Are We Showing the ‘Shinier’ Versions of Ourselves?

Mental Health

As most of you know, I am a lifestyle blogger and I partner with brands and do paid collaborations with brands that I actually use (for the most part). I also love to write my truth and things I am struggling with or going through whether that’s here or within an Instagram post. I think it’s important to be as real as possible and I really want to show my followers the authentic ME!

But….lately I am just not so sure. I am feeling the pressure to be a shinier me. I read the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle this summer and it ROCKED my world. Throwing my mind in places I didn’t realize I needed to go. I felt my body physically reacting to the realizations of how much I have been “tamed” through religion, my family, where I live etc… Most of that is great. I love who I am and the village that raised me, but I have some work to do.

With these realizations, it’s made me question where I stand within the Instagram world. It’s made me question the Instagram platform in general. I have some thoughts and they may be controversial, but here we go… I am sick and tired of the inauthenticity on Instagram. The fake comments ladies make to each other just to boost engagement without even reading the caption. The money we pay to be a part of giveaways knowing darn well that we are essentially buying followers. The follow loops where we blindly follow a bunch of people that we genuinely aren’t interested in, but pretend to be. The madness of trying to like every single person’s photo throughout the day, so you’re not even reading their caption. The anxiety that comes from not answering DMs. The time it takes to gather all the right hashtags and link the correct items. AHHHH my inner self is like WTF. But, I do it. Apparently I don’t do it well enough, because my following has not increased like other bloggers and if you’re trying to make money on Instagram, followers matter, simple as that.

It’s a circle of anxiety and stress for me to be honest. My main career is owning a dance studio and truthfully I don’t wear makeup very often, so I rarely feel photo ready. Half the time, I have no idea what to post or talk about like “hey guys, today I woke up around 10:30am, had some coffee, answered emails, caught up with a friend, and then finally decided to brush my teeth around noon and also, I paced around the house slowly putting laundry away and taking breaks to pet my dog. Then Kyle came home for lunch and I still was in my PJ’s.” YAY, how exciting and glam is that?!

The other part of this is when you are becoming an “influencer” you usually have a niche whether that’s fashion, travel, food, or fitness. I have NO CLUE what niche I am. I’m a dog mom, who likes barre workouts, but also loves fried food and wine along with cute clothes, but most days are spent in sweats, because I’m always sweaty and dancing. Apologies for the run-on sentences!

Most of you reading this might think? “Well, Taryn you fit into lots of niches and how cool is that?” Yes, it is fun to be the jack of all trades (haha) but it has not been ideal for Instagram as a “business.” I look at so many bloggers and envy their artsy aesthetic or effortless coolness. I wish I was more edgy. I wish the rush of doubt didn’t come every single time I posted something. I wish I loved every single photo of myself, but mostly I wish I could actually be ME on Instagram.

I feel as though I may owe my followers an apology for putting out there that I am transparent and authentic. No I’m not. Not really. I am a shinier version of me on social media. I struggle with content, because I don’t feel as though my life is interesting enough. I struggle with anxiety and past trauma, and talking about it too much on Instagram might push people away. I want to be honest, but a lot of times it’s heavy and dark. I would rather be a light for people. I use humor to cover up all the bad, which a lot of times makes it look like I have my shit together. Having your “shit together” is all relative and very subjective anyway. I have a bucket load of family stuff that has been eating me alive for years, but many of my followers don’t know that. The anxiety of trying to make sure I stay engaged with my following literally makes my stomach hurt. Anxiety causes me to not eat! NOT OKAY and here I sit, still trying to make it seem like this Instagram business is a great thing for me.

Alright, so what’s the point? Am I giving up Instagram? Am I going to continue to stop working with brands? No, but I am strongly thinking about what’s next for me and assessing what I want my page to look like in the next upcoming months/years. What’s the goal here? What do I want my “niche” to be? Do I need one? Why do people come to my page? What do they want to see? What do brands want to see? The shinier version of me or the REAL me?

