A Summer Well Spent: What I Learned About Myself This Summer

Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August
— - Jenny Han, The Summer I turned Pretty
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At the beginning of the season, I proclaimed that it would be LIT - And it was! As I was putting this post together, I surprised myself. I am a living example of how building confidence inside is key to having it on the outside. If you've been reading for a while now, you know I've been slowly building a Growth Mindset Style Guide. Let's review #summer16. 

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I hit 6 months of blogging in June! I kind of forgot to tell anyone, but I told myself I wanted to step my game up in the following ways: (1) Post more outfits (2) Get comfortable shooting myself (3) Grow my community. 

Like the dress? Read about it and find out some online shopping hacks here

Like the dress? Read about it and find out some online shopping hacks here

I Posted More Outfits

I started as a style blogger, but life and sensibilities had me thinking that I needed to do more than just wear clothes. For a while, I avoided posting myself or composing any outfit posts because I wanted my blog to be more meaningful. The truth is, I like clothes. I like looking cute. I can be thoughtful about the world around me and still go shopping without guilting myself for one or another. I finally found the intersection of both in the body-positive community! Once there, I re-committed myself to posting more outfits because you guys seem to love it and so do I! I learned that some people express themselves through their style. and whether the medium is paint, words, or crop tops, that art deserves a place to be shared. 

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Read more about my color story and style swap here

Read more about my color story and style swap here

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This awesome Kimono appeared in a blogger collab and you can read  about it here

This awesome Kimono appeared in a blogger collab and you can read  about it here

I Got Comfortable With Seeing Myself

Guys. "Modeling" is hard, especially when you aren't in control of the camera. That's why your selfies are so much more gracious than your tagged photos. The truth is, the only way to get comfortable with having your picture taken is to get comfortable with yourself. The moment the phone is out of your hands, your vulnerability starts screaming at you. That's because your selfies are hiding what YOU consider flawed, and those pictures your Instagram Husband is taking might not. The first set of photos I ever had taken of me were atrocious, and it's not because they had to be. It was because I wasn't comfortable showing the world what I looked like. I couldn't blog about body-positivity and continue to be afraid of the camera. So I practiced by taking self-portraits. This helped me get comfortable with taking "non-selfie" mode pictures. I also begged my boyfriend to take pictures of me all the time. He's such a good sport! People wonder why some of us spend so much time obsessed with what we look like. I like to think all this self-obsessed picture taking is the first step to NOT worrying what we look like. 

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Getting comfortable in front of the camera also meant getting comfortable with being a little sexy. Read about how I defined my own kind of sexy, here

Getting comfortable in front of the camera also meant getting comfortable with being a little sexy. Read about how I defined my own kind of sexy, here

I realized I was getting better and feeling good in front of the Camera on this awesome trip to California! You can read about it here

I realized I was getting better and feeling good in front of the Camera on this awesome trip to California! You can read about it here

This picture kicked off Summer '16 for me! I wrote 5 Tips for looking and feeling great all summer long - check it out here

This picture kicked off Summer '16 for me! I wrote 5 Tips for looking and feeling great all summer long - check it out here

Community growth is Self growth. 

When I set my summer goals, building a solid community was really important to me. I wanted to focus on expanding my following so I could talk to (and with) more people like me. I realized when I started sharing more about myself and my journey, people gravitated toward that. All we want from other people is transparency. That's why we are drawn to visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram - we trust what we see (for the most part). When I started doing that, I got to meet so many more of you! I also started getting recognized by other platforms with pretty large followings! When that happened, I got to discover and find even more people to share ideas with. I even got to collaborate with some pretty neat people. In turn, I learned to be bold in my sharing of ideas, to take risks, and to allow myself to enjoy this blogging thing. 

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In the end, Summer was everything I needed it to be. For a girl that used to dread June through August, I sure am sad to see Summer leave. I can honestly say this Summer was really important to my self-growth. Don't worry though, I am going to rock the last few months of the year (especially Halloween!!!). I hope you sick around. How was Summer 2016 for you? Did you make it one to remember? Did you set goals and meet them? Are you ready to see it go? Let me know.