Life
comments 28

Where do we go from here?

(Image source)

This blog may be quiet, but I’m constantly writing posts for it in my head. I have a list of topics, like how changes in life affect how we dress. How I style my wavy-curly hair, since it’s hard to find info on hair textures between straight and straight-out curly. How plus sizes are disappearing from physical shops, banished to the online departments. A reader once asked me how, if I were to get married, my ultimate wedding dress would be, which I thought was an interesting question on many levels. I’d planned a post on how what you wear affects how you think, feel and act, which I wanted to follow up with a post where I dress as different “stereotypes” for a day, documenting the experience with photos and notes on what it was like to be each “Maria”.

They feel like good ideas, these blog posts. I would like to read them myself, actually. But here’s the thing: I’m not excited about writing them.

I was talking to Maja the other day about how things have changed since we started blogging. When I created that blogspot-account back in 2008, blogs in general were still something of an oddity, and blogs about personal style were rare. I wanted a place where I could learn and explore, and then share my discoveries. I wanted to make a tiny little difference, for both you and me, with my tiny little blog.

Now, though, there are so many blogs out there, with gorgeous photos and graphics, with good, pedagogic instructions, with vibrant personalities and magical lives. I don’t like to do anything half-way, or badly. So of course I want photos and illustrations and infographics that look professional. I’d like to offer you individual services, so you could hire me for a colour analysis, or for help to figure out which garments will work with your body. I wish I could cooperate with eco-friendly, ethical companies, to make it easier for you to shop consciously.

Unfortunately, that’s just not possible for me right now. I’m not well enough to have a regular, full-time job, or even a part-time one. So how could I possibly demand of myself that I produce a blog equal to people who has the blog as their main job?

What matters even more is that blogging about style and clothes no longer feels that interesting to me, personally. If you’ll forgive me being straight-forward: I know I’m a good teacher. I’ve learnt so much writing this blog, and though I’m not “finished” learning (honestly, I love learning), I’m no longer the curious style-novice I was years ago. So sure, I can write a thoroughly in-depth piece on… say, shoulder seams, but it’ll mostly be Maria the Teacher doing her thing, not Maria the Explorer. Don’t get me wrong, teaching can be fun, but it’s not so fun that I want to write thousands of words on it for free when it no longer feels like it benefits me as well.

So here I am, with the luxury “problem” of a wonderful audience — but I no longer want to write about the subject for which they signed up. What do I want? I only know I want to write. No matter what project I’m playing around with, whether it’s the fantasy novel I’ve thought about most of my adult life, or a script for a short-film I’m making with my nerdy friends, some song lyrics, or even just letters to my pen pals, I always come back to this, the words.

What to do? I could force myself to write solely about style, as before, but if the past is any indicator, that means only posting once every six months. Which is just silly. I could stop blogging altogether, but that doesn’t feel right either. You see, I have hope that what’s kept you all around for such a long time, is not just my “lessons”, but my voice itself. And that, darlings, is precicely the thing I want to explore.

I don’t have a perfect solution, so for now I’m simply reclaiming this blog as my playground. I’ll just write, about… about anything, at first, and maybe some kind of pattern or red thread will turn up with time. I’m prepared for a wave of unsubscribers, but some of you may stick around, at least for a while. I hope not to disappoint.

Oh, and… *utterly casual* My next post is scheduled for tomorrow.

28 Comments

  1. Trajena says

    I suppose that I too must break out of my online hiatus, if only to leave a comment on one of my favourite blogs.

    I’ll begin by talking about myself for a moment to set the proper tone here. I was a late bloomer when it comes to style; I didn’t really begin experimenting with clothes or even makeup until I was in university. I knew myself until then as a tall, pasty-skinned awkward girl who wore jeans and XL men’s sweatshirts not because I liked the way they looked, but because I knew that I would remain safe from criticism or judgement if I didn’t look like I was trying. If I wasn’t trying to look like a pretty girl, then no one could tell me that I wasn’t pretty. People who tried to pep talk me were irrelevant: anytime someone like my aunts or my friends told me how much potential I had; every time my sister gave me a makeover; when more than one model scout told me how I could make a living it all ended the same way – I would preen for approximately 2 minutes and then continue being convinced that the only way to stay safe was to look as bland as possible.
    A lot of that mentality had to do with a combination of factors, including an awkward looking childhood spent gazing up at a gorgeous older sister, the stereotypes convincing me that a girl must either be intelligent or beautiful, and my own confusion over my asexuality to name a few.

