why i’ve been feeling defeated

by Krystal Bick
August 27, 2020

About 10 years ago, in the early fall of 2010…

…I remember one particular evening walking home from the bus stop in San Francisco, after a long day at work.

At the time, as my long-time readers may recall, I had just started working at Google, after a lengthy acquisition transition from my previous role at a start up, where we spent several months prepping for said acquisition interviews. I look back at those start up months before ending up at Google as some of the hardest of my early 20s. To make a long story short, it was a toxic work environment. I was worried about meetings all the time. I didn’t eat well. I was staying up all night working on presentations for meetings the following morning, usually with a Diet Coke next to me in bed. Come to think of it, my first grey hairs happened around this time frame, which to a 24-year old, that was nearly apocalyptic. In a lot of ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. In other ways, I can still feel the heat flushing my face as I got up at 6am, realizing I was about to dread every minute of work that day.

I know what you’re thinking…dramatic much? So let’s fast forward to this evening in question.

I had just gotten off the Google shuttle, walking back downhill from Alamo Square toward a studio apartment in Hayes Valley that I loved. I can’t tell you the specifics about that day — what I was wearing, what show I was perhaps excited to watch at the time or what I was about to make for dinner. But I remembered feeling overwhelmingly happy. And I don’t mean in the sense “I had a good day so I’m happy,” happy, although from what I can remember, I did have a good day. No, this happiness was different — I was very acutely aware during that walk home, of how happy I was with my life at that moment. From my boyfriend at the time, to my new-found work-life balance at Google, from the creativity I was feeling in both my professional and personal spheres to living in a new city that excited me every day. All the factors combined made me realize, in an almost existential, out of body way, how happy I was with how my life was coming together at that particular moment in time. I remember smiling on the way home, hopeful that I’d be able to maintain some semblance of this inner peace for years to come.

Naturally, over the course of the 10 years that followed that day, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have many bouts of similar happiness, both while I worked at Google and especially after I decided to leave to commit myself full-time to this corner of the internet that so many of you have afforded me the opportunity to make a living off of. On the flip side, I’ve had many phases where the opposite has been true — running a small business is extremely rewarding, but running a small business where the platforms, algorithms and business objectives of big companies change every quarter, every week, every day(!), is just downright exhausting no matter how hard I try to adapt in my own way. To compound that, throw in the storm that is 2020 and it was only inevitable that I’d find myself in a prolonged state of feeling, for lack of a better word, defeated.

Before I share why I’ve been feeling defeated, I just wanted to underscore that I don’t share any of this lightly or without the understanding that I know I’m extremely fortunate, especially given how much 2020 has brought. By all accounts, I’m healthy. My family is healthy. At the moment, I still have work to keep me somewhat busy and afloat. And I have an extremely supportive partner, who I love and feel infinitely closer to because of this pandemic. In the grand scheme of things, I know my experience pales in comparison to what so many people, in this country and around the world, are battling day after day — so why can’t I shake this negativity? Why can’t I chase away these rain clouds? And moreover, how dare I assume my situation warrants attention at all — which is where my guilt knocks on the door to join the already crowded pity part and I just want to dive under a pile of blankets and hide.

I suppose my overall hope in sharing this post today is simple. I don’t want sympathy.  Or advice. And I don’t have tips to share on how I’m combatting these feelings just yet (because I’m still in the process of sorting that out). No, mainly I just want to remind whoever is reading this and feeling something similar at the moment, that you’re certainly not alone. And despite what the internet might lead you to believe, we’re all going through something — big and small. My experience isn’t meant to negate or diminish the importance of yours. And vice versa. That’s the blessing and the curse of the human experience, right? With any luck, as I’m trying to remind myself now as I type this, the bad passes eventually. Pivot moments happen. Rain clouds clear. And we get on with it. My hope for you is that you can remember that when it gets dark and you don’t know how to move forward — light will come and your feet will move, one in front of the other. As they always find a way to do.

