No tags :(

Share it

ali macgraw quote

Can you be a minimalist and a collector of vintage things at the same time? This is the question that’s been broiling in my oven since I returned from Florida, feeling like a changed woman.

For most people, taking a break from daily life (or even just part of it) for a month isn’t realistic, but I had the chance, and I feel duty-bound to make the most of it.

I’m not going to lie: it was wonderful to be in a place where the sun shined practically every day for a month–doubly so because my parents were there to enjoy it with me. For 30 glorious days, life swung back and forth between two moving parts: my parents and my work. With other extracurricular obligations absent, I couldn’t help but notice how cluttered my life back home has become.

I saw my excesses for just what they are: vanities and insecurities. Even my blogging–or should I say especially my blogging—seemed like a trivial pursuit. I fell silent.

A line from an old Bonnie Raitt song captures my feelings best: “Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.” It wasn’t my intention, but I’ve done a pretty thorough inventory of what matters most to me. Having lots of fabulous clothes and being “online popular” aren’t on the list.

What’s a fashion blogger to do when she loses her passion for fashion? Change. That’s what.

• When I returned home in February, I started by taking eight bags of clothing to Goodwill—and I’m not done yet. (Rest assured, my vintage collection is still perfectly in tact.)

• My volunteer commitments for the year are winnowed down to just two. That’s all I can reasonably handle with a full-time job, a part-time job plus three elderly parents I want to love and care for.

• In a move that’s unbearably difficult, I’ve started to very selectively say no to social opportunities that mean a lot to me. As much as I want to, I can’t be always available to others and still live a purposeful life. If I spend time with you, it means I really, really like you. If I don’t, it means I’m trying really hard to live by my priorities.

• I’m trading Things-That-Don’t-Matter-As-Much for Things-That-Matter-More. That means using time, money and space differently. (If anyone needs a great starting piano or just one you can enjoy a lot, check out mine. It’s for sale because I’m making room for important things.)

close front piano

My tiny house dream? Another vanity. Perhaps I’ll buy a tiny house on wheels one day. But for now, I have to acknowledge that I already have a tiny house and it’s much too full. And how did it get that way? The answer to that question is calling me to change.

By necessity, I feel the need to change things up in my blogging, too. (If you’d rather not be along for the ride when a regular blogger goes off the rails, or you’re just bored by a long soliloquy, now would be a good time to deboard this train.)

For a long time, I’ve been a little confused about the value proposition herein. What’s in it for you to follow my blog? I couldn’t answer the question.

Oh, I could say all the usual things: that it’s a lifestyle blog, that I contribute social commentary and forgotten history, that it’s part of a personal brand, that I compare and analyze stuff related to fashion, that it lets me practice other forms of writing than I can in my day job. Well, I did do these things sometimes, but honestly, those responses sound like poppycock to me.

A sidenote: I don’t want you to think I’m a dolt about branding: I work in marketing, and I get it. Unfortunately, the concept of branding as it applies to people is becoming passé in my worldview. Rather than following the edicts of a society that’s hooked on branding, I wonder if we might be better people if we just got over ourselves.

It is not sustainable for the whole world to be bent on a mission that says, “Look at me. Look at my life. Look at my family. Look what I’m doing.” A life of meaningful service—that seems both authentic and sustainable to me.

A blogger’s dilemma
I am not against fashion blogging as a pursuit that’s fun and even educational for people who want to learn how to put themselves together or challenge themselves to greater creativity in the way they dress. Celebrating fashion as art and story—yes, this is good.

Too often, I fear that I have not done either of these things. I’m happy to have shared some stories of people I love and admire. But I’m also embarrassed that I fell so readily into the trap of doing easy, conventional things in the push to generate regular content.

One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is to believe our own lies. I know my own lies. I am not a brand. I am a person. Yes, I love fashion, but it is not the center of my world or who I am.

For all these reasons and more, I’m rethinking the sort of content I share here, and how often I’ll share it. I can promise you that posts of me wearing something unique and wonderfully vintage will appear rarely, if ever.

Meanwhile, I want to let faithful readers, supporters and friends know that I’m working on things that are more closely aligned with my purpose for living. I’ll keep you posted about those as they progress, but for now, don’t be surprised if you hear from me less often while I rearrange a few things that matter most.

Despite my occasional delusions, this has always been a personal blog, but never more so than it is today. Thanks for following this soul-baring post. I’ve made some fabulous friends through personal blogging and I find joy in knowing that we understand each other. Just like me—you’re a person; not a brand or a product. I hope you’re preserving time money and space for people and things that matter most to you!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.