My interview with Jonelle from Tyranny of Pink
I just can’t believe it is already the 1st of October. Where is this year going to? There is so much I have planned for the blog for the rest of the year and one of them is that I recently added doing interviews with different South African bloggers to my list of offerings. Each month I will try to feature a new blogger.
These interviews are aimed at anybody interested in blogging or is already blogging ,to gain a different perspective on the topic of blogging and gain some valid insight into the industry and life of popular bloggers. I was a bit lax in September but you can read my previous interview with Mandy for Pregnant in Cape Town over here from August. This month I have another real treat, a blogger that I really admire. She doesn’t split any hairs and needs very little introduction. I actually sent her my list of questions some time ago but as it turns out her little bundle of joy decided to make an early appearance, among a few other things, and so I waited patiently until she managed to find her feet and settle into it all and now I am really excited to share it with you.
I try and keep most of the questions for all these interviews much the same but I include some extra, more personal questions that are individual to each blogger so this is kind of mini peek in the personality and life of each and every blogger I am honoured to chat to. So without further a do please get your cup of tea and a biscuit, put your feet up and read more about the blogger Jonelle from Tyranny of Pink. This is what Jonelle says about her own blog “This is a blog for anyone who is ready to start accepting that it’s okay to just be themselves and let go of the baggage holding them back!” This alone is why I love her blog so much. It’s real, it’s now and it’s relatable.
Q: Why did you call your blog Tyranny of Pink?
A: I love pink but I’m not a girly girl at all. I think people think you have to be one or the other. Pink is such a stereotypical colour that is often associated with being a certain way and my blog, like my personality is the complete opposite of that. I like the juxtaposition of the harshness of “tyranny” with the prettiness of “pink.” I think it lends itself to the unexpected. I also think life should be about being who you are instead of how people expect you to be and that’s what my blog is about.
Q: When and why did you start blogging?
A: I quit my job in October 2014. I’d just had enough of the lifestyle I was living. Wake up every day and go to work and do things that weren’t making me happy. To celebrate we went on a road trip down to the Eastern Cape and I just wanted to write about my new adventure. After doing it informally over the December period I decided to just bite the bullet and start blogging because it just made me really happy.
Q: Does blogging come easily to you?
A: Writing comes easily to me. I’ve always, since as far back as I can remember, kept journals and written in diaries. Back then they were about boys I liked and people who pissed me off. So it’s never been an issue to just write. What was hard for me though was putting my feelings into the public eye and letting people into my thoughts. I’m generally a very private person so that was a bit challenging for me. I think what shocked me most was that people were actually interested in reading what I had to say. A lot of the more technological stuff was harder in the beginning. I have a graphic designer cousin who was awesome with helping me set up my blog and sort out my logo but after a few months I started figuring out even that stuff on my own. The defining moment for me was installing the Genesis framework and child theme all on my own. Yeah, pretty proud moment for me right there.
Q: Do you find blogging therapeutic?
A: Writing is very therapeutic. I put a lot of pressure on myself though to keep things at a certain standard so even when I’m going through some seriously emotional and personal stuff, it’s hard for me to just put things off. When I first started blogging I was churning out 5 posts a week and I just had no free time to myself and I had to take a step back and think about why I was doing this. Cutting back to three posts a day made a huge difference. At the same time, I think the most therapeutic part of blogging is connecting with other bloggers and especially other women who are going through the same things as me. It’s nice to belong to a community of bloggers.
Q: What are the 2 top resources you draw from as a blogger that you can advise new bloggers to have a look at?
A:Other blogs. I think you have to see what other people are doing – not to compare yourself to but to know what to achieve. If you don’t know what the possibilities are, you don’t necessarily have anything to work towards. So many people have been doing this before you and they have so much knowledge that they would be willing to share with you. I’d say take advantage of that. It’s also important to have someone whose opinion you value. For me it’s my husband and my mom. They are awesome for bouncing ideas off or telling me what they think of me categories etc and mostly, proof reading. There are just too many blogs that I’ve read that have spelling and grammar issues and that is the number one reason for me not to read what someone writes. Everyone makes mistakes but constantly producing sloppy writing isn’t acceptable.
