Monday, March 20, 2017

Ramblings & Reflections - My blogging & being a Liz Lisa "collector"

I don't think I've ever really sat down and tried to write about/like this before on Blogger so I'm not sure what to call this, and I can already tell it's going to be very casual. I started writing a bit about this on IG (and thank you so much to anyone who has left me comments there - I truly, truly appreciate it) but I think I do need to flush out my thoughts a bit.

I feel like maybe I'm in a weird place with blogging or even maybe just in my life in general. Honestly every few months or so, I get in a bit of what is essentially "blogging slump". I question why I bother - why do I spend so much time on planning coordinates (depending on the number and type of items, maybe 1-1.5 hours), setting up and taking photos (2-3.5+ hours), editing photos (2-3 hours), uploading photos and writing each blog post (maybe 2-3 hours). And then if I decide to shoot a YouTube video as well? Add 4-5 hours for set up, shooting, editing and uploading.

Does anyone even really read the text in my coordinate type blog posts? I'm not talking about the ones that are basically walls of text like this but like the ones that are mostly focused on new items I received. I've considered just throwing in a random weird sentence into one of the posts and see if anyone would notice. Because honestly, why put so much time and effort into the text part of the post if most people just scroll past the pictures for half a minute and move on? That's perfectly OK to do, but just something I'd prefer to be aware of so I know what to focus on in the future.

This is all a bit rhetorical but I really do feel like I spend too much time on certain aspects on these posts. And part of that is my fault. Sometimes I know instantly what I want to pair items with and sometimes I want to take my time and explore all the options instead of just immediately coordinate with what's easy. I'm not a "model" in any sense of the word, and I feel like I need to take about 30+ pictures for each look because chances are I look terrible in 90% of them so that can take a while. For blog posts with 5+ featured items, I might take 500 photos or more and obviously that'll take a while to sort through and edit as well.

But I guess if I knew the effort I put into these things was appreciated and helpful, I wouldn't mind so much that I put the time in. In the same vein, I know that's not why I should be doing it though. To really enjoy blogging, I need to do it for me. I've said before that the reason I initially started to blog is because I want there to be a resource (in English, since there's already a ton in Japanese) that helps overseas Liz Lisa customers buy authentic product and support the brand. But I've already established a few posts to that effect and update it when necessary, but they just kind of sit and function without my help at this point. Plus bloggers who are much more popular than me have since made their own versions of this kind of post and it pretty much renders whatever I write unseen in comparison. Which shouldn't matter but it kind of does. Meanwhile, I try to generate at least 6 posts a month of other things I like to share and/or think would be nice to showcase but who am I doing it for? Maybe I do need to stop until the answer I know for a fact the answer is me.

Truthfully, I do use my own posts as a reference for myself, so I guess on some level, I do find some usefulness in them personally. But for some reason, if I'm 100% honest, it would just mean so much more to me to know that other people actually read and appreciate them too. There's something so fulfilling about validation from other people. And obviously I don't expect that to be the case for every single post because I'm sure it's impossible for people to like and find every single one useful, but it would be nice.

This is not to belittle anyone who has left me encouraging or appreciate comments in the past. I want you to know that your feedback has warmed my heart and do have a positive impact on me, but I do still fall into slumps like this sometimes. It's not your job to keep uplifting me either and I shouldn't rely on it to motivate myself. So what is there really to do and what is the way ahead?

I am a bit mechanical in the way I've handled things in the past 18 months or so. I make sure I plan for consistency whether it's on Tumblr, Blogger or Instagram. I like to have things scheduled or in the queue for posting so I'm never lacking in content which I feel is important. However, that makes things a lot less spontaneous and natural. Instagram is good example of this. I have this folder of OOTDs that are waiting to be posted to IG. It's almost the end of March and I still have OOTDs that are waiting to be posted from December 2016. I cut my hair earlier this month and I probably won't even show any pictures with my shorter hair until over a month from now lol. And it's not because I have an IG aesthetic - one look at my profile and you can see that it's just a mischmasch of photos without any kind of uniformity. But it's because I don't want to run out of photos to post so I accidentally end up stockpiling them. And also, in the interest of being really honest, I feel like I need to post at a certain time or certain interval to get decent visibility. IG's new algorithm isn't perfect for me and I don't have it really figured out, but I know that there are some times or some intervals that just aren't great. And why post at a crap time when you know there could be a better one? (Even this post...I'm writing on Saturday but already know I probably don't want to push publish until Monday because it steals away from the post from yesterday.)