The world feels terribly uncertain

If ever there was an understatement for the year of 2020 it would be that it was full of uncertainty. We’re practically riding wave after wave of uncertainty at this point — which is, by itself, the only certainty this year has brought. As my boyfriend pointed out last night during dinner, I started my blog over 11 years ago, in the midst of the global financial crisis with zero idea of what the future had in store for me. Ironically enough, things feel somewhat full circle at the moment in that I’m on a career path that I’m not sure how to navigate forward during a time where the economy is volatile at best.

As a very emotionally charged Pisces, I’m empathetic to a fault. I absorb the energy around me — the good and the bad — taking it on sometimes, as if it were my own. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at filtering this and deflecting when I need to, but ever since March hit, it’s gotten increasingly harder and harder every day. Especially as the news cycles churn out scary headlines left and right and the concept of time has both slowed down immensely and sped up at a frightening pace. My focus has felt jilted in a lot of ways, and while I was able to hone in creatively during much of the lockdown for work, I’m feeling a new troubling undercurrent rise up as it pertains to my career, which brings me to my next point.

Work feels terribly uncertain

This “undercurrent” I mentioned isn’t necessarily spurred because of the pandemic. If anything, it’s been festering for quite a while before hand. For the past year or so, I’ve struggled with defining it. Mainly because, in a lot of ways, it’s contradictory. On one hand, I feel the most fulfilled with the visual content I’ve been creating lately — from a photography stand point, from a storytelling standpoint, from a styling standpoint. And yet, at the same time, I feel the most resentment toward it, too — mainly because of the platform vehicles I rely on to disseminate that content (ahem, Instagram) feel more and more limited reach wise. I won’t bore you all with my gripes about the algorithm and analytics, as a sad, tiny violin plays in the background. At the end of the day, I’m aware of all the different “tips” I could heed as it pertains to “winning” at the Instagram game. But somewhere along the way of this past year, I’ve realized I don’t know if I’m cut out for this game anymore. I don’t enjoy making TikTok style, match-cut videos. I’m not an over-sharer when it comes to a lot of the inner details of my life. And perhaps it’s the onset of my mid 30s, but I feel less and less inclined to spend hours rounding up links of what to buy on Amazon or the Nordstrom sale.

I don’t say any of that to demean that work. Because it is admirable work. And I respect when content creators approach it thoughtfully and with intention. It’s just not me. I think I miss certain aspects of the internet circa 2009/2010 that didn’t feel all-consuming, all day long. I’m the same introvert I was back in college and as much as I’ve tried to “showcase” my online persona in recent years, it doesn’t come naturally to me. Which is why I’ve thrown myself into trying to create aspirational content — beautiful imagery with what I hope have been thought-provoking captions and posts. Something to make you stop, think and in some way or another, feel inspired to carry that notion into your own life.

What I’m starting to find is perhaps I’ve either fallen short in that pursuit or there isn’t much appetite for it in the first place. I’m fine with either answer. I’m just trying to figure out what that means for my next step, where this corner of the internet isn’t my sole income source. Bottom line: I’m definitely at a crossroads. And I’m not sure I know what road I want to turn on from here.

I miss my family

Like many you, I haven’t seen my family since Christmas. Admittedly, I don’t make it back west multiple times throughout the year, so there’s nothing terribly out of the ordinary with that statement. But ever since March, I’ve had this anxiety-ridden fear in my gut that I wasn’t sure when and if I’d be able to see them this coming holiday season as I would normally plan to. Suddenly, I was faced with this fear of feeling helpless in the face of the pandemic, as it pertained to my parents and their health. I miss them. I miss my sister. And I hate not knowing when I can see them next. When I can hug them next. When I can tell them to their face that I love them.

Elvis has cancer

For various reasons, I’ve put off sharing this information, but mainly because, I was in shock for a long time. His diagnosis came rather unexpectedly during a routine checkup back at the end of May. It knocked the wind out of my lungs when our vet called me to say, “Do you have a moment to chat about Elvis?” Swollen lymph nodes led to a biopsy and eventually to a positive lymphoma diagnosis, followed by a dark and sad spiral of feeling so helpless at a time where I already felt pretty helpless. Now, in light of everything going on, I felt like I was about to lose my best friend of 7 years, my side kick who had seen me through good times and bad times, cross country moves, broken hearts and countless ugly cries, always calming me with an earnest lick on the cheek where tears had been.