It’s tough. I don’t have the answers yet. Quite nervous and scared to publish this honestly, but I’d love to create some dialogue on this topic. I’d love to hear other blogger and influencers’ thoughts. Maybe it’s just not THAT deep and I need to chill. Who cares if I have 17 niches? Maybe the followers I do have appreciate that about me? Maybe it’s my own insecurities holding me back? Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much. I wish I could just make Instagram a business and call it a day. I wish I could just pick a niche, stick to it, and make the damn money. But I have this urge to be and do more. I want to talk about the real s***. Trauma, addiction, this idea of “perfection” that is literally unattainable, depression, anxiety, sexual health, abuse, recovery, all of it! We are all battling something and if you aren’t, I think you’re the minority. Let’s normalize how tough the human experience is. Like Glennon Doyle says, “Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”

It may take me another ten years to figure out what I REALLY want to say to this world. I may never be more than a “micro-influencer” on Instagram, but if I end up positively influencing and impacting hundreds of kids and people throughout this life, then everything I’ve said or shared is all worth it.

I want to end by saying I sincerely don’t mean to offend any other bloggers or influencers. The bloggers I follow have immense passion behind their work and they grind their butts off, probably more than 40 hours a week, to give their audience the best deals, links, content, etc…The authenticity in the community from many bloggers I follow is incredible. Most of y’all are real as hell…discussing motherhood, societal issues, and personal battles. Kudos! I am discussing the “influencing” community as a whole and some of the practices we do that rub me the wrong way. Straight up just isn’t for me sometimes and causes me lots of anxiety, but may work for you and that is okay!

Last thing, if you’ve followed my journey thus far, I hope you stay!! I don’t mean to push anyone away. Don’t think I’ll stop sharing my life, Beautycounter, tips, recipes, clothing from the boutiques, fun content/photography, or links to a variety of things, because I will always do that! Honestly maybe I’ll just continue doing what I do, share what and when I want, and take the pressure off myself to grow into this immaculate influencer. Maybe not having a niche is my niche! Who knows! Just putting out my very transparent opinion to you all, and sharing an internal battle I’ve been having for awhile and if my content does change a little bit, the above reasons are why! 🙂

Much love,



I'm Okay and Then I'm Not

Adulting, Dance, Mental Health, Womanprenuer

I wish this blog post was fun. I wish I was taking about fashion trends I’m currently loving or discussing ways to switch your old products to safer beauty, but I just don’t have it in me today.

A week ago I was hit with the reality that my business would be “shut down” until AT LEAST April 3rd. I own a dance studio and I make a living off of being there, in person, with my students. That’s my favorite part about this business actually is the personal connection I have with my kids. Yes, there’s other options and thank goodness we have technology, but it’s not the same.

I am a part of this network of dance teachers/studio owners on Facebook and while it’s been amazingly helpful at times…it has caused me so much anxiety through this process. There are thousands of members and among them are studios that have been around for 50+ years or instructors that have been teaching for 20 years or dance companies with hundreds and hundreds of students with the money/resources to tape professional, online lessons etc…. THIS as a beginner with a small town studio has made me feel inadequate and completely shaken my confidence. Gosh, I sound whiny, but it’s how I feel!

Here I am 100 miles from my studio. I have teachers that are amazing, but they are scattered around trying to still keep up with their own college classes, now online. I thought I knew how to lesson plan, but physically not being there has me stumped. Yes, I am aware of the Band App and Zoom. I’ve heard it all and I’ve read every suggestion out there. It’s a mess and today, I’m just not able to pull myself out of the negativity.

I have emailed out next steps to my WDC families. Even through my hopelessness, I do believe communication and transparency are key. I do have some solutions at the moment and I know for a fact everything will be okay…eventually.

I feel guilty for even throwing myself a pity party when there’s people out there loosing family members to this virus or the elderly who don’t have much time left and aren’t able to have visitors or the students with horrible home-life situations who rely on the schools for food and stability. It’s all too much right now.

The weight of it all feels so heavy. So heavy in fact that I want to lay on this couch and hide for awhile. I know my body needs to move and I have plenty of dancing/exercising I need to do, but I don’t want to. I’m tired.

If you know me, you know I try so hard to see the positive and keep the humor alive even in the midst of the chaos, but today I have nothing to give. I am nothing to laugh about.

I hate writing blogs like this…. where I have no advice at the end. No profound statement to give you all. No amazing words of wisdom or empowerment. All I have is sadness in my heart today and if that’s you too, you’re not alone.

