A lot of horrible things happened in 2016. Every day it seemed like I was praying for another country, mourning the death of an innocent person, or a police officer. Crying over the uncertain future of our country. But in the midst of all the pain, a lot of incredible things happened, too. I got engaged to an amazing, kind man, moved in together, went to Ireland, got promoted at work, went on my first buying trip to New York, gained a whole new group of friends (hi, Slack Pack!), and had some great personal opportunities. These are the things I'll remember about 2016, because they are the things I found light and solace in in the times of uncertainty.
As we enter a new year, I couldn't help but reflect on how my blog has grown since I launched it just one year ago. I have gotten to work with some wonderful people and write about a lot of things I care about. I started this site with the intent to post about my personal style, as most fashion bloggers do. But the more I did so, I felt uneasy about it.
A few months in, I realized I hated blogging.
At first, I tried to play by the rules of "typical" fashion blogging. Pictures of me, reflecting my personal style. In the beginning, it was fun. But then I grew tired of the pressure of producing perfect-pictures of myself, carving out time with Michael before or after work to take pictures- I much preferred the in-the-moment style photos I feature on my Instagram. I really grew to despise the thing that was intended to be my escape, my creative outlet. I struggled to get posts out in a timely manner.
I started to think about what I wanted my blog to be, and what I enjoyed the most about it. I found that for me, the biggest joy of having this site is the writing aspect. Whether it's about fashion, politics, or new products- it seemed the words most easily flowed from my fingertips when I was writing about something I cared about. Even though I had found a new vision for my blog, I was self-conscious of the new direction of this site, because it didn't fit the mold of what I was trying to identify with- a fashion blogger. This is not an attempt to sound holier-than-thou. I am sure that on some deep, therapy induced psychological level, I am jealous that they get free clothes and make twice what I do just by posting a picture of an iced Matcha, and I am slaving away to afford a $35 lipstick. But in my opinion, fashion blogs have hit a low point. They have gone to shit. Who is honestly inspired by a picture of waffles and a Celine bag with the caption "Brunncchhh". I have seen the same ombre hair so many times that I see it in my sleep. I'm so exhausted of feeling inadequate by a picture of avocado toast and an emoji caption. I love blogs like Man Repeller, that make me feel like being imperfect is the new black, and Bryan Boy, who's transparency and humility make the spectacular fashion seem like a great bonus. Some people can make an entire career out of being a human hanger, an ad, and that's great. I am all for women (and men!) taking control of their career.
But for me, I need to have more of a voice. I need my words to say something, to matter. Maybe that's naïve, or conceited. But it's how I feel and it's who I am. It's time I started making my own rules (No, this does not include eating pasta for breakfast. I had to pull in the reigns on that one).
So what's the point of this post? It's mostly to let you guys know that The Nines will be taking a slightly different direction in 2017. Fashion still is my utmost passion, but so is writing, and I want to do more of it. When I'm inspired by a certain look, I'll take photos of it. When a new product comes out, I'll review it. When I want to talk about paid maternity leave, I will. The best part about this, is that I can let this site be whatever I want it to be. And if the happiness it brings me is an idicator of its success, well then it's a damn hit.
*Photo by Ava Ranger.