You might already know this, but I think of my hair as a metaphor for my life. Seriously, I do.
Let me explain.
Back when I was a little kid, my mum struggled with my long, thick hair. She scraped it back from my face, gathered it into a tight ponytail, cut my bangs short, and in that way subdued the mop. At age nine, I had my pony tail cut off, my natural curl manifested itself big time, and my mum threw in the towel, and the hairbrush. I’ve been fighting my hair battles on my own ever since.
We all have to learn to to fight our own battles, follicular or otherwise. Right?
Over the years my hair battles mirrored my struggles in life. Struggles with my rampant perfectionism, my need to be in control, my youthful lack of confidence and the need to look good, and thus feel better about myself. Looking back, I see that I was constantly seeking change, the perfect style, the perfect colour, and the perfect cut, often one that was totally inappropriate for me and for my hair. It’s as if I was searching for my identity through my hair. Ha.
|Reeling in the years, all the ‘dos from age 6 to 60.|
I only reached some sort of acceptance of my hair when I was in my forties. At age forty-six, I cut off the smooth bob which I’d been striving for since I was a teenager, which I’d finally achieved just after my fortieth birthday, and which had driven me nuts for six years. Gad, that hairstyle was labour intensive. And when I finally went back to short, I felt more like myself. What a relief to have the confidence to no longer try to be something I wasn’t. Yep. My hair was indeed a metaphor for my life.
That acceptance, however, didn’t mean the hair (or the life) battles were over, just less fraught, with fewer unrealistic expectations. I was still finding out who I was. At sixty, I tried to decide if I should go grey or not, and whether I wanted to let the curl in my hair have more freedom. Did I see myself as a naturally curly, grey-haired person? Turns out the answer to that was “maybe a little” and “not yet.”
A couple of years before I made that decision (or delayed the decision, more like) I retired, and I had to decide who I would be if I wasn’t a teacher anymore. Turns out I wanted to write a blog.
Which brings me to my point. Next week I will have been writing this blog for five years. I just reread my very first post back in January 2014. It’s about new beginnings, and how I hoped my blog would, in some ways, chronicle my journey after teaching. But it’s been much more than that.
Blogging was a new and challenging experience for me back in 2014. I researched all kinds of topics new to me, many of them to do with technology. I am most definitely NOT a tech person, and my learning curve was huge. Aside from taking pictures, and researching and writing posts, I spent hours tinkering, installing gadgets and making them work; the night of the social media buttons stands out in my memory. Ha. A year and a half ago, I nervously changed up the whole format of the blog. That was scary. I was fearful I would lose all my work from the previous years. But I didn’t and, to be honest, I was pretty proud of myself.
Lately I’ve been feeling in need of another big change. I should pause here to assure Carmen, my hairdresser, that I’m not talking about my hair when I say that. She’ll laugh. I show up at her salon about twice a year, with an array of pictures. “Let’s change things up,” I always say. Sometimes, well, most of the time now, the changes are small. Grow out asymmetrical bangs? Cut them off for a choppy, chunky style? Tinker with the colour, maybe a swatch of bright blonde in the front? You get the idea.
So no, I don’t mean a hair change this time; I mean a big blog change. I’ve been treading water for a while. I feel the blog is stale, and looks stale. That, and the fact that so many of you have contacted me about not being able to leave comments, started me on a quest. I’ve been reading a lot, trying to figure out the glitch. I do have a couple of suggestions which I’ll explain at the end of this post for those who are affected. But you know, it’s more than that. I feel, deep down, the need for major change. For some kind of renewal. I don’t want High Heels in the Wilderness to go away; I just want it to be better.
I sometimes feel as if my blog is neither fish nor fowl. It’s not a fashion blog, nor a travel blog, nor a book blog. I’ve been thinking about that these past few weeks, and I’ve come to the conclusion, again, that I won’t change that about my blog. I don’t want to write about strictly one thing or another. I see my blog as a place for story telling, and those stories will sometimes be about my childhood or life on the farm at home in New Brunswick, sometimes about Hubby and me and our adventures. At other times those stories will reflect my passion for clothes, or travel, or books. And if that’s not the way that the blogger handbook, if there were a handbook, says it should be done, then let’s toss out the handbook.
As you know, my blog is not monetised. If I provide a link to a site which sells what I’m wearing, I do it as a courtesy, in case you are interested. If that changes it would only be because some big company whose clothes I love, and already wear, decides to pay me for saying what I’m already saying. And that’s not going to happen. But I have decided that I’ll spend some cash on the blog, on doing it up right, moving platforms, upgrading my format, instead of trying to do everything for free. And to that end I’ll also spend some money to get someone to help me do that. I have over four hundred published posts that I don’t want to disappear into the ether if I make a mistake.
I’ve decided to look at it this way… if I took up oil painting I’d not be getting my canvases and paints for free. I had to pay for my skis, and my bike, and our trip to Italy. Blogging has given me every bit as much pleasure and satisfaction as my other pursuits have.
And more importantly, blogging has given me an outlet to blather on to you folks. And it’s given me … you folks. The community of like-minded women who chat with me, and sometimes with each other, here on High Heels in the Wilderness. And I sure as heck don’t want to lose that.
Now that I’ve finally made up my mind to make a leap, of some sort, I’m excited. As I said to Hubby, I feel as if I’ve been lilly-dipping, afraid to dig in, to really make a commitment to my blog. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know when, and if, I’ll be leaving “Blogger” for another platform, and where and how you can access High Heels in the Wilderness. *** I’ve lots of reading and research to do in the next while, but I DO love a project.
So big changes are in the wind, my friends… hopefully big changes, and not just a lot of hot air from me. Ha. I’m thinking this will be the blogging equivalent of chopping off my ponytail at nine years old.
Okay… maybe not as life-changing as that. But it will be pretty life-changing. And I am in the mood, as I said, for change.
*** Of course if you’re only just now reading this post, you’ll be reading the new and improved version. New template, new logo. Hope you like it.