    I remember my first real turning point in regards to style: I was procrastinating while writing a paper, and found a rather forgettable article about jeggings being a viable clothing option for “any” body type (you know the sort of article I’m talking about), but one part of it that stood out was one picture- a photo of a young woman in high waisted, deep blue jeans with a flowy white top and pin curled hair. I clicked the photo and was brought to a blog about not just style, but the happenings in the life of this musician/stylista who called herself Airam. The name of the blog stayed with me, and between episodes of Criminal Minds and too much sugar, I began reading. More than the “tips”, I was struck by the writing that made me want to read about a subject that I had previously found no joy in. And boy, did I read.

    That was 6 years ago.
    Many things have happened and changed over the course of those six years: I have lost my mother to cancer, moved in with my sister, got a serious physical illness, put my studies on hold, picked them up again, moved into my own apartment, got diagnosed with a sallope of my own and been put on medication for it. And throughout it all, I’ve kept reading. I keep going back to posts about dressing for the cold, because I’m Canadian and we have weather. I’ve reread posts about packing efficiently more times than I can count. I’ve pulled up your outfit posts and polyvores for inspiration when I have no clue what I want to wear.
    Because your posts made me want to think for myself and express myself through my clothing and styling.

    That is what set your blog apart for me, the writing. Any old article would say that something worked, but you were the first one to explain to me how and why it worked as well as how to change it to fit your own needs and comfort level.

    Nowadays, I love my style. I frequently get compliments, but my main satisfaction comes from knowing that I look the way that I want to. Not to say that I don’t still get self-conscious, although that’d be very nice, but it’s more of a nuisance than a constant state of being.

    Perhaps it’s the perpetual literature student in me, but I feel like I could read anything you write. I don’t comment as often as I used to, but I’m always reading.

    I look forward to your next post!

  2. Bonnie says

    As someone who has been reading (and loving) your blog for many years, I can honestly say that watching it grow and evolve has been one of the many wonderful things about it. Some of my favourite posts have been ones that had very little to do with style; it is the way you write that I love, regardless of what you are writing about. I am currently struggling very hard with severe depression and anxiety, and your posts about chronic illness have been so insanely helpful to me ❤

    • Maria says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles, Bonnie. Do hang in there — I promise things can get better again. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or at least to share your burdens when you can <3

  3. I have followed your blog for about a year and a half now, and, as a teenage girl not quite comfortable in her own skin, your words have helped me through a lot of tough times. You were one of my main inspirations for my pixie cut (which helps me feel so much more *me*) and I will always look up to you for both your stylistic expertise and your wonderful, creative prose. I will definitely keep following your blog and look forward to many stories, poems, posts and art in the future! Keep up the incredible words of all sorts! 🙂

  4. Jenna says

    I will not be unfollowing. I have always found your posts interesting, informative, and insightful. I found you through you pixie cut post and have continued from there. I am bored of the perfectly curated street fashion blogs which make me feel I need new items all the time. I prefer reading about personal style, thrifting, creating. So go ahead and do you, I will be here.

    • Maria says

      That’s reassuring to hear, Jenna, thank you. Hopefully you’ll still find something interesting to read in this blog 🙂

  5. Bryn says

    I think that the majority of your subscribers will still want to read your stuff simply because it’s coming from you. Your posts are always so beautifully articulated whatever their particular topic, and I for one am happy to read anything that comes out of your head.

    I’d also like to thank you for all of your past posts, style-related or otherwise. They’ve really inspired me to find my own personal style and outlook on things, and I think that’s quite valuable.