Most days I power through, but I know it’s okay if there’s days where I can’t. You don’t have to either. Whatever inconveniences you may be feeling right now because of this damn virus, big or small, you are entitled to them. You want to cry? do it. You want to scream? do it.

Growing up, when I was stressed out, I remember my mom telling me to just do at least one thing or get just one thing accomplished that day. I’ve been overwhelmed since birth, I swear to god! But, I carry that advice with me especially in situations like this. One task at a time. One hour at a time. One moment at a time.

I will eventually be my motivated self again, I just know it, but for now negative Taryn is going to try to accomplish at least 1 more thing today. Positive Taryn will be back soon.

Much love,


Top 20 for 2020

Adulting, Mental Health

I don’t do super specific resolutions, because I feel like I am ever-changing and mid-year or every week I could come up with a new goal ya know? We shouldn’t limit our goals, dreams, or desires to just once a year, BUT with a lot of reflection on last year…I do have 20 short, but sweet tid-bits I’d love to do, accomplish, see or learn.

  1. Put down the Netflix, pick up some more Brene Brown
  2. Remind myself that I am good at what I do
  3. Understand that 26 is NOT old
  4. SAVE SAVE SAVE that mula
  5. Go to Vegas for my bachelorette partayyy
  6. Actually utilize my barre membership meaning 3+ times a week
  7. Continue to learn how to love every single part of my body
  8. This is a tough one for me…but have a little less care about what others think
  9. Know that it’s okay to not have myself completely figured out yet & find contentment knowing that I may never completely “figure myself out.”
  10. Give more compliments to others
  11. Give more compliments to myself
  12. Get paid collaborations with companies I whole heartedly love
  13. Work with local organizations that help abuse survivors
  15. Continue to give my all to my students & host 2 more successful recitals
  16. Go somewhere warm with my sweetie and celebrate our marriage
  17. Clean my car more often (Kyle will appreciate this one)
  18. Visit my bff across the pond
  19. Start to plan my next trip to Australia
  20. Finally….have the most beautiful, romantic wedding EVER!!! 😉

I might not crush all of these and I will most likely revert back to old behaviors occasionally or forget to prioritize my mental health, because that’s life. I’m human. Make sure if you set goals or if you want to accomplish that HUGE dream this year that you also give yourself some grace and patience. It might not happen the way you want it to. Something unforseen may occur, but don’t be too hard on yourself! Happiness is an accumulation of doing the next right thing NOT doing everything all at once and working yourself to death.

Hope your 2020 is a year where you can love every piece of you and for those that are hurting, just know your broken pieces can be placed back together and YOU WILL feel whole again.

Much love,



Mental Health

My gosh, have I been having some DEEP conversations lately. I don’t know if the wine nights or hot summer days spark something inside of me that make me question everything, but I. am. questioning. everything. Most of the recent convos have been surrounding trauma, shame, regret, spirituality, and forgiveness.

It seems like each of my friends have something in their life that they are currently dealing with that is a BIG deal. I just keeping thinking….when did our lives become so damn complicated? It’s like you hit your mid twenties and realize that this life is fricken crazy, it is nothing like you thought it would be, and literally not one person has it figured out. On the flip side, how nice is it that I have a group of friends who aren’t afraid to dive into the deep stuff, like the REAL deep stuff!  Find yourself a group like that!

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. Just not 100%. It seems like I always struggle in the summers and I think it has to do with a lack of structure. I need structure, but hate it at the same time. I also have realized that life was so busy these last couple years with the start of an amazing relationship, opening a dance studio, moving, and everything in between that I kind of put my past in a little box and stuffed it in the basement, so it wouldn’t come out again. Well…you guessed it…the box apparently wasn’t sturdy enough, because BOOM I feel myself re-living and dissecting trauma all over again. Have I not worked through it enough or at all? Am I “over it?” Will my mental health be a life-long battle?

Some of you may be wondering…wait, what trauma? Am I missing something here? In another blog post in the near future I will be sharing more of my story that most don’t know, because truthfully I didn’t know it was trauma or wrong until recently. I was sexually abused multiple times in college by a handful of men. For many years, like 6 years, I thought it was my fault. After all, I was drunk and promiscuous right? I put myself into those situations. I brought myself to those parties. I drank way too much and way to often. I didn’t respect myself. I literally did NOT care what happened to me. I gave men what they wanted, because at that point I was a hollow shell of a human being. Within that time my abusive ex entered the picture and most of you know how that ended up. More trauma.

