It goes without saying that the last few months of blogging for Stratejoy have been wonderful. I could gush on and on about my fellow bloggers (you gals are so AMAZING and INSPIRING and BEAUTIFUL!) and the community (I seriously appreciated every comment and tweet and connection made!).
But for me, the best part of the process was the writing– the commitment of actually sitting down with myself once a week and spilling words from my brain to fingers. And it was indeed a commitment. I’m not always the most reliable when it comes to long-term projects like blogging or my creative hobbies, and I think this was a really great opportunity for me to work on my accountability, scheduling, and habit-formation.
Much like the way photography has taught me to be more in the moment, and how traveling has taught me to release control, regular writing has held a number of life-lessons as well. You might have noticed through my posts that I can be a bit obsessive and quite the over-thinker. While I was aware of this side of myself when I started to write for Stratejoy, these weekly writing sessions forced me to put some order to the madness and repetitive stories inside my brain.
And let me tell you, sometimes it took me hours to write a single post because I was resistant to dealing with the feelings, even though I knew I wanted needed to. But those words are much better off on paper than on my mental hamster wheel because then I can begin to move through them—something that I’ve definitely begun to do.
Putting order to these thoughts and words means I’m also becoming clearer and more open in my communication with myself and those around me.
It’s been cathartic. It’s been challenging and fun and a self-discovery experience. It’s always been from the heart, in ways that have made me feel either awkwardly uncomfortable or insanely proud of what I wrote, depending on the post.
And I don’t think this writing habit is going anywhere. While I’ve had a blog for the past three years and had been a journal writer up until the beginnings of my QLC, I’m only now using writing as a place to work through some of the deeper feelings. I fully intend to keep these weekly self-exploration dates with me and my words, and fully expect that this habit will help keep me centered, trusting, courageous, authentic.
I (still) don’t know exactly what the next few months hold for me. That statement is something that wrapped me in anxiety before beginning to write for Stratejoy. Now it seems kind of exciting. The Big Picture I was so eager to discover seems kind of pointless to worry about now, when I’m discovering how much of life lives in the details—in the lovely people I surround myself with, in making others smile, in creative exploration, in seeking out beauty and simple moments, in spending time in nature.
As one of my favorite role models said,
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for new and richer experience.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
If you’d like to continue to follow my journey, wherever it takes me, I will be writing at my blog, Life is a Canvas, hanging out on Twitter, and Instagramming snapshots from my upcoming travels to Switzerland, Italy and Spain (username @CaitiSantaMaria).
Before I go, if you’ll let me indulge in a grandiose, Oscar-stage-worthy Thank You speech, I’ll pull a notecard out of the bra of my fancy gown and say:
Thank you to Ms. Molly Mahar, for creating this community and helping so many women navigate through the challenges life brings. You are a role model for so many of us, I’m sure. I’m so honored that you let me share my story here.
Thank you to Katie for being our tireless editor and organizer, and for not yelling at me for the numerous times submitted my posts at the 11th hour.
Thanks to Arielle, for inspiring me with your dedicated efforts to Fierce Love and changing your perceptions of yourself. You’ve come so far in the past few months!
Thank you, Jill, for your fabulous sense of humor and ability to see the light in challenging situations. PLEASE START A BLOG.
Thank you, Rachel, for inspiring me with your focused passion and your ability to achieve your dreams. I’m so proud of and inspired by all that you’ve achieved the past few months.
Thanks to Camila for your spirit and your openness as you navigate so many life changes. I can’t wait to hear about your wedding and your new life in Portland!
Thank you Cassie for your authenticity, humor, “yes” attitude, and commitment to your creative passions. I have no doubt we’ll all be watching your animated films someday.
Thank you Sarah for being a role model for balancing motherhood with your own interests and passions. I loved seeing your group fitness journey unfold the past few months!
And a BIG HUGE thank you to this community for cheering me on along the way. Your support, feedback and stories have meant so much to me. We’re all in this together.
**Note from Katie: Caiti!!!! — Not only do we share a nickname (ha!), but I, too have been at the point where I thought my life needed to be fixed, or something was wrong, or that once one thing changed, my happiness would follow. I’ve loved seeing you learn the amazing lesson that happiness comes first.
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.”
It’s not about changing everything so it makes you happy. It’s about finding the happiness in everything.
You’ve helped me re-ignite my determination and dedication to happiness, and it’s been such an amazing journey for you. The sky is truly the limit for you, and I know you’re going to do HUGE HUGE HUGE things.
So much love to you, girl!