I’ve been getting concerned comments and emails lately asking why I haven’t updated in a few weeks. I’d talked about taking a break here and there on social media but realized I hadn’t really written anything here. I think I kind of purposefully avoided making a post here- it makes it feel more final.
I remember when I first began this blog two years ago- I had the worst photos, most boring entries and for awhile, pretty much zero views. I was so happy when Sarah of Tunay Na Mahal started commenting back on my posts- I wasn’t just talking to myself anymore! Over time, I gained a lot of really amazing readers and even spawned a new catchphrase in the community (I am still astonished that you guys didn’t think my Fairy Dust That Shit! post was totally lame and unfunny). You all have been there to share in the ups and downs with me and I really appreciate that.
But… with that additional growth, blogging started to take up way more time than a hobby should. Keeping up to date on social media and facebook groups alone was a total time suck. After awhile, polish stopped being fun altogether with swatching so often (and 90% of the time I didn’t even have the time to wear it). Weekends became scheduled around getting swatches done instead of spending time with Mugen and my boyfriend. Between working an actual full time job and spending just as much time on blogging, I started to get burnt out.
For a few months, I tried avoiding it by turning down the majority of new requests from brands. But eventually I narrowed it down to just those brands I really, really loved and even still was feeling very overwhelmed. It didn’t feel fair to them and it didn’t feel fair to me, either. One monday I came home from a long, stressful day of work (and after having finished swatching 40 polishes over the weekend) and was greeted with 30 polishes in the mail that had to be swatched. All beautiful, gorgeous colors that I should have been excited to see, but instead I broke down crying know that each one was at least an hour’s worth of work (between swatching, photographing, editing, writing the post, posting on social media, etc).
At the same time, I was receiving backlash from certain brands in the community because I dared to bring attention to the Mentality situation (even being accused of emailing my post to media outlets despite my posting email screenshots proving that they had reached out to me). Stating that I’d basically brought downfall to the entire indie community by making my post.
Did I know that was complete and total bullshit? Absolutely. But just like there are many wonderful and amazing people in this community that I’m happy to consider friends, there are also just as many absolutely jealous, toxic and unhappy makers, bloggers and just plain fans as well. And it just wasn’t a community that I felt proud of being a part of in such a big way anymore. It just wasn’t fun anymore. At all.
I decided to take an extended break to see if I would feel better and get back to it. I finished up everything I’d already agreed to swatch and then let my posts run out. After a few weeks, I got rid of about 80% of my polish collection, half expecting to regret it. But even though my collection is now narrowed down to my very top favorites, I haven’t polished my nails at all in three weeks. I felt like doing so for just a bit today at work, but by the time I got home the urge had faded.
I wish I was writing this post to say that the break has rejuvenated me and I’m ready to be back to sharing the latest collections with you, business as usual. But the truth is…I’m not and I don’t think I will be.
At least not the type of posts you’re used to seeing from me. I absolutely feel at this moment that I will never go back to swatching, at least at the level that I was doing. I have one upcoming that forced me to kind of think outside the box and that was actually fun. I also always enjoyed doing the top ten polish lists, the indie interviews and the more editorial type posts. I also went from one expensive hobby right into another and over the past two months have picked up photography! You can check out my website, facebook and flickr.
Photography has always been something I’ve been interested in but never really wanted to spend the money on an actual DSLR. Blogging gave me the excuse to pick up a Canon T3i, and after a couple of months I really was enjoying it so I sold that off to a fellow beauty blogger and flushed my money down the toilet to pick up a Canon 6D (man I love this camera but it was so pricy). I’m not very good yet but I’m having fun and enjoying myself.
So, what does this mean for The Mercurial Magpie? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I specifically chose a name without polish in the title so that if I wanted to change things up, I could. Maybe I’ll share some of my photos or do lifestyle posts here or there. I still love to write and I still have a lot of opinions.
Whatever becomes of this space, I thank you all for being here up until now.