March 17, 2017

Retiring Chronically Vintage

Yesterday, after two very snowy weeks of early March, I felt the first tender rays of springtime warmth dance upon my skin. I took Annie out back and together we played amongst them, both entranced by a sensation that we had very nearly forgotten.

It was a moment of simple, untainted pleasure of that sort we all long for in our lives and it reminded me a great deal of the powerful feelings of warmhearted compassion that myself, Tony and Annie have been incredibly blessed to receive from scores of wonderful people – including many in the vintage community – over the past five months since the fire.

From that horrific day onward, there has been a part of me that had suspected this post would eventually happen. Perhaps many of you saw it coming as well.

What occurred to us on that fateful, (ironically) rainy October night changed us forever. In one fell swoop it rewrote our lives and tore into the fabric of who we were at our very cores.

Though some pieces have been mended, others that remained (now) strengthened, and some are lost forever, we are not the same people we were before the fire. I highly doubt most folks would be, if they went through something similar.

Hardship and challenges make you and shape you. They can break you, too, if you let them. Yet from that very first evening as we stood cocooned in shock and grief, we swore that we wouldn’t let that happen and with your profound help (of every conceivable variety), love and support, it hasn’t.

Though I had, for some time, remained optimistic that I’d be able to pick up here much like before, in the ensuing five months it has become glaringly apparent to me that such is simply not possible.

Too much has changed. Though my love for vintage, my tremendous appreciation for this community, and my passion for rocking old school styles will never waver for a moment, I have come to realize that, as much as it genuinely pains me to the pit of my soul, I need to retire this blog.

Between the continued (very) poor state of my health in the wake of the blaze, the challenging road ahead as we continue to rebuild our lives, and the reality that certain things can never go back to as they once were, I know in my heart of hearts that this is what is right and healthy for me at this stage in my life.

I want each of you to know, and pray that you will believe me when I say, that this decision did not come easily or lightly. I agonized over it relentlessly for months and talked about it with Tony until I the point where I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if he’d started throwing things at me to get me to drop the subject (of course my sweet husband would never actually do that, but I wouldn’t have blamed in the slightest him if he had!).

For the better part of eight years (including the 2.5 for which, before the fire, I had my eponymously named Etsy shop as well; it will not be returning either), this blog was a huge part of my world – just as each of you were.

I adore, care about, and appreciate all of you more than you will ever know. Parting ways, in a vintage blogging context at least, is beyond hard for me to do.

I have had many sleepless nights, shed my fair share of tears, negatively impacted my health further from the stress of debating what to do, rung my hands nearly raw with anxiety, searched the furthest recesses of my heart, and, again, did not get to this point easily or lightly. Please know however, that it is a choice that I have reached for certain. 

Here we are then and there’s no sense in dragging things out.

Instead I will thank you – each and every one of you – for the innumerable ways you’ve enriched my life since Chronically Vintage began in April 2009. We’ve talked, we’ve laughed, we’ve inspired one another, we’ve grown as people, we’ve changed, and we have come to be dear friends.

{You mean the world to me - each of you. Thank you for the great times, the kinship, and for your understanding about my tremendously difficult decision to retire CV. Vintage photo image source.}

In our darkest hour, you were there for me and my family and I will be grateful for your help, compassion and remarkable generosity (including both your monetary donations and care packages) for as long as I live.

The physical gifts you gave me (us) helped me to come back to many important parts of myself. They cloth me, we eat off of them, we even bath with some of your presents (soaps and a beautiful floral print shower curtain, for instance). You often knew what we needed, even if, in our haze of grief, we didn’t.

You took us by the hand and the heart, you believed in us and we have grown stronger in many ways again because of you – just as I have always derived strength and comfort from this amazing community.

While I will no longer be blogging here at Chronically Vintage, I plan to keep this site (which houses just over 1,500 posts) alive for all to enjoy, learn from, and be inspired by.

You can continue to connect with me on social media, where as time goes on, I hope to share an even broader scope of myself and my many different interests – a giant one of which will, of course, forever be vintage.

Thank you all so much. Thank you for the memories, the smiles, the joys, the ways in which you've helped me grow, and countless other things that will stay with me for all of my days. 

I want you to know that you can always email me and that, I hope, should any of you ever find yourself in dire straights, I can be there for you however possible, too. Just ask, night or day.

I won’t say goodbye, instead I will say that I love you. That you mean more to me than I could ever begin to put into words, and that I hope with all my might you’ll understand my exceedingly difficult decision to retire from this blog and to look ahead to other (largely unknown at present) chapters in my life.

It has been a joy and an honour to connect with all of you throughout CV’s life and I look forward to continuing to do so via social media (particularly on Instagram and Pinterest), your blogs, emails, snail mail, and other avenues for a long time to come.

Friendship, much like the appeal of the past itself, is often timeless and so too, in my eyes, are each of you. 

Forever and always your friend in all things vintage,
❤ Jessica