Coming Clean | Big Personal Update + Answering Your Questions

kate spade Embellished CoatInstead of doing the standard new year’s resolutions or lessons learned post I felt like it would be more therapeutic for me to just come clean. The truth is for the past few months I’ve been holding a lot of things close to my heart almost to the point where I feel like I’ve become impersonal.

I started Katie’s Bliss what feels like a lifetime ago– over 6 years! I’ve chronicled everything from graduating college, making the move to New York, getting my first job and my advice for breaking into the public relations industry. I feel like I’ve “grown up” on Katie’s Bliss. I mean, I was only 20 when I started blogging. Now at 26 years old it feels like ages ago when I filmed goofy YouTube makeup tutorials in my college apartment and talked about my dream of moving to a big city. I’m very proud to have accomplished many of the goals I set for myself when I was in college. I’m also proud to have accomplished many things I never imagined or set out to achieve.

2016 was very good to me, but it started off incredibly rocky. Ugh, rocky may even be an understatement. During the first three months of the year I realized I was miserable at my job and began resenting my career, I had a close friendship end very hurtfully, we had our apartment vandalized and many of our belongings destroyed by a cleaning service (you can’t even make up what happened 😥 ) and I lost a significant amount of weight due to stress and anxiety. I could hardly eat and only being able to stay asleep for 3-4 hours every night became my new normal. On the outside I tried my best to act like everything was okay, but on the inside I felt like a zombie and just getting through the day without bursting into tears the second I got home was an accomplishment.

I truly believed 2016 was going to rank as one of the toughest years of my life. There was soooo many times I wanted to just let it all spill out, but my anxiety of being judged held me back from confessing what was happening on my blog or social media. I used to be much more of an open book and it’s hard to pinpoint just when I became I so closed off.

If there’s one resolution I have for 2017 it’s getting back to my roots. I want to keep it real and share what’s really going on in my life. That means the good, and the bad. I want to start giving my advice again and talking about lessons I’ve learned personally and professionally. There are a few topics I want to discuss that deserve their own posts, however to start I think it makes sense to answer some of my most frequently asked personal questions. Deep breath…here we go!

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Are you and Nick EVER going to get engaged?

If only you knew how often we get asked this question. It’s gonna happen people, I swear! For those who are new to my blog, Nick and I have been together a while. We celebrated 7 years in October! We actually lived on the same hall our freshman year of college and began dating during our sophomore. I have to say that after moving to New York and living together for almost four years, we pretty much already feel like we’re married. We’re each other’s best friend and biggest cheerleader. He’s the love of my life and I couldn’t imagine living without him.

We talk very openly about getting engaged and both agree we will probably wait another two years before taking that next step. Why? Well it’s not glamorous, but finances are a reason. The reality is whatever way we decide to get married, we’re going to have to pay for it ourselves and right now that’s not an expense we want to be burdened with. Nick is still working on paying off some massive student debt and I feel no need to add a diamond ring to a list of expenses he is working so hard to reduce. We also both would like more time to focus on progressing in our careers and building our savings. It’s important to us that when we do take that big step we’re in a position where we can really enjoy the experience and not feel like it’s forced.

Are you still working full-time in PR?

Drumroll please… No, I am no longer working full-time in PR. Wow, I feel so relieved finally saying it.

Going into 2016 I had absolutely no plans to quit my job. It wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind. For four years I had managed to do both: blog and work full-time as a publicist. But around March it became harder and harder to ignore that I wasn’t getting any joy out of my job and I was incredibly unhappy. As in coming home after a 12+ hour day of work and immediatly dissolving into tears unhappy. The future I had envisioned for myself as a publicist didn’t feel like a goal to me anymore and regularly I found myself wondering why I was pursuing my current career path. Slowly but surely everyday turned into a bitter struggle where I was going to bed with a pit of anxiety in my stomach just thinking about having to wake up in the morning to do it all again.

