When I decided I wanted to get back into writing earlier this year, I wanted to do so because I felt like I was bursting with things to write. I wanted to share my knowledge as it pertained to career aspirations and progression. I wanted to encourage those with health and wellness questions and battles. I wanted to inspire others to see the world. In order to meet my goals, I positioned my blog to be one where I’m always setting out to solve a problem, offer encouragement, or provide a little motivation.
Looking back on these last eight months, I take great pride in what I’ve written and published so far. However, despite peppering in personal experiences here and there throughout my posts, I haven’t felt like it’s been enough. I want to write about my life happenings and all the intricacies that come along with it. Write what’s on my mind. Write how I’m feeling. Write with no pressure and no structure. So, with that, I introduce to you – Life Lately. It’s a series for the blog where I can write more freely and be real, honest, and raw.
Not only that, but I want this series to be one where you can all get to know me better as a person – not just as a writer, but as a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I truly am just your average almost 30 year old – I have goals, I have fears, and I have challenges, just like everyone else. While I like to think that I know everything, I acknowledge that I don’t always have all of the answers. While I do navigate life with laser focus, I still allow life to happen when I maybe need some course correcting. I’ve come to realize that sometimes, life just happens. It can ruin a perfect day, it can teach you a lesson, and it can pump you up like nothing has before. Life Lately is all about life just happening.
So, life lately. To put it simply, my life lately has been a little insane. These last few months have felt more like a blur than anything. Why is it that summer always goes by in a blink of an eye? Like seriously, slow down. Honestly, after last year’s summer of planning our wedding and attending eight of our friends’ weddings, I thought for sure this summer would be a little more laid back (gooood one, Kel). Between working full-time (and over-time), moving and making our condo our own, preparing for the #MakingYourMark event, keeping up with the blog, and managing a social life, to say I’ve been utterly exhausted is an understatement.
I’ve received a lot of “how do you do it?” from close family and friends this summer in particular and the answer is this: #teamnosleep. When you start a side passion project or business and need to make time for it, it’s almost inevitable that you have to burn that midnight oil. It’s hasn’t been all that terrible since I’m naturally a night owl, but it was and still is very tough to wake up some mornings.
I also can’t really complain, because a lot of it I do to myself. My anxiety and my constant need to improve myself keeps me real nice and busy. I’m the type of person that piles a lot on my plate, because I’m never satisfied with staying stagnant and just being. I’m working on trying to cut myself some slack, but it’s truly a work in progress and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to just let go. At different points this summer, I realized I was overwhelmed and trying to do too much, especially once Adam’s and my weekends began filling up with plans. I was burnt out and writing unfortunately began to feel like a chore, especially because I had little to no time to fit it in. Something had to give and I knew it had to be my writing. I stepped away for a bit so that I could focus on our move, put my energy into my event, and enjoy my weekend plans with family and friends.
Our Move & New Condo
At the start of summer, Adam and I closed on our condo in the city and much of June was dedicated to furniture buying, packing, and purging. We moved towards the end of July and everything for the most part went smoothly, except we had to donate a piece of furniture I had inherited since it didn’t fit in our new place and I also triggered my sciatic nerve (or so I think) and was in a lot of pain that day. The pain was unbearable and now that I have a bit more time on my hands, I’m going to the doctor to see if it’s anything serious. Moral of the story here: listen to your body and know when it’s time to stop!
Adam and I moved from a one bed, one bath apartment to a two bed, two bath condo, so it was inevitable we were going to need to buy more furniture to fill our new space. Much of our summer has been spent at stores or online shopping for the right couch, bedroom furniture, rugs, and such. It’s actually been really fun (and expensive) and something Adam and I have enjoyed doing together. Luckily he and I have similar taste and tend to agree on everything, which sure makes things easier! The condo is finally coming together and we are so excited to put roots down in the city for the next few years.
To all the event planners out there – claps for you! Planning an event is no joke and takes a lot of strategy, preparation, and patience. Planning the Lipstick & Ink event brought me back to the days of planning our wedding. It was tiresome and stressful, but also exhilarating. By the time the event arrived, my nerves were at an all-time high. I saw this event not only as a means to bring women together to have a conversation and inspire, but I also saw it as a way to introduce myself and my brand with Lipstick & Ink. Let me just say that it’s 100% not easy or comfortable to put yourself out there like that. I was worried how many people would even be interested in coming. I was worried about how many people would purchase tickets. I was worried that something might go wrong. I was worried that people would leave my event thinking it was a waste of time. I overanalyzed and then overanalyzed some more. I took great pride in the fact that I thought of every detail to make the event the best it could be, but it also put immense pressure on myself.
Despite all my fears and anxiety, the event ended up being more than I could have dreamed of and more. Women came together and formed connections. Women heard from others on the challenges of finding confidence, on creating a personal brand, and on supporting other women. Women were introduced to a local Chicago charity that is empowering inner female youth (read more on Lipstick Saints here). Most of all, women left the event feeling inspired in one way or another.
I quite literally have no idea what this event means for the future of Lipstick & Ink. Will I have more events? What will future events look like? What can I do to continue the conversation of topics I write about? Time will only tell and I have a feeling there will be a sign down the road directing me on the right path. I’m going to let life take the reigns with this one and see what happens. Feel free to pop over to the Events page for more pictures from the event!
Summer Weekends + Our Upcoming Month
As I’m sure a lot of you can probably relate, Adam and I have had something going on almost every weekend this summer! Summers in Chicago are full of festivals, sports leagues, concerts (went to Lake Shake and Joe’s on Weed for the first time this year!), beach days, etc. There’s always something happening and I never want to miss out on anything! We’ve spent some weekends this summer up in Whitewater, Wisconsin at Adam’s family’s lake house and visiting Adam’s and my parents at our respective hometowns, but overall, we’ve tried to stay in the city to enjoy our summer and our new neighborhood.
September is already shaping up to be quite the month too! Adam and I both turn 30 (we’re 15 hours apart..crazy, right!?) and we’re planning to celebrate with our families this weekend and then with all our friends late next week with a “goodbye to the 20s” Gatsby themed party. I can always get behind a good ol’ themed party. My mom also retires next month, which is so exciting and something so commendable, especially since she’s worked as a nurse at the same hospital for over 30 years. Adam and I also have Pumpkin Fest in Morton (Adam’s hometown) mid-month and then our first wedding anniversary celebration! We’re planning to go away that weekend and just relax and recharge in Michigan and I cannot wait.
Busy bees, right?! I can’t believe summer is already so close to ending. It’s been a jam-packed one, but one where I’ve worked hard, learned, grown, and enjoyed myself. As I think to what’s next, I can’t help but feel giddy for cool, crisp weather, warm apple cider and delicious apple crisp, football Sundays, and cozy sweaters. Fall is my absolute favorite and it will be here before we know it! Until next time!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.