I Am vs. Am I?

I was listening to Athena Calderone’s podcast and one thing she asks her guests is “when was a moment that really stands out in your life when you stepped into ‘I am’ instead of ‘am I’?

A major a-ha moment for me that gave me so much clarity on a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately! The way she perfectly phrased that question inspired me to write down some thoughts. I’ve mentioned this a time or two how this past year was really pivotal for me and to sum it up more simply than I could have myself… it’s because I felt the shift from Am I? to I Am.

This blog has been a massive part of my life since I launched in 2012. Going back even further to high school days, blogging has been a catalyst for the person I am and my career path. After deciding to turn Brunch on Chestnut into a business, focusing on it full-time, there were some major ups and downs. In 2018, I hit a wall and it was ugly. I was in the pit of “Am I?”. I questioned myself, my work, my value in the space. I let the stress of running my own business and the pressure of social media bring me down. I felt like I was swimming upstream, not able to keep up with what I thought success was at that point in time. I felt so small in an endlessly growing sea and questioned the point of continuing to write my blog. I was basically standing in my own way by allowing self-doubt to take control.

Fast forward to the part where the story gets a lot lighter, haha. I realized that I’d never be willing to sacrifice something that has made me so happy for so long, just because things got difficult. I was being way too hard on myself. I tapped back into why I started blogging in the first place, and how this should be fun. I let go of expectations, of any formula that I wired my brain to think was “the right way to do things”, and I began to create from within, with no pressure added, as I used to.

My ‘I Am’ moment arrived the moment I allowed it to! The moment I celebrated the fact that blogging has brought me joy throughout my life and how it has been the one consistent thing in my life that I’ve stuck with. I’m not just inspired and motivated by the curiosities I share, I am obsessed with them, and I’ve learned there’s really nothing that can stand in the way of that. My personal growth, style, interior design eye, and brand all root from the beginning, an obsession born early on in my life which has propelled me to where I am based on the fact that I am constantly wanting to learn, evolve, and experiment in all of my interests.

My ‘I Am’ shift led me to creative freedom. It led me to feel more dialed into the body of work I put out into the universe, the brand I’ve created, and my value in the space. It made me feel more open, too, which has helped me to cultivate the most amazing community of readers. Instead of focusing on what “I was lacking’, I began to celebrate what I do have and in return, it’s made me feel so abundantly full which has been so rewarding. It’s like that saying “focus on the good and the good gets better”. This perspective changed everything for me.

I wanted to share my experience because if you’re questioning { ‘Am I’? }, my advice is to keep pushing forward and fighting for what you love and believe in. Even though challenging times or self-doubt, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel if you love what you’re doing and if you’ll stop at nothing to get there. Seek out your truest self and do things your own way. Don’t be afraid to break the ‘rules’ or re-wire your expectations for yourself or your role. Your unique voice will shine through if you stay curious with the things you love.

We’re all just trying to figure it out as we go… and once you do step into that strong sense of { I Am }, it’s all worth it. xx

Podcast details here!


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