I’ve always been terribly afraid that I could “waste” my life being comfortable, by not making hard decisions and simply going with the flow of what’s expected of me.
I often think of my life in chapters, as if I’m reading my own memoirs, wondering if I want to be part of the story that’s unfolding. This outlook helps me keep clear goals and stops me from floating along comfortably into oblivion.
Yet sometimes I struggle to stay in control of my own narrative and keep the story moving in a direction that I’m at peace with, throughout the ups and downs.
That’s why last year, I declared that for me 2015 would be The Year of Living Bravely — a prediction that was 100% accurate, as I changed my life’s course in remarkable ways.
We all encounter our own highs and lows, and many friends have faced major life changes in recent months. And sharing our stories always helps us feel less isolated. So I wanted to share with you a few of the biggest challenges I faced last year and how that’s shaping the year of growth ahead …
Left my comfort zone
I took a three-month journey in the USA with the express purpose of making new professional connections, determining how I could grow this website into something much more than a personal blog, and learning critical skills from industry leaders in the field of digital commerce.
This meant three months away from my children, my family and my hometown. The trip was huge in a personal sense, and it made me even more determined to pursue new ways to expand my business.
Ended my marriage
I’ve always kept my personal life fairly much to myself on this blog. While I do occasionally talk about or show glimpses of my family, it’s something that I’ve purposefully kept to a minimum. After all, my reasoning is that I opted in to writing this in 2008, they didn’t.
With that said I won’t go into detail here, but I will tell you this has been the most monumental decision of all and it touches every facet of my life.
It has made me re-evaluate just about everything about myself and why I do what I do. It has also shown me the incredible friendships I have developed through these pages, and just how strong and supportive they are.
Learned to live with less
For years I’ve struggled with clutter and being a “vintage collector” had become a catch-all excuse for living with too much stuff.
I read every book I could get my hands on in an attempt to understand why I wasn’t succeeding at getting on top of the mess.
I knew that all of these things were acting as a security blanket of some kind, a type of anaesthetic, but I didn’t know what from.
I began the long and sometimes painful process of getting rid of many things in the last half of 2014 and carried over into 2015. When it came to crunch time and I had to fit all my possessions into a storage locker, I realised just how little I actually needed.
When I packed a single suitcase, with two pairs of shoes for my three-month journey in the USA, it became clear that less truly was more.
Fell madly in love
I fell completely and utterly in love with a man who makes the term “other half” a reality for me. He was the missing piece of my puzzle.
Made huge strides with my offline business
My Candice DeVille vintage styling business found a new home in a gorgeous little 1950s house! Our new Melbourne salon is all set up with my collection of vintage hair and beauty supplies, with plenty of room for bridal parties. We successfully launched Hen’s Party events, Ladies Days and Mother Daughter styling days, to much excitement.
In the media, my styling work was featured on the cover of the “Just Married” wedding styling book, a cover story for Glory Days magazine, in Glamour magazine and coming soon in a feature story for Complete Wedding magazine.
Our Vintage Events have been a growing success, with the 2015 Camperdown Cruise Glamour Central being the most commercially successful to date. And in 2016 we’re launching a massive Vintage Marketplace with the Ballarat Heritage Weekender (May 7th & 8th).
I’ve also started to take on digital media clients, including a huge national real estate firm, developing content and marketing plans, social media strategies and helping businesses thrive online. Speaking at General Assembly, the Public Relations Institute of Australia and Newscorp, I had some great opportunities to share my knowledge and build key relationships. I even got to hold a million dollars!
Lost a large part of this blog
In an attempt to create a superior version of Vintage Current over the last months of 2015, an unrecoverable error occurred: We lost every image from 2008-2014 with the updated blog design.
I had always thought if something like this happened I’d be devastated. But I wasn’t.
Perhaps in light of the previous months it felt like a blip of the radar, perhaps I’ve learnt to deal with crisis much more productively.
What this means is that 2016 sees Vintage Current starting afresh with our best pieces and building from there.
It also means I have hours upon hours of work to do to recover the best bits and focus on creating the kind of resource that becomes an essential part of your personal vintage journey.
Set even bigger goals for Vintage Current 2016
With all of the above in motion, this year is going to be a huge challenge for us in terms of creation and community.
Vintage Current is evolving into something bigger than this blog. I am passionate about our vintage community, bringing us together through our mutual loves, sense of adventure and shared knowledge.
For me, 2016 is time to act — to step away from the drawing board and into the driver’s seat.
Now I need your help to take our vintage community to the next level.
One thing my USA trip reaffirmed was the importance of staying connected to your peers and community. And while the past year’s big moves and changes carried over to the blog post rhythm, as the new adventures unfold, I’d like your input and feedback to help chart the course.
Please join me on this new journey by subscribing to my Vintage Current updates!
We’ll keep you apprised of new posts, videos and resources, and preview our forthcoming projects. Vintage Current subscribers will be the first to know about (and be a part of) exciting initiatives, and be eligible for special email-only giveaways and contests.
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb