Deciding on a change is not an easy thing, especially if it affects your identity. Yet, after much deliberation, I have decided to make a change in my “virtual identity”, so to speak.

Since mid-2011, I’ve been blogging as The Subtle Shimmer. My focus was on nail polish, something I fell passionately in love with that year. But, right from the beginning, I was sure I didn’t want to restrict my blogging to just nail polish. I’d created categories that would allow me to also share on the arts and life in general. Still, with a handle that was decidedly polish-inspired, I have to confess I always felt my non-polish posts to be kind of out-of-place. I did get quite a bit of search traffic for those posts, especially the press releases, but the overall tone of The Subtle Shimmer was clearly polish-based.

In 2012, I purchased web hosting when I started an online shop. I decided to also move The Subtle Shimmer over to self-hosting since I was already paying for it. As the subscription for the domain of the shop will be expiring soon, I needed to change the main domain for the hosting. It was, in a sense, a trigger to put in place a change that’s been at the back of my mind for a while now. It seemed the perfect time to transform my blog into one that’s more generic and encompassing of the different areas I would like to write on.

Of course, there are many who would think it better for me to maintain different blogs, each with its own area of focus. That would be ideal. Unfortunately, blogging can be very time-consuming. I’ve already been blogging a lot less as the year passed. It would take even more time and effort to maintain two blogs AND two identities. I already went through that when I chose to run my online shop under a different name from my blog and it wasn’t very fun.

So, here it is, I’ve set up this new blog here under the name Dream Wanders. I’ll share more on the name in a bit. I’ve created different categories for the different areas I intend to write on. If you’ve been following me only for my nail posts and wish to continue doing so, you can choose to just view those posts under the category, The Subtle Shimmer. I chose to retain the name for continuity purposes.

I’ve also created new social media accounts for Dream Wanders. I took some time deciding on whether to create new accounts or simply change the names on existing accounts. I decided on the former for two reasons. Firstly, I do not want to “force” existing followers to continue following me in this new identity. Secondly, I do not wish to discard the accounts linked to The Subtle Shimmer. At the very least, I need to squat on them to prevent someone else from taking over the identity and causing more confusion.

So, that was about the change. Now to share about the new name, Dream Wanders.

Why “Dream Wanders”?

I like to tell people that I was “blogging” before blogs were invented.

I’m not young enough to be an IT native. I discovered the Internet when I started university. When I discovered you could create your own “homepage”, I quickly explored that aspect. During that time, the in-thing was Geocities, somewhat like the free blogs where you could host your site for free. Back then though, we had to upload HTML files via FTP, instead of the very convenient Content Management Systems found everywhere these days. I picked up some basic HTML from Dummies, learnt some Photoshop skills in one of my courses, and started designing my own homepage. I used to spend long hours during my school breaks working on my site. The experience did help me score As in my multi-media courses in uni.

As for content, I have to say I didn’t have much. Basically, I maintained some sort of fan page for my favourite Cantopop singer, Sammi Cheng. And then I started reading some journal-style posts on other sites and I tried a few pieces myself. That was my earliest foray into some form of blogging.

Anyway, at some point, I contemplated buying a domain. I toyed with several ideas but one stuck with me – Dream Wanders.

Those of you who can read Chinese will understand the two Chinese characters in the logo – 梦游 (mèng yóu). As a phrase, it means “sleepwalking”. However, if you look at each character on its own, it’s way more poetic than just “sleepwalking”. 梦 means “dream” and 游 means “to travel or wander”. As such, the Chinese term for “sleepwalking” actually means “to wander around in your dreams”. That whole idea called out to the dreamer in me and the phrase “Dream Wanders” was created in my mind. I preferred “wander” to “travel” as the latter suggests some sort of target and direction while the former suggests something more carefree and random.

As a concept, “Dream Wanders” can be interpreted in several ways, as each word has literal and metaphorical meanings. Here are my main interpretations:

  • In the nursery rhyme, Row Row Row Your Boat, part of the lyrics go: Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a dream. And if life is a dream, we are all but wanderers through it.
  • In exploring and writing about things that interest me, I am in some way fulfilling part of my dreams, both in experiencing what intrigues me and in sharing about it.
  • I would love to share more on the places and events I wander to.

I hope to get the continued support from those of you who’ve been with me since The Subtle Shimmer. I also hope to meet new friends on this new journey. I do still wandering around, so things will be rather fluid here. I am on social media a lot and you can link up with me using the buttons in the sidebar.

Thank you for reading this long piece. Happy dreaming and wandering!

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