Dear Diary

New Beginnings

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So I know it’s the New Year and everyone is supposed to be hopeful and excited, but I’m going through a really strange, confusing, uncertain time, and though I don’t really treat my blog as a personal diary, there’s something about putting my most important thoughts down here that makes me feel less overwhelmed and alone, so here they are:

2014 was a huge year for me, with lots of success and growth, and equally as much loss and heartbreak. Simply put, It was one of the most defining and important years of my life so far.

I learned so much working for myself and watching my dreams grow, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. RAOP started as a crazy idea, a desire to add more colour and magic to the world around me, and it somehow grew into something I never could’ve imagined it would. Its taken me to California, to the front of a workshop full of incredibly talented women, to the offices of some of the most inspiring people I can imagine, and beyond. I’ve had the chance to learn, to collaborate and watch dreams I didn’t even know I was capable of dreaming come to life. It has truly been an enchanted experience.

That being said, I also have a lot of regrets surrounding 2014. Though things may have seemed sparkly, colourful, and exciting almost constantly on Instagram, I had quite a few dark days (more than I care to admit), and to be frank, I sort of lost myself.

It was only a few weeks ago now that I started to really realize how far from myself I had drifted- how detached and unsure I’d let myself become. I’m someone who without any hesitation will insist she knows exactly who she is and what she wants, yet here I was facing myself in the mirror unsure of how I’d arrived in that moment feeling nothing like the girl I actually am. I’m ashamed to admit I neglected and mistreated people I love dearly, and it hurts to say out loud that some of them are still lost to me to this day. My politics, moral code, self awareness… all of it had somehow slipped through my fingers, and I found myself wondering how I’d let so much of who I am dissolve, lost in a cloud of self-doubt and confusion.

With the big 2014 fading into the distance behind me, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Instead of biting my tongue to avoid conflict, I’m working up the confidence to get back to defending what I believe in at all costs. Tomorrow, I’m buying a new desk and spending my day putting together a fresh new work space that I hope will help me get back to the that warm glow of inspiration that used to follow me around like my own personal ball of sunshine. I’m also working on re-building the friendships that suffered during my absence, and fighting to re-establish my identity, to reconcile what it means to continue identifying as queer, but also explore dating straight cisgender men for the first time in over six years.

On top of all of these shifts (I call it my “life improvement list), I’m very sad to admit that I’ve decided to leave my job at Sloane Tea. Though I loved working somewhere so steeped in passion and beauty, I was offered the opportunity to join the social team at Deck, a local marketing agency that works with some of my favourite spots in the city, and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see where that opportunity could lead. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be seeing lots of Sloane around here! I’ll never stop loving (and sipping) Hoda’s fantastic blends and supporting the incredible brand she’s built, and I feel very lucky that I was able to play a part in Sloane’s growth, even if it was only for a short time.

To sum it up, I’m dealing with a whole lot of change, and none of it is particularly easy. That said, nothing worth fighting for is ever easy, is it? I don’t know what 2015 holds, but I do know one thing: I think I’m finally on my way back .

photo by me via the Sloane Blog

5 comments

  • Wow, this is almost EXACTLY how I feel about 2014. I’ve been lost for so long, but I’m excited to start over and try to figure out who I am again.
    I hope you’ll post a lot about your journey, as you have always been such a positive inspiration to so many people.

  • 2014 was a strange year, indeed. Best of luck to you! You can do it!

  • Alyssa, I’ve never talked to you before but I’ve been reading your articles on xoVain and here on your blog for a while now and I must tell you that it’s lovely to get a glimpse of the woman behind the curtain, even if it’s during a less than happy time.

    I love reading about you and your life so much, but like you said, based on appearances it really does look like one big confetti, glitter, and glamour extravaganza. As much as I love all those things, it’s wonderful to read a piece like this that feels so personal and thoughtful and, above all else, real. It makes you seem human, and thus even more lovable than before (which is saying something!).

    Anyway, I’m really sorry you’ve been having a tough time, but it sounds like you have reached a turning point of introspection and transformation. I wish you the best, and I hope you keep me and all your other readers updated on your personal life between all the beautiful sequins and prettily colored desserts (your seemingly endless supply of which is very enviable, btw).

  • I’ve never commented here before, but I’ve been following along (and on xoVain and Instagram) for a while now. Thank you for writing this — it echoes everything that I’ve been thinking over the past few months. Even though you’ve been feeling down recently, you continue to send that ball of sunshine right through the computer and into the lives of those who follow you! Wishing you the very best in your new endeavours and can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2015.

  • From one Alyssa to another.. thanks for being willing to bare your soul and share the dark side with us as well as the glitter and sparkle. I know that, for someone like me who follows your blog and and reads your articles, I think it is immensely kind that you are willing to open yourself up and share your personal stories with your readers. We are all only human (well, and sometimes fairies).

    Good luck finding (or forging) your new path!

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