'm not into goodbyes. Never have been, never will be. At parties I prefer to subtly gather my things, slip towards the doors and quietly disappear. There's always the explaining why you have to leave, and then talking about how great it was to see everyone, and then there's the standing by the door for long enough for both parties to feel like they lingered long enough to show they care about the other, and then finally there's the leaving part. Maybe it's an introvert thing. By the time I'm ready to leave, I'm tapped out on human interaction. Goodbyes are just one more human interaction and I'm already running on fumes. All of this is to say that if any of you were looking for a goodbye or reason why I haven't been hanging around these [internet] parts lately, it's because I'm not into that kind of thing. Partially because of the goodbye stuff, but also because I didn't know what to say. I said some stuff on instagram and left it at that. And I also felt like there weren't a lot of people who would even notice that I wasn't blogging.
This summer has been good. It's strange to think that it's already almost over. I needed a cleansing and a reconnection to myself. My desires, my creativity, my purpose, my voice. In some ways blogging feels, retrospectively, like a twilight zone dream and I'm here rubbing my eyes, shaking my head thinking, "Wow, that was weird." Not that blogging is intrinsically bad or crazy or weird, but when your head is stuck in the blogging world for so many years, pulling it out and getting a gasp of air from the non-blog world, it's a little bizarre. Initially I had decided to step back from social media for the month of July. I deleted Instagram and social media from my phone, put the StayFocused app on my computer's browser to keep me from mindlessly scrolling, and decided I'd stop blogging until I felt like it again. I read Women Who Run With The Wolves, started journaling again for the first time since, well, I started blogging, and began shooting images that I wanted to create because I thought they were beautiful, not because I needed to shoot something for a blog post.
I knew I'd be pretty busy because I was shooting more weddings this summer, and I picked up a lot more shifts at the coffee shop, and I didn't miss blogging. I quietly changed my blog design to something that felt more home-y to me. Even though I wasn't posting, I still wanted the space to reflect me in a more down to earth way. Earlier in the year, after reading #Girlboss, getting pumped up with GoLive workshops, and TxSC Camp I decided to throw one more try at making blogging work for me as an income generator. But I've realized, I don't want to make money blogging anymore. That model used to work for me because I was jazzed on posting outfits and sharing stuff that was easy to monetize. When I rebranded in March I asked people to fill out a survey to see what they wanted to see on Delightfully Tacky. The responses weren't surprising, by and large people wanted more outfits. But I don't want to post outfits any more. I mean, maybe once in a blue moon when I'm feeling like putting on something more than skinny jeans and a plaid flannel. Maybe I can revamp the blog into a capsule wardrobe blog and the capsule wardrobe will just be the same moccasins, skinny blue jeans, and plaid flannel shirts every day. Riveting. I digress. I'm not passionate about personal style the way I was when I started this blog. I suppose it's hard when what people want from you isn't what you want to put out any more.
In the last few months I've purged at least half of my wardrobe, have some boxed up to take to Urban X Change, taken some to the thrift store, and some I've auctioned on Instagram. It's felt good to get rid of the excess, and in some ways has also felt like a ritual to mark the end of feeling obligated to post outfits. I don't have any more clothing sponsors sending me clothes, well, except for some boots I have on the way which I'm sure I will post and I also love supporting my friend Moorea's shop so I occasionally like to share items from her shop. But I'd rather share things like that when and if I want, rather than feeling constantly obligated to post every day to keep my numbers up to keep sponsors interested in supporting me, to keep an income coming in so I can pay my mortgage and eat. I'd rather photograph weddings than play that game any more.
Dan was gone for almost two months this summer, commercial fishing in Alaska with my uncle, and I wanted to be really intentional about using that time to reconnect with myself as a woman and as a creative person. It was good. I worked on personal projects and explored what I wanted to create, not just what I felt like I should create or what other people were creating. I found myself wanting to photograph women in nature, in a raw and vulnerable way. I don't really feel quite ready to share that project yet, just because it feels a little bit like a new baby and it's not something I want to throw to the internet wolves just yet. This shoot with Bailey was part of the project, though, and I'm in love with how these images turned out. I do still enjoy being in front of the camera, but being the photographer these days is what I crave. Being the model is fun, but shooting other women is so much more fulfilling to me. I want to explore beauty and sexuality in a context other than traditional "boudoir" type imagery. I like those types of bedroom-sexy photos, but I also feel like there is so much of that one type of sexy portrayed and I want to shoot beauty and sexuality from a more wild, organic standpoint. I probably shouldn't be surprised that I love shooting women in wild settings. When I started blogging back when I lived in Alaska, all my outfit shots were done out in the woods in my backyard. It took me a long time to feel comfortable shooting in a more urban setting and I never truly felt natural shooting against a backdrop of skyscrapers, alleyways, and concrete.
I took commenting off my blog, partially because I didn't want to feel the compulsion to check my comment moderation, and I wanted to physically stem the flow of outside voices coming in to my mind. I needed a quiet place, on and off the internet. And there was something symbolic about turning off the commenting. It's not that I don't love the dialogue that is encouraged online, but commenting lately has felt less communal, more like the "Have a nice summer! :)" type of messages scrawled on the end page of aYearbook than a quality, healthy discourse. That being said, I like blogging because of the discourse, so not having commenting is not ideal, but for now I'm keeping it off. For now it feels right to keep this space mentally quiet for me. For now.
I don't know when I'll post again. Maybe that will be once a month, maybe once a week, maybe sporadically more often sometimes, less often others. But whatever it will be, I'm fine with. I'll probably post again soon with the second half of this shoot with Bailey, and since we traded off as photographer/model, I also have shots from this session of myself! It's been so long since I did outfit photos and was in front of the camera, it felt kind of weird! It was fun though. I haven't had any (non-insta) photos of my non-green hair yet, even though I ditched the green way back in June!