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Meet Em MacDougal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Em MacDougal.

Em, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Drifting on a career path of comfort, feeling unchallenged and bored, I decided to stop playing it safe and take a chance on myself. A scary move for anyone who dares to cut the lifeline of social norms, but it was a must for me as my very existence was at stake.

Now I know what you are thinking… it’s a bit overdramatic, as surely I wasn’t going to die. Sure, physically I would have been fine, but other parts of me, not so much. Anyone who wants to live a creative life understands this… I veered off topic a bit, but I thought it was worth noting. Anyway…

After I chose myself, I decided to establish a creative hub. A place where I could go to share inspiration, be inspired, and in turn, give others the opportunity to experience it as well, especially those looking for those missing ingredients in life. More important than that, a place where I could pull myself out of that drifting boat, float into a new world of discomfort and find life appealing again.

Thus, BloomingMagnoliasBlog.com was brought into a digital existence. It’s a site that focuses on encouraging me and others to embrace femininity, wear what makes us happy, as well as enjoy the little, seemingly insignificant things in life.

Coupled with the subject matter of travel and lifestyle, it highlights my real-life experiences for others to learn from, and help create their own adventures. One of my favorite segments is a weekly series on five things big and small that bring me joy.

But back to the story that brought us here… As mentioned previously, I felt a need for change. In 2019, with a deep desire to widen our experiences, my husband and I decided to quit our jobs, donate most of our belongings, and after 6 years, leave California and do some soul-searching through travel. As a result, we spent four months in Europe that summer.

Parts of it were incredible and others came with their own set of challenges (of course they’re well-documented on BloomingMagnoliasBlog.com). After our return to the USA, we planned on continuing to travel. As winter was settling up North where we were at the time, we decided on our first destination someplace warm: Florida. That is where we found ourselves when that infamous March 2020 arrived.

As everything started to unfold, we were forced to change our plans, and that’s how we ended up settling in Tampa. What has followed since has been set in motion with creativity at the forefront of our lives, via writing and photography. Blooming Magnolias Blog continues to be that place where I push the envelope of inspiration and force myself to be challenged. It’s exciting and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not! Haha…

When it comes to inspiration and creativity, I have learned that they are living things in need of constant attention. They have to be nourished, and even with care and attention, one must learn how to tame and harness them into existence for your own sake, and for others to enjoy.

It is why taking seemingly insignificant things, and showing their essence by bringing light to them, can be most rewarding.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
If one wants to steer off course, rules and laws still exist, they’re just not clearly marked, written, or discussed. A positive mind, building endurance for failure, and perseverance are qualities that are essential to exploring such a path.

What makes them the trickiest, especially the endurance part, is that they can only be built through experience. Instead of trying to be perfect at everything one does, one must be willing to fail a lot (research and education can only help so much).

Through the failure of the process of elimination, one can eventually succeed, but only if one perseveres. It is a great learning experience of self-discovery that pairs well with the old adage of “if you do not try then you cannot fail”… well, you can’t succeed either!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m known for being in a dress 99.9% of the time and showcasing feminine style with classic tendencies. Along with feminine style, travel and finding joy in the small things are the backbone of BloomingMagnoliasBlog.com. Another aspect of the blog is finding and exploring gems in the Tampa Bay area to bring to our readers. In the spirit of that, my husband and I are expanding into a new video series that will be on my website soon. Stay tuned!

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