Lucie Loves… Life // Freelance life in London,why it's important to hang out offline and be true to yourself
Staying motivated – especially when things are a bit shit/quiet/stressful on the work or personal front [delete as appropriate] is one of the toughest challenges that I face as a freelancer. I know that it’s one that many of my other blogger and non-blogger friends face too. I’ve had a funny old start to the year, and I’m already feeling a little bit worn out. Time to book in another digital detox soon, me thinks… after my upcoming #GIRLSGODEEP US road trip – watch this space!
After blogging as Lucie Loves for eight years now, it’s startling that almost a quarter of my life (and those of many of my friends) has been documented and communicated about, using social media in some way, shape or form. For me, as a documentary photographer, I chose to use social media to actively collect moments, to form a photo diary of my everyday existence. Little did I know, looking back some 8 years later, how poignant some of those captured moments would be.
I didn’t start a blog to get famous – I filmed a vlog about why I did it. And even after 8 years I’m nowhere near the stratospheric heights that many of my peers have climbed to. But, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. Proud, because it has been done with honesty and integrity. The content I post is true to who I am. I work with my best friends. Everyday is different. I will never chase followers. I will never try and be someone I’m not. Life is too short to be a fraud – and yes, I’m referring to Instagram fakery too.
I’ve moved cities. Started new jobs. Fallen in love. Become an aunty. Got engaged. Planned a wedding. Got married. Travelled far and wide. And, will soon be divorced. Halle-bloody-lujah! Apologies to all my friends who have had to hear my bleat about this divorce for the last 18 months – yes, I’m sick of hearing about it too! LOL! I still vote that we have a Divorce Party – wanna come?
As I’ve photographed myself, my friends, my loved ones, all aspects of my life – I’ve done so with the best of intentions. Never to sugar coat, but to tell you things exactly as they are. Because that’s what documentarians do. Milestones in my life and career are now frozen in time and shared with the world – or whoever cares enough to view them. Never has a generation been more documented than ours right now.
One of the things that has become particularly important to me, over the last 18 months, since my life changed – is the value of genuine, offline relationships, and the time and energy that needs devoting to ensure that those are as solid as you want and need them to be. The snaps above were taken on a trip to the Tate Modern with Nik, Mat and Jordan – my blogger besties! Followed my lunch + emails at Attendant Coffee on Old Street. It’s about making time to meet those friends that lift you up when you’re feeling down, the ones who’ve got your back.
I know that I’m more fortunate than most, with friends and family and when it comes to the blog and travel opportunities that come my way now. However, they are a result of the hard graft that I’ve put in. I’m a bit of a workaholic – always have been. I guess that’s my flaw? The endless hours I’ve devoted to my craft, are also a result of the sacrifices I made – time I’ve dedicated to my career, that I could have spent with my other half. It’s definitely a lesson that I’ve learnt from, and something that I’m trying hard not to replicate as I start a new relationship.
Hindsight is a marvellous thing. I was supported for the whole of my 7.5 year relationship. I was praised for being hard-working and ambitious. I was told that I was loved every single day, I had a beautiful wedding – and not many people will ever get to experience that. I’m one of the lucky ones – even if it came to a sticky end. But I don’t regret anything. You get out of life what you put into it.
What have I learnt? Things change, people change, I’ve changed – massively. But I’m probably more me now, as a result of my breakup, than I ever was before. The only thing that ties those eclectic collection of personal moments together is me. People will come and go. Hearts will be broken, and mend again over time. Life will be the rollercoaster everyone tells you it is. But, at the end of the day, it’s always you that remains – and that’s why it’s so important to be true to who you are.
In the next few months, I’m looking forward to spending more time offline with the peers that I’ve met over the last 8 years. I look forward to meeting the people that I don’t even know exist yet. To travelling to new places, to learning more about myself and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Here’s to helping one another out, supporting your friends and championing talent and hard work at every level. Because life is too short for half-measures.
Photography © Lucie Kerley (Photos of me by @Mat_Buckets)