Friday, April 1, 2016

The 5 Year Anniversary of (the end of) StopShop

I hate April 1st, SO much you guys. Because you can't trust anything on the internet. Like, I saw a post today about wearing a button up shirt backwards. And I was like, this sort of seems like an April Fools' Day prank but I also am very certain I saw a blogger wearing that a few weeks ago? (It was not a prank. People want us to turn our shirts around and wear the buttons in the back. What a time to be alive.) Additionally, some people I follow on social media posted very questionable photographs and I thought "Ah ha! I'm being punked!" But then I really thought about it, and then had to face the hard reality that they just post questionable photographs and perhaps I should stop following them.  And so, you can't trust a thing on the internet on April 1st. NOT ONE THING.

That's why 6 years ago, when I set out to "stop shopping" for an entire year, I started on April 1st. Because if I failed, I would tell everyone it was just a very elaborate and lengthy April Fools' joke and they were all suckers.

However, I didn't fail. And that was so surprising. Let me tell you, that was one HECK of a year. A terrible, no good, very bad year. Looking back, the things that made it terrible have an air of humor to them, and occasionally turn into fish stories told over cocktails with friends. (I'd share them here, but I've got to save something for that book of comedic essays I plan on getting rich off of someday.) But even if that seems like ancient history by now, it still was a crappy, crappy time in my life.

I tried to blog through the entire thing -- the not-shopping part -- but I wasn't very diligent. I had only about 75 posts for the entire year, and you can read every last one here, on an embarrassingly turquoise blog with a lot of cell phone photos. If I regret anything about StopShop, it's that I didn't post more. I didn't share what I was wearing (and re-wearing) in my closet. I didn't share more DIYs. I didn't express how I was working through the challenge of not buying new clothes or accessories for an ENTIRE YEAR. In hindsight, it's because everything else in my life was a challenge, and in a way... the blog was like a tether that got me to the other side. By having something else that was allegedly "hard to do," I was able to mask the things going on in my personal life that were actually hard to do.

It's been 5 years since that project wrapped, and I can tell you one thing -- I've learned way more in the last five years than I learned in that one. I'm not trying to discredit my accomplishment in any way, it just took me awhile to reflect on what it actually meant to me.

What I learned by tackling such an aggressive goal was that willpower -- and fear of embarrassment -- is usually all it takes for me. I felt so out of control in all other areas of my life, that it was such a relief to be able to control whether or not I bought a stupid pair of pajamas at Target or a pair of "going out" shoes. On top of that, I had told everyone in my (fairly small) town to share my blog on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. (Instagram wasn't really a social thing yet.) I refused to fail. I refused to go to Dirty Little Roddy's (hey-oh) and see some girl who had said mean things about me and know that she knew I didn't actually make it an entire year. The girl was an idea -- there was not an actual girl I was afraid of. Well, there probably was but you know, it's been over 5 years, who can remember this stuff?

Essentially, the public accountability made it a very risky thing to take on. But my willpower is what made it a success. And somehow, just at the end of that year, things really started to get better. You can probably correlate that to the fact I had some nice new outfits, but really it was just a matter of time. Everything is fixed by the simple passing of time, I think.

Anyway, some of you have been reading my blog SINCE those days. You stuck with me when I posted photos of Uggs and cardigans from the inside of my cubicle, and then again when I posted CRAZY outfits for the sake of "fashion blogging," and still further when I stopped writing all together. For that, I say thank you. And I hope this post opens the door to the next wave, whatever it might be. 

6 comments:

  1. I love the last line of hoping this post opens the door to the next wave. I love following along with your blog. My blog still remains one full of cell phone pictures, :)

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    1. I mean, technically mine does too. ;) Thank you for always following along -- I appreciate it!!

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  2. I cannot BELIEVE it's been five years. That blows my mind. Seeing your success in every other avenue of life after that adventure has been so exciting to watch. You're such a go-getter and a real inspiration, Kelli! Keep it up, girl!

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    1. I know -- the years just fly by. Thanks for always supporting me, Annelise! :)

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  3. My blogging days are long over, but I loved following you on that journey and of course over here, too!

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  4. My blogging days are long over, but I loved following you on that journey and of course over here, too!

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Thank you for reading! xoKelli