It's not really about the number of likes, notes, comments or followers either. Or at least it shouldn't be - is what I try to tell myself. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a hashtag crazy person. I'm much too shame for that lol. To outwardly show how much I truly crave attention with a bunch of hashtags (maybe half of them only 25% relevant)...I'm not sure that's within my personality. But I'm probably also in denial a bit because I know that posting a certain way will probably occasionally get me the validation I crave every once in a while, and I do cave every so often.

This is also a bit all of my fault because I don't really try to insert myself into any particular online community. I have internet friends of course (you know who you are), but I'm not into being in those Facebook groups (whether it's because the admin blocked me for an unrelated reason or because I really just don't want to be part of that environment). I don't reach out and try to comment on posts from tons of other people. Sometimes I straight up avoid a certain hashtag even though it's completely relevant to my interests because even though I'm sure I could connect with some people there, I'm tired of seeing posts I think are tagged just for likes (with content that isn't even related) or just annoying reposts tbh. I often come off as bitchy or standoffish because I don't use a lot of fluffy language or emojis and I'm often straightforward with captions instead of trying to tell a story. I know that if I changed this, it would be too fake, too far from who I really am. I know that maybe some people that post a certain way are actually being genuine but it just seems really contrived to me. But at the same time, I can't fault them - it works.

I also have a bit of a wall put up because I'm reluctant to share too much of my personal life online. Or it could also be that I don't do much. I have a 9-5 type, Monday - Friday job that isn't very interesting with content that's slightly FOUO and then when I'm home I'm mostly just watching tv or...blogging. And blogging about blogging is pretty boring. I don't really go out and go shopping anymore. I don't go hiking anymore. I don't often go out with my friends to a place where I would post about. And that's a bit self-inflicted but it's also because on the weekends is when I have time to blog so I can't really do any other day time activity. (I can't blog or take pictures for blogging at night because bad lighting.) So, yeah. I blog and I work. That's about it lmao.

I got nervous about sharing too much when someone told me that they could track down where I went to school and what my address/where my house was, which church I went to, etc based on what I was sharing online. Because of that, I tried to pull back a bit. Even with "disappearing stories" on IG/FB/Snapchat, I'm honestly too scared to post too many personal details. But yeah, there's no way I'm going to change that.

It's weird because I feel like I'm happy with myself a lot of the time. I have a really decent job with long term potential. I have a comfortable salary where I can buy most of the things I want, go on trips and even do/buy some frivolous things while also maintaining my savings. I feel really good about the things I own because I earned and paid for them out of my own pocket with money that is rightfully mine. And to some extent, I feel the same way with whatever social media following I have - that I "earned" it without having to compromise my personal integrity/standards. I'm mostly comfortable with my body (but let's not get into that). My boyfriend isn't perfect but he loves me and I love him. My extended family is happy and healthy and we all get along. One of the hugest problems in my life is that Hawaii is a great environment for roaches so they often sneak up on me no matter how much I clean.

So why do I feel the need to be further validated by strangers over the internet? Why so I occasionally still find myself comparing myself to others? Why can't I be more secure with who I am and what I'm doing and just stay in my own lane? I mean, lbr, I know I feel jealous sometimes when I feel like certain people get praise or accolades for basically nothing (this isn't limited to internet stuff obviously but life in general). Is there even a way to avoid that? Do I need to look more introspectively and be more appreciative of what I do have and not what I don't?

When I look at the Liz Lisa items I have, especially when I try to use a critical eye to see what may do better in a new home for secondhand sales, I'm sometimes overwhelmed. Why do I have so many things? My boyfriend called me a "collector"/said I have a "Liz Lisa collection" maybe about a year ago and my knee jerk reaction was "NO" and I even got a little defensive. I don't consider myself a collector of Liz Lisa. I think it's because if I really saw it that way, I would too easily get myself in trouble - buying things just for the sake of having them and keeping things for the same stupid reason. I really only want to hold on to what is right for me - things that I'm going to actually use and wear. To me, being a collector would mean much more investment (esp monetarily) than what I am willing to currently pony up and it would mean that I'd probably be unwilling to use certain items because of their supposed "value" to the overall "collection". I try not to get myself into situations like that.

