Whether you just started this journey with me or if you’ve been on it for awhile, I have gone by a few different blog names since I started. I started out as ‘Brynnita,’ then I was ‘The Brye,’ and now here I am settled as ‘Between Smiles.’ I wanted to let you guys in to what led to all these changes over because it’s been an important journey of self-discovery.
When I started out as a blogger in college (and begun my Instagram, too), I used the only name that made sense to me at the time—’Brynnita.’ It was my high school nickname, what my friends called me. That’s what I identified as, not necessarily as the name but as the person I was in high school, who was pretty impressionable and shaped by the people around me.
After awhile, I found other people doing similar things as me identifying with the same name. How could I differentiate myself? Even my brand name wasn’t unique. My boyfriend who suggested changing my brand name, and my reaction was, “NO!!” My brand was the only thing I was certain about! After all, I just moved out to college all alone with barely anyone I knew. How could he suggest taking that one piece of certainity away?
He planted a seed, though. As I went through college, no longer around the people I grew up with, ‘Brynnita’ felt dated. It reminded me of who I was in the past and that the people who I used to be ‘Brynnita’ to had, for the most part, moved on once we went our seperate ways. They no longer knew the real me, and I didn’t remember who I was back then, either.
I felt lost during this period, especially creating content on Instagram. I didn’t know who I was anymore, deep down. In a spiral of constantly failing myself, there were all these girls ready to take my place who seemed fun, pretty, and bold (at least from their social media). They had their lives together, the Instagram-worthy apartment, all the latest clothes. If that worked for them, maybe I could rebrand myself, too. I would be ‘The Brye,’ written in a bold sharpie across the top of my site. Oh, and my colors were navy and orange. I was really trying, guys.
That’s when I just lost motivation. It seemed like a lot of effort to be peppy, cheery, and adventurous all the time. I’d like to think I have elements of all of those things in my personality. But, I’m not one to be happy just to be happy. I forgot how to wear that cool girl mask a long time ago. Now I’m a lot of things day to day. Sometimes happy, othertimes sad, sometimes spontaneous, other times reserved.
It’s around this time that I stumbled on a quote I was going to use for an Instagram post. It really stuck with me:
There is nothing wrong with who you are between smiles.
I found something inside myself by reading those words. For so long, I punished myself for being anything other than perfect on the outside. Just like many, many people I meet, I was ashamed for having emotions (other than happy, bubbly, effervescent) or negative reactions or even having a bad day or two.
I started to think about it. There IS nothing wrong with who I am between smiles. A lot of our life lives between smiles. Why throw out any precious moment, thought, or feeling? This realization was the calling I had been missing before that makes me who I am. I might not be the bubbly, effervescent persona that we reward so much, but I can help other people like me realize there is nothing wrong with their feelings, their thoughts, their bad days, their good days, their awkward moments, their embarrassing blunders, their imperfections. All of that is beautiful because all of that means we are living our lives to the fullest, unashamed. So here I am, writing to you as ‘Between Smiles,’ letting you know that there’s not enough time on this earth to hold yourself back.