I didn’t share at the time, again mainly because my approach to sharing extremely personal things like this on the internet is to sit and BE with them for a moment. I had to process on my own. And with Ty and the advice of our doctors. Further compounded by the long overdue resurgence of the BLM movement that was happening at roughly the same time, my news felt terribly tone deaf. Far more important stories needed the mic and the airtime. And they still do.

Fast forward to today, and we’re already several months into chemotherapy. Elvis is responding extremely well to the treatments — and in fact, has already achieved remission! I temper that statement with a reality that I’ve had to accept since the end of May — statistically speaking, most dogs with lymphoma, even after successful chemotherapy, will relapse at some point. An ideal outcome is to get 2 more years post diagnosis to fill with happy memories for them and for you. And believe me, that is what I intend to do for Elvis. For as long as I can.

Wrapping this novel up…

All of this very long-winded post is to say: if you’re feeling uncertain, uncomfortable, defeated and lost right now or even just a sliver of any of those feelings combined, please know, I see you. I really do. You’re not alone. And while I could go into a long list of rational tips on how to combat those feelings, I know sometimes the simple thing that makes me feel infinitely better, is knowing there’s someone else who’s going through it as well. That and writing it all out — 2,000 words later and I feel like I’ve gotten a good weight off my chest. I sincerely hope this post doesn’t come across as ungrateful and whiny — I was merely hoping to provide a sense of camaraderie at a time when I think we could use it most.

Truthfully, I keep thinking about the girl I was 10 years ago on that early fall day in 2010, walking home from the bus stop and how painfully happy she felt! Despite the bitterness 2020 might have instilled in me thus far, I still know deep down, I’m capable of feeling that way again. I just have a bit of work to do to get back there.


61 thoughts on “why i’ve been feeling defeated

  1. Hey Krystal, I am I an entirely different hemisphere from you, but I relate to how you’re thinking and feeling . There is comfort in sharing, particularly when we are all having to be physically so distant from one another. Good wishes as you navigate your way through uncomfortable feelings and challenging times. You got this. Best wishes to little Elvis too. His BOM video is one of my faves. S

    • Hi Susan — thank you so much for writing in and for your words of encouragement! As much as I try to combat these feelings with meditation, journaling and self-reflection (which I’ve been doing a lot of) sometimes the most comforting is just knowing none of us are alone in this. Sending you and your love ones a big hug across the globe!

  2. God Bless you Krystal! God Bless all of us! I wish I could there and everywhere to embrace all humanity thats suffering! I can’t, but God can and He will! All everyone needs to do is embrace Him! God is real and He’s always there! Waiting! ♥️✨🙏

  3. Finished reading with watered eyes. You are not alone and the only thing that brings me comfort is knowing that we’ll get through it.

  4. Your content has always been a cut above the rest, especially as time has gone by and you’ve started focus on photography and narratives, just stunning. Gets better and better. You’re honestly one of the only “fashion bloggers” I follow anymore. I have no doubt that you’ll find your place, and it’ll be creative and interesting. I’m so glad to hear that Elvis is doing well, and that your family is ok!

    • Hi Michelle — thank you for writing in and for your words of encouragement! I’m so honored to have your support over the years — means more to me than you know! Elvis sends his regards and I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend so far!

  5. Hey Krystal,

    I’m sorry you’re under a cloud you can’t move.

    My mother is nearing the end of an 8-month battle with brain cancer and I can relate to constantly cloudy skies. The only way I’ve managed to get out of bed this year, is with the mindset of only focusing on what needs to be done that day. Sometimes all you can do is get by one day at a time. While my grief seems like it’s going to consume me whole, your story helps to remind me that everyone has shit and I need to change my perspective. I’m fortunate to get more out of 34 years with my mom than most people get in their lifetime. And I need to focus on that, cause that’s my sliver lining. I needed to read this today, so thank you. And I hope your clouds start to break up soon.

    And as for your professional evolution, I assure you people will come for your honest writing and your impeccable eye for visual design. The older I get the less I want to consume… weird how that happens when I can actually afford to consume ha!

