The day I took these pictures, I had an inkling of new beginnings. The feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that sits like discomfort and feels like fear. I felt it for a moment and then pushed it deep down, not wanting to address what change may be coming. I had a fixed mindset with a firm goal and didn’t want to stop to examine the setting.
Tonight, months later, I prepare to publish this piece sitting at my kitchen counter. Clicking away on my laptop with the lights low and the counter refreshingly cool beneath my forearms, I feel pure clarity and excitement. I know what the change is, it is here, it is a choice, and it is making me the happiest version of myself. It started with a complete failure.
This failure began five years ago with high hopes and big dreams. March of 2014 this style blog was born. Wished for goals spelled out success in every category, success in the form of thousands of inspired readers and a steady paycheck. That dream was tweaked a hundred times but success was the consistent goal. The years flew by with celebrated milestones like being featured on Anthropologie’s website and becoming a RewardStyle influencer in 2016. However, the success wasn’t unfolding. Companies wouldn’t email back and sales didn’t rise.
Sitting in this kitchen with the house quiet and the air still, I make a mental tally of the experiences. The truth is, I didn’t hit the goals I set out with in 2014. With a grading rubric, this project is a failure, stamped with bright red, shaming ink on the front cover. However, I sit here beaming with delight. The experiences are stamped failure but I am so proud of the result. My pride comes from recognizing the person, and the writer, these experiences have shaped me to be.
I have transformed through all of these strung together accomplishments and failures. My transformation has been deeply documented which can breed shame or a smile. I am choosing to smile at this art that catalogs my transformation into a better version of myself.
Beginning this blog, I didn’t know how it would go. I didn’t know what the business would take or that I didn’t have the skill set it would require. I learned more than I knowingly signed up for. Through this form of art, I leaned into my passion and matched it with labor. I learned about website design, marketing, sales and writing. After years of practice, I realized that writing is the passion I came here to find. A passion that I never would have found if it weren’t for this glorious ‘FAILURE’.
With a full scan of this project, I am proud of that 21 year old Hillary that decided to take the leap and was willing to fall on her face in the most public way. That brave and ill-prepared girl gave me the brightest treasure and renewed perspective.
The fixed mindset I started with supported inflexible expectations making most everything a win or a loss. Now, with a rebirth in perspective I am settled in a growth mindset. I can see that I was successful in becoming a truer version of myself and that is a win all around.
So, cheers to the failures in life! Cheers to the times when we set out and end up embarrassed rather than success stories. Cheers to the over encouraged leap that lets us fall on our faces. These are the moments of raw growth. These are the moments that polish us into people who are worth talking to. Be vulnerable. Be Brave. You will look back with gratitude.
To my dear friend who is reading this article, thank you for all of your support. Clicking on this page and reading my transparent words means the world to me. I hope you feel that your failures transition into your greatest accomplishments with the right lens.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN FUTURE:
This art project will continue to evolve with me. I will be publishing here as a lifestyle diary. You may expect truthful words on life and family with inconsistent publishing dates. I look forward to living more life and documenting less of it.
Thank you, I love you for being you and for being here!
Photography by Shelley Foster, my forever favorite