What comes to mind when you think about bloggers? More often than not people don’t take the time to think about the person behind the screen.
In the online world it can be very easy to forget that there is a real, live person behind the screen. There is a living, breathing human behind the creativity, the perfectly written posts, the carefully chosen images.
I wanted to dedicate this post to those of us working behind the scenes and step out from the shadows to tell you who I am and what got me here.
Who Am I?
My name is Chantel and this is my lifestyle blog: Chantel Elizabeth. I’m a dreamer, a creator, a traveler, a lover, a giver and much more. I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico to an incredible mother that I’m so blessed to have been given. I started my life surrounded by love and people who cared unconditionally for me.
In the late 90’s my mom got married and I now had a dad and two siblings. Growing up I never knew my real dad, but that was okay with me because I had a family to call my ow. We moved from New Mexico to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I grew up. This place is truly one of the most beautiful places in the whole world and I’m so lucky to live here.
I had a decent childhood. I played a lot of sports, had a lot of friends, went to a great school and just had a good life. As a teenager, things took a drastic turn. My parents got divorced and my life turned upside down. I struggled with weight gain and depression and eventually an eating disorder.
My teen years were very rough. I didn’t have a very good relationship with my mother and we fought constantly. Thinking back on it now, I can only image how difficult it must have been for her to suddenly have her family ripped apart, move out with one child and be forced to be a single mother again, raising a teenage daughter.
College was also rough for me for awhile. I moved away to go to college and with all my new freedom, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I partied all the time, blew all my money and skipped classes on a regular basis. Surprisingly I had really good grades.
I had always been really good at school, and even with my poor behavior as a young adult, frequent nights of drinking and no sense of responsibility I still managed to get good grades… Until I didn’t anymore. My depression continued to get worse and I can only imagine how much the alcohol was contributing to it.
I developed a severe alcohol problem, and I was only 19-20 years old. I failed an entire year of school, which is why I ended up graduating at 23 a year after everyone else I had started school with. I eventually graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree and I was so proud of myself for that accomplishment.
It was really hard for me to accept my problem with alcohol, but once I did accept it, I worked as hard as I could to overcome it.
It’s been 3 years since I graduated from college and over the years I lost myself and have slowly been finding my way back. I’ve learned a lot since my early 20’s and have accomplished a lot of things as well.
I began traveling again and found myself on two cross-country road trips with my boyfriend. The first time we went to Florida and back, and the second time we actually moved to New Mexico and stayed with my mother for a few months. While we were there, we did some more traveling and exploring and those experiences are a very large reason why I started this blog.
There are many different reasons why I started this blog. I love to write and I always have. I’ve always been a very artistic, creative person. I get it from my mother and my grandfather. My grandfather is an incredible craftsman. His yard is filled with decorations and creations of all sorts. It’s like walking through a magical forest with lots of enchanting things.
My mother is an amazing artist. She can draw and paint anything. I once saw her free hand draw a self portrait of my dad and it looked like a photograph. I’ll never be as good at drawing as her, but my talents are pretty good as well. I grew up drawing, coloring and painting. It was something I did almost every day and I loved it.
This is a very old drawing I did (in regular pencil) about 7 years ago:
I used to sit outside as a child and mash up the red berried outside the house and use them to draw paintings on rocks I found in the yard. I used to take vines that grew along the fence and the side of the house at my Aunt’s house and create small baskets and bowl by twisting and weaving the vines into each other.
But beyond that, I love to sing and I love to write. I still sing as often as I can, but maybe not as often as I would like. But writing… I could never stop writing. I think it’s impossible to have a blog if you don’t enjoy writing because that’s the whole point of it!
I have so many thoughts and ideas in my head that I could never get bored of doing this. This blog is so much more to me than a blog. It’s more to me than just a hobby. It’s a passion and showcases me exactly who I am. I’m a writer. I’m a creator. I’m an artist. And whether you told me I could make a million dollars doing it or I would never make a single penny, I would still do it for the rest of my life.
I know that I’ll never stop writing, as long as I live. Even if this blog ceases to exist at some point, there will still be notebooks and pieces of paper out there filled with my writings, my thoughts, feelings and ideas. And that’s who I am. I’m not just a blogger, but I’m a person, a woman, a writer and an artist who’s greatest passion is creating beautiful works of art by making the words dance on a page.