    • Kat, I truly needed to read your comment today. Thank you for writing it and for writing in with such honest and raw feelings. My heart goes out to you and your mother — I can’t even begin to imagine how your heart has been processing this news. But you’re so right — we really do need to cling to those silver linings. They make a world of a difference. Sending you and your mother a big hug and lots of love. And thank you again for your encouraging words.

  6. Wow, I’ve read your post and it’s unbelievable how honest you are about yourself and feelings. Be proud of that, I know it’s not easy to speak about this topic. I noticed that this year 2020 is not the best time, we don’t feel totally free. Especially when you can’t see your loved ones who make life easier.

    • Thank you, Luc! And you’re so very right — I think confronting these feelings alone has made me feel infinitely lighter already. Thank you for your note and your encouraging words. Means more to me than you know!

  7. I am so sorry about Elivis, and thank you for saying that you know there is so much more going on in the world, but Elvis is your family so all feelings are valid. That’s how i always feel about my pets when something sad happens, but family is family.

    When i would see my old therapist and i would be sad about something like a breakup or losing a job (that i didnt want anyways) i would say i feel bad because so much more was going on and it felt selfish to have these pity parties. He was so sweet to say that although in the grand scheme of things more people were struggling, we are all validated to have our feelings. “Have your feelings, don’t let your feelings have you,” he would say. Meaning we you are allowed to have a pitty party, but when that party is over (and don’t over stay your welcome) scoop yourself and your feelings up and keep living.

    • Hi Alison, I absolutely love that quote from your therapist — “Have your feelings, don’t let your feelings have you.” I will definitely keep that in mind as I navigate this time. It’s important to recognize when to feel, when to process and, as you said, when to scoop yourself up and keep living. I intend to do just that. As always, thank you so much for sharing with me!

  8. Hi Krystal – I first want t o say my heart goes out to you and Ty and Elvis! My husband and I just recently adopted a puppy together and it’s only been a month and I cant imagine my life without her so my thoughts are with you guys for a good, happy remission for Elvis!
    Second, and I think I’ve commented this before or something similar, I’m a close to original follower (since 2011) and blogging was SO different back then. And I miss it. I’m a self-proclaimed “blog junkie” and still go through the blogs on follow daily or as often as possible. But it’s changed from a readers perspective over the past 9 years too. So much more sponsored content, styling posts have become short and massive roundups, and honestly…. I miss it. Yours is still one of the only left that are like the old days! And quarantine gave me an even deeper connection to you and your content. I valued it so much and still do….as an escape and a hope for the future. Your inspirational and editorial style is something I’d admire and wish more bloggers would pick up again…but I know Instagram is all the rage so I’m a little sad. But just know, you’ve deeply impacted at least one follower…in a year that started out with losing my son and then Covid hitting. You gave me beauty and style that I had been missing and story telling that gave me an escape! Here’s to hoping for the better times ahead and a future where you’re story telling is still here!

    • Hi Lauren — I can’t even begin to tell you how much your comment means to me. The fact you took time out of your day to read this and leave such a sweet and thoughtful comment, when your own plate is already so full of worry and heartache, I can’t express how much I just want to hug you right now. Thank you for sharing with me and thank you for reminding me there’s always silver linings, if we just try to search for them. Sending you and your family (and your new pup!) a big hug and lots of love!

  9. Krystal, I’m so sorry to hear about Elvis. What a terrible thing to experience! I’m sending him positive vibes for a speedy recovery and sending you positive vibes as well. It sure is a tough time and hard to stay positive, but know that your gorgeous photography plays a part in that for me.

    • Hi Briana — Thank you so much for writing in and for the kind words regarding Elvis’ recovery! Oddly enough, he’s probably the least phased out of this whole process. He’s in zero pain and doesn’t realize anything is wrong with him. In fact, he ENJOYS going to the doctor for chemotherapy, mainly because the staff there all loves him and gives him lots of treats. 🙂 The fact he’s still smiling makes me smile. Thank you so much for your support and I hope you’re having a great week so far!

