“Lilo, I have school and internship,” I told her frustratedly.
We looked at each other, feeling tired and frustrated.
It was my last year before graduating Marriage and Family therapy program. Being in graduate school, internship and juggling other things in my life gave me little time for the blog, including myself.
My mind was in constant chaos with grad school and internship that I only can meet Lilo almost weekly on Fridays, sometimes Saturdays & Sundays for the blog. I’ve become emotionally drained, even emotionally detached. As ridiculous it sounds, even little simple tasks became huge for me, such as responding emails. I hated how it is something so simple but yet so challenging for me. I was living through day by day with high functioning depression. I wasn’t really taking care of myself because there were always so many things for me to do.
Lilo was also batting against her own depression which affects her motivation and being consistent with the blog as well. She has been trying to be consistent but many things came up for her.
As friends, we both empathized and understand each other that we have other matters in our lives. However, as business partners, it is not, especially because our personal issues continue to affect our business.
Maybe it seemed like we looked perfect on screen but you haven’t seen the struggles behind the scenes. We have our best days and our worst days. I’ve seen some comments that Lilo and I seemed perfect, but we are not. We are still human beings with several sh*t in our lives.
Both of our roles have intertwined, and it has been difficult to maintain boundaries. Over the last couple months, we’ve been increasingly bitter toward each other due to ineffective communication and teamwork – even some of our mutual friends that our vibes have changed. We’ve tried compromising but to no avail sometimes.
She couldn’t give it all to the blog.
and I also couldn’t give it all.
The thought of leaving the blog or ending partnership crossed my mind early last year but I was in denial.
Out of curiosity, I’ve tried searching travel bloggers who previously shared a blog together and needed to end their partnership. There were several findings regarding breaking up and went on traveling, but I haven’t found a single one who talked about ending a partnership with their blog partner. I hoped to find at least few blog posts of their experiences that would help me to get through. I also have asked for support in Facebook groups but no one responded.
My mind was battling constantly over time: save your friendship! or continue to work and reach that goals and dreams together!
We initially imagined working as travel bloggers together for years and expected to travel together for the majority of the time.
But that was perhaps unrealistic. What didn’t came to our mind was that we may potentially walk at a different path of life, such as falling in love, moving or whatever life would throw us.
and I did fall in love. And I do hope to move out of state one day. Lilo will meet a significant other one day. We’re getting older, and
things have been changing for the both of us.
Later, I’ve heard an advice from an acquaintance who was talking about business. Someone asked her, “what is your biggest advice for working in the business?”
“Don’t work with your friends,” she said.
I honestly don’t think that’s always true for every case, but it hit me there.
Toward the end of the year, I realized juggling between two roles with several things going on in our lives clearly wasn’t the right time for us to work together.
I missed having her as my friend, back how when we used to laugh and joke a lot. She’d snort when I make some stupid jokes or even at her own stupid jokes. She also missed that as well – not the snort though, I mean.
At the end of the year, we addressed this matter, and it wasn’t easy for both of us. She took it hard because it was unexpected for her. I was honestly sad about it, but I know this is the best for both of us. As much as we wanted to work together, we sincerely care for each other and prioritized our friendship.
We did talk about how we wished we go back and take the chance to travel together when I was in my gap year before starting graduate school and work. As much I wished that as well, we cannot go back but to move forward.
We eventually start to feel better and less bitter toward each other, since we now go back to being just friends. We haven’t been able to laugh wholeheartedly for a long time, and we really missed that. Honestly, maybe our friendship wouldn’t be exactly the same due to our different stage of our life – but we’ll always great friends.
This blog wasn’t to blame for our troubles. It is just that we were at a different point in our lives and weren’t able to give our best due to our personal matters and wellbeing.
So now, what does it mean for us?
Although our lives have been changing, we are still growing and will show our growth through our own blogs. Lilo decided to start anew with her own blog, Deafinitely Without Barriers. As a Deaf POC Queer, She’ll be sharing her experiences. I’m thrilled for her because there are a lot of Deaf who identified themselves as LGTBQ+ in our Deaf community and other things that people can relate to her. I’m happy for her, and she has so many potentials. Please show her your support!
Despite the outcomes that Lilo and I did not want, we’ll continue to support each other and will collaborate in the future.
As for me, I’ll be continuing with this blog and change few things around. I’m currently traveling, so making changes to this blog will take time. I honestly feel a little lost now since I’ve been so focused on grad school and internship, but I know I’ll get there!
You, Lilo, will always mean a lot to me.