I do have some attachment to certain pieces I own but at the end of the day, they're just clothes. Someone on Tumblr asked "how sad do you get when you are unable to find something that you really want? do you try to stalk it for years to come lol?" My answer was simply that when it comes to clothes...they're just clothes. I don't actually get sad about not getting an item of clothing. If I miss out on a 2am release that sold out within minutes, I'm likely more irritatied with having woken up in the middle of the night for nothing rather than sad about not getting the item. Sure, I'd be disappointed for a bit because of the wasted effort, but what's the big deal really? And I think separating "buying clothes I like" from "collecting Liz Lisa items" really helps me keep that in perspective. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, there's a reason why I called the post with all my Liz Lisa items "Liz Lisa wardrobe master post" rather than "My Liz Lisa collection".

I just want to note that what I wrote about above is likely just specific to me. You may consider the term "collector" to have a different connotation and that's fine. Or you may enjoy being a collector and don't see it as a bad thing. That's totally cool and I respect that. But I really don't enjoy it as a label placed on me because that's not how I see myself, and I don't want that to motivate or dictate what I buy and keep. I'm just trying to be realistic and pragmatic for my own situation.

This post has jumped around a bit and is kind of just a random assortment of thoughts that have been kind of floating around my head for awhile. Since none of them in particular call for a post on their own, I guess this is kind of the best way to dump them. I'm also kind of procrastinating on doing my taxes. I don't see myself doing this kind of post very often (and honestly hopefully I snap out of this line of thinking soon), but I suppose now that I've broken the ice, maybe you'll see them sporadically when inspiration strikes.
If you do have a topic you'd rather see me write about, please let me know! I've gotten some great suggestions in the past, and I'm a bit stuck for motivation right now. Recommendations and feedback are always welcome.


  1. Hi! I've been lurking around your blog for only a few months, but I really appreciate your posts. I've been a Liz Lisa fan for many years but as I'm getting older I don't feel like I'm able to wear a lot of the more girly pieces any more (that's just me personally, I love seeing other people rocking theirs! but as a mum in her early 30s it's harder for me to feel like I can pull it off these days.) I really enjoy the detailed descriptions you give, and I appreciate the fantastic resource you've built up here for both yourself and the community. Plus, it just makes me really happy seeing someone who enjoys wearing these clothes in the real world, and has fun styling them in different ways. Thanks for the enormous efforts you put in to your posts. I hope you don't burn out too badly on blogging, but if you need to take a break any time I'm sure your audience will be right here waiting for you.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment <3
      I realized that with the kind of content I post, it gets a little monotonous sometimes where people probably don't have something unique to say about every little piece and I can accept that, but comments like this do make it feel really worthwhile. I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read what I write. Thank you so much for being supportive!

  2. Hello ^^ I love your collection and blog. I know I've commented a few times here and there (on your youtube channel too). I check your blog regularly because you're one of the few people out on the internet that puts in so much effort into it and it really shines. Your photos are clean, your formatting is easy to read and there's a lot of good information in your posts. I usually read on mobile so I don't comment (mobile tends to block non-account people) but when I'm reading on my computer I try to leave a message.
    I think it's fine to want some attention for everything you do. Sure, what you do is for yourself, but there's nothing wrong with wanting another source of satisfaction. Publishing a post is rewarding, but having comments makes it even more so.

    If there's a topic I'd like to see from you, maybe some casual posts when you're going around Hawaii? I also really liked your post about Liz Lisa Fall collection when you pointed out a lot of items you were looking forward to and which themes you thought were really prevalent (in an old post I remember music notes was a big theme).
    Also I'd totally love if you threw in a random sentence in your blogposts. It could be like a minigame- "find the weird sentence" and maybe it could be about your next blogpost or an interest you have?

    1. Thank you so much for this feedback! I think I was having a bit of pity party this weekend but the comments I've been receiving here on IG are so validating. I think I'm going to try to bring back a widget tracker (something that just tells me if someone visited and from where, nothing like trying to track IPs) for fun because I always found that interesting.
      I will definitely take your suggestions into consideration! It might take a little more time to get to the Hawaii one simply because I literally just spend a bunch of time in traffic, working and then more traffic and then at home blogging, but if I do end up doing an activity worth writing about, I will certainly consider it. Otherwise it would probably be posted on my Dayre!

      Thank you always for your kind words.

    2. Yay! Hey, pity parties are parties in a sense. Bust open a bag of chocolates, your favorite show/movie/book and it's settled.
      I don't have a Dayre, but I check yours too lol. I would never use it so I don't have an account, but it's fun to see content on your other social media appear at different times with different updates (which makes sense tbh because blog posts/videos take much longer to write/film).

      I hope you feel better soon. As much as I love your online presence, feeling good about yourself is far more important than finishing a post.