So yes, since the end of April I’ve been working for myself and I can honestly say I have never been happier. The decision to quit my job completely reversed the negative spiral I had found myself in and resulted in me having one of the best and most rewarding years of my life. I think this topic really deserves it’s own post because I know so many of you found me and started following because of my posts on career advice and the public relations industry. I have so much I want to get off my chest and really want to be able to give you a thorough explanation. It may take me some time to write, but I promise it will come.

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Any advice for those looking to break into the PR industry?

I get this question often and I strongly recommend checking out this advice video where I talk about breaking into the industry, this post for my tips on landing your dream internship, along with this post where I detail how to stand out when applying for an entry-level job.

How do you make money blogging?

I recently read this article on Independent Fashion Bloggers that I think explains it well. It’s a complicated question to answer because bloggers earn revenue from multiple avenues. Some of the primary ways bloggers make money include advertising, flat fees for sponsored posts and affiliate commission (aka when you buy something after clicking a link on my site I earn a small percentage of your purchase.) I don’t get a bi-weekly paycheck and every month is different. It’s scary not knowing exactly how much I’ll make, but it’s also very motivating to know that there aren’t any limits.

New York City

Do you plan on ever regularly making YouTube videos again?

I have a love/hate relationship with YouTube. For those that haven’t been following me from the beginning, I actually got my start on YouTube! Yes, my old videos are completely cringeworthy, but I had so much fun creating them when I was in college and during my first year in New York.

For a while YouTube was actually my main priority and the blog came second. So what changed? Well, time (or lack thereof) was a big reason. The hours required to put together a blog post doesn’t even compare to how long it takes to film, edit and upload a video. Regularly making videos was tough to keep up with while working full-time, and honestly I was worried about being judged if my coworkers or clients stumbled across my channel.

Eventually I started migrating away from YouTube and over to blogging, which I’ve found I enjoy much more. That said, YouTube will always have a soft spot in my heart. In 2017 I would love to begin easing back into videos again– maybe once a month? I don’t want it to be my primary focus, but I know it’s how so many people first started following me and I think it would be a great way to connect with my newer readers and followers in a more personal way. Any video ideas please let me know!

I want to move to New York but I’m so overwhelmed. Where should I start?

First thing you should do is read this post and check out this video. There’s no exact set of steps to take when moving to New York. You kind of just have to jump in and do it and roll with the setbacks and stress. Nick and I learned a lot during our first year in the city. The little West Village apartment we lived for two and half years and the entry level jobs we took to get our foots in the doors of our respective industries were stepping stones. They weren’t final goals, but each was a learning experience that helped us grow and get closer to the success we both want to achieve individually and as a couple.

You can’t expect everything to go perfectly when making a big life change. Life just doesn’t work that way and I’ve found that you can’t dwell on what could have been or what you should’ve done differently. I’ve never loved living in New York as much as I do today, and I know that I wouldn’t appreciate my life in the same way if I hadn’t experienced our mice-infested first apartment or taken that first job as an underpaid PR assistant.

Katie's Bliss Apartment

How did you find your apartment?

I talk about this more in-depth in this post here. But to give you a quick summary, I found our current place by making a list of all the major management companies that own apartment buildings in the areas we were interested in living and then reaching out to their leasing office. This allowed us to skip using a broker and avoid having to pay an extra fee for having someone else find our place.

When looking for our first apartment we had no idea what we were doing and took the first thing we found on Craigslist. Looking back we should have narrowed our search to no-fee apartments only (aka ones not listed through a broker), but we were in a time crunch and needed somewhere to live.

I’m coming to New York! Do you have any recommendations about what do and where to eat?

I have so many recommendations! All my favorite spots and things I suggest doing can be found in my New York City Guide. If you have any other questions definitely feel free to tweet me or leave me a comment on Instagram!

So what’s next?

Well for one thing I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. For so long I debated if I should even reveal some of the personal things that happened in my life in 2016, but now that I’ve actually done it I know it was the right decision.

I would love to hear from you if you have any follow up questions or if you have experienced something similar to me. I feel like to truly succeed and feel authentic as a  blogger, I need to be more transparent and I hope that this post is a step in the right direction. Thank you all for reading and following along– it means more to me than you know! xo

 

- Katie

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