I thought I had hidden that away, and most people in my “new” life don’t see that old person at all. I almost feel guilty for being able to start over and within the last week, I discovered that I don’t think I’ve forgiven her. I don’t think I’ve let her heal. I discovered that there’s a small piece of me that I still believe is used trash. I don’t know if I view myself the way others do. I’ve covered up, and carried on. That apparently only works for so long, and then BOOM it’s like my brain gets hijacked and the old me creeps in, nudges me, and says, “you still don’t respect yourself. Why don’t you just drink your trauma and pain away…that’s easier. Why don’t you go ahead and make some more mistakes, just because it feels good.”

I decided that I will not self-sabotage and I will not minimize or hide my trauma anymore. I will deal with it and get the help I need. I’ve decided to seek out some counseling and the reason I’m writing this is because this shouldn’t be “shocking” or “taboo!” This is normal! Therapy is normal, or should be! Kyle, bless his heart, said, “I didn’t know it was THIS bad.” He was super concerned when I opened up to him, and I told him it isn’t THAT bad, but it shouldn’t have to get to that point. I’ve noticed some behaviors within myself that make me think I need to talk to somebody about the things I’ve been through. Simple as that. There should be no shame there and it shouldn’t have to get BAD before someone reaches out and says, “Yeah, I need a little help.”

I also am starting a life completely away from my family, and this is a whole other blog topic in and of itself, but this is fricken hard you guys! I already feel like I’m floundering through life at times, just trying to manage it all, attempting to be an adult in this world. On top of that, I don’t have my family. It brings tears to my eyes even mentioning them and so I just don’t think about it. I stuff that down too. I would love to chat with a professional about ways to cope with that!

Ultimately, I want to be the best wife and mother that I possibly can be, and I believe that if I start or continue on the journey of healing I will be a lot better off for myself and for my future family. I am thankful for the support of my family, my friends, and my love. Sometimes we might need just a little more than that, and that is okay! 

I challenge you all to open your hearts to healing. I don’t know what that looks like for you and may not be counseling, but being a little more transparent and authentic with how we are actually feeling can make a huge difference. Let’s be the generation that doesn’t stuff it down! 

Much love,



See Ya Later Self-Doubt

Mental Health

Lately, the self-doubt has been eating me alive. I mean, when isn’t it really? In a world where we see everyone else’s successes around us all the time, it’s hard to not compare yourself…DAILY! But, my self-doubt is more centered specifically on my newish business venture with Beautycounter. When it comes to owning, instructing, and choreographing at my studio, I feel confident most of the time. After having almost two years under my belt, I’m feeling comfortable and fully equipped as I continue learning and growing.

Beautycounter has been different. At my studio, I can see results every day in the way my dancers’ grow, in the way my parents communicate with me, and I get a huge sense of accomplishment when watching my students succeed on stage at competitions and recital. With Beautycounter it can be very hit or miss. I will post about a certain product and I will get a ton of feedback as well as some sales. On the other hand, I can run a week-long event that I thought I promoted effectively and achieve no sales at all.

As I watched all the managing directors learning and being rewarded for their hard work at the L.E.A.D conference in Phoenix, AZ I couldn’t help but feel left out and a sense of self-doubt. Am I doing enough to be able to get their next year? Am I effectively spreading my knowledge of safer beauty? Why do people feel the need to judge “businesses like this?” Why am I letting those people, who know nothing about the Beautycounter business, paralyze my progress?

Some judgemental people are actually really close to me and it hurts, honestly. It hurts that they can’t be supportive and they don’t prioritize safer options, but I have to be okay with that. Everyone’s journey and priorities are different and that’s why being human is so fun. Everyone’s got something to teach and something to learn. I find that I also create fictional people in my head. I think that people are going to judge me for trying my best to use safer options. I feel like they think I’m a dramatic or I need to “relax” or “everything causes cancer, so who cares.” These “what-ifs” flow through my mind way too often.

