I get super emotional every time another anniversary comes around, but for some reason 6 years hit me hard. I think I’m still blown away that this creative and therapeutic space has become my business. It’s my life. It’s my labor of love.
Every so often, I like to think back to the night that I decided to start a blog because it serves as such an incredible reminder for me of WHY I do this. It was seriously one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. I had absolutely no expectations or real understanding of what it meant to have a blog or be a blogger. I just knew that I needed a new form of self expression.
More than anything, I craved for an outlet. I was still at such a transitional point in my life after losing my father and getting laid off. Little did I know that through this platform, I would find myself again.
To be completely honest, even at 28 when I began this new venture, I had lost my sense of self. I didn’t really know who I was or what I was doing in life. There were so many internal struggles that I still had to overcome. It took me several years to work through it all, but I found so much solace in my writing. The moment that I began to dig deep and peel back the surface layer on this platform is the moment that everything began to fall into place.
I started this journey solely as a style blogger. Fashion, in so many ways, helped me to express myself without having to say much. The more time passed though the more I realized that I had SO much to say and to share. I took a leap of faith and I’m extremely happy and grateful that I did.
This entire journey has been one full circle moment. I knew at a very young age that I wanted writing to play a huge role in my life and career. When I reluctantly ended up in the financial industry after college, I feared that I would never be able to follow my true passion. I can still remember how sick I felt every morning when I woke up for work. I lived in a very negative space, both mentally and emotionally.
When my father passed away and when I lost my job simultaneously, it was such a huge wake up call. I had spent 4 years of my life in a job that made me feel miserable and I didn’t do anything to change it. Being laid off was a major blessing in my life. It pushed me out of a door that I needed to close and walk away from. It gave me something so valuable. It gave me time and it gave me perspective.
There was such a strong message on my heart to not get another 9-5. I didn’t understand exactly what this meant, but I knew I was destined for so much more. My mom and sister didn’t agree with me at the time. They were so adamant about me finding a regular full-time job. Besides taking on several freelance and part-time gigs, I never interviewed for another 9-5 job ever again.
I swear in so many ways my father led me here to this moment, sending little messages. When opportunities started to arise from my blog, I began to realize that this could potentially become so much more. It evolved so organically that I knew without hesitation this is what I was meant to do.
It’s still completely mind-blowing to me that I created something from nothing. The first month of blogging my photos were literally all mirror selfies until my amazing and talented mother stepped in as my photographer. We’ve been such a great team ever since then and I owe so much to her for helping me grow in this industry and for enhancing the visual aspect of this blog. It hasn’t always been easy, but regardless of the struggles she has stood by my side. Thank you mom, for everything! I love you.
For me personally, this is not just about working with brands, but more so about the way my writing has developed. It’s enabled me to form such a strong connection to you, my reader. That means more to me than anything. I know that this is really just the beginning of my career. I believe that this space I’ve created is the foundation for what is still to come. And maybe, that’s my first published book? I hope so.
These last 6 years symbolize so many different things. They have been some of the most challenging, yet rewarding years. I’ve learned so much about myself along the way. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and became my own boss. I get to do what I love and finally, have been able to follow my true passion.
The landscape of this industry has changed drastically since the beginning of my A Love Affair With Fashion days in 2011. I’m eternally grateful that in the midst of these changes, I’ve been able to continue evolving Naty Michele, both professionally and personally.
There is really no certainty with what I’m doing and I am well aware that at any moment, this could all be taken away from me. I have no idea what the future has in store or what the next level is going to be, but for now I’m enjoying the ride and this whole creative process. I hope you’re enjoying it too!
And now to my amazing readers.
I would not be where I am today without all of you. You have helped make all of this possible. Whether you have been with me since day one or found me somewhere along the way, I thank you for sticking with me. You have been a tremendous support system throughout the years, sending along encouraging words when I’ve needed them the most. Your kindness and love has never once gone unnoticed and has always kept me both motivated and inspired. I’m so lucky to have such an incredible online family.