You guys. I’m ’bout to get real with you for a moment. May I do that?
You’re reading this so even if you said no to that question just now, I’m gonna keep going anyway.
I can’t tell you how many people (and people I’d NEVER expect…) have sent me messages recently, or stopped me at church, or texted me, or somehow communicated to me some or all of the following:
“I love seeing all your outfits. I read your blog every morning!”
“What outfit should I wear for this?”
“You’ve been inspiring me to put myself together in the morning.”
“I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “Would Molly (Buckley) Stillman like this?”
WHATTTT?! You jokin’, righ?
So, I’ve been blogging for a while. THIS blog, as it is exists on it’s current server now, has been around three and a half years. And before that there was of course LiveJournal and my fabulous GeoCities site. The content has shifted over the years, for sure.
From social media, to teaching, to small-business ownership, to running, to comedy, to serving last summer in Kenya.
The blog has seen me grow as a person. It’s seen me through relationships, friendships, college graduation, no job, new job, four jobs, engagement, marriage, etc. etc. etc. It’s been a creative outlet for me. It’s been a place I can document my life.
I’d still write all of the things that I write and I’d still share all of the things that I share – EVEN if NO ONE read it.
BUT, with that being said, the words of encouragement and the thought that someone reads what I write and LIKES it means the world to me. It’s honestly, in some ways, what fuels me.
I’ve always been the person who wants to inspire people. I want to bring joy to people’s lives. I want to relate to people. I want people to read what I write and hear my voice saying the words on the screen. I want people to experience the good, the bad, the fantastic, the ugly, and the wonderful right alongside me.
I’m not perfect. I’m not a professional at anything that I write about. I’m no expert. But I’ve learned a lot of things along the way. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve made choices, and I’ve grown.
I’ve come a long way in my beliefs: my belief in myself, my belief in what I’m capable of, my faith in my relationships with my friends, my family, my husband, and my faith in my Lord.
I’m getting to the nitty-gritty now, I promise.
But I’m still not there yet.
My whole life I’ve used humor as a defense mechanism for the real issues I’ve dealt with. I’ve used the ability to laugh at myself, make others laugh, and use that self-deprecating-look-how-awkward-I-am humor to deflect what I don’t want people to point out for me.
And so that brings me to today. In the past few months my blog has shifted to food, and family, and faith, and yeah, FASHION. What?
Molly?! Doing fashion?!
For those that have known me a long time probably think it’s ridiculous.
I’m NOT the fashionable one. TRUST ME. My friends are much more fashionable than I am. I have some pretty hot friends.
But here’s why I do it and here’s what I’ve learned, and maybe, just maybe, SOMEONE, ANYONE can relate:
My whole life I’ve struggled with body image. Heck, what girl HASN’T?!
When I was in elementary school, I was tormented. And when I say tormented, I mean tormented. I was called every name you can think of. The things kids did to me would shock you. Seriously.
You think I’m awkward now? Try back then.
I’ve always been short. My legs are stumpy. I have HUGE hips (the Buckley buns as we so lovingly referred to them in my family). Yada yada yada. I feel like I went from a size 6X in kids to a 10 in adult women.
I was never a size 3, I was never a size 6. I’ve been a size 10/12/14 as long as I can remember.
For the longest time I would try EVERYTHING in my power to lose weight every way that I could. I’d run. I’d go to the gym like crazy. I’d diet. You name it, I did it.
I was always jealous of my tiny friends who looked good in anything. So, I was never confident in my clothes or how I looked when I went out with friends. I was the kinda chubby, goofy friend who brought comic relief. I wasn’t the one the guys hit on.
Then in my relationships, I never truly felt beautiful. I dealt with the same struggle I know so many women feel so often in life. SO many women, if not ALL women, go through periods in their lives where they don’t feel beautiful, no matter what anyone says.
I’ve grown a lot in the last two years and I’ve become to gain a confidence in myself that wasn’t ever there before. And since I’ve been married, I’ve, for the first time in my life, really started to feel confident in the way I look.
I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be a size 4. It’s not going to happen. I’m not built that way. But I’m JUST as beautiful at my size 10/12/14 as my amazing friends who ARE size a size 0 or a size 4. My friends are all different sizes and they’re all beautiful. I’ve been making the effort to just be HEALTHY and be healthy in who I am, not in who I wish I was.
And one day, I woke up, and I wanted to stop feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to stop saying, “UGH I have nothing to wear.” And so I started getting creative.
And in my quest for closet creativity, I unlocked something.
And suddenly I wanted to share that something.
I wanted women who read my blog and saw my photos (even my incredibly awkward ones) to know that you can be and feel fabulous at any age, height, size, shape, color, etc.
God made us who we are and the way we are, and the more we start embracing what we’ve been given, the more fun we’re going to start having.
I know, because it’s working for me. I’m having so much fun just being who I am.
hence the blog name still being [molly]… get it now?!
Since I’ve started doing this, the increased sense of self-confidence can be felt. It’s not cockiness, it’s not being pretentious – it’s a sense of confidence and carrying yourself with grace and poise – something all women should possess. Grace and poise. On top of all the other growth I’ve done – it’s a win win. My friends have noticed the positive change and my husband has noticed the positive change.
So yeah, I’m not professional closet consultant. I’m not a fashion designer. I’m not rich and I don’t have a huge clothing budget. I feel awkward taking photos of myself and there’s always that annoying, deep voice within me that fears the judgement I may face by posting something so personal.
And yeah, I’m a girl a heart. So sure, I watch the Bachelorette, I drink unhealthy amounts of Diet Coke and I covet things like Lilly Pulitzer dresses I can’t afford, Michael Kors watches that would look fabulous on my wrist, and Christian Louboutin pumps I will probably never own.
But those things don’t make me shallow. I’m fully aware of the plights of this world and how unbelievably blessed I am and I thank God for all of those things in my prayers when I wake up an go to bed every. single. day.
My mission has always been to serve and be grateful for the blessings and favor that’s all OVER my life. So grateful.
And if just one person becomes inspired by a simple photo of an outfit, or a thrifting triumph, or a dinner made well, or a joke I’ve made on this measly blog – then I feel like that’s a success.
I’m figuring it all out as I go. I’m learning. I’m looking for inspiration and I’m marrying that inspiration with my own personality.
So yeah, that long-winded explanation is just a peek into one of the many reasons why I do what I do on this blog and why I share what I share.
And of course, it wouldn’t be an outfit post without an awkward thumbs-up self-portrait.
So yeah, after all that, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re even still with me… Why do you read my blog? I’d love to know. Do you blog? I’d love to know why you blog. Share your heart. Tell me a story. Or tell me a joke. I’ll love you either way.
xoxox, all for now.