Caring about people is such a dichotomy. On one hand, I care about the way people perceive me, because I never want to offend or push anyone too far. On the other hand, the reason I started my Beautycounter adventure was BECAUSE I care so deeply for people and I want them all to be free from harmful chemicals, so they may live long and feel amazing! I want everyone to be their BEST SELVES!

The toughest thing for me has been people not understanding that Beautycounter isn’t like the other hundreds of multi-level marketing companies out there. In fact, we are not considered multi-level marketing at all. We’re a direct retail company, meaning we offer a product through multiple channels including a network of independent consultants, through our e-commerce web sites and through strategic partnerships. We are structured like any other company. There are teams with team leaders that help coach and mentor us. I am currently a mentor to one person who happens to be my beautiful mother and she can absolutely surpass me if she outperforms me.

The thing is, my job isn’t to convince every single person that Beautycounter is an amazing company. My job is to be a safer beauty advocate and this role, for me, is bigger than just my Beautycounter business. It’s not just about selling our safe products. It’s about creating change and regulations in an industry that hasn’t changed anything in over 80 years! It’s starting the process of regulations, so that my children wont have to worry about toxic chemicals. Why can we go into a store right now and buy basic beauty products that are filled with fragrance that cause irritation and allergies? Fragrance isn’t regulated by the FDA. It could be composed of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients! Why can we buy shampoo, body wash, and foundation that’s filled with parabens that can alter hormone mechanisms in our body? Why can we buy lipsticks, diapers, and creams that are packed with BHA and BHT? These are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and could cause liver damage! AHH! And that’s not all!

Why is it that the U.S. bans only 11 chemicals when places like Europe are banning thousands? 11. Really? We should be questioning this and we should be passionate about this. 

All-in-all my passion and the people who support me will be my focus, and the rest I will simply not have time for. I will grow this through this journey with a full heart and by always staying true to myself.

Much Love,


P.S. Thank YOU so much to those who supported my business throughout the 15% off sale! Wow, it was amazing how many of you decided to start or continue your safer beauty journey. Love that you are prioritizing your health!

Cloudy with a Chance of Anxiety

Mental Health

My mind has been cloudy lately. I’m having trouble focusing and I feel scattered. I’m feeling overwhelmingly discontent. Some questions that have popped up recently are…Who am I? What do I want to tell the world? What are the main goals when growing my business? How much time do I put into my new side business? How much focus do I put on bettering myself behind the scenes versus continuing to expand my online presence? What is my purpose?

For the first time in my life, I’m realizing that I might struggle with anxiety. Not just situational nervousness or an uneasy stomach, but I’m starting to notice a substantial increase of symptoms. The fogginess, racing thoughts, fatigue, etc. At times, I feel like I’m going to literally black out. I’m short of breath, my chest gets tight, and it’s like I want to jump out of my own skin. It’s scary, but sometimes I question myself….Am I being overdramatic? What is “real” anxiety versus normal life stress? What if I’m just not doing enough to take care of myself? I could easily work on my spirituality.  I work out 3-5 times a week, but I could work out more. I do yoga a couple of times a month. Should I do it everyday? I listen to a few meditations monthly, but not daily. I definitely could eat more vegetables instead of a whole row of Thin Mints (Thanks, Girl Scouts). Also, is it just my hormones? Sometimes I feel crazy and I wonder if it’s just a thing us women go through. After I start thinking about all the things I SHOULD be doing to manage my anxiety, I get even more stressed out! It’s a vicious cycle!

I can’t begin to describe how difficult this is to admit to my readers, but also to myself. This is a new development for me and I’m not even sure what’s going on mentally, but I know that writing it down is a step in the right direction. Frankly, I’m embarrassed and I figured if I’m embarrassed then there has to be other individuals who feel the same way. The best way to help the stigma of depression, anxiety, addiction and so on…is to talk about it, right? I think so!

Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S. That’s 18.1% of the population every year! Only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment (ADAA, 2018). I’m not sure exactly what constitutes as “treatment.” But, to me, that means that less than half the people who struggle with anxiety are taking steps to help themselves. That leads me to believe that a vast amount of those people probably aren’t talking about it openly either. I guarantee most individuals are walking around thinking that their anxiety is just “part of life” and “life is hard.” Does it have to be though?