Q: What do you hope your readers take away from your blog with each post you make?
A: I want people to relate to the posts I write. I want my readers to walk away feeling like they aren’t alone. I don’t have all the answers but I’ve had some experiences and I’ve learnt lessons from those experiences and I just want others to know that they are completely normal for feeling the way they feel. I try to put a positive spin on the things that happen and I want my blog to be empowering. I guess I’m hoping someone reads my post and walks away thinking “Yes, let’s do this!” I just want people to see that it’s okay to be who you are and have the experiences you have in this world.
Q: Your Tagline on your blog is “Being unapologetically you” What does that term mean in your own life?
A: I struggled with “being the black sheep” in my family for the longest time. I’ve always been different and I tend to think more outside the box in general. Being unapologetically ME wasn’t something I hadn’t accepted at first. I tried to live in a way that makes other people proud of me but I found that in the end, I wasn’t really proud of myself and that didn’t sit well with me. After a while it just wasn’t an option anymore. That’s why I quit my job. I decided to just make the decision to start living a life that makes me happy even if it meant disappointing a whole lot of people and it did. You can never be happy living someone else’s version of your life. Some people have been supportive and some haven’t. It wasn’t easy at first and I found myself justifying things a lot. I think they struggled with me having a Master’s degree and choosing “this” life more than anything else. I’ve just learnt to ignore the negative comments though. I’m happy and that’s what matters.
Q: Lastly, what is your vision for your Blog? Where would you like to see it going in the next few years?
A: This question is probably the hardest to answer. I love blogging and I’m doing it full-time so I’d love to see it bringing in an income in, isn’t that every bloggers ultimate goal? I think what’s important is that it makes some sort of difference in the lives of the people who read it. My blog is a very specific niche blog and there is potential for growth but it’s tough to get noticed I think. For now my goal is just to grow organically over the next few months and see what happens. If I reach even one person and make a difference to that person’s life then I’m happy.
On Parenting and Motherhood:
- Q: Are you excited to become a mother or are you daunted by the thought?
A: Wow, a little bit of both I’d say. I’ve never done this before so it’s scary unchartered waters. I can’t wait to hold my baby in my arms and see him grow but at the same time I’m tasked with teaching him all about the world and helping shape who he turns out to be. It’s not something I take lightly and there’s a lot of potential to get shit wrong but we can only do the best that we can do.
- Q: What has this pregnancy taught you about yourself?
A: Ha, that I complain a lot. No seriously, it has taught me that the world is about more than just me. Suddenly everything is about the baby and his health and safety. I just want what’s best for him. I find myself thinking about things that in the past would never have mattered to me. I didn’t realise how terrified I’d be about bringing someone so small into the world. I also didn’t realise how easy it would be to just go cold turkey on drinking wine J
Q: Was there a name choice battle or did you both easily decide on a name for your new baby?
A: I’ve been thinking about names of my children forever. Luckily, “Symrin Justin India” (yes, I really wanted to name my daughter this) didn’t have the appeal it did as a twelve-year-old. We sat and made lists of names we each liked and then we crossed them off the list as we went along deciding on the ones which were strong contenders and those that were definite a definite NO-NO. One thing we both agreed on was the importance of a strong name.
In the end, I stumbled across the name Odin in a baby name app while looking at Scandinavian names. I had no idea who or what Odin was but when I told it to my husband his reaction was um that’ a weird thing to call our child… he’s going to be made fun of. He had to explain to me who Odin was. It took a little convincing but he eventually came around to the idea of naming our son after a Norsk God. We just preferred the spelling with an e though. Oden! His second name is a family name; in honour of my father and grandfather who have both passed away – Christopher!
Q: How do you view the topic of Mommy guilt now before becoming a mother? Do you think your views will change with the birth of your baby?
A: There are always things we can do better as human beings and I don’t think that can be avoiding in how we feel about being mothers. In general people are really hard on themselves, I know that definitely applies to how I see myself. I can always be better. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was a bit of a mess. It was directly after the festive season and I’d been having a jolly good time with my cousins who were all staying with us. I drank quite a bit of wine over that period and I just fell a part when I discovered I’d been pregnant that entire time. So my mommy guilt started pretty early in life. I doubt very much that anything will change after he’s born but I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get there.
