Happy Wednesday and Happy Birthday Classic & Gray! I planned on doing a fun shoot to celebrate the occasion but given I’ve been dealing with the #migrainechronicles for the past 10 days, we’ll just have to save that for next year. After all, the very basis of this blog is built on the premise that we need to make the best of our situation and find ways to overcome the obstacles in our way so it’s actually pretty fitting. Just pretend I’m twirling around with some balloons or holding fun cake with a sparkly candle m’kay?
I can’t even believe that it’s been an entire year since my first post and what a year it’s been. This anniversary means so much more to me than celebrating one year of blogging. I can so vividly remember laying in bed, fed up with how helpless and sick I was feeling, and facing the scary realization that each day was blending into the next because they were all basically the same. Life wasn’t on medical leave just because I was and it was passing me by before my eyes.
I desperately needed a distraction from my reality and the debilitating health issues that were controlling my life. On top of that, due to the very sedentary lifestyle I was forced to live, leggings and a t-shirt was my daily #ootd which was A, an accomplishment in itself because it meant I had energy to change out of pajamas and B, acceptable for a day or two but seriously pushing it after 10 months. My wardrobe was going to waste and regardless of whether I was spending each day in the house or not, I wanted to look like myself again, even though I didn’t feel like myself. I needed motivation. I had no control over my medical situation but I did have control over how I spent my days and one thing was for sure… it was time for a change.
I’d tossed around the idea of starting a style blog long before I became sick and last August, even though I had more limitations than ever before, it just felt like the right time. I knew I had to begin immediately before reality sank in that I wasn’t even able to shower most days, let alone pick up a new hobby, so I signed up for WordPress that day. I had no idea what I was doing, like, at all, and asked my husband to take some photos of me awkwardly sitting on a bench with my iPhone (apparently looking in-focus and effortlessly candid does not come without the price tag of a DSLR camera and practice). After two full days of creating my site and drafting my first post, I was ready. Pedialyte in hand, Miley Cyrus blasting, I hit “Publish” for the very first time and it was one of the most scary and cathartic things I’ve ever done. Looking back, as primitive and simple as that first post was, it’s still one of my favorites. Classic & Gray was born.
Style has always been the foundation of my blog. It’s my creative escape and what I’m passionate about but in order to be true to myself, I decided to delve deeper than that. Throughout this past year, I have shared it all with you. In addition to outfits and beauty buys, I’ve openly documented my struggles and triumphs, good times and bad, sickness and health (okay, pretty sure that was a part of my wedding vows), and you have been along for the ride. One of the toughest parts about making the decision to be so personal in my posts was that I was opening my life to everyone and anyone…judgement, criticism, and speculation included. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made because in addition to that, I opened the doors to so much more.
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, blogging is hard work for anyone. Add chronic illness into the mix and things really start to get challenging. I’m not asking for pity by any means but I’m not going to sugar coat it either- this journey has not been easy for me in the slightest. However, as difficult as it’s been, all of the time dedicated to C&G has been 10 times more rewarding. I never imagined how much this hobby would grow over the course of a year and all of the amazing opportunities that would come along with it’s success. I have been so blessed and have a lot be thankful for.
In Oscar award-winning speech fashion, I’d like to thank my family and friends for all of their love and support, especially my parents and in-laws who figured out how to use Instagram just to like my posts, my mother (a.k.a. C&G’s part-time editor and run-on sentence breaker-upper), and my photographer, biggest fan, and package delivery man…my husband. Eddie, I could’ve never done this without you. Despite how many hours you work, how tired you are, or how much of a burden my blogging adventure puts on you, you never complain and you always encourage me. Thank you for believing in me, even when I’ve racked up the Nordstrom bill and we can’t go out to dinner that weekend 🙂 I love you.
I am so thankful for the sweetest sisterhood of blogger friends I’ve met along the way, the amazing brands I’ve been given the privilege of working with, and most importantly, the readers and followers I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with. YOU are what make this all worth it. The countless hours spent building this online diary have had such a positive impact on my life and every encouraging comment and email I’ve received is a reminder of that.
I can look back on each post and watch myself progress not only a blogger but as a person. Classic & Gray has given me purpose. It has inspired me to be a better version of myself. It has pushed me to get dressed, even when I have no where to go. It’s motivated me to get up and create content when all I feel up to doing is rest. It has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally, and I’ve grown from it. It has been more beneficial to my well-being than any medicine or treatment has been in two years. It is my source of pride.
Thank you to each and every one of you. Whether you’ve been following along since day one, pop in every now and then, or are here for the first time today, I genuinely and sincerely appreciate you. It is your support that has given me the opportunity to do what I love and I am forever grateful. As always, thank you so much for reading. I can’t wait to see what year two has in store.