    3. Haha I really like what you said about pity parties :)
      Thank you so much!

  3. I like what you said about collections because it's cool that you're able to keep yourself grounded when it come to collecting material goods! I feel like a lot of people can't separate their attachment and they get upset when they miss out on releases and the like because they've already convinced themselves that buying that item will be their ticket to happiness, but it's a never ending cycle.

    I've been following you on a bunch of different platforms for years and years (seriously I think I follow you on every social media outlet I have haha) and I can tell you that I adore what you post and how you post it! I've never found you to be "bitchy" or anything, in fact, I would say I extra enjoy talking to you because you cut out the bs emojis and you're a super genuine person. Whenever I get a compliment from you, I know I've earned it, because you're honest and humble and I love that about you! People are drawn to fake nice people online and it has never satisfied me, which is why I've enjoyed your content for so long! I totally feel you on hashtags btw I feel so weird using them! We're just really bad at marketing ourselves haha

    At the end of the day, putting a lot of work into something and having it go unappreciated is the worst, especially if you've been doing it for a while and your heart's not in it anymore. I have felt uninspired and unappreciated on my blog too and it's completely understandable to want to feel validated and you deserve it! There's a lot here for you to sort out and I don't envy you for that but I think you'll be able to find a solution, even if that may be blogging less regularly. I'm always going to be hanging around checking up on you so you'll always have at least one person out there in the blogger void rooting for you!

    1. p.s. I was looking for a "weird sentence" in your post the whole time after you said you considered throwing one in to see if anyone noticed! hahaha

    2. Thank you so much, Ruth.
      I really admire your writing style and I'm glad that you (continue to) blog. I love reading about whatever you write about - especially because your life seems so different than mine. I'm constantly being exposed to new outdoor adventures, books and great thrift finds through your posts.

      Also I think I may just throw something out there in a future post. The very next one would probably be too obvious though lol.

  4. I really wish I had something super cool and uplifting or funny to write expect I don't. I really like your blog (ofc) and I super loves reading it and seeing how you co-ordinate everything - sometimes it's cool cause we buy the same or similar stuff so it's interesting to see how you style it vs. how I would.

  5. Hi! I've been lurking for a while, mostly on the Japan travel posts, which I adore. I actually discovered Liz Lisa and similar fashion through you and I'm really grateful for that!
    As for seeking validation- I think all people are like that, really. No man is an island, and we need human contact/approval to be happy. That's probably why social media is so popular, because we naturally love the connection and validation. So there's nothing wrong with wanting it!
    That being said, I do think your decision to blog for yourself is a good one- to do things because they make you happy. I've had to take the same approach myself sometimes with things, "am I doing this because I feel obligated or because it makes me happy?"
    Thank you for the content you've produced!

    1. Thank you for commenting <3 I think maybe just writing all of this out has helped me a bit and we'll see if I'll end up making any changes. But for now, I'm really grateful for people like you who have taken the time to write to help reassure me lol. I really appreciate hearing from you!

  6. Hey just wanna say that I enjoy reading your posts because I can never pull of Liz Lisa clothes and it's a joy reading your buys and coordinates. I think I would love to read more about your life in general (nothing too specific maybe just hangout spots etc).

    I think in general blogs do not garner as much comments anymore? Compared to say 10 years ago. I'm of the same age as you and blogs were the most important form of social media years ago. Nowadays people turn more to instagram, snapchat. Even the most popular bloggers are no longer getting as many comments as they used to.

    But I really appreciate how much effort you are putting in (hence this comment). And it reminds me of how personal blog posts used to be. Would love to read more of such posts where u talk about your feelings~

    1. I think I'm not really looking for more comments per se (I definitely don't expect them on blogger like you said but compared to people with similar IG accounts to mine, I get like 10% of their # of comments and likes, if that) but just a general feeling that someone out there is actually reading and enjoying what I take so long to put together. Obviously that can't really be measured so I don't know what I'm asking for but comments like yours and others that I received over the last few days are heartwarming and I'm glad to get them. Thank you.

  7. Hi there. I've been reading your blog on/off for around 1-1.5 years ish now.
    I really like reading your posts because they're super detailed (both in pictures and in text). I actually purchased a skirt (the handkerchief one in navy), because of how nice it looked on you! Your new wig also looks super nice in comparison to your old one.