  10. Thank you for being so real and so raw. I love following you for your aesthetic, and to see someone who came from the same beginning I did be so successful. I enjoy all of your glamour OIS photos. But I feel that pain of how so I keep going in this ever changing field as I’m changing and the world is changing. I’m glad Elvis is recovering, how complicated to face what is truly a tragedy, but feel like you shouldn’t share because of the collective tragedy we’re all facing.
    Thanks for writing this. Thanks for all the content.
    It is a joy to read.

    • Hi Ashleigh — Thanks for your comment and for your kind words of support and encouragement! Means more to me than you know! I’m in a much better place this week — honestly, it helped a lot just writing it all out. This year has been a challenge for us all — but despite all the unrest and pain, I think there’s a lot of growth and empathy to be gained from it, too. I hope you’re having a great week so far and please give my regards to the Biggest Little City!

  11. I first ‘discovered’ you toward Christmas last year. You were on a Boden Instagram post wearing a sparkly skirt and dancing around, the epitome of happiness. I checked out your posts and followed. You have brought a light to my day, my afternoon and my evening many a time since. Your dialogues have provided inspiring, thought provoking moments for me. We have ‘corresponded’ by dm and you listened to me as I allayed my fears in the early days of lockdown here in England. Your adventures over the last months have I’m sure delighted and entertained many. So be sure that in your times and moments of need we are here for you. We hear you, we read you. I pray for a healthy Elvis and your peace of mind in your adventures to come. I look forward to reading your accounts and smiling at your photos. You are not alone, you are always dancing, you are sparkling. Best wishes housewifey 😉

    • Hi Tracy! Thank you so much for your note and the very kind words! I have to say, I’m the one who should be thanking you. Your comments and DMs the past few months of quarantine have truly brightened my day, more than I think you realize! In a weird way, I have to think perhaps someday we’ll meet — when this is all over and COVID-19 is a thing of the past, I’ll hop over the pond to your neck of the woods! In the meantime, I look forward to your prose!

      • Hello Krystal,

        I’ve only just seen this so apologies for the delay in acknowledgement. I think you’ve made the connection with me between here and on Instagram, where I enjoy the use of a ‘pen name’ for want of a better term. I would be delighted to meet you, this side of the pond and I hope travel will be safe sooner rather than later for so many reasons. I hope Elvis is progressing well much love Tracy

  12. Just hearing the word cancer just makes my stomach sinks. Good vibes to you, Ty, and Elvis. You’re truly loved and appreciated❤️

  13. Hi Krystal, I’m very sorry about Elvis. I truly know how you feel. I had a similar situation happen to me a couple a years ago. Secondly, thank you for sharing your feelings of uncertainty with us. I can only speak for myself but reading your( Journal entry). Shows courage, empathy, strength etc. We are living in uncertain times and it’s hard. My mom is stuck in another country since March and Ive had to take care of my Dad. But you sharing your story has given me hope. I too, am not alone. Me battling with these roller coaster of emotions day by day. The only thing I can say about your work is yes I have noticed a huge difference but it’s become better! A story is being told in what you capture. I’m loving it! I truly believe this pandemic has shown all of us something special. Whether it’s to go on a different path, appreciate family, slow down , breathe. Whatever it is this is a Lesson. So, again thank you for sharing this piece of your intimate life. I appreciate it and you. And whatever you decide as far as your career your True followers will support you always. Sending you light and love .

    • Hi Carmen — thank you so much for your note and I just wanted to say, my heart goes out to you! It sounds like your plate is quite full and I’m sure it’s not easy being separated from your mom right now. You’re 100% right — this pandemic has truly given us incredible perspective, that we all really needed to see at this moment in our lives. It’s up to us as to what we decide to do with these insights, these lessons. Again, thank you so much reading and for sharing with me — I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful readers like you, but I don’t take it for granted for a second! Sending you a big hug right back!

  14. Your writing is a good reminder that we don’t know what people go through in their personal or professional lives. And being kind to others might be a good thing.
    I love your sweet pup posts. And I know he’s part of your family. My son has an aging golden retriever, although he’s not mine I care for that dog. Sometimes I fret over what could be his last years but we have to make the best. Right?
    I enjoy your delicious photos and the writing that follows. You’re talented. Thanks for sharing. It’s troubling times.

