This started out as a totally different post but then I started writing and spilling my guts and we’re just going to roll with it, k?

design darling rory

I’m not going to lie… I felt a little nostalgic visiting New York last week.

The weather was perfect, I got to see my family and catch up with old friends, and I made a point to make reservations at one of my favorite restaurants for every meal of my stay. Strangely, actually being in New York was the first time since the move that I felt like I really missed it.

Moving my business across the country has been pretty stressful. I’ve been overwhelmed by new permits and taxes, nervous about hiring my first employee, anxious about dips in sales while we tried to figure out a new routine. Then there’s the sadness of missing my parents (who are moving out of my childhood home), siblings (who are starting new chapters in college and New York), and best friends (who are all basically kicking ass and taking names and making me super freaking proud just to know them — sorry to be such a sap). I think it’s easy to glamorize independence and risk and self-employment but the past few months have knocked me down more times than I care to admit.

I hate to be a downer on anyone’s day but I guess I like to record these moments of feeling “less than” because these lulls are all just part of the story and I want to remind myself and all of you that whatever you’re dealing with will pass. There’s so much I want to do — with my blog, my boutique, my actual offline life — and on days like today it’s pretty cool to know there are a bunch of you out there with similar dreams, struggles, goals, and uncertainties getting through it just like I am.

Thanks for hearing me out, friends. Mad love.

61 thoughts on “ONE OF THOSE DAYS…

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  1. From a Dallasite who has been reading your quips for years, I’m praying for you in those heart pangs of missing home. So glad you have joined our city, and look forward to your shop opening here. Praying you find joy, not in forgetting old favorite haunts but finding new ones; and find time to keep in touch with friends admist the distance.

  2. Hate that you had a rough week! You seem to have surrounded yourself with wonderful people in Dallas, so I have no doubt that they’ll have you feeling better in no time! Thank you for posting this though; I’m going through a similar experience (I just got back to a college that I don’t love). It’s oddly comforting knowing that even people who lead such ‘ darling’ lives feel down sometimes. I love your blog; it’s such an inspiration for girls my age wanting blaze their own path outside of traditional careers. I’ve been reading it as part of my morning routine for a while now. Love the pretty images and fun content. Thanks so much for keeping your blog real and true to you! Prayers that you’ll have a great First Fall in Dallas!

    p.s. Love this picture of you and Rory! It’s precious!

  3. This is one of the reasons why I love reading your blog. Your beauty and personality shines through and you are just as lovely online as you are in person. You have built an incredible business and community, don’t ever forget that. I think we all have those days when we feel “less than” even we are trying our hardest. But those days are important because they help us appreciate the amazing days when we are kicking ass. You are doing great!

  4. Hi There!
    I just read your post from yesterday and it really pulled at my heart strings. You’ve accomplished so much in your life and you inspire me everyday! It’s not often that bloggers show their ‘human’ side yet you always do and it means the world to me and your audience. Thinking of you and hope today was a better day. This too shall pass. xo


  5. Yes to all of this!
    Today I feel lucky to have you as my real-life friend. I have no doubt you are going to do big things in this world. And you are a pretty great friend!

    xox- ali

  6. Thank you so much for your honesty, Mackenzie, it’s so so refreshing! I’ve been following your journey for quite some time, and I really admire everything you’ve already accomplished – and I’m sure there are many fabulous things in your future! Fingers crossed 🙂

  7. I love your blog and it is so sweet of you to share your feelings, what it comes down to is we are really all the
    same and you are not alone and most of us can relate to what you are feeling. Hang in there, it will get better and you have so many friends and support on here, we are with you. Your blog is beautiful and you have such a sweet spirit. Thanks Teresa

  8. Dear Mackenzie, You just put the “darling” in Design Darling! Your blog is beautiful and inspiring. Stay strong!

  9. You are seriously such an inspiration to me! Not only have you created a successful blog and business. It took so much courage to make the move. Keep your head up!

  10. Mackenzie, thank you for this post! This summer, I moved from New York to Seattle, where I knew no one except my fiance. And while I’m intensely proud of myself for carving out an awesome new life here, it’s a lot of work. It’s exhausting. Even though the “cost/benefit” analysis comes out positively, I really admire you for being realistic about the complete picture. Keep up the wonderful work!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing. Was going through some lulls as well. Remember that this too shall pass. Think of how far you’ve come> xo

  12. Hi Mackenzie! This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I’ve been reading for awhile now. I just recently moved to Dallas too (recently as in um..yesterday, ha!) and I’m starting my own freelancing business. I’m definitely scared because I’m just starting out but I’ve looked up to you and how you’ve grown your own business.

