April 16, 2015

Looking back to move forward on the eve of Chronically Vintage's sixth birthday


Do you ever stop and think about when your blog was brand new? When you were a novice blogger and everything felt exciting and challenging and like you couldn't soak up knowledge fast enough? There was joy and trepidation, rocky starts and times when you felt as though you’d hit the ground running so quickly you could have broken the sound barrier.

Your blog might have been your first adventure in online writing (Chronically Vintage wasn't mine; I'd been running various websites since 2004, a full five years before this site sprang to life), but chances are it quickly became one of your very favourites and a place where, understandably, you devoted a substantial amount of your time, attention, drive, and perhaps even resources.

Though I don't view them through (vintage) rose coloured glasses, I often look back on the early days of this site with great fondness and appreciation for the plethora of lessons it taught me (very much including the 10 harsh truths that will make you a better blogger). The blogging landscape was a vastly different place at the time in many ways (for example, social media didn't have quite the massive foot hold in this world that it does today and the notion of microblogging though sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Instragram was scarcely a concept yet). Though I do get nostalgic and yearn for those "simpler times" some days, I also very much enjoy seeing how the web continues to expand, grow and change.

Tomorrow Chronically Vintage will turn six years old. I have run and drawn joy from this website for a full 1/5th of my life now. That is not a small amount of time by any measure and as my blog jumps into its sixth year of life, I find myself thinking about those early days a lot. There was a different sort of joy and wide-eyed wonder back then. It was a honeymoon period of sorts, of course, or like the flush and rush that come from a great new relationship, where everything thing seems new, colours are more vibrant, the littlest things take on deeper meaning, and all we want to do is share about our newfound love with anyone who will listen.

I haven't grown jaded about blogging or vintage over the years, but naturally that initial thrill and awe has rubbed off a bit. I'm more realistic and the longer I stay at 'er, the more I realize that returning to my blogging roots, simplifying things (we don't all need to devote ourselves like slaves to social media day in and day out in order to succeed online, for example), and remembering to adhere to a piece of advice I've been slinging here since day one - to only blog if doing so has both a purpose and brings you joy - rings all the more true for me as another blogging anniversary rolls around.



{Image via a sold listing from Amelia Bedelia Vintage}



The past six years have been unlike any other I've know. I never dreamed when I began Chronically Vintage that it would grow into the popular site and (more recently) accompanying Etsy shop, that it is today. I didn't know it would turn into my full-time career, bring some of the best friends I've ever had into my life, give me the opportunity to work with some of the top companies in our field, open up many doors for me, land me in the pages of numerous magazines, and perhaps most poignantly, help me to grow and develop as a person on countless levels.

That has been the greatest gift of blogging and one that, along with my online friendships and desire to share my knowledge and life with all of you, keeps me blogging even when things get rough. I'm a billion miles away from being super human. I have days when the last thing on earth I want to do is even think about blogging, when my energy levels are so nonexistent that I can't even pick up the computer, and spans when my health is so poor, I think that I should stop blogging and spare myself the work, stress, and even physical challenges that it (and my Etsy shop) bring into my life.

But so far at least, I haven't. That day may come, one never know what life holds in store, but I shudder to think of it and have learned along this long blogging road that usually the answer - as with so much in life - doesn't come from throwing in the proverbial towel, but from getting back to your roots, remembering why you started blogging in the first place, enjoying the experience, doing more (or less, as the case may be) of those things that truly matter, and cutting yourself some serious slack if your plans don't always go as you'd hoped they might.

None of us is perfect and neither are our blogs, but for many who have been blogging for any real amount of time now, we deserve a massive pat on the back and to be reminded of just how awesome we're doing. Success has many faces and takes on many forms, and chances are, you've reached more of those than you realize.

I cherish you, my dear readers and online friends, and want you to know that you help ensure I keep on keeping on, as the old saying goes. When things get tough, when they're fabulous, when I'm uncertain, when I have a crystal clear vision, when I'm especially sick, on my rare good days, when tomorrow seems like a question mark, and when I have it mapped out down to the last detail, you've been there and have helped to spur me on in my life as a blogger in so many, many ways.

With all my heart, thank you for that and the countless other positives you've brought into my life. So here, sweet dears, is to the prospect of Chronically Vintage's sixth year of life and all the good, grand, exciting and, yes, even (hopefully momentary) stressful things it will bring my way. Blogging, like life itself, is never perfect, but it sure can be fun and worth every second of the ride.

