Someone asked me recently if I was going to go back to posting daily outfit pix. I don’t think so, though I’m sure I’ll do one now and then. I guess the nature of this blog has changed a bit...as I have, certainly. Then came the question, are you going to change your blog name? I hadn’t really thought about that. Does the name, Fashionably Later still fit?
I’ve been getting back to basics on many fronts in my life so maybe I should try including this blog in that effort, too. Since one of the first rules of blogging is to find your niche, that means you need to define yourself. I decided to start there. For inspiration I searched on the present name of this blog, Fashionably Later, and I got...well, my blog, but after that came a review in the Boston Globe of the Sex In The City movie from 2008 and some tumblr picture of a person wearing cut-off denim shorts. Not exactly helpful. So instead I tried Googling the phrase of origin, Fashionably Late. Here is some of what came up from that:
-The refined art of being just late enough.
-When you show up late, so everyone will think you have a life.
-Getting noticed by arriving at that time, in other words standing out by being late.
-Arriving late to an event to give the impression that you are a busy, popular person.
I kinda like the first one. The second one made me laugh -- none of them really helped, though. Maybe I should go back to the beginning. When I started Fashionably Later it was supposed to be a fun little wardrobe diary for a middle-aged mom, with a small slice of life tossed in now and then. I wanted to rebuild my confidence and prove that style was something any woman could create regardless of her size, vocation, budget or age. It wasn’t about making a major fashion statement...it wasn’t about fashion at all, not in the sense that word is typically used. For me this was about one woman’s "re-found" desire to look her best as a simple act of personal empowerment, and doing so a little later in life. I shared it for entertainment, and because I thought just maybe it would inspire someone else in a similar situation...you never know.
But then a funny thing happened on the way to the style blog – I got diagnosed with breast cancer. And what I had intended as a positive but fairly lighthearted endeavor quickly became something very different.
I wrote about my cancer journey, about my life, about things way beyond what I was wearing. And the people who once commented on outfit choices or accessories now were leaving me the most amazing comments that carried me through the worst time of my entire life. They gave me hope, they cried with me, they uplifted me and some even kept vigil when I wasn’t here. I “met” other women with cancer as well as a slew of talented and supportive writers...a diverse little gathering coalesced for me here. The outpouring from my tiny corner of the blogosphere was one of the most touching things that has ever happened to me. I’ll never forget it. Never.
A lot has changed since my cancer diagnosis four years ago. I’ve changed, my body has changed, my goals, even my tastes have changed. In some ways perhaps for the better, but to be honest, in many ways I still mourn for the woman I once was. I miss her. Of course, everything always changes...you don’t need cancer to have that happen. That’s just life.
As I try to find my voice again and recreate myself I don’t completely know what is in store for this blog (let alone anything else). I don’t see it returning exclusively to style commentary or a wardrobe diary, but I’m not ready to say goodbye to all that completely either. There are so many other things I want to write about, too, things I've got on my mind. Perhaps despite typical blogging advice I shouldn’t focus on finding my niche or defining this blog any more than I should try to strictly define myself. I don't need any more limitations at this point in my life.
I've decided for now not to worry about descriptions anymore. This is who I am, this is what I like and here’s what I feel like writing about. It might not always be cohesive, but I'm still doing it with my own sense of style...and definitely a little later than I had originally planned. Based on that, the name Fashionably Later still fits pretty well, I think -- so I guess in the end some things haven’t changed that much after all ;)