For as long as I can remember — probably 5 or 6 years old — I’ve known I’ve never been one of the cool kids.

Maybe it was because I was overweight for a majority of my life. Maybe because I’ve always been a little socially awkward particularly the minute a so-called cool girl walks in. Maybe it’s the red hair when I’ve always been in a sea or brunettes and blondes. For the record. I always wanted brown hair! Maybe my clothes weren’t the trendiest. I mean I did have the white canvas Keds, not the leather ones (gasp, I know!), and I practically refused to wear nearly every color except for blue until my mid 20s. But, maybe, it’s just me.

And, not in a bad way, but just in a way that maybe for my differences in weight, hair color and even religion are/were generally different, all I wanted was to fit in and that general lesson continued on. In doing some self reflection the past year or two, and more recently for the blog, I realized some things.

Well first, I’m going to be 35 years old in two months. {senior citizen in blog world, I know}

I only want and seek friendships now where we are nice to each other, where we don’t have to judge or wonder, where I can be me, where we can laugh and be honest, go in or stay out, where we build each other up, and are friends for decades to come. My best and oldest friends are all these girls.

Yet, I almost split my life in two ways. This regular girl who lives and works here, and then “blogger self”. And, if I’m being honest, blogger self has been struggling to realize she doesn’t need to be one of the cool kids. Let’s be honest, she’s never going to be. And, the more I think and realize it, the happier I’ve become.

I say that because I realized I inadvertently have been trying to be one of the blogging cool kids when really, I’m not. I’m a 30-something from the ‘burbs with two kids and a full-time job. I think that’s pretty cool in my world but in blogging world? Archaic. The cool kids are in their gorgeous outfits and amazingly styled homes are mostly under 30’s living in some fab city in a home (or even a tiny apartment), and without baby gates and foamy things on the edges of their furniture for safety. I don’t put effortless outfits together and breeze into rooms. I laugh just thinking about it. Looking effortless is time consuming, and breezing and me don’t mix. Now falling, being clumsy and making that kind of scene? I’m your girl. My ability to fall down a flight of stairs is impressive.

I realized this a few weeks ago as I reflected back to 2014 and felt that TAGG went a little askew. Don’t get me wrong: I loved a lot of the content here, had so much fun, met and connected with more of you, have been given incredible opportunities. Yet between a hectic work schedule, the birth of our cute baby boy, and a million other things, I realized TAGG wasn’t generally delivering what I wanted it to for the real girl like me. I got a little swept up in the fashion side of things by seeing what the “cool” fashion bloggers were doing. Not purposely, and not with any grand intent, but because talking about fashion can be fun, and just because fitting in can feel good.

That never works, though. {you know it’s easier said than done though, right? To not give a shit and just do your own thing? I’m getting there}. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy, right? Especially when you’re not even comparing apples to apples.

This isn’t a fashion blog — and I don’t want it to be — there are women out there way more capable and talented to talk about that. This is a lifestyle blog where I envision a cross between Redbook and Real Simple, where this 30-something can help curate outfits us real girls with varying body types and professions want, with five clever uses for baking soda or coconut oil, plus mix in an easy recipe, a problem-solving DIY, a movie review from this average girl, and some fun, affordable home finds. That’s absolutely what I love doing, why I started TAGG nearly five years ago.

Maybe I’m semi cool in some circles because I have this little corner of the internet but really, I’m tired now of even talking about the word “cool.” I’m an average, real girl working pretty hard to be as fabulous as I can be. Aren’t we all? I’m still awkward at social events. Still anxious about my weight (hard to erase years of that mental anguish), and still unsure of some of my decisions, even if it’s just the latest trending nail color.

I’m grateful for the women I’ve met both in real life and through blogging who have helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin. I hope this doesn’t sound harsh because I’m not down on myself except to say I’ve realized in the past few years that the best success, whether that’s with personal friendships or in the blogosphere, is just being who you are. Not everyone is going to love or be interested, including those cool kids in what I have to say, but that’s OK. Being cool is totally over-rated, right?

fall in love with your life

image 1, 2