The conundrum of blogging, twelve years later

The morning I began to type this post, I had just received an email from a blog sponsor telling me I had been removed from their program and would no longer receive compensation because of low engagement from my site. Understandable when explained that way. What I failed to mention to them, (which I see no point in doing now) was that several months before they had asked all participants to install a new promotional widget. In order for me to do that, I had to upgrade the version of my site, which required me to pay GoDaddy $$$ to upgrade. It was a shock to pay so much, but I love my blog and I did it. I installed the widget, and then moved on.

But then I kept getting notifications that my website was down. It was failing to load over and over. I was excited to blog again but it’s hard to do that when your website won’t even let you log in. When I called GoDaddy, their answer was to pay to upgrade. But I explained that I just HAD upgraded. But they wanted me to upgrade even MORE. I’ve been livid thinking about this and feel scammed. I had upgraded because my sponsor needed to, not because I wanted to. Then the upgrade broke my site.

After I received my demotion email,  I removed the widget from the sponsor and now the site seems to be working better…so I don’t know what to make of all that. But now I feel kind of free. The compensation I got from them was small. I have a day job, so it really isn’t a problem for me. But I see how other bloggers get caught in a compensation and validation trap to produce content and get caught in a cycle to satisfy sponsors.

A few weeks ago when my busted blog was averaging 1 view a week (and I think that 1 person was me), I was feeling low. Why am I even doing this? Do people even care about blogs now? I haven’t even shared a style post in months here. I have them, but I literally have not had a chance to share any of them. I am (and so many other bloggers, writers, and content creators) are more complex than just that. We have multifaceted tastes and adventures that sometimes don’t fit in this space. It’s the same issue people have been dealing with on Instagram. When you’re pressured to post for likes and sponsors versus the real you, it doesn’t feel authentic. And some bloggers are bad at this. They are deprived of creativity. I had a low threshold for pressure to post. I wanted to make myself happy, not someone else. And oddly enough, I finally get the freedom to do that.

In the journey to fix my website, I literally had to go back to the beginning of my posting (way back to 2006) to get rid of content that may have been eating up resources. I saw very old posts that were so random, just stream of thought posting of which I’m glad no one looks at anymore :) I saw the very first comments, back when people were EXCITED to communicate and have a dialogue. I saw some embarrassing posts and some that I remember really loving. I want that again. In the end, the website is running better. I don’t know if I should be more mad at the exSponsor, GoDaddy, or myself!

I guess this a story of how my blog broke, and how that didn’t break me.

Hello April

How is it already April?! I have been insanely busy at work. Which has got me motivated to breathe life back into this blog! I’m finding some much needed focus. I have a few fun posts in the works and a whole lotta catching up to do! So here are my April favorites. I think this is also my 12 year blogaversary! A whole other post for that is for another day :)

more than a month April 2018

I decided to give this modern classic, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller a try. I’m actually finding it really difficult to read. I’m still hoping it gets better – I’m just not used to reading stream of thought type of novels. Except that’s what the book is know for!

I’m the kind of person that really enjoys listening to the same old music over and over. So when I accidentally came across the artist Cuco (in an Instagram Story of all randomest places possible), I was instantly hooked! Check out his album here.

My guilty pleasure? Sparkling water from a SodaStream. It seriously is the most refreshing thing ever. I’m trying to convince my coworkers that we need one in our office!

Many years ago, I used to own these high waisted navy blue pants from the Erin Fetherston Target collaboration. (Click here if you want to see an old post with me wearing them.) They’ve been long donated to a thrift store, but I want something like that again. I can’t even tell you how many navy blue pants I’ve tried on in the last few months but nothing, absolutely nothing works! But, I think I may have finally found a pair that works.

I have a confession. I don’t enjoy purchasing things that aren’t clothes/apparel online…I am a firm believer right now that I need to try something before I buy it. So I’m not clueless towards the Glossier phenomenon. But I don’t know anyone personally who had tried any of their products, nor was there anywhere where I could get my hands on samples! So when a pop-up shop opened here in San Francisco, I zipped over! I got a few things, but my favorite right now is the Generation G lip color in Zip! I may have try the other colors eventually because I’m really into a natural looking lip right now. But because I get extreme chapped lips, I need something on my lips at almost all times!

Where have I been?

Have I fallen victim to the hamster wheel of blogging? The first rule of blogging I learned was to never apologize about why you weren’t blogging. The second rule was to try to post as much as possible. I broke both of those rules.

This place started out for me, as a journal of sorts, we didn’t know what we were doing or building back then. I was working on my career (transitioning from teaching into libraries.) And then bloggers started popping out of nowhere promoting so much consumption. I was overwhelmed by the wave, and stayed clear on my course. But there was no love for vintage or sustainable fashion when other bloggers wanted you to BUY BUY BUY! There still isn’t really.

I wasn’t young, I wasn’t showing off, I wasn’t thin (then), and worst of all, I didn’t care about being the next Rumi or Bryan Boy. I wanted to be me. So last year, when I took the whole year to find me, this blog really suffered. I didn’t want to only photograph my outfits and just be ME ME ME all the time. I didn’t even want to show my face on Instagram. So I rarely photographed myself last year. I focused on traveling and capturing nature. Focusing on really letting myself learn and cultivate my desire to learn photography and editing.

What I appreciate the most about this blog is that it helped me learn about the sustainability and ugly side of unsustainable fashion. I called it learning about the humanitarian side of fashion. I couldn’t support an industry (both fashion and blogging) which made it seem like real people weren’t making and in some cases, dying to make clothes! I learned so much, and continue to learn so much. It really changed the way I shop. I spent 3 years only buying new clothes that were made in the USA. Only in the last year have I deviated a little bit from that. This challenged me to find and support brands that are creating with a conscience.

What I really miss though, is taking advantage of this space to write. Some of it was not having time. Some was not knowing what to write! How do I articulate any of these thoughts into words? Here I am acting as if I don’t own this space and can write (almost) whatever I want! I went through a similar crisis over on Instagram (which is probably now just as bad in the paid endorsement realm.)

So while 2017 was the year I removed myself from the photos, I was still here thinking. I was typing and photographing, just not publishing. Some days I think about how some people rebranded their blogs and websites…and maybe that’s something I should do? Maybe down the road. Right now, this space is mine to create what I want! Thank you for reading and following along for these years and through this long ass post!

Hello!

Wow, well I didn’t mean to take a break from blogging this long…time sure does have a way of warping itself to make month’s seem like seconds. But this break was necessary to recalibrate what I want to share on here. I’ll get into that much later on another post. I just wanted to say hello and let you all know I’ still here ( :) )

Back in the day, you used to find me selling my clothes on Ebay. I’m not giving it a try over at Poshmark (I’m late to the game, I know.) The fact that I can keep the items up there and listed until sold, really is really useful for me.

Find my closet at THIS LINK or click on the image below. My username is Thrift Eye of course!

poshmark, poshmark store, thrifteye