Explanation for my online disappearance for the last 2+ years

This blog is coming up to 10 years in November. I had mentioned a few times about feeling burned out and wanting a hiatus from blogging but I never could do it. It became a habit I couldn't break so I gradually started to post less in 2015. I never made an official post for my disappearance. I considered people from the blogging community my friends and yet I just left the blog and social media. I stopped taking photos and eventually sold my camera again. I didn't even check my blog email for over a year since emails were becoming the "post my article/website for free" or "post about this hashtag" crap.

TL;DR: Depressed, got out of engagement/relationship, failed freelancer/job ventures, focused on school, got an outside job, my hard drive died/no longer sold on Etsy and sold my DSLR. Being happy, new relationship and being "unplugged" for the year.

I did feel like I owe an explanation but I could never finish this post. I think the time is right since I'll like to return to occasional blogging.

Things were barely working out for me towards the end of 2015. Being a freelancer for years was very stressful and unpredictable. The market shifted drastically and I couldn't compete with other shops that were taking 70%-80% price drops. I couldn't ignore the lack of stability anymore. I ended up trying to be a virtual assistant for a few months because of anxiety but I didn't even get paid minimum wage for it. I couldn't picture the future that I wanted while I was consistently stuck in one place. It only fueled my depression when I kept failing. I was probably depressed and on edge for the majority of that year. Sometime in 2016, my relationship abruptly came to an end and I clung to that for too long. Around this time, I had finished a summer session at college. My hard drive failed so I lost everything: photography, patterns and etsy files. I went to my first job interview as an adult and got hired on the spot. So much change happened in a couple of months and it was overwhelming.

My priorities and interests took a shift. It's crazy how much has changed. I had my Facebook deactivated for most of 2016. Before that, I decluttered my friends list on my social media by the hundreds. I was tired of letting certain people and acquaintances access to my life. I'm nearly finished with getting my AA/AS degree.

It's weird to explain what had happened to me. By the second (same) breakup, I was no longer sad. I realized that I didn't want things to be same. Instead, I became motivated to do better for myself. I forced myself into new situations just to make some kind of progress. I made effort to text/message friends and make a couple of plans. It was interesting to have that kind of independence. I let go of my hobbies and stopped sharing things online. It was weird coming from someone who would post nearly daily. School and work took up a lot of my energy but I was really happy about it. I was planning on remaining single but I was encouraged to try dating and I've been with someone amazing for nearly 1.5 years!

I also mentioned that I've had trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) for the last 15 years. I've tried it all to get myself to stop but nothing never worked. I'm surprisingly not suffering from terrible relapses anymore. I actually have the majority of my eyebrows and all my lashes now for over a year. I look so much healthier now and I could go out with no makeup without feeling weird. I can't give out advice since I've had it for so long with little recovery success. The only difference was a huge change in my mental health. If you need product recommendations for makeup then I'm the one for you!

I'm slowly getting back into my hobbies. I'm working on crocheting and knitting some things. I've probably done more digital art than anything else. I've had a "new" camera for over a year: the Sony A6000. I could only afford a crop sensor at the time so it hasn't gotten much use for indoor shots. My other equipment I had to sell as well so lighting conditions were terrible. I actually could've bought a new camera at any point but decided to continue growing my savings instead and go after lenses for my photography class. My latest addition is the Sony AR7 II and soon to arrive...a ring light!

*TRIGGER WARNING*: Animal attack on dog. Links to Instagram images with some scratches.

* I also had an emergency fund for the first time which came into use when Eevee got attacked by a raccoon last year. It was a huge scare because she got a rabies shot years ago and I didn't think she was still covered. By law, vets euthanize animals that could have been exposed to rabies if they have no prior protection. When she broke away and I grabbed her, I immediately thought she got bit since she was covered in multiple wounds. She needed overnight treatment because she had many scratches, a swollen neck, and a bloody eye. Also, she has a sensitivity/allergy to vaccines... I managed to find paperwork the next morning to prove she was still covered for some months left. *

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