Why are we so anxious? 


There’s no one answer to that question and anxiety is caused by a variety of factors; environmental, genetic, and our brain chemistry all play a role. BUT, I’ve noticed a trend recently, in my own life and others, that is bound to affect people’s mental well-being and that is we are a society of “provers.” Let me PROVE that I’m a good worker. Let me PROVE that I’m a great parent. Let me PROVE that I’m a fun time, but also still dedicated. Let me PROVE to you that I’m unique, but also still able to coexist with others. Watch me accomplish all my goals and I’ll PROVE to you that I’m finally worth something! The world of social media has exacerbated this issue ten fold. Ironically, as I’ve really rumbled with myself (rumbled is a term I stole from Brene Brown-check her work out), I’ve realized that social media has been a huge part of my heightened anxiety this last year. I run my dance studio social media accounts, personal accounts, and now I have added more accounts and online events/promotions for Beautycounter. I think I need a whole planner just to schedule my social media posts (mmm…not a bad idea). I’m realizing that the more I try to connect through my phone, the more I’m trying to PROVE myself, and the more unhappy I become. It’s frustrating, because I love this new venture I’ve started and I truly love that social media can connect people to my businesses, but it is making me SO disconnected from my relationship and my mental health.

Some of you may be thinking that this isn’t you. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone and you are comfortable with who you are and the choices you make. Kuddos to you! I hope to have that enlightenment sooner than later, but I think for a lot of people, especially those of us who are just starting our adult lives, feel the need to PROVE ourselves. Every. Dang. Day.

I listened to a Youtube stream my mom sent me the other day. I’m going to drop it below, so you all can take a listen if you so choose. The speaker is Esther Hicks, and honestly when I first listened to her, I thought her concepts were a little out there. She was using verbage I wasn’t real familiar with. She speaks of the vortex and universe quite often. I promise, she is NOT an alien. Her words might be unique, but her messages are quite simple. In the video below she discusses the need to prove ourselves. She tells a story about herself and how she discovered that she “never had anything to prove anyway” and she “was worthy without the struggle.” She let herself “know her own goodness” and that she “was a good person anyway!” Wait, WHAT?

Those words struck me like a lightning bolt. My first thought was, “why the hell am I working so hard to prove myself in literally every single area of my life when I am already enough?” I feel like this anxiety that I’ve been struggling with has a lot to do with my own insecurities, and my need to please and be without flaws. I have to PROVE that I’m an amazing dance studio owner. I have to PROVE that I’m an adequate head coach. I have to PROVE that I can be successful with Beautycounter. I have all these dreams, things to learn, places to go, people to educate, and I just want them all to happen now, now, now and frankly, I’m burning my self out.

I’m constantly in a state of never being enough and I’m doing it to myself! 



Now that I’m done spilling out my heavier thoughts, in true Taryn fashion, I have to end on a positive note and say that I am taking steps to figure out a balance in my life. I am starting to take a magnesium supplement drink every night to see if it positively impacts me. My mom recommended it, because it’s really helped her. I ordered it off of Thrive Market, but I’m sure it can be found in a variety of places!

I am going to work on some tactics to step away from social media for short periods of time to really be present with myself and the people I love. I am going to actively continue positive self-talk every morning. I’ve also been diffusing lavender essential oil, which has been proved to help with anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. Last night, I decided to fully dive in and ordered a whole Young Living Kit. If you want more information about essential oils, please let me know. I am not well-versed yet, but I can direct you towards an amazing lady who has an abundance of knowledge not only with essential oils, but she’s also a Holistic MS Dietician and Alternative Health Advocate.

Some may think, “just go to a doctor and get a prescription” and I am in no way knocking that path. Who knows, that might be a route I have to take in the future, but I would WAY rather try to remedy my anxiety in a natural way first. I’m passionate about safer products and safer beauty, and I personally believe Big Pharma does NOT have our best interest at heart. More on that topic at a later time!

Anyways, I want to leave you with one last note, from my dear mother, who has helped me navigate through these mentally difficult times.

IMG_6544 (1).jpg

I hope her words fill you with some joy or hope as you continue on your own path through life’s winding journey.

Much love,