    I’ve also started teaching myself Norwegian because of you, which is pretty cool.

    Takk, Maria. For all that you’ve done and are yet to do.

    • Maria says

      Hei Bryn! How cool that you’re learning Norwegian! Jeg er imponert 🙂 I’m so glad you’re all so positive to my change of blog topic, it really inspires me to write more, and to write better.

  6. RinaL says

    I know how you feel. I have a lot of various interests – and as soon as I learnt enough in one area the interest vanishes. Most of the time its really a pity – normally I end up with a stage where I could start to make a living from it. Its the same in my job, luckily I get paid to figure new things out. 😉

    So, despite the fact that I loved your style advices, I understand the need to post about something else. I am curious what you discover as a new topic for you – and I am definetly staying ;).

    • Maria says

      Sounds like you’ve found just the job for yourself, RinaL! Curiosity is a good thing, I say 🙂 And thank you for staying for a while, that means a lot.

  7. Alexandra says

    Welcome back! I truly enjoy every blog post you wrote and staid with your blog as I find the content very informative. Your posts always seem so thoughtful and made me feel like I get the whole picture on a subject rather than just a snippet. I also enjoy your blog as there is not an update every day since my busy work week leaves me little time to follow every entry and mostly I started to ignore blogs that post too much content. Although your blog is focusing on fashion I never felt it is solely a fashion blog as you go more into detail about design and style. I am very happy to continue following your blog to see where your journey leads you (and us). As for your future content I think you have plenty of things you can write about. I really enjoy your writing style so you could talk about the Genetics of Citrus fruits and I would still read it.

    • Maria says

      Hi Alexandra! It’s cool to hear from someone who don’t just crave more, more, more content, especially since I’ve always considered that one of my weaknesses here, that I don’t post more often. I intend to publish posts a bit more frequently now, especially since I’m trying to figure out what this blog wants to be, but hopefully the content will still be good. As for the Genetics of Citrus, that might actually make something fun sometime. Let me mull it over a bit 😉

  8. Rachel says

    Hello Maria! I found your blog many, many years ago, too many to count, just off of a google search on henna dyes. I immediately loved your voice, and very quickly read and followed all your following posts. It’s true that there are a thousand and one blogs out there today, but they don’t all necessarily feel authentic, not many have taught me as much. So whatever is next for you on your life and style journey, I’ll be very happy to follow – I’ve learnt a lot from here, and I know I will learn from where you take this blog next, it doesn’t need to be ‘Maria the Teacher’ for that to happen, do whatever it is that feels natural to you. Good luck xx

    • Maria says

      Hi Rachel! I remember you well, you’re one of those people I feel I “know” a little just because you’ve been commenting for so long 🙂 thank you for the encouragement.

  9. Molly says

    Maria, I agree with everything written above! I look forward to seeing how you grow and explore, on your own terms. Thank you for choosing authenticity and intentionality over conventional norms.

    • Maria says

      Thank you so much, Molly! “Authenticity and intentionality over conventional norms”, that’s the kind of philosophy I like 🙂

  10. elina says

    Blog posts by you on any subject? Imagine the minions cheering and you’ll know what I look like.

  11. My goodness Maria! After years of reading your blog, I am happy to see a change. Not that I didn’t adore your style and wisdom, but you have always inspired me and to see you grow and adapt to your own comfort is an amazing thing. I am truly happy for you and look forward to keeping up with your blog.

    Lina

  12. Hi, Maria.
    It’s been a while. Happy for you that you’ve evolved – as most of us do. Yes, I do like your voice in writing and enjoy reading your blog posts. Thank you for not stopping and still sharing your thoughts.
    As for me, I recently discovered the low-carb high-fat way of eating and lost 5kg in 7 weeks, which is almost unbelievable for me as I could never “eat less” before as I had hunger pangs and cravings. I didn’t know the carbohydrates were wreaking havoc in my body and causing mood swings (insulin spiking, etc). Google LCHF if you’re intrigued or haven’t heard about it.
    Hope you’re well and continually find joy in your life and in this great, messy world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *