Life

A Little Note from Me to You…

When I started Classic & Gray back in August, I did not fathom the amount of time, effort, and work that would go into such an endeavor. After a dramatic life change in October of 2014 due to health issues, I was forced to take medical leave from my full-time job (for my newbies, more on that, here.) I thought blogging would simply be a hobby to occupy some of my time, serve as a distraction from the realities of my illness, motivate me to get up and get dressed despite the way that I felt, and give me the satisfaction of accomplishing something. I went from working a very hectic schedule at a top-tier news organization to being unable to do much of anything, very quickly. I felt trapped in my own body and was craving some sort of creative outlet to feel like myself again. I hoped to inspire at least one person who read my entries but if my followers only consisted of my immediate family and close friends, that was fine, too.

Fast-forward to December and this blog has been so much more rewarding than what I could’ve anticipated in it’s short four months. I have connected with some incredibly inspirational and supportive people through social media who I now call friends, discovered a new hobby in photography with my husband, started partnering with amazing brands, motivated myself to push my limits, shared some of my passions and my life, and the list goes on. Most importantly, although still very-much disabled by the symptoms of my illness, I started to feel like the old me again. However, this success has not come without it’s behind-the-scenes consequences.

I want you to know that blogging is hard for anyone. I admire and give so much credit to all of the amazing and dedicated bloggers I’ve been lucky enough to get to know because nothing about blogging is simple. Being on the other side of the screen, you could never fathom the amount of time and effort that go into the content creation, shooting, editing, planning, collaborating, social media management, promoting, interacting, etc. It can quickly become an all-day and night affair without including any of the other responsibilities and commitments a blogger may have. For me, that  includes the many restraints and limitations that come along with my medical condition.

I have led on to some of these hardships but keep most of the details to myself. Classic & Gray is an outlet where I can share my love of style, makeup, a good face mask, and life, but it would not be real without including the challenging times, as well. I do my best not to overshare or bombard you with specifics and “sick stories” because I understand very well that a vast majority of you reading this cannot relate to my health situation at all. My hope is that although you may not be physically ill, you can find inspiration and motivation here to use in areas of your own life, whether that be during hard times and challenges or in your wardrobe. It is a work in progress but my goal is to strike a balance between life and style content. I want to be as positive and relatable as possible without compromising the integrity of who I am and the reality I’m currently living. I want to be myself.

I should make it very clear that I do not write this for any sort of sympathy, accolades, words of encouragement, or the like. I believe that although blogging is a hobby, I have chosen to share bits of my life with you and thus, feel a certain responsibility to explain myself. This blog is an honest and real place and my health struggles are a very big part of my life right now, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I’m sure there will be periods of time like the past couple weeks where writing is the smallest of my priorities because frankly, my health comes first. I hope you can understand that. The reality is, although I’m smiling and posing in photos, I may be happy but I’m still sick. Blog photos and Instagram feeds are picture-perfect, staged moments that are by no-means an accurate summary or representation of anyone’s life. We all have our ups and downs–remember that. I will continue to try my best to be as active as I can because I want to give Classic & Gray as much love as it has graciously shown me.

With that said, thank you. Thank you for following me on this journey so far and for understanding, encouraging, and supporting me. I am forever grateful. I have some exciting posts and collaborations coming up so I hope you stick around– this is only the beginning.

Lots of love,

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Vanessa Steil
    December 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Such beautiful and insightful words, Michele. I can relate to this post on many levels: as someone who is also dealing with health issues; and as someone who created a blog as a creative outlet. I understand how demanding blogging can be, and am grateful that it has given me the ability to do what I love and to make new friends (like yourself) in the process. Even on days when I don’t feel I can get out of bed, I know the blog and what I love about it is waiting. I love your blog, your writing style, and being able to get a glimpse into your daily life. You do a fabulous job with this site and I can’t wait to see what you will bring us next!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      I’m so happy to have connected with you Vanessa! You’re one of the few who have an idea how much of a struggle it is to balance health and life, let alone blogging! Thank you for all of your support; it’s kind people like you who make me want to write! I hear ya on so many levels and am truly so appreciate on your dedicated support! You seem to never miss a post, I don’t know how you do it!❤️

      • Reply
        Vanessa Steil
        December 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

        I’m so happy to have connected with you, too, Michele! Definitely let me know if you’re ever on LI and have time to meet in person. That would be so nice. I admire your spirit and determination and love coming to your blog for your insight and outfits. XO

  • Reply
    candicestubblefield
    December 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I just adore you! So thankful to have met you in this insta/blogging journey! I can relate to a small degree with feeling sick. It’s so hard sometimes to be into blogging, but just pushing through and giving yourself grace is key. Thinking of you and sending lots of love your way! Hugs!

    Xox
    Candice
    http://Www.candicestubblefield.com

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Aw I adore you too Candice! I’m so happy we connected and I’m sorry to hear that you have some health struggles yourself. You couldn’t have said it better with giving yourself the grace. It’s all a balance and we learn as we go! Sending you lots of love and health?

  • Reply
    Jess
    December 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Blogging is not easy and I give YOU credit for balancing it all. Love how real you keep things. Can’t wait to see what you have in store!

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much Jess! You were one of my very first blogger instafriends and I’m so happy we connected back then!! I really appreciate all of your support xx

  • Reply
    blushandbubbly
    December 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing Michele! I really hope that you feel better soon and I hope you know you are an inspiration to so many by sharing your story! You are amazing. XOXO – Chelsea

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Aw thank you very much Chelsea! Thanks for the well wishes and for reading. It means so much to me and YOU, my friend, are amazing as well! Xx

  • Reply
    Francesca Finnerty
    December 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    You are such a beautiful and strong woman inside and out! I have loved getting to know you over the last couple of months and I am truly enjoying following along on your journey. Keep on being fabulous!!!

    Xo, Fran <3
    http://www.livecomfylivechic.com

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you so much Fran, my neighbor (almost!) I have really enjoyed getting to know you better as well and thank you for taking the time to show support, I really do appreciate it! Have a great rest of your week! Xx

  • Reply
    raysastyle
    December 10, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Beautiful words! I can relate to this post. I’m so happy to have connected with you on social media. You are so beautiful ( inside & outside ) You don’t only have an amazing style but you also inspires us all with your kindness and motivation.
    I really enjoyed reading this. hank you for sharing. God bless you beautiful! Xo

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Raysa you are like Wonder Woman! You have such a successful blog and insta and you ever fail to read others posts and show support. It’s amazing. Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet comments, always. I am so happy to have connected with you and your big heart! Xx

      • Reply
        raysastyle
        December 11, 2015 at 2:03 am

        Aww. How sweet! Thank you for you words beautiful. Means a lot! Happy Friday. Love, Raysa❤️

  • Reply
    raysastyle
    December 10, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Thank***

  • Reply
    songbirdechoes
    December 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    This was a beautiful read, Michele. I understand as I too, am dealing with health issues. Blogging is definitely a lot of hard work but I’m glad to know people like you along the way and through our beloved Style Collective community. Remember your health is all you’ve got, and you’re doing a fabulous job with your blog. Keep at it! ❤️

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such a sweet comment, Gunjan! I am very sorry to hear that you have some health struggles as well. I’m sending lots of healing vibes your way! All the more kudos to you for also pushing through and pursuing your passions, despite how demanding they may be! You’re such a beautiful person in every way and I’m happy SC brought us together! Xx

  • Reply
    Kristen
    December 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Love ya girly!! While I can’t relate to your health issues, I can certainly relate to having something in my life – ie. my demanding career – that gets in the way of me exploring my passion for blogging. In this way, you are extremely inspiring, because when it comes down to it, my career has nothing on your illness. I hope that you are doing better, because you certainly look amazing in your photos (despite them being just a perfect snap in time).

    xoxo, Kristen

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Kristen, you are the best. Thank you so much for always being so supportive of me and reading my posts, even though you have a demanding job in the city and I KNOW a long commute back home. (And also hooking me up with my first “collab” and introducing me to the sweet Rosa!) I don’t know how you do it all! We all have our struggles and obstacles to overcome but you are doing a fabulous job balancing everything. I’m so happy to have connected with you and I’m really looking forward to meeting you face-to-face soon! I appreciate you so much! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week girl! Love ya! Xx

  • Reply
    janna doan
    December 11, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    michele, i enjoyed reading this post so much because i enjoyed reading about YOU! you are truly such a beautiful person inside and out, i am so thankful to have connected with you. i think life is a long and hard journey, and true strength comes from having so much to complain and cry about but you choose to smile and pull through instead. that’s YOU. although i am sad to hear about your sickness, i am happy that it led you to blogging because you are so amazing at it. #canstopwontstop girl. xoxo and sending you love from TX, JD

    • Reply
      classicandgray
      December 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Janna, thank you so much for the absolute sweetest comment. I am so appreciative to have met you through this journey! I am loving your summary on life and the #cantstopwontstop! Sometimes I need to remind myself of that but it’s connecting with beautiful people like yourself that make this all worth it! Thank you for the well wishes, you are always so sweet and supportive and in forever grateful. I hope you’re having a wonderful week xoxox

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