“They know that it’s almost over.”- Twenty One Pilots
2018 was one of the best years both of my blogs has ever had. I have to admit that from the moment I began my first blog, Clarendon Moms (almost 8 years ago), there have been days where I just wanted to hang up the towel and be done with it all. There are a ton of reasons for wanting to end it. Oftentimes, there’s enormous pressure and unreasonable expectations brands can demand of bloggers to produce specific, yet “authentic content” and other deliverables against tight deadlines. The plethora of events (both paid and unpaid) we get invited to has also produced a certain amount of anxiety about deciding what is and isn’t worth my time. If you’re successful in just about any industry, you’ll encounter some haters and people are often shocked when I actually share my own experiences with the uglier side of competitive bloggers.
In 2018, public relations and marketing firms finally starting paying DC bloggers in-person appearance fees. Most of the transportation and parking was also paid. But, these same PR companies don’t treat us all equally. And they don’t realize that most of us are truly friends who actually help each other. Word gets around pretty quickly about who pays and who doesn’t. Kudos to the companies who value social media influencers and who understand our value here, especially in the Washington D.C. area. These companies were game changers and are part of the reason I have continued to attend certain industry events.
The last two years have provided more sponsored travel and endorsements than I could’ve ever imagined. I’m very proud that I’ve been able to create a flourishing business out of just being myself and spending time with my family, albeit while documenting most of it. I often pinch myself because if anyone would have told me when I was in high school or college or even just five years ago that I would be able to create a paid career with just an iPhone and a few apps, I would’ve thought they were crazy. And yet, it’s true. You can make a living with just your iPhone.
I belong to an incredible network of bloggers, social media influencers, women business owners and Washington DC based creatives. I feel truly blessed to have an amazing group of friends within this industry. I’m also blessed to have a family who understands what I do and who happily participates–most of the time.
This year I was invited to emcee the holiday tree lighting at Mosaic District, one of the DC area’s largest upscale shopping centers and home to art house theater, the Angelika Theater. There were over a thousand people in attendance. I did my best to channel Jenny McCarthy from New Year’s Rockin Eve. But, that was silly, of course, I was 100% Angelica Talan.
At one point creating a blog, my goals of: speaking at a conference in front of a hundred like minded women, appearing on television, modeling for major brands, getting paid to travel and dine at fancy restaurants and host really fun events were just ideas written down on paper. To be able to carry out my dreams and live the creative life I’ve thought about ever since I was a child brings me enormous pleasure. But most importantly, being able to use my voice to bring awareness to charitable causes and philanthropy (like my work with The Tigerlily Foundation, So Others Might Eat, Dress For Success, Runway Moms For a Cause and more) makes me appreciate a life with a purpose. And I vow to do more of that in the years to come.
It seems like every time I want to quit, there is something that pulls me back in and gives me a tight hug and a whisper that says “not yet.” Being somewhere with no make-up, messy hair and looking like a hot mess while my youngest has a total meltdown as a total stranger recognizes me from my Instagram feed or has been following my blog since the beginning introduces themselves to me always brings a tear to my eye. I am a very spiritual person and I believe strongly in God, in energy and the universe. Chance encounters like these always reassure me that I am serving my purpose here on earth. Being able to inspire others, whether it’s other DC based creatives, readers of my blog, friends, family, helping everyone brings me sheer happiness and joy.
If you know me personally, you know I’m not afraid to get mushy and tell you just how much you mean to me. But, if you’re a friend I haven’t met in person yet—I’d like to share this with you too. Thank-you to everyone who is reading this today. It’s because of your support and your friendship that I’m successful. Whether I inspire one person, a hundred, a thousand or a million—I want you to know that I’m forever grateful!
Thank-you very much for reading this. Thank-you so much for following me here on my platform and for all of your generous support! In the words of Twenty One Pilots, “In time, I will leave the city. For now, I will stay alive.”
I wish you all a very Happy and a very Blessed New Year 2019!!