“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.”
I’ve been reflecting, in recent months, on what Coco & Vera is here for – if I get right down to it, I’ve been asking myself exactly why I still show up here two to three times a week. When I look back on old posts, the joy I took in writing them is obvious. An abundance of enthusiastic adjectives appears in article after article. Words like wonderful, lovely and gorgeous pirouette their way through my paragraphs. Maybe I was over-compensating. There is no doubt that I was a much less happy, and less stimulated, person when I first launched this space. But it can’t just be that. My blog was the thing that excited me in a life that, otherwise, I wasn’t very happy with.
My life has changed so much since then and a lot of those changes have to do with Coco & Vera. Not because of opportunities that have come my way, but because I’ve become part of a community of people designing lives they love and sharing the stories of how they’ve done it. They have inspired me to push myself to do the same. Case in point: my love of travel is boundless. But after our 2009 European adventure, I didn’t leave North America again – I didn’t go further south than a border state – until two years later. Blogs introduced me to people who lived differently – and were successful while following non-traditional paths.
As I read, a world of unconventional options opened up to me. From barely leaving Canada to visiting seven countries in a year; to having a full closet with nothing to wear to a minimal wardrobe of pieces I love – Coco & Vera was my fresh start. In the past eight years, I have designed a life I love. But now, it’s time for another fresh start.
This past weekend, Coco & Vera got a makeover. The look is simpler, more minimal and more reflective of where I’m at right now. Somewhere along the way, without my actually noticing, this space somehow became divorced from me. Focus on things that don’t matter, like page views and follower counts – things that are so very easy to hyper-focus on – lead me to start creating content I thought people would want to see, rather than sharing exclusively what I was passionate about. It will surprise no one to know that it brought me very little joy. In the past year, I’ve worked hard to come back from a point where I almost didn’t recognise the work I was doing as my own. I work with brands a lot less than I once did. I buy vastly fewer clothes – probably fewer clothes than ever. The changes were necessary and liberating.
But still, I felt stuck in my routine. Post three times a week. Post outfits because those do well. Meanwhile, some weeks clothes are not at the forefront of my mind – I live in loungewear most of the time. I am a writer, and this space began a place I could share whatever was on my mind. While I’ve never shied away from difficult (and intensely personal) subjects like body issues and North American politics, in the past few years I have forsaken off the cuff personal posts for the sake of asinine things like “consistency” and “brand building.”
Now, finally, enough is enough. I am always wary of grand pronouncements, but I genuinely want things to be different. I don’t want to start over but I want to start approaching what I do differently. If I have only one photo, but it’s a photo I love, I want to be happy sharing that. If what I’m most excited about in a given week is a new cocktail bar, I want to write about that. Most of all, I want to feel like I control Coco & Vera, rather than allowing Coco & Vera to control me. I am not the twenty-five-year-old girl who launched a website with Blogger’s Simple Template anymore. I allow myself the freedom to take new directions in my life – and now, I plan to allow myself the same freedom here.
So – cheers to new beginnings. And, as always, thank you for being here.
#uniqlo #aritzia #sezane #zara #vintage