    I just wanted to give you some positive vibes and tell you that you are doing a great job. There will always be ups and downs in life and starting over in a new city is terrifying and exciting all at the same time.

    Maybe we will run into each other sometime! I will be the one looking clueless as I walk around 🙂

  13. Transitions are hard, especially moves. I recently moved a half mile across town (ha!) and was still very, very stressed.

    At the risk of sounding cheesy, have you seen the Pixar movie Inside Out? I thought it did a great job of emphasizing the importance of the full range of emotions, and how it’s really all part of the human experience.

    I think we live in a society a little too addicted to “happy.” All emotions are valid, so I really appreciate this post!

  14. Thank you for sharing this! I really appreciate the “keeping it real” posts- it is weirdly comforting to know that everyone struggles sometimes. And keep up the good work in the boutique, I always love checking out the new arrivals!


  15. I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderfully writen post. It’s refreshing to read a blogger admit to feeling “less than” occasionally, since we all do. It’s so easy to see everyone’s picture perfect life online and become envious, and forget that we’re all human and all facing our own struggles. I moved to New York a little over two years ago, leaving behind my family and most of my college friends, to embrace a new life. There were so many times, even though I loved New York, when I felt like I was missing out by not being in Baltimore. But then I would realize that I was exactly where I was supposed to be doing exactly what I wanted. I always tell my dad how internally conflicting it is when I come home for holidays, like Reese says I’m Sweet Home Alabama “I love New York, but I come down here and this fits too”. Any big life change is always bitter sweet and a huge transition, but I wish you all the best and know you will learn to love your new life in Dallas just as much as you did NYC.

  16. Thanks for keeping it real. Sometimes, we get so caught in keeping up our image/brand, that we forget that suffering and loss play real and important roles in change. Moving to a new place (with different weather, a totally different socio-cultural environment, away from family and friends) forces you to make new routines. Now that you have been in Dallas for awhile, the new shiny-ness is wearing off and the stresses of change are feeling overwhelming. But, you can do this too. Hang in there!

  17. Hi Mackenzie – What a special post today. I am a fellow CT girl so naturally follow your blog :). Thank you for being REAL! So many blogs today have people hiding behind a picture of perfection. While there are many, many good days we are blessed to have, there are times where one does feel down, struggling, or confused. After all, we are human and it’s all part of the journey! I appreciate your “realness” and am even a bigger fan after today. Keep up your great work and smile and just trust every step you are making is leading you to something special. Thank you and God bless!

  18. I understand 100%. My college friends, who are my best friends in the world, live all over the country. I’m two years out of college and still have no idea what I want to “be” when I grow up. And some days I’m ok with that. but a lot of the time I just don’t have it in me to just kind of maintain a laissez-faire attitude about my life and future. Based on your success thus far I can ascertain that you are driven, ambitious, and intelligent young woman with a very bright future. Yes, these days happen, but just look how far you’ve come. You’ve done things some of us only dream of. And no matter what happens, you will figure out how to make lemonade with lemons (or vodka lemonade perhaps?). Anyways, just know you’re not alone. I have been there, I’m sure tons of your other readers have too.

    P.S. Watch Beyonce’s Made in American performance if you need a “girl power” pick me up. It is so amazing and such great girl power.



  19. Thank you for sharing such an intimate glimpse into your heart. I definitely can relate to feeling overwhelmed or deflated at times (in fact I am currently experiencing one of those times). Reading your post was a reminder that everyone feels low, even those we see as the most successful and together! You have accomplished so much, you will get through the difficult periods! I think it is only natural that you miss New York right now!

  20. Love your honesty. And as a 38 year old mother of three who runs a production business and a blog I can attest to the fact that the down moments will keep coming. Being able to appreciate the up moments that much more because of them is the trick. Keep up the good work. This too shall pass…

  21. I love your blog and your boutique and I admire you for making the move and being willing to change your life and see it as a new adventure! You are right, these feelings will pass. Thank you for sharing the struggles as well as the successes with us! Makes the successes even sweeter 🙂

  22. I’ve been checking into your blog almost every day and loving all your content–props for killing it despite the stress of moving your business across the country. I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability in this post and loved what you had to say about your lows being just as much a part of your story as the highs. As much as I love your inspirational content one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is because I get to see a human side that I wouldn’t find in a lifestyle magazine, even though I’m sure it can feel scary to open up as you have done in this post. I’m glad you did, though, and am confident that you will keep doing amazing things that make your risk-taking more than worth it! Much love from a fellow New England girl <3

  23. These posts are so important–no matter how hard it is to write about. It connects you on a different level. Periods of struggle are real and it is so great to have a support system in your corner.