62 comments:

  1. Jessica, you deserve every piece of success and opportunity that comes your way - I've rarely met a harder working, more sincere and wonderful person. I'm incredibly glad that your blog has been so successful for this reason and also because it shows the rest of us what you can do with some effort and perseverance. You're a fantastic blogger role model! Happy blogiversary! CC x

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    1. Sweet CiCi, that is truly one of the kindest comments and compliments I've received in all my years of blogging. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  2. Happy birthday to Chronically Vintage dear Jessica ❤

    You've certainly got a lot to be proud of and I look forward to the next six years xxx

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  3. Happy Anniversary, dear friend! And many more to come!!! Sending you all my love and lots of hugs.

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  4. You have a stellar blog, Jessica, and your hard work and creativity shine through every post. The fact that you can produce such quality work while not completely healthy says a lot about your drive and persistence. Congratulations and all the best for Chronically Vintage in the years to come!

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    1. Thank you very much, Elinor. That means a lot to me. I hope that there are many more years to come for my blog (and myself) as well!

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. Congrats on a job so well done with perfection!
    You have crafted a wonderful place to visit, stop and learn, or just look at beautiful photos. I appreciate all of the effort and time you must devote to this blog and your shop too, and want to let you know that it's all worth it!
    "cheers, and here's to the next 6 years",
    Jen O

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  6. Well done for coming so far with your blog. It has been a great inspiration to me and I enjoy reading your posts and looking at your beautiful images. I'm excited to see what's coming up soon.

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  7. Congratulations! Your hard work is paying of with plenty of experiences :-) I will continue reading your blog and I hope to continue doing so for a very, very long time. Have a wonderful weekend my dear. Eva.

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    1. That's marvelously sweet of you to say, dear Eva. Thank you so much!!! I echo your hope and if the universe (and my health!) permits, plan to be here for ages more to come.

      Have a beautiful day!
      ♥ Jessica

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  8. I'm so glad I've found your blog. You've been such an inspiration to me, both as an on-and-off blogger, and as someone newly coming into her vintage style. Recently, I even recommended your blog to an actress in the play I'm in because she's going to have to wear a wig for her role and didn't know how to style it in a period-appropriate way (1940s). There is just so much to learn here, and you're a fantastic person for putting it all up for us, despite dealing with things most of us can't even imagine. Thank you and happy blog-birthday!

    P.S., our costumier is also a reader and fan of the blog!

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  9. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! Blogger fatigue is real and I've experienced it myself.I for one will keep reading - I love your posts!

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    1. Thank you so very much, dear Dawn. It really is hard to believe that this site is six years old! What an amazing, fulfilling time all of those years have been on the blogging and vintage in general front for me.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  11. What a beautiful and inspiring blog post, dear Jessica! Following your blog for quite a while now, I know that you have all the right to be where you are at the moment - the popular blog Chronically Vintage has become. The effort and energy you put into your blog baby is a lot, and like you, I know how it can eat energy away.

    My blog soon turns six aswell, and I, too, think back about the starting days .. so I can certainly relate.
    Anyway, I am glad to read that you'll be sticking around for a while! Congratulations with your anniversary!

    Much love to you and thank you for Chronically Vintage! You are always such an inspiration!

    xxx

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  12. Happy blog-birthday Jessica.

    I am an infrequent wearer of vintage inspired clothing but a very regular reader of your blog. You have such a positive outlook and such warmth in your writing it's always a pleasure to read aswell as the pictures being so interesting.

    I find it very inspiring that you do all of this despite your health issues.

    Thank you for many hours of happy reading.

    Estelle

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  13. Congratulations on your anniversary! Six years old? Why, you seem more mature than that! :-)

    Seriously, the appeal your blog has for me and others is not just the interesting content, the well-written prose or the pretty pictures; it's you. Your personality is charming and your heart is large. We sense the warmth you exude and respond to it. You're magnetic!

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  14. Of all the blogs I read, your always, always warms my heart the most!

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    1. What an incredibly lovely comment, Sascha. It in turn warms my heart to you said that. Thank you deeply.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  15. Congratulations on the sixth birthday of Chronically Vintage. I have been reading for the last year and a half and your blog is one of the reasons I have recently started my own blog. I look forward to reading Chronically Vintage for many more years yet! Best wishes x

    Www.pearlsandpurlsvintage.blogspot.com

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  16. Congrats on 6 years! and the successful etsy shop!!
    I think I have been at it the same amount of time:) although I have been very shy about mine and not promoted it I always say I will but haven't found my groove yet. I do enjoy that you & others post and share ideas it inspires me and I do really enjoy the online/vintage friendships as well including all the lovely comments from you over the years:)

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    1. How awesome that our blogs are the same age! I sincerely enjoy yours as well and love that we, a couple of the mere handful of Canadian vintage bloggers out there, have been online friends for a good chunk of that time.