Q: How do you feel about the so-called “Mommy Wars”?
A: Oh, so now I feel like I’ve been living in a bubble. I have NO idea what that is.
Q: Do you have a “go to Pregnancy & Childcare book? What was/is it?
A: My sister-in-law gave me a copy of “What to expect when you’re expecting” and I don’t know what we would have done without that book. It’s amazing and all the symptoms I’ve had throughout my pregnancy have been explained in that book so thoroughly. I honestly loved that book.
Q: Describe yourself in 3 words?
A: Independent, resilient, determined.
Q: What or who do you draw inspiration from for daily life?
A: I just live in a way that one day I can be proud of. I don’t want to look back on my life and wonder why I didn’t try certain things or why I was too afraid to be myself. I think I’m lucky to have a really supportive and loving husband and that inspires me to be a better person. He makes me want to be better because he’s wonderful and sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky.
Q: What do you think if anything defines Success and would you describe yourself as Successful?
A: I recently wrote a blog post about this. I think success is about what makes you happy. If you’re happy then you’re successful. People tend to tie wealth and money with the term success. You can have all the money in the world and on your deathbed; you can still be filled with regret. That’s not success to me. Money is important to live comfortably but I think the world would be a better place if we weren’t so hung up on being rich and valued happiness instead.
Q: Is your Bucket list long or short? Would you share a few of the things on it?
A: My bucket list is constantly changing and growing and adapting. There are things that I’ve had on the list that didn’t last and things that get added regularly. Right now, I really want to sleep through a full night. That’s REALLY high on my list of things to do but on a more serious note, I want to go to New York. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a lot in my life and north America was never high on the list but now that I’ve been to so many other parts of the world I just really feel the need to experience the city that never sleeps! Oh, and I definitely need to get another tattoo but I don’t think that this ever moves off the bucket list of a person with tattoos. I also really want to learn how to bake bread and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never climbed Table Mountain (I’ve been living here for about 13 years so maybe it’s time).
Here’s a post I did on that…
Q: As a Child what was your favorite book? Is it one you would like your daughter to read one day?
A: Oh I ‘ve always loved reading so much. When I was three, I had already memorized the entire books of Goldilocks and the three bears and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. My mom says she couldn’t skip a single page as I knew what was on every single page. Later on I loved Roald Dahl books and then moved onto Stephen King books.
Q: What are you reading now?
A: I read a lot of business books and books about branding and social media but I’m currently re-reading Veronica decides to die by Paulo Coelho. I last read that book about 13 years ago and I feel like it’s worth a second read.
On Family life:
Q: What does Family as whole mean to you?
A: I grew up in a huge family where everyone got together on Sunday’s at my grandparents house. We were all really close and loud and in each other’s lives all the time. As I’ve gotten older and moved away (geographically) from my family that has changed a bit but they often make fun of me for being the “new gran” in my family – I love hosting Sunday lunch at my house. It’s important to be connected to your family and it’s important to me to have a strong support structure. Family is about love and support and now that I’m starting my own family, I can’t wait to blend my traditions with my husbands and have our own little family.
Q: Any tips and advice you can give other bloggers about keeping it alive and real and exciting for their readers?
A: I think it’s so important to be true to who you are. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama and the stats and the high expectations but you’ve got to remember why you’re blogging. If you get lost along the way and start focusing on things that matter to other people instead of what matters to you it becomes really easy to lose interest. I haven’t been doing this for very long but one thing that surprised me was how much work it takes to make your blog something you’re proud of. Anyone can start a blog but if you aren’t prepared for how much work goes into keeping it alive, it can be a bit overwhelming. One thing I see really often is new bloggers asking how to make money with their blogs. I don’t think that should ever be the main focus because there are many other easier ways to make money. Blogging isn’t some get rich quick scheme. Bottom line; just know why you’re doing this.
And there you have it. I absolutely loved this interview and loved Jonelle’s honestly. If you would like to find out more about Jonelle and Tyranny of Pink you can have a look here You can also follow the blog on social networks Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
Keep an eye out for next months blogger too and thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you liked what you have read then please remember to share this post by using the social share buttons at the bottom of the page.