When I was 24 years old, I wrote my very first post. I said hello, uploaded a picture of my dog, and said I wanted to share things that I was passionate about. And for 7.5 years, I did â€“ and it was so good for me. This blog challenged me to figure out who I was. It shaped me. In this space, I shared everything that excited meâ€¦
Wedding planning. Marrying an incredible man. Figuring out how to have a healthy life. Enjoying the small moments in life. Running. Wrangling a house of cute pets. Eating delicious food. Feminism. Vegetarianism. Writing a book. Writing another book. Writing ANOTHER book. Writing half a book and quitting on it. Having a baby. And ANOTHER baby. Discovering triathlons. Somehow pulling off a Half Ironman. Vowing to never do that insanity again! Reading. Sooo much reading. Photography. And cooking â€“ a lot of cooking.
And I will NEVER, EVER forget how supportive you all have been through those experiences. I know there are people out there who have been reading since the beginning. So many you of took time out of your lives to offer me advice or support or just a nice comment. I was always SO grateful for you. Thatâ€™s what I tell a lot of people about when they ask me about blogging as a profession â€“ I tell them about my readers. You guys have been great to me â€“ so sweet and so supportive â€“ and I will never forgot the human connections I made by typing on a screen.
Because you guys were lovely enough to read what I wrote, I was able to do something I was passionate aboutâ€¦ for a living! Seriously, I cannot write this post without stating how grateful I am to my readers. I got to travel, explore, learn, cook, photograph, and write for a living. But most importantly, without you, Operation Beautiful would not exist. I am so incredibly awestruck with what Operation Beautiful did for so many people, and if it wasnâ€™t for my readers supporting the idea, it would not have happened. So â€“ thank you for helping. (I will continue my efforts with Operation Beautiful â€“ you can follow the movement on our various social media platforms.)
Blogging was not always easy. To share 7.5 years of my life on the Internet â€“ there is bound to be some low points. But I wouldnâ€™t change that. The bad taught me a lot about the world. It also taught me who I am, and Iâ€™m pretty happy with me. Plus, with the bad came so much good. An overwhelming amount of good. On a day-to-day basis, I loved my work in this space. I loved creating and conversing and brainstorming. I loved seeing posts come to life. Heck, I wrote over 5,000 posts! Goodness only knows how many pictures I took.
But even as I lovingly worked on this blog nearly every day for the past 7.5 years, I always said that I wouldnâ€™t do this forever. I knew it would have a natural conclusion from the very start. And now that my kids are older, that moment is here.
I loved sharing my early motherhood experience with you, and I love sharing photos/stories of my kids, but as they get older, I crave more privacy for them. I struggle to write about my life without writing about them. And I want more privacy for me, too. If you can believe it, after so long, Iâ€™ve finally run out of things to say! I like to think, â€œMaybe one day Iâ€™ll be back,â€ but I probably wonâ€™t. And itâ€™s a hard feeling to explain â€“ that Iâ€™m done â€“ but itâ€™s been creeping up on me for a while. Itâ€™s like when youâ€™re reading a great book, and the pinch of pages in your right hand is getting smaller and smaller and smaller until you can feel your fingertips through the paper. You can tell that the end is coming. And here it is! The End.
Itâ€™s hard for me to explain what being a blogger was like, but I can sum it up in one word. Adventure. This was a grand adventure, from start to finish. Thank you for reading along, and I wish you nothing but the best.
Caitlin (and the whole family, too)