• Elaine Zito

I'm Not Who You Think I am

Have you ever gotten caught up in a life that isn't really yours? For three weeks I didn't work, went on a Sandals all inclusive, luxury vacation, had a new outfit to wear everyday, and was pretty much on cloud nine. I felt great, looked great, and didn't have a care in the world. But, I'm not rich, and while I am very lucky (well not so much luck, but more so I worked my ass off for it lol) to have had that time of living my dream life, it had to end. We had to go back to work, and stop spending so much money. Back to saving for the future and paying off some debt we incurred during that time. It was fun while it lasted, but boy did it leave me wanting more.

Looking back on this time, I would compare it to a drug. I was on such a high, but I hit a pretty hard low afterwards. I'm ashamed and embarrassed of myself, but wanted to open up and share in case someone else can relate.

Being able to post everyday with high quality, exciting content in beautiful locations and stunning outfits made me feel like I was so much more than I am. I thought I could keep up with the bloggers who have been doing this for 5+ years and 100k or more followers. I was feeling confident and unstoppable. This all sounds good, but in reality it was going to my head. I was losing sight of the real reason I started a blog, which is to help others figure out and achieve their dream life. I felt driven by the vanity and idea of making money. This only lead to comparison and stress. And then ultimately my husband telling me we can't go out and do this or buy that until we clear our credit card debt. I felt like my pot had run out; out of clothes, ideas, inspiration, and content. I felt less than and like a poser. I actually had feelings of depression over the span of a week or so. I remember doing a brain dump and writing down emotions like; ungrateful, jealous, spiteful, and petty. I could not believe I was feeling these things. My heart and mind was not in the right place. So after a few days of random crying, and feeling irrationally irritable, I talked through my issues. With the help of my mom she brought me back down to Earth to remind me why I started this, and what actually brings happiness. It's not the fancy clothes and expensive vacations that leave a lasting impression, it's how you treat people and make them feel. I started this to make people feel a little less alone, and like they can achieve that dream that sounds so crazy and farfetched. Yeah, material things are nice, but at the end of the day that's not what really matters. Getting back to my reason "why" made me remember who I am when I don't feel crazy, and who I strive to be everyday. And honestly, I am happier and the most stable when I am working, have a routine, and don't have much time to spend money or scroll Instagram. It makes the little free time I do have, much more valuable, and I spent it doing things that matter. So, basically I don't know how I'll ever retire because I get bored, want to spend money, and spiral pretty fast when my life isn't driven by busyness and purpose lol. But the point is, I'm not a rich girl, affording new outfits for every picture, and living carefree. I can't afford what I think most bloggers have and do. I work full time (most times more), mostly shop with discount codes, and have a monthly budget that only allows me to spend so much. But, my worth isn't decided by my money. It's decided by my heart. And while I'm still getting right with my heart, and remembering to be humble and gracious, I know who I am, and where I come from. I am not a silver spoon baby, and don't have the luxuries to live fruitlessly. I am someone who comes from a hardworking family, who can create success out of nothing, but remains frugal, thankful, and appreciative. And does it really matter if I post a picture with the same outfit twice? No. What does matter are the words I put out there and the impact I can make with the little impression I do have. And I hope its always a helpful, inspiring, and relatable one.

xoxo, Isla Girl