    • Hi Rebecca — thank you for your note! You’re absolutely right! I’ve been thinking about that very thought a lot during quarantine — each and every one of us is going through something – -big and small — and kindness costs us nothing and yet goes so far in making someone feeling loved, especially when they could certainly use it. My heart goes out to you and your family and your sweet golden retriever. I’m sure he knows he’s loved beyond measure! Sending you a big hug and thank you again for your note!

  15. I just want to say a couple things:
    1. You stand out to me among the small number of “fashion bloggers” I follow, as someone with heart, and as someone who does what they do because they truly love the entire creative process. The world of fashion blogging and influencing, I find that it encourages some of my worse instincts to consume and compare. Your content is so refreshing, even when you are doing sponsored work. It feels intentional and thoughtful and compels me to be intentional and thoughtful in my own life.
    2. I am so sorry about Elvis. I’m also sorry that you feel any need to hedge or contextualize your and his suffering within the suffering the world is experiencing. I recently finished treatment for leukemia, and I wouldn’t wish my experience on anybody else, let alone a creature (any creature!) who doesn’t understand what is going on or its implication on their life and longevity. Also, in my experience, I know that there were many times that witnessing what I was going through was worse than going through it myself. The feeling of helplessness is truly overwhelming. There’s no competition when it comes to suffering. It’s all horrible.

    Thank you for providing your creativity in a time when you’ve been going through so much. If there is a better way for your followers to engage in your content that would improve things on your end, please do share! And I’ll be keeping Elvis in my thoughts. ❤️❤️

    • Hi Jamie — oh wow, your note is going to make me cry. First of all — my heart goes out to you! Battling leukemia, especially in the midst of an already hard year — I can’t even begin to imagine what you must be feeling/going through other than I’m so greatly inspired by your strength! It’s incredibly humbling to me, seemingly a stranger on the internet, would warrant such a beautiful, thoughtful response from someone who also has her own fair share of heartache and troubles. Thank you for your kindness and compassion. Truly. And secondly, I really do appreciate the sweet gesture as to how you my dear readers can help engage with my content. Honestly, just these heartfelt conversations here on my blog make a world of a difference! Thank you for sharing with me and I’m sending you a big virtual hug!

  16. Hi Krystal,

    Just wanted to say thank you so much for posting. I am in a similar state as you were in your early twenties aka no life balance and job I realized isn’t for me. But also feeling guilty since so many of my peers wish they had a job and I’m here hating mine #classof2020. Anyways your post gives me hope that I will also get to a day where I will love my life, job etc. Thank you for being your authentic self. Your account is one of my favorites and truly shows your creative genius. I know that whatever you may choose to do in the future will be wonderful!

    • Hi Fernanda — thank you for your note and for sharing with me! I can assure you as someone who made it through her 20s, a bit bumped, bruised but ultimately stronger because of it, you, too, will push forward toward the life you LOVE. It’s important to take note of what’s fueling you, what’s making you smile and what’s making you feel heavy along the way — and be sure to listen to and notice the small signs the universe gives when it’s nudging you in certain directions. It rarely leads you astray. Sending you a big hug — you got this!

  17. Hi Krystal, thank you for sharing this post, it resonates with me too! Such a deep well-written descriptive one, I wouldn’t say you were whiny here…I cried when I read the part about Elvis, I hope he gets better, he has you Krystal. Love you, all of best! Nazgul

  18. This was so perfectly articulated and beautiful, it’s amazing how often we end up in our bubble of problems that we forget how many are feeling the same way. I think there is bravery in being candid and admitting that there may not be one direct cause for negative feelings and that’s ok! We always try to diagnose our feelings so we can cure them when it could end up just adding pressure. I truly choked up reading about Elvis, I wish him all the best! He’s lucky to have such a caring owner and I’m sure will have many happy memories yet.

    • Hi Katy — thank you for your sweet note and you’re completely right! Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause or direct source of our frustrations/unhappiness but the first step is trying to articulate it and write it all out. I have to say, I feel 100X better after finishing this post so it means a lot to me that you took the time to read it! I’m happy to hear it resonated with you and thank you so much for the well wishes for Elvis. Means so much to me and to him! Sending you a big hug!