      Here's to nothing but the best and brightest for both of our online endeavours in 2015 and well beyond!

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. I am so happy for you, Jessica! 6 years is a long time! I do think of when I started my blog, and it was just 3 years ago, actually. It has come a long way, and I, too, am so grateful for my readers and followers, and for the kind comments I have received. Your blog is such an inspiration, so lovely and I love all you share here. Thank you so much!

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  18. Happy, happy 6th Blog-Birthday, Jessica! And many, many more, dearie! Your blog is just so friendly and inviting. It makes me think of walking through a good friend's kitchen door for a quick cuppa & a good chat. You're such a genuinely caring, thoughtful, and just plain fun to talk to gal. You & your blog have been a great blessing to me - and I'm a pretty new reader! I look forward to many more years of good ol' fashioned conversation using a very modern means. :D

    Keep up the good work, Hun!
    Love,
    Michelle ^_^
    Delightful Handwork

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  19. There is no doubt you have met many, many challenges on your blogging journey and one of the things I enjoy is reading about them all :) I have also learned a great deal about Canada, history and styles of the past from your blog and have enjoyed every minute!! X x

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  20. Happy 6 years of blogging! You have definitely stuck with it for a good chunk of time--I haven't been blogging nearly that long (almost 3 years, I think)--it's amazing to think of how much the internet and blogging has changed over the course of 6 years.

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  21. Congrats on your blog anniversary! I'll be celebrating my first full year of blogging tomorrow. I've always found blogging to be a labor of love, at times it's tedious and sucks the life out of me (largely because I struggle with dyslexia) but the joy of being able to share stories, sewing projects and inspirational articles has really helped me with my self confidence and dealing with social anxieties. I've found writing has allowed me to grow as a person and to better my language skills. So hoorah for blogging!

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  22. Congrats and Cheers to you Jessica! I look forward to many more years of enjoying your blog :)

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  23. Congrats! Must be a great feeling! Keep up the great work!
    http://inkandlacedesigns.blogspot.com.au/

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  24. You are very wise, you said of the great and beautiful truths that are good for all of us! Thanks best wishes for a long way!

    baci
    Serena

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  25. My dear, darling friend!
    Let me, from the true-deep-hardy bottom of my heart congradulate you on your blog-day! :)
    May you have all the joy your heart can hold, all the smiles a day can bring, all the blessings life can unfold. May all the comments be lovely and heart-warming, may all the post ideas come easy on you.. may the Star of Inspiration be with you for a long, long time..
    May you get the world’s best in everything.
    You are amazing human being. You share both your mountain-high and rocky bottom.
    So, for boing truthful, and everpresent, and cheerful (despite of all).. for being a shop-owner, a wife, a super-busy blogger - CHEERS!

    Marija

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  26. happy blog-birthday jessica!!!!
    six years! wow! and your blog still looks fresh and exiting with every post!
    i want to thank you for all the efforts you make to entertain us!! and i wish and hope that we will have you on the internet for much more years!!
    tons of hugs! <3<3<3

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  27. Happy blogging birthday! Your blog is one of the first vintage blogs that I started reading, and I still love all the things that you share with us. You're consistantly cheerful, insightful, and stylish, and I'm so happy that your commitment to blogging has lasted so long. I hope you're doing for for another 6 years! Or another 10!

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  28. the blogging road and life is an interesting one, such as you have described. i've been keeping up with you and this beautiful space off and on since spring of 2012, three years now. and i have only seen it continue to be true and lovely and a wonderful space for everyone who visits.
    Best of luck in the coming years and Happy Blog Birthday, friend!

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  29. Congratz on 6 years! and thanks to you for inspiring so many of us with your great posts. Keep up the good work! I always look forward to seeing your posts.

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  30. Happy Blogiversary! I've enjoyed reading it for several years.

    Best Wishes,
    Amanda

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  31. Thank you all tremendously for your awesomely sweet, cheerful blog birthday wishes!!!

    My whole week has been devoted to prepping for a classic car + vintage show that I'm selling at tomorrow, so if I don't get a chance to thank each of you personally here or on your blog, please know that I really and truly am doing in my heart.

    Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!
    ♥ Jessica

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  32. Happy bloggiversary!! :) You are an inspiration with your beautiful writing, honest opinions and your stylish outfits! :)

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  33. Happy blogging birthday. Six years is a truly impressive length of time. You work very hard to produce such an interesting, creative, engaging and fascinating blog so you very much deserve to enjoy your success. I hope you have a great time at the vintage show and sell tons of stuff!

