Monday, June 3, 2013

Acknowledgements

Dear readers,

It's been six months almost to the day since I last blogged. It has been an unplanned, even unacknowledged absence on my part. In fact, I found myself ignoring the blog entirely. Some of you have emailed, posted on the blog’s Facebook wall, tweeted - and nothing in reply. For that, I am sorry. I've thought many times about posting an update of some kind, something - anything to address my silence. To be honest, I just have not been up to the task.

Among other things, I'll be leaving my job at the end of this month. I'm both thrilled and terrified: I don’t exactly know what I’m doing next, but I'll be job hunting and grant-writing (finishing the dissertation is a real item on my agenda) for most of the summer. Without going into too much detail, the job situation has been one of the most paralyzing things about this year, and it’s probably the source of many of the reasons I stopped blogging for a while. I made the decision to leave in November, but I committed myself to finishing the season and finally gave my two-months' notice in April. Guarding that secret so closely for as long as did (in fact, I often wondered if I'd even be brave enough to go through with it) only added to an already stressful job environment. And the job environment was killing me pretty damn quickly. When anger is the most frequent emotion you feel during a work day, it's time for a change. The regular season ended in April and the graduation season only ended last Tuesday, and then I was out sick with a nasty cold for the rest the week. (No coincidence there, I'm sure.) Only this past weekend did I feel like I could actually move on. That I’m ready to move on…

Most importantly, I really feel like doing things again. Starting with blogging.

The blog has been a real conundrum during this whole ordeal. I've worn some killer outfits over the past 6 months and regretted not sharing them with you all. But I also have had a hard time formulating any coherent thought about, well, anything. More and more of my posts from the last year started to sound so manufactured and one-dimensional, and I couldn't find a way to break out of that, especially when I couldn't be open about what was going on in my life anyway. I wanted to share more, but I didn't even know where to begin, and I was terribly afraid of coming across as too negative or even whiny. Not insignificantly, I'd also gained a lot of weight this year (no doubt related to the job stress), and I could no longer bring myself to take pictures of myself every day. Proclaiming self-confidence as a curvy blogger wholovedherbodynomatterwhat would have been an outright lie. And wasn’t that what my proclamation was supposed to be? I didn't know how to reconcile any of it, and blogging itself became a source of stress. So I just…stopped.

I’m sure many of you read Kendi Everyday. Well, her poignant post from a few weeks ago (“Life Lately”) deeply moved me because it hit so close to home. And I’d been struggling with my blogging mission (as I'll call it) too. Why do we blog? How much do and should we share behind the camera lens? Am I being dishonest somehow if I present the perfectly styled portrait of an outfit and only that? What do my readers really want, anyway? Am I a model or a stylist or just a regular person putting herself out there, using her personal style as a vehicle? I'm comforted by the fact that I'm not the only (style) blogger questioning these things lately, and I'm extremely intrigued that so many of us are saying the same thing almost all at the same time. (Courage begets courage!) I'm even more comforted by the warm responses I read on such blog posts - the blogging community truly is a remarkable one. So I think the answers to these questions come down to the first rule of blogging, as I learned it: focus first on the content and your readership will follow; figure out what you want your blog to be and let it be that fully. And then have a little trust...

But the other thing is that honest writing, if that's what is important, is just plain hard, and it’s always risky. This post sure as hell didn't come easily - I've been mulling over it since Saturday! A part of me just wanted to jump right back in with the usual outfit pictures announcing "Hi! I'm back! Here's what I wore on a bunch of random weekend errands! I missed everyone!" But I knew that would not have been complete and therefore not honest, and I found myself really caring about that, regardless of who might be reading the post, or when. It was the choice to either buckle down and take a risk, or continue in the same unfulfilling vein that made me stop blogging in the first place. Write what I actually want to say, or keep hiding and doubting myself.

So the question remains: Why do I blog? I believe my answer is just to connect and to share. And to find a little release.