  19. You convey so powerfully-well what you are feeling—it’s like an icy splash of water to the face. I feel very emotional after reading this, but I get cerebral again thinking about how hard you work, and your never-give-up-spirit that we all desire. My 60 years of experience has taught me that this feeling of standing still while uncertainty is swirling around you—with no choice but to just take it in because you aren’t at a place of decision—is the hardest work that will yield such great outcomes…eventually. It’s because you are sitting with it and letting it be just as it is, that it is penetrating so deeply. I know that you know that too. I just wanted to say back to you, that I see you, albeit from a distant place since I don’t really know you. There is a connection though with the vulnerability of your work, and the gifts that you give everyday on your platforms. And I’m so sorry to hear about Elvis—one of the all-time greatest dogs. ❤️

    • Hi Dawn — oh goodness. If I may borrow your words (because they’re just so poignant, I can’t help myself) — your comment is like an icy splash of water to the face. Thank you, truly. I’ve been trying to sit with a lot of these realizations for some time now, a bit paralyzed by the fear of what it all meant, but I’m trying to see the potential in it, too — the possible great outcomes, as you put it. Thank you for this important reminder and more importantly, thank you for helping me realize I’m not alone. Sending you love and light!

  20. Thank you for this! As someone who isn’t alone during these times but has felt disjointed from people near and far as of late, reading your post made me feel the first real moment of connection in a long while. So thank you for that!

    It’s easy to get caught in a mental rut and then remember that your situation is not nearly
    as bad as it could be, which doesn’t do anything to stop the feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness but just adds guilt to the pile. Your words are a valuable reminder to press pause and let others know how you’re doing, because you never know how that message may resonate with someone else. And I really believe that one of the hardest steps you can take in life
    is recognizing and accepting that a change is needed. It’s no small feat what you have come to accept for own life! Make sure you repeat your sentiments back to yourself anytime you feel unsure of what’s to come – you are absolutely right that this moment will pass and, one way or another, we will all find a way to press on. And we will be okay.

    Sending you (and Elvis) love from Seattle!

    • Hi Sheena — thank you so much for your note and for sharing with me! I’m so happy to hear this post not only resonated with you but could help you feel a real moment of connection. One thing is for sure, 2020 has made us all feel extremely disjointed so if my post could help you feel less alone in all of this, I’m elated to hear it! I will certainly repeat back my sentiments over the coming weeks — change is never easy but that’s what makes it all worthwhile in the end. In the meantime, I’m trying to shake off some of this guilt (although that part is harder!). Sending you love and a big hug from NYC!


    Long time reader here. As in remember that outfit you flipped your button down sweater and wore it backwards? Yeah I tried it too. That’s the blog I remember and always loved. This post is so relatable as a fellow blogger and old school one at that too. I’m sure you’ll find you’re path and it’ll be inspirational as always. Also positive vibes to Elvis. My dog also had a rough summer and I found two different types of cancerous lumps on her. Luckily she’s cancer free but she’s almost 11 and we are officially on cancer watch every 3 months. Life is so challenging right now for everyone in their own way. We will all get through it somehow in some way.

    Xo Jessica

    • Hi Jessica — oh wow, what a flashback! I can vividly remember the day I took that photo with my backwards cardigan, that later prompted 20 coworkers to ask me, “You do realize your sweater is backwards, right?” 🙂 I needed that laugh — thank you! And more importantly, thank you for your note — I feel infinitely better having written that post, like a weight that’s been lifted, but notes like yours remind me that I’m truly not alone. Also, sending you positive thoughts and vibes for your pup — it’s so heartbreaking watching our fur babies go through something they just can’t understand. Big hugs girl!

  22. Hi Krystal

    Long time reader, rare commenter. I remember when you got Elvis and I nearly cried reading this post. My thoughts and healing wishes are with you both.

    Also, I’m a critical care physician (I work in the ICU). Your posts have helped boost my spirits during some dark post call moments and during this entire season which has been one of the toughest challenges our profession has faced. I want you to know that, no matter which direction you go, your work has meaning and touches people in ways that might not be obvious. Thank you for being there for us.