    I don't really know what to say but...I really like reading your blog. :) I think maybe you feel burnt out? i had a similar feeling when I was doing youtube. It felt like I wasn't doing it because I enjoyed it, but rather because I wanted to..."grow"? I'm not sure if the situation applies to you, but taking a break definitely helps! :)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment (sorry it's taken me a while to write back!) I really appreciate the feedback and I think I'll maybe try a few minor "experimental" things in the future and see how I feel about things. Hopefully it's not disappointing!

  8. Dear Emi, you probably know I've been a long time reader and viewer of yours on most of the platforms you post at.
    As an overseas non-Japan based person who is interested in both Japanese culture and fashion - and growing more and more interested in Hawaiian culture as well (partly also through some of your posts) - I can honestly say that you are always among the top of my must-read and must-watch list.
    (It doesn't hurt that many of your postings center around Liz Lisa as I adore, buy and wear this brand and their collaborators regularily as well. But that is by far the only reason why I keep following you)

    Your well formatted, thoughtfully laid out blog posts, the interesting musings about your fashion choices, the beautiful Liz Lisa (and non-Liz Lisa for that matter) coordinates, the entertaining and useful trip recollections of your Japan travels keep me coming back for more.
    I try to never miss an instagram update of yours and even though the coordinate pictures are a must-ogle-at-and-admire on your blog, I read - every- word of your blog posts as well.
    Personally, I am as much interested in the end results as I am in the details you give about the process of how and why you chose or did this or that.

    I also read the more personal things you publish- but I, too, value my privacy so I can fully understand and respect that you don't disclose certain things and decide to not post about every detail of your personal life.

    Thank you for all your effort and allowing us to share your thoughts and interests with you in a way.

    1. Thank you for such a beautiful, well-written comment. You've always been really supportive and had great feedback. I really appreciate all your support, so much <3

  9. My favourite thing about your new item posts, is ALWAYS your thoughts about the item. How you think it fits, what you think it would be good for. I always read those parts :)

    I also think, you know... hash tags are going to help people who don't know your blog or instagram find it, and you shouldn't be ashamed of that. It's social media, so of course we're trying to get people to find us or see us. I know though that sort of thought won't change easily any time.

    I feel bad, because although I've read almost all your posts since I started following you, I hardly ever comment. It's just what I do, I do it everywhere and uhhh I often don't think I have anything interesting to say. But, I hope you figure out what you want to do, and do it for you! Whatever happens, stay true!

    I know.. there are some new people who um... speak in ways that irritate me and throw fluffy words and emojis everywhere and they gain instant popularity..
    I just hope thats how they are, and not for attention. But you've cone this far without all that and it's so amazing to have stayed true to yourself. Thanks Emi :)

    1. Good to know that someone is actually reading the text! I feel like I skimp on it sometimes if it just seems too "normal" but I never know if it's someone completely new to the brand reading it or if it's just the same old people reading the same old descriptions over and over again lol.
      Thank you so much for your comment! I'm definitely looking for new inspiration over the next few months and we'll see where it takes me <3

  10. Hey Emi! I've been following your blog since 2013 and I have to say, you were the reason why I started blogging haha. I still read all your post despite how long they are. It's all so interesting.

    I totally understand how your don't want to post too much detail because of privacy reason etc. That's why I'm conflicted to continue blogging about my everyday lifestyle.

    I actually lost my passion for blogging (again) because blogging became a school assignment before I graduated, and it's now part of my career. So when I go home now and blog, I feel as if I'm bringing work home even though it's unrelated content.

    I never thought you came off as "bitchy" or anything. Actually, I love how straightforward you are. You're not sugar-coating anything! that's why you're still my favorite blogger. I really respect everything that your do. haha

    1. Thank you Cindy! Definitely when blogging feels like a chore, it is very tiring. I really appreciate your continued support <3

  11. hey emi. thanks for sharing your thoughts. chin up! I for one really like how you post on Instagram ("fluffy" is not my thing) and I really appreciate all the work that goes into your blog. You're right, you need to enjoy it and it needs to feel right for you, but in my opinion you have the best Liz Lisa/fashion blog and I love how organized you are. Your blog has been a big help when I'm trying to decide on a product or want to see what pretty coordinates you've posted recently. I don't think you're doing anything wrong. don't feel obligated to share things from your personal life either, if you're not comfortable with it. It's completely understandable why someone wouldn't want to be open about their personal life online.
    Blogging has to be worth it to you. Like I said, I'm glad you do it and I like how you do it, and I understand that you might want to feel rewarded for it. It may be human nature to compare but I hope you don't feel too down on yourself often and know that there are plenty of people who appreciate what you do.