I don’t know what direction this blog will take (a new title is just one of the ideas I’m tossing around), and I don’t know how often or even how long I’ll continue to blog. I do know that I've been wanting to get back to the kind of freedom I felt when I first started the blog, allowing myself that sense of immediacy and accomplishment that writing about a day (in the life of an outfit?) and hitting "Publish" gives. Yes, there’s something really fulfilling about that.

So if you've made it to the end of this manifesto of sorts, I thank you for connecting with me, for letting me share with you, whoever you are. There's something to be said for having a space to think, write, and share without knowing exactly who (if anyone!) I might be reaching. Anonymity is mixed blessing. And if I have reached or helped you somewhere along the the course of this blog, I am so humbled that I have and so grateful that I can. Your support, encouragement and inspiration has definitely reached me.

Sincerely,
Jessica

P.S. I DO know that I don't intend to stop sharing my style, so how 'bout some outfit pictures, eh? =)

Dragonfly tee - Dorothy Perkins / Denim pencil skirt - Queen Grace (n/a)
Sandals - Christian Siriano for Payless
Ring - The Limited (old) / Earrings - LOFT (old)


29 comments:

  1. So good to see you blogging again! I can't believe you left your job! OMG! I can't wait to see what you do next, I know you'll be amazing at it. Hang in there, your next adventure awaits!

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  2. So glad to see you back-- you've certainly been missed. I've scrolled through my Google Reader for the past few weeks wondering if you were okay, and if we'd hear from you again! Your honesty is bold, but those who love you will stand by you no matter what! Glad to have you back :)


    Carolyn @ http://fitnastyforlife.blogspot.com

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  3. thank you, ann! i'm still reeling for the annoucement myself.... we need to get together soon, too!

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  4. thank you carolyn! honesty will never be scary, that's for sure...

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  5. Yay you're back!!! Your style has been missed. If you do go in another direction/platform with style posts (tumblr?) please let us know. Just your daily outfits inspire me!

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  6. thank you, rachel! i don't know if i'll change platforms - but we'll see!

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  7. welcome back! and bravo on your beautiful post. i was happy to see your first pics back were in a signature pencil skirt as you inspired me to buy one (several months ago) and i'll be wearing it for the first time this weekend. thanks for the confidence and inspiration you infect! i think of you often when i'm trying to build an outfit that i'll feel great in!

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  8. I am happy to see you blogging again! I am also happy to hear you left, what sounds like, a nightmare work situation. Good luck with everything!

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  9. Hi!! So good to see you again, you look great! Sorry to hear about the work stress, I hope that all works out for you very soon. I am also trying to figure out how to make my return to style blogging (after a 3 year break to survive grad school). P.S. I wore the same exact wedges today in the teal color! Love them!

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  10. So glad to see a post from you pop up!
    Welcome back!

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  11. How timely, I was just thinking that I hadn't seen a post from you THIS MORNING!
    Welcome back! I love your style!

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  12. Welcome back! I've missed your blog and your random musings. Good luck on the job front - unhappiness in the workplace is so draining... best to move on!

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  13. I discovered your blog right about the time you stopped posting and was so sad. So I spent the time going through your old posts. I love your style and am so happy you're back!

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  14. I only discovered blogs last week and yours 2 nights ago and haven't stopped reading them all since. Yours was one of my faves as like you I am a large hourglass with a large bust and matching bum! Am therefore really pleased you are back. Have enjoyed trawling through all the old pics - yours as well as Kendi and Jessica quirk. Have been making lists as I"ve gone along of new outfit combos to try from my wardrobe and so far have 6 A4 sides worth. I may never need to shop again (as if). Do carry on please I will be avidly watching from England. Ps I see you have some clothes from over here. Have you tried Pepperberry here? They specialise in clothes with extra boob room (D cup and above). 60% of my wardrobe is from them and its been a revelation to discover how much better I look in clothes that actually fit my bust. Keep up the good work and good luck on the. Job front.

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  15. I am so happy to hear from you! You were the only reason I went shopping last year and got out of my "funk."

    It's so nice to have you back!!

