Turning Thirty & Working on a New Identity…
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
— Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
One of the very first posts I wrote, here, on this blog, was a short rant about my dislike of face wipes. I had no intended audience, no real idea that anyone at all in fact, would pause to read my words. I just wrote it anyway. Without a care in the world. Oh, how things have changed. When I sat down to try and write a post the other day, as I have been doing for well over of a few weeks now. I did not know what to write about. I had nothing to say. Nothing of importance. No ideas or words came to mind. Just blank. Nada.
I have built a small audience now, an audience that comes with expectation. With expectation comes responsibility. What I write therefore appears to matter, to at least a small few, and with that is pressure. Pressure to say the right things, to write words that respond well – that trigger likes, comments and shares.
As you can imagine, these pressurised feelings spiralled. I felt like I’d somehow lost my blogging identity, which in turn span into the mindset of losing my identity as Zoe Newlove. I asked myself the question. Who even am I? Do I even matter?
Honestly, as soon as I started to dig a little deeper upon interrogating myself, the tears just did not stop coming.
Have you ever felt like this? Like, all of a sudden, you realise you have zero purpose?
I’ve always preferred the calm to chaos – yet up until now I have led a life filled with drama.
I like staying in and reading books, comic books especially – yet for the last three years, my home has been party island central, Ibiza.
I’ve been a make-up artist for ten years – yet I no longer dream of a full time career in makeup, and my beauty blogging days seem so distant now.
I run my own business, social media coaching – and here I am, having not posted on my own social media in almost a month.
For a really long time now, I have been Zoe Newlove, Ibiza party girl and beauty blogger, social media entrepreneur. Living a dream that so many of you loved following. Behind closed doors, a lot of that life was filled with upset, drama, heartbreak and no real sense of fulfilment.
Now, back in Manchester. Life is calmer, steadier. I am happier. Both feet are firmly on the ground and for once, my head isn’t floating away (not every day anyway) above the clouds. I feel I know myself better and I know what I enjoy and what I do not welcome into my life. So, how is it, that I feel more lost than ever?
I have become to realise that I thrived in chaos but that is not a life I want for myself.
I crave stability. And purpose. To have a meaningful life that gives back to this world.
I have no idea how, but all of a sudden, with this new sense of calm, I feel like I have had the carpet ripped from beneath my feet and I am falling into a scary new dimension.
On turning thirty, I fell into the trap of thinking that you are meant to have your shit together. Almost 6 months on from turning 29 plus 1, my shit feels rather questionable.
I still have goals and dreams, some old, some new. I’m just feeling like I have hit this giant wall and I am not sure how to climb over it or navigate around it.
Forgive my ramblings, but this was how my blog first started, just words falling from my mind out onto this space here, the Internet. Somehow, from writing this down, I hoped to gain clarity. I have slightly, I suppose. I think what I am feeling here is fear. Fear of falling into the trap of a “normal” life. Fear of starting again, building a new engaged audience, one that matches the person I am today. Frightened of stepping away from what I have always known, what has always worked for me, and trying something that falls more in line with my grown up self’s beliefs. It’s nerve wracking and unsettling, and being a person so very wary of how time is precious, I bare upon myself guilt for these worries.
I’m no longer a beauty blogger or Ibiza dweller. I’m just Zoe Newlove, from Warrington. Who likes books, crystals and dinosaurs. My entire life I wanted to be the cool girl. The IT girl. And now, all I want to be, is just me. The latest foundation or blogger scandal no longer phases me, I’d rather research ways on how my life effects the sustainability of the planet. Getting onto a VIP table, wearing layers of makeup that I actually cannot wait to wash off, seems so trivial when I could be at home with my little niece. My life feels like it is slowing down, and even though I am overjoyed with knowing what truly makes me happy, I all of a sudden feel vulnerable.
The mask is off. This is the real me. Perhaps I am a little boring without all the colours and adventures splashing my Instagram grid. Showing my real self, feels vulnerable. REALLY VULNERABLE. But, it’s REAL. So why is it making me feel deflated…
I’m a complex creature so it would seem.
One word gives me hope:
That’s how I want my new identity to feel.
Too many of us just plod along through the mundane, believing this is just how life is meant to be, never really discovering who we truly are, or doing what we have always been told we should be doing. I have never been that person, right through to my core. I have always believed that I can create whatever life I want for myself. Without anything to hide behind, or any stereotypical societal staircase to hold onto, and finally feeling more at home than ever before, I feel unsteady in the knowing that this next part of my life, it is all on me. No drama to use as an excuse. No heartbreak too wallow in or country to escape too. I’m here for it, including this part right now, this in between.
I still love beauty and makeup and social media and all of the things that have thus far made me who I am today but now I just need to add into the mix the other things that make me, ME. Writing, giving back to others, making the world a kinder, happier place to be. The one underlining factor of all my work, is leaving the people around me with a smile on their face. Giving back to others and our planet are the ingredients that have been missing. That sense of purpose? I want to lead an inspirational life that has meaning and depth and magic. Slowly but surely I am figuring out my new path and I welcome you along with me.
What to expect from this next version of Zoe Newlove?
You will still get Beauty Bites, Makeup Tutorials (Halloween is coming ever closer, can’t miss that), Social Media & Photography Tips…
but you will also get…
My thoughts on how to be kinder to yourself and to others, gratitude and mental health issues, plant based living and having a more sustainable eco friendly lifestyle.
Eurgh, it feels so SO good to have clarity and what direction I want to move forward with. I’ve been so ready for this next version of myself, I just didn’t see that, until now.