    Of course we are all rooting for you! 🙂

    Ashley | Sunday Brunch

  24. I always love posts like this. Ones that just seem to be good for the soul. Thank you for sharing this with all of us readers and being open. I am so guilty of looking at pictures or posts and thinking man what I would give to have my life like that, but in reality everyone has “one of those days”.

    While it wasn’t New York I moved from, I did move from Charlotte a little over a year ago and when I go back it makes me miss the life that once was, but then I realize that in order to continue progressing sometimes you have to step out of the comfort zone or the less stressful place and grow. However it is always a pleasure to go back and visit with friends and loved ones and stop by favorite restaurants and bars.


  25. Mackenzie! I have read your blog for a long long time and haven’t seen many posts like this. Im constantly inspired by you and look up to you! When I have an interest in something like how to start a boutique, fun ways to dress or decorate, etc I always come here for advice. I love reading the highs of your businesses and its special to see the lows too because i know in the near future you will have an amazingly high post to write and this one to look back on and say, whah- look how badass I am. Keep staying true to yourself! It’s more inspiring than you know!

  26. Girl, I know these feelings. Kudos for putting them out there and for recognizing them as a part of what makes life such a fun ride. Keep hanging in! ♥

  27. I love you, sweet lady. You are so brave. I don’t think a day goes by where a single human being doesn’t have a moment – whether it’s a second, minute, or excruciating hour – of self-doubt. To look at what you’ve done with your idea-turned–kickass-blog-turned-kickass-business in the past 5 years is truly worthy of awe. You are courageous and humble and so very strong, and I am so proud of you and all of the work that you do. I feel blessed, every day, to be able to call you one of my best lady friends.

  28. Girl I feel ya! We all have good moments and down moments. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your down moments. It’s easy to read blogs and look at instagram and feel down about my life. It looks like everyone has these glamorous lives and I’m not keeping up. But hearing from you, a blogger whom I admire, that you also feel down sometimes, well it brings perspective back into my own life. No one is perfect and like you said this too shall pass. Keep your head up and keep doing an amazing job!

    – Kelsey

  29. I think moving is so much harder & stressful than anyone gives it credit for. Even just moving houses, let alone across the country. Plus saying goodbye to your childhood home = a major heartbreaker. I’ve wound up in therapy after two of my most recent moves for mild anxiety and depression! I always felt really silly in light of other people having “real” problems, but moving throws me for a real loop. Exercise is the thing that helps the most (& I basically hate exercising). Chin up! You’ve got a huge cheering section. xo

  30. I appreciate this post more than you know and I’m a firm believer that sharing the good, bad and ugly will only make for a better stories/posts in the future 🙂 Keep your chin up and know that you aren’t alone!

  31. We all have days & times we feel like at times. Everyone longs for bits & pieces of their past sometimes (myself included). I commend you for actually being brave enough to say you are having one of those moments. Keep pushing forward & you’ll be an even bigger success than you already are.

  32. Thanks for this brave post. Its important for women to continue to be vulnerable so that they can be supported. When Im having a rough time I often look to this Theodore Roosevelt quote to give me a different perspective.

    “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

  33. Not a downer post at all! And I think acknowledging when you’re down is important. It’s exhausting (and kind of fake) to try to be happy all the time. Being blue every once in a while helps put everything in perspective.

    Puppy cuddles are definitely the best medicine.

  34. Thank you for not glamourizing your authentic self and you’re not a downer for being honest! In fact, I bet you resonated with a lot more people like myself who also could be having a down week and made them feel better in solidarity. Keep tackling things head on and remain positive!!

  35. My wife and I (mostly my wife) are longtime followers… this is not a ‘downer’ post at all MH – in fact sharing it makes you more human which is why your base/customers are so loyal and continually growing.

    Days like this make the good days great. The struggle is real, keep grinding away.

  36. We all have those days Mackenzie, and it’s very “real” of you to open up about it and not glamorize everything. Obviously you”re a strong person who takes risks and that’s great. Best of luck with everything!