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  16. Yay-- so good to see you back! I don't believe I've ever commented before (I'm going to start trying to do it more though!).
    I've followed your blog since last year when I first started really taking an interest in developing my 'style' and dressing well and enjoying clothes (and not putting it on hold for the 'someday when I lose weight' like I had for my whole life) and you really were one of my inspirations for finally going for it! I love your style and it was (and IS) so empowering to me to see a woman very similar in size to me looking so pulled-together and beautiful and having fun with clothes.
    So I just had to stop being a 'lurker' for once and say thank you for sharing your style with us, I hope you can find a happy balance with blogging and a way to take some pressure off yourself (if you know what I mean? I guess I'm trying to say not every post needs to be perfect, we'll be quite happy with whatever you have fun sharing with us). Whoops! This turned into a bit of a wall-of-text so I'm going to hush, but welcome back and thanks again!

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  17. Happy to see that you are back! I found your blog almost a year ago and have been an admirer every since! You have such a fabulous eye for fashion and accessories. Your style has inspired me to try new silhouettes (pencil skirts!) and colour combinations (navy and eggplant? Genius!). No matter what you wear, you always look so darn gorgeous. Thanks for blogging :).

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  18. So glad to hear from you. I've missed your blog terribly. I thought for sure you were missing 'cuz you were making so many wedding plans - sorry to hear that it was for a negative reason. I appreciate your post. In general I think your blog gives women of all shapes the courage to feel good about themselves no matter their size and you do that by being authentically you. This is another iteration of that. Keep on keepin' on sister.

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  19. Welcome Back! You have been missed a great deal. I found your blog about a year ago and it inspired me in so many ways. Others started noticing a difference in my look and confidence as well which boosted me even more. Thanks for that inspiration. I was heartbroken when you stopped blogging but I also thought you were busy with wedding plans. Thanks for giving us a true & honest explanation even though you don't owe it to anyone. I'm glad you've returned & I look forward to sharing the new phase of your life/blog with you.

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  20. Really glad you're back! :) Your blog has helped me immensely. When I started reading it, I learned how to be excited about dressing my body, finding my individual style, and accepting that I deserved to be happy now...not someday in the future when I finally managed to maintain a certain size. So, thank you.

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  21. So glad you are back! I too thought you were in the crazy world of wedding planning - hope you feel better. And you look great!

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  22. Stephanie McGinleyJune 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Welcome back! You've certainly been missed!

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  23. OMG...I've been checking and wondering where you were! Welcome back! You have definitely been missed! This post was really honest and touching. It sounds like leaving the job has been so freeing...I'm happy for you. This is a really cute outfit...love the wedges you paired with it! I so love your style. Can't wait to see many more outfit posts!

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  24. Manohar Singh Aakeli'B'June 12, 2013 at 3:49 AM

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  25. Erin Prais-HintzJune 12, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I have missed your voice, Miss Jessica. Your style and your stated purpose of 'a shapely girl shaping her world' has impressed me. We are bombarded daily by images of the sylph-like model and learn that having curves is not to be tolerated. So I welcome your position and your obvious sense of style. I hope you will continue blogging as you have helped me to see the potential in my closet! I am wearing more pencil skirts and pretty shoes even though I don't have to at my job. And I think that it makes a difference. In fact, I just bought my first maxi dress. I have not worn it yet, the tags are still on it, as I am not sure if it is a look that I can pull off. But you show me that confidence from within is the sexiest and most beautiful thing. And with the right accessories you can rock any outfit! I, too, have those shoes and find them to be fabulous. In fact, I found a dark denim button down pencil skirt at Lane Bryant the other day on 70% off clearance for $15.99 the same day I bought those shoes and it looks fab together! Good luck to you in your next adventure and welcome back to the blogosphere! Enjoy the day. Erin

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  26. Just wanted to say I read your blog very faithfully and missed your posts. Thanks for this honest and open update, and I'll be sending good vibes for finishing the diss and job hunting your way.

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Thank you so much for commenting! Reading what you have to say truly makes my day!