    – Emily

    • Hi Emily — oh wow, you’re going to make me cry! Thank you for your note and your sweet words, but most importantly, thank YOU for your care, service and bravery right now, in the face of such a horrific pandemic. The fact you’ve taken time to help me feel less alone right now speaks volume to what a heart you have. Thank you for your support over the years — I don’t know what I did to deserve such a wonderful reader like yourself but I don’t take it for granted for a second! Sending you love!

  23. You inspire me daily. From your beautiful images, to heartfelt and thought provoking messages, I feel elevated after consuming you content every time. Thank you.

  24. Hello K. I am a long time reader, never commented. And I see the “blog/influencer “ world changing right in front of my eyes and I wonder, Is it worth the future fight? There’s so much for you (all) to keep up on…so many platforms, visibility, struggle… and where does it all head in five years? It does seem to be a time for reflection as 2020 has done for so many of us and you’re in tune with yourself to consider many avenues during this wavy time. Not easy as it is your livelihood and love but I believe you’re being so smart to think about the weight of media and making sure that weight fits in to your future life as you want it to. Best wishes on your journey and to your Elvis!

    • Hi Tara — thanks so much for your note and your support over the years! I think you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head — I find myself constantly asking myself, is this effort working toward a life I want to live 5 years from now? 10 years from now? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I know that it is, especially when visibility seems to be a constant struggle across all platforms. Anyway, I’m rambling but I so appreciate your thoughts and empathy right now — sending you a big hug!

  25. Thank you for this beautifully candid post. I shared one today today and I know it’s hard to hit publish. The world is weird right now, and that’s no different for content creators. I think everyone has gone through a period of feeling deflated over the last six months, whether they’re brave enough to admit it or not. I’ve always been so impressed with your creativity, but especially during this time. You have such an incredible eye! The way you used your space for shoots was amazing, as are the self-photography shoots. You’re doing great, and I can’t wait to see what you do next (when you’re ready). As for Elvis, the biggest hugs to you and him, and wishes for as much time together as possible.

    • Hi Sam — thanks for your note and for sharing with me! You’re so incredibly right — for as much as we all share on the internet, sometimes being truly vulnerable is the hardest to do. These past few months have certainly been hard on us all — but hopefully have brought a lot of perspective to gain about what we truly want and what truly makes us happy. It means so much to me to have wonderful readers like you — and while I’m not entirely what I did to deserve your support, I don’t take it for granted for a second. Sending you a big hug!

  26. Hi Krystal. I have been a silent follower of yours for quite some time now. I have so enjoyed watching your growth in creating beautiful, thoughtful and aspirational content. It’s not easy striking a balance between fun and self-aware. I think you do it tremendously well. The time and work you put in is clear and very much appreciated. I can only imagine how frustrating it can be when your hard work doesn’t translate into a greater level of appreciation.

    I can relate to the feeling of deflation – these months of quarantine have felt like I’m the ball in the game of pong. Bouncing off the same 4 walls, trying to stay productive while also trying to figure what I want out of life, how to keep my family safe and how to solve the worlds problems. Clearly not a realistic endeavor but I think I can make some headway on the question of am I happy with where I am at this moment in my life. This moment in time has brought into stark relief that life is precious and how we spend our time should bring us joy, big or small. My two cents to share.

    I can also relate with the spiral of fear that comes with the thought of losing a beloved pet. My doggie got very sick at the beginning of July. We were in and out of the hospital constantly for weeks. The vet suspected lymphoma but couldn’t pinpoint it. She was 10. She deteriorated quite quickly and we lost her just a few weeks ago. Hold Elvis close, kiss him a million times a day and take photos of every single adorable and silly thing he does.

    Thank you for sharing your words and I hope you don’t mind that I shared a little back. It’s comforting to know that in a world of strangers, we are all trying to find a way through this static.

    • Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for your note and for your support all these years! And what an analogy! The ball in the game of pong — wow, I relate to that on so many levels! You’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head though — this period has certainly brought so much perspective to what truly matters and brings us all the most joy. It’s up to us to hopefully see that clearly now. Sending you love and positive thoughts, especially in the wake of the passing of your sweet pup. I’ll be honest, reading that part of your message has made me tear up — I wish I could give you a hug.

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