s okay if a fashion blog is not fulfilling to me. How can it be when God Himself created me to be this compassionate, emotional and artistic soul? Fashion is merely clothes, there is a person underneath the clothes and that’s what my soul jumps for. It jumps for human connection, for art that touches the heart, for content that boosts my life quality, my character quality. All in all, I decided a mere fashion blog was just not going to do it anymore for me, I needed something more. Something more than outfit photos, or taco flat lays, or coffee close ups. It needs depth. Substance and a vulnerable soul with a passion for people running it. Though I still battle with feeling inadequate for half the things I end up doing this is something I’m doing anyway because if anything God is in it and is there anything He can’t do?
I have learned in order to step out of fear and into faith it doesn’t take talent, or education, connection, or money, it takes an honest, “yes.” A yes that no matter if you have the resources or the idea of the how, you will do what’s in your heart. I can’t wait to share with you all, the things I have been up to the past two months. I have to say it was a struggle keeping it a secret. It was a struggle re-doing this site. It was a struggle coming up with money to shoot these posts, and late nights with no energy to write, but it’s here. And it will continue to be here as long as you let me. I hope you don’t mind the change. I hope you don’t mind seeing less of my face. And I hope you let me in just as much as I let you in. Maybe by doing so, you can get in touch with your true (truer) self. This is still As Told By Amanda, now a Creative Lifestyle Blog. Thank you, and enjoy.