I have missed this space I created to share and to communicate, my visual online journal of sorts, but I didn't know how to start what I was struggling to keep up. So I have decided to just start...
The photography on this blog was greatly helped by my boyfriend and we broke up last summer. So I was stumped and realised that my blog would need to change somewhat without his input. Also, I became increasingly aware of how public a blog is and felt watchful eyes as people observed how or if I would continue blogging in the wake of this.
I have always been conscious of keeping a level of privacy on here and do not share my name too freely. This is not because of any sense of shame, and let's face it, my face is already plastered all over here, but because I wanted to keep this space separate from other aspects of my work and life.
Also, there was probably a level of shyness in the beginning and to blog requires a lot more confidence than 'non-bloggers' would recognise. I have read many posts like this from others before and know I am not alone in this!
All of that may beg the question, which I have asked myself continuously, 'why do I blog?'
Simply because I want to and I enjoy it. I adore how it challenged and improved my photography. It gave me confidence and I watched my own sense of style develop and grow. I appreciate every connection and friendship and comment from around the world and this collective sharing of style and ideas. It can feel like a supportive network and something far more inspiring than the narrower field of the fashion magazine for me. It also gave me a new appreciation for detail in life as I started to view things in a different way.
I had a worry though that it would look like an exercise in vanity and as my confidence has dipped this year, that worry took over and I couldn't face blogging. Sadly, it was blogging that had given me confidence which is why I have decided to start again with that realisation.
I realised I do not need to justify to anyone why I blog, only I need to know the reason. We live in a world of judgement that is impossible to avoid so you need to keep on doing what brings you happiness and inspires you regardless.
However, looking at too many photos of me was killing my happiness. Sometimes, I think we all need a break from that in this image fuelled world of the selfie we find ourselves in. I was beginning to feel like a failure with each blemish on my face. I can't put an Instagram filter on my mirror to deal with my first thing in the morning face and I can't Photoshop away my flaws when I take my makeup off at night. I don't blog because I think I am beautiful. I was starting to put so much pressure on myself to have a face full of makeup and a flawless, billboard style, airbrushed image to post here. I am not a model. I don't have cheekbones. My skin has caused me endless amounts of depression and anxiety for a decade and it may never improve. I wanted to tell this to the people who have read my posts, to the people who have left me such lovely comments and sent such kind emails because what gives me confidence and happiness, when I feel so sad looking at my skin each day and comparing myself to every girl walking down the street, is women supporting women and learning to accept what I have. It's the people who accept my flaws and the women who choose to not judge you for them despite what the media tells us to accept as beautiful, that fill me with joy. I wish to do that too for anyone that feels ugly or physically imperfect because I know how bad and insecure it can feel but also because I feel passionately that our lives should not be consumed by it. We have to fight against that and I feel like this dear blogging community I was a part of has largely been about that and introduced me to that same spirit. I still dearly wish my skin would improve but I have to accept it may not and not feel like a lesser person because of it.
I do not know what I will blog about next. I am currently in Tokyo, Japan and feel inspired to share the different styles and fashions from here as well as how I deal with humidity, low bank balance and one suitcase for 6 weeks to create my own outfits! I will be posting on Instagram too if anyone would like to follow: _susiesnaps
If you are still with me after that essay, thank you! I hope it made some sense to somebody.
Thank you to everyone who kept reading this blog in my absence and for your emails :) x
An April sunset over Tokyo