For someone who never fails to mention her blog and repeatedly calls herself a blogger, I’m actually posting here after 2 years. This is both embarrassing and empowering. Let me get a little into the whats and whys!
In June 2018, I lost my dad. I haven’t been able to bring myself to blog since then.
Truth be told, in 2017 and in early 2018 when he was ailing, it had already become super hard to keep up the blog. As far as timing goes, it couldn’t have been worse. I conceptualized the blog in 2015 and started it in early 2016 so to go slow and be lax about posting here the very next year was actually irrational. But I’ll keep it real as I always do, it had gotten so challenging to be doing hospital visits, spending sleepless nights with stress, and just living in a world so far removed from the online world of glossy images, food, fashion, travel and just overall manufactured happiness. The dichotomy just weighed me down. I couldn’t live the farce anymore and so I just slowed down everything related to ‘Real Girl’ – I figured that if it has to happen, it will but I can’t be this fun/witty digital creator person at this point in my life. I had a few writing gigs and I focused on that and kept my head low. I remember trying so hard to keep creating content but I also felt like I was failing miserably. After a while, I gave up on trying to put good pictures or maintain any consistency on my Instagram also. I honestly didn’t have the mental bandwidth to think straight about my career. I’m not justifying my actions; someone else in my shoes may have still managed to grow their career despite difficult circumstances, but I’m not that person and I own it.
After losing dad I went through a whole different kind of emotional whirlwind because suddenly I had a new companion – grief. I knew I had to pick up the pieces of my career but I needed time. After trying to join the workforce full time (a short stint I didn’t enjoy AT ALL) I decided to take a proper break. This was a challenging time because literally everyone I know was asking me to delve into work thinking it’ll help cope with the loss if I’m busy. But I’d like to use this platform to say this: I think that was awful advice. People say things from their own perspectives, I get that. But for the first time ever I’m going to ask you – do you have any idea what it takes to be a writer/content creator? Do you know how ‘in the know’ you need to be? Do you know that there is nothing mechanical in my line of work and I always have to be ‘on’? I am so glad I have a supportive partner in Karan and he just instinctively knew I needed time off. He supported me while I slowly (with therapy and tremendous support from my friends) got back to living a somewhat normal life. (If you’ve experienced loss, you will know that things never really go back to the old normal.) I just want anyone reading this to take one message home – even though that’s not the point of this post – never give anyone advice on a situation you personally haven’t lived through.
Anyway, slowly but surely, life went on and I started missing being creative. Just around this time, someone super sweet that I happen to know in real life started working at a podcasting company (Hubhopper) and encouraged me to start a podcast. I was super apprehensive because I said I know nothing about podcasting, etc. but she persisted and said she used to really enjoy my blog posts and I could make a podcast about the kind of things I used to blog about. Now there’s an idea! I have always wanted to ‘keep it real’, be unfiltered and unabashed about so many topics and the need has only grown as I’ve grown older! I did get mildly excited by it but just like we all do, I gave myself a million reasons for why it would never work and who would even listen?
Somehow, on a lark, I did send them a demo – just recorded on the phone and they loved it and that’s how ‘Real Talk With Smriti Notani’ was born! To be completely honest with you, it’s been a year to the podcast and a life-changing one at that. Not only did I get featured for my podcast in The Sunday Midday, I was also featured in ‘Feminism in India’ under 6 Podcasts Hosted By Indian Women That We All Should Be Listening To and ‘All About Eve’ under 8 Podcasts For Indian Women To Go Into 2020 Wiser, Stronger And Sharper. My podcast is in all Ola cabs around the country. It is an app on Amazon Firestick and is available on all Alexa Devices. It is on every listening platform from Spotify to Itunes. So many more people have been reached by my podcast than my blog ever managed. Some things are just beyond our human realm of understanding and I think this is one of those magical things.
After losing dad, I really didn’t feel like blogging because it reminded me of a time when I would be sitting with my blog open, while the phone would often ring with mom telling me something awful like “come fast, we are rushing him to the hospital again”. I didn’t even feel like looking at my blog because some weird correlation had been formed with blogging and the worst possible negative events a person can live through. But today, I’ll tell you I’m in a different place. I am doing some super interesting content projects, my work as ‘Real Girl’ is being recognized, I’m having fun on Instagram with my IGTV Real Reviews and I am not willing to let go of the word ‘Blogger’. So hopefully, with this post…I start a whole new chapter of my blogging life. I know that blogs are old school (don’t worry I don’t live under a rock) and trust me they are difficult to maintain (you have to pay a fee just to retain the domain name and web hosting) but maybe in the most vain way possible – I simply can’t let go of the words ‘You should totally check out my blog – it’s www.realgirl.co’ so here I am; back again. ?
Do leave a comment, it would mean the world to me!
Lots of love,
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realgirlco/
Follow my podcast: https://hubhopper.com/podcast/real-talk-with-smriti-notani/7913
Photos Courtesy: Otherwordly Productions
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