Tuesday, March 01, 2016

When you are not feeling it...

Photo by Craig Garner
A while ago I saw a tweet from a person saying something along the lines of "I wish bloggers would stop apologizing for not posting". While I certainly do not feel like owing anyone a justification for my absense I cannot go back to simply posting as usual. There are a gazillion (nail polish) blogs out there and I believe that you have to add your own personality and honesty to it to stand out from the crowd. This is not going to be a happy post and might even be a little TMI for some...but here we go...

I have not been feeling like myself in the last months. It is not that I fell out of love with blogging in general or nail polish in particular (in fact I have bought quite some new polishes during the past couple of months, but that is a different story). For the biggest part it was life stuff not even related to blogging or nails at all. 

It all started when my contract in the lab I had been working at for the last eight years came to an end. I knew this day would come because my project at university was paid for by third party funding and there only is a maximum number of years that they pay for one project. Almost two years before my project would expire I started applying for jobs outside university. However, as a biologist with no work experience in the industry it is really difficult to find a job in the private sector - which I had to learn the hard way. Research and working in the lab was my passion, I loved what I was doing as a scientist at university, even if it was exhausting and frustrating at times. So I knew I wanted to work in Reasearch & Development for a life science company and applied for huge, well known enterprises as well as smaller companies and even tiny start-ups - only to receive one rejection after the other. I wasn't even invited for interviews (mostly because competition is tough and there are too many biologists competing for the same jobs and second because no one wants to hire a newbie with no work experience in the industry). 

I guess that was when the self-doubt first kicked in. "I am not good enough for this job", "Maybe I shouldn't have stayed at uni that long for a PhD", "If only I had done an intern during my Masters", "I never should have studied biology in the first place". 
Those were only a few of the thoughts that frequently went through my head. All of my friends - some of them being younger than me - have good jobs, live in their own houses and are starting a family. I was 30, trying to find my first "real job" (don't get me wrong, I was paid as a PhD student and as a postdoc and I have been living off of myself since the age of 19) and had no idea where life would take me. I felt lost. It wasn't every day and I wasn't totally unhappy - I have had amazing days, too, but it was just this overall feeling of not knowing what to do with my life.

I ended up finding a job in sales and now I am working as a sales rep - so not exactly what I was hoping for but it is a job that pays the bills and I am lucky enough to have a generous boss and nice colleagues. In this job I have to deal with customers - some nice, some not so nice to say it politely. And to be fair I have underestimated the stress difficult customers can cause - not so much because I cannot deal with criticism and such, but more because of always having to be polite and having a smile plastered on my face. In this job I feel like I cannot be "me" if that makes sense. I have to impersonate someone who I am not and it is hard for me to fake a smile when on the inside I am feeling unwell. 

Honestly I do not want to keep playing into this "everything is just fine" mentality, because - guess what - it is ok to not feel like oneself and be moody. It should be ok to answer "How are you doing" with "I don't feel good today". That's life, it happens to everyone and no one can tell me they are only having amazing days. Of course at work I cannot walk up to a customer telling him/her that I am having a shitty day, because he/she has nothing to do with it and it is not their fault. One thing that I need to learn to cope with - and that will hopefully come with time - is to realize that, if customers are having a bad day and take it out on me, it is not my fault either and just brush it off.
Fortunately I have great friends who stick with me and I feel like I am slowly but steadily getting out of the funk I have been in lately. So thank you ladies and gents, you know who you are ;)

And just like faking that smile at work, blogging is really hard for me to do when I am not feeling like myself. I ended up preferring binge watching TV shows or playing games on my phone over painting my nails, taking pictures and writing happy posts. To be honest I rarely painted my nails because I felt so uninspired and uncreative. Instead of half-heartedly putting together a post just for the sake of publishing I preferred to take a little break from blogging and social media, gather my thoughts and start fresh. And by fresh I mean I have some ideas for this blog that hopefully you guys will enjoy. Instead of posting plain swatches I want to expand my content to:

  • nail art pictorials (this is not YouTube so I won't be doing any videos)
  • more reviews of hand/nail care products
  • Top 5 *insert brand name* polishes 
  • best polishes for *occasion xyz* 
  • updated "How Tos": filing nails, painting nails perfectly etc.
  • battle of the stampers 
  • maybe even things not related to nail polish but which I enjoy, too - like make up, skin care or home stuff?!

Those are only a few of the ideas floating around in my brain. If there is anything you want to add to the list just leave a comment below!

And now we are at the end of this lengthy post and I am nervous of hitting that orange publish button. Is this really TMI about me, even though this IS me? Or does it sound like a lame excuse? Guess I won't findout unless I finally hit this button.

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