Blasts, from pasts.
As far back as 2009, I was grateful to be a "fashion blogger" Around that same time, I was developing my "womanifesto" on being a +40 woman, and just what all that entailed. I was spinning on style, and it's still relevant today. In fact, I encourage you to share my post entitled "Spin it Spinster."
I've been a bit nostalgic lately- noting drastic changes in "the bloggersphere" feeling the keen absence of the many women I "grew up" with as a blogger. A lot has changed since my first blog post, but reviewing many of my past blogs, I can see a lot has remained the same. What interests me today, is pretty much the same- and I still love stripes, polka dots and plaids. But HOW it interests me is very different now.
Here are some thoughtful reads from the past:
- From Devi and the Dusk Zone's archives, regarding "bravery" in being ok with yourself.
- Self worth activist, Anika's declaration "My Body is Unique."
- Stylish Serene's query: "Do You Have IT?"
- My own reason for taking a good #selfie: "The Empowerment of a Self Portrait."
As of late, I've been feeling uneasy- and in a bit in mourning regarding my blogger's life- all of which is curled up in a ball of yarn I don't feel like unwinding at the moment, or in this venue, but I do feel the need to acknowledge it. Because it reminds me of the best part of my life as a blogger: the community. I've been feeling very frayed, very flawed and very human. Figure-wise: aging, invisible and dumpy. Financial-wise: wobbly and struggling. Blogger-wise: flagrantly unsuccessful. In spite of my best efforts, or (perhaps because of them) I did not make it "big time" as a fashion blogger. LOL! No indeed.
In fact, I've watched many +40 blogs, bloggers and website shoot far past me in terms of blog traffic, acknowledgment and accolades (how many articles NOT mentioning this blog on their lists de facto of best Fashion Blogs for Women Over 40, ha ha, too numerous to mention) and yeah, good ol' fashioned financial success. What was an early ambitious aim towards making it to the top of the heap, paired with an intense investment of time, I've watched my "traffic" drop by over 50%, engagement and comments slow to a timid trickle, as I witness various income generating options collapse. Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder how relevant this blog is to the +40 community at large and what use that is to me, if it's not helping me put food on my table.
This is me getting real, circa January 2014. I have loved my stint as a +40 blogger, it's been, get this: SIX GORGEOUS YEARS. But as a "fashion blogger", folks, I'm calling it quits. This means, I've got to shuffle my priorities to what WORKS for me. Quite literally. I've got to make "this" work.
When I started blogging the original intent was to sell clothes, but I got distracted by the blogging bug. It was an incredible, democratic and amazing virtual world, and as a writer/poet by nature, I truly thought I could make a go of it. I was willing to work hard, and did everything I could think of to produce quality, original content. I wanted to foster community, and I set about actively creating it. My strong point in blogging has never been "aspirational" but I had hoped I was "inspirational" and that I attain success (and make a modest living) by being hard working, authentic and real. It's been a fun run, and I wouldn't trade the experience of it for the world. But this Citizen Q is back to square one.
I want to bloom madly. And I wish for every person reading this, the opportunity to bloom madly as well. Thank you past, present and future friends and readers for finding me. Thank you for letting me blossom from a dreaming poet/pizza slinger, into a dedicated writer/publisher/blogger and vintage seller. THANK YOU for being with me with such delicate kindness and sweet, sweet support. I am so grateful!
Wishing you all a wonderful month.
And here's to the boon of being born + being real. xo! -Bella Q