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  34. Dear Jessica, Happy Blogiversary! ♥♥♥

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  35. Happy Birthday to Chronically Vintage! A wonderful blog made for a wonderful girl! I wish you success, dear Jéssica! =D

    Hugs, Pri
    VINTAGEPRI

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  36. You, and your blog, are inspirational! You show how it should be done. With a lot of love, generosity, experimentation, and a sense of fun and community. I always love reading your posts and all the cheery, sunny communications with you. Congrats on 6 years, and I hope you keep finding ways to enjoy blogging!

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  37. Hear hear, you are indeed a blogger role-model! I too admire your tenacity in the face of adversity and think you really do deserve to go on to more and more fabulous opportunities and successes. Congratulations, and enjoy your celebrations! xx

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  38. Happy Birthday Chronically Vintage! I really enjoy your post Jessica, and the work you put I to this blog. Your dedication and passion shows. May you continue to have success with this blog :)

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  39. Congratulations Jessica! Having been blogging myself for just under two years now, I know how hard it can be sometimes, but also how rewarding! Major congrats on growing into one of the biggest (and best!) vintage blogs out there. Chronically Vintage proves that vintage blogs are more that just a niche interest, and you yourself constantly prove that one need not sell out or become closed off to climb to the top. Your consistently great content and infectious kind spirit are constantly inspiring me! Happy year 6!

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  40. Congratulations!
    It made me think of my past blog - it's been almost a year old, and this one has been created several months ago, and yet I haven't noticed the time past at all. Hopefully, this time it will last even longer.

    I wish you all the success, and much positivity from your further blogging! Chronically Vintage is amazing, and you are a most lovely person who makes this world a better place C:

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  41. Congrats Jessica! Your blog has been such a wonderful break from my busy life and I enjoy it so very much. You inspire me to be a better blogger every day. It has been truly wonderful getting to know you over the last while and I look forward to many more conversations about vintage Canadian history and whatever else crosses our path. Next goal, for me to drag Jacquie from TVS and come and visit for a weekend. :)

    Congrats once again :)

    Liz

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  42. such an adorable list I love it! I really like the earrings too bad Im allergic to basically all forms of earrings. There is something about the circus that just brings to mind the 1940s and 50s and early 60s

    retro rover

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  43. your blog is definitely one of my very favorites congrats on 6 years

    retro rover

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  44. Congratulations dear Jessica on your baby's 6th birthday :) … I have to add that you have made all this magic possible through your hard work and dedication - a BIG hug to you.

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  45. Congratulations, dear. You know I love your blog, everything about it. You are such a talented writer, I love your style, and I love everything you come up with. So I hope you never quit blogging. Never ever. You are my vintage star, you know, and I am a true addict. :) But do listen to your health and follow your rules. Blog less if you're not feeling good. Do celebrate with a gluten free cake and a cheers. :) XOXO

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    1. *Blush* thank you so very, very much, my darling friend. Hand on my heart, I can't begin to tell you how often your support, encouragement, and friendship has helped to bolster my spirits, propel me forward, and keep me hard at work. You're a truly caring, beautiful, wise person and without a doubt one of the loveliest things to ever happen to me and my blog.

      Endless hugs!


      *PS* I celebrated with a big GF ice cream sundae at home. I could live off sundaes once spring hits, but alas, I'd be the size of a football field if I did, so they're just for special occasions. :)

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  46. Congratulations on the 6th anniversary of your amazing blog Jessica! You really work hard at what you do, and your dedication and passion for vintage and our vintage community shines through every day. It's such a privilege to be able to reach out and connect with you and so many other like-minded ladies. Thank you for being such a pillar and example to the vintage loving community. ❤ ❤ ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Lovely Bonita, you genuinely honour and humble me with your exceedingly kind words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will think back on your uplifting comment here today many times in the future, I'm sure, and be every bit as touched by it each time I do.

      Giant hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  47. Dear Jessica I cannot believe that your Blog is 6 years old now! That's so impressive. It means so much dedication and love for what you do and to those that follow you. Congratulations for an amazing job dear gal! Keep on going with inspirational posts, full of beauty, sharing stories and tell us history, because we love you and your amazing Blog! You are making history :-)

    Many hugs,
    Beta

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    1. Thank you so very much, my darling friend! I really appreciate your unending support of my blog and Etsy shop, and of course your priceless friendship, too. Huge and very happy congrats to your own lovely blog on its first birthday, that is such a fabulous milestone.

      Xoxo
      ♥ Jessica

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  48. Happy belated birthday to CV! I hope for many more years of blogging to come!

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear friend! It really is hard to believe that it's been six exciting years of vintage blogging already. I hope that I'm able to keep at 'er for many more to come!

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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