When I put blogging on hold back in August, I thought the next step would be the “goodbye” post. For weeks I felt this pressure to get some sort of explanation up as to why I wasn’t blogging anymore. And despite not being much of a procrastinator, the weeks went on and I never wrote it. Then, around late September, it hit me. I shouldn’t write the post. I couldn’t. In the back of my mind I had this small inkling that some day I would return to this space. And beyond that inkling, I also had a feeling I’d know exactly when that time had arrived. In late November things started to percolate.

2014 was just plain hard. My personal life was turned on its head. I moved out of an apartment and neighborhood I absolutely loved into an apartment and neighborhood I never thought I could love. Working alone and living alone really started to weigh on me. I felt a pull back towards the stability of a corporate job but a huge amount of shame and guilt around pursing that shift because of everything I’d built. I thought people would think I’d given up, that I’d failed. And then on top of that, the pressure to continue producing beautiful content that conveyed this near perfect life (as lifestyle blogs tend to do) – it was all just too much.

There was so much for me to process personally, there simply wasn’t room for blogging. I’d even go so far as to say that blogging was detrimental to that effort. I got tired of taking these unplanned breaks where I’d disappear for a week or two, then scurry to pick things back up, full of promises that “I’d be back” or “things would be better.” None of that happened, and the whole pattern only resulted in poorly written posts which still attempted to wrap my life up in a perfect little bow (again, as lifestyle blogs tend to do), when really my life was the farthest thing from a pretty package.

So in July, when my “exploration” of transitioning back to a company became a reality, I had to stop. Mentally, I couldn’t continue in both spaces. I began interviewing intensely for jobs and wrapping up my freelance work. July and August were the hardest months of this year. Reeling emotionally from all that had happened in the previous 6 months and dealing with so much uncertainty…. I barely had the energy to do anything but work, sleep, and eat. I closed myself off from a lot and essentially went into a survival mode.

As hard as it was, there were great outcomes to that period, the main one being my position at SELF. At the beginning of September, I stepped in as their Social Media Editor. There is much to be said about that shift – my decision to transition back into the corporate environment, the job application process, the specific reasons I selected the magazine, and so on.  I will get to all of that, I promise! I’m really excited to talk about it. But in an effort to keep this post from becoming a novel, I’ll save that for another day.

As bleak as this year was, there’s been so much growth and progress. It’s brought to light one of my favorite books, Elizabeth Lesser’s memoir Broken Open. In it, Lesser shares stories of people, including herself, who have been through incredibly trying times – heartbreak, deep loss, disease, and so forth. But what’s unique about these stories is that instead of the person being broken down and defeated by their hardship, they’re broken open and transformed. It’s a beautiful piece, and the learnings could not ring more true for the last 12 months of my life. I’ve literally been ripped to shreds, and, candidly, continue to be on a daily basis. I’ve been forced to truly face all those personal demons I’d consistently told myself I’d “solved” years ago. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, but I’m so thankful it’s happening.

So. Where does that leave us? Well, food is still my heart. It’s the thing that heals and calms me. It’s where this blog began 4 years ago and where I’d like to return first. I simply can’t create the volume of posts I was doing before, so for now it will be once per week (fingers crossed!). Maybe that will change in the future, maybe it won’t. I’m working on reveling in the uncertainty of it all.

Huge thanks if you’ve made it this far, and even more so if you’ve hung with me these past few months. Aren’t you excited for 2015? I so am. Let’s do it up right! xoxo Clara

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  1. Phyllis

    Best of luck in 2015. Listen to your heart, it is rarely wrong. Take care of you. Have fun. Breathe deeply.

    • Clara

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Means so much. And yes, we’ll definitely be focused on taking care of myself this year.

  2. Jon

    Happy to see the Clara blog back in action … all the best in 2015

  3. La Torontoise

    Clara, best of luck in 2015! You will find my New Year’s greeting from earlier this morning, in your previous post:- )

    Congratulations on your job at SELF! On your birthday, I wanted to congratulate you and googled your name on LinkedIn, that’s how I learned you became an editor with them. I noticed your posts in instagram, but I have no account there and therefore did not write.
    Again, have a happy, healthy and a warm New Year!!
    All the best from France.
    PS. I m here for the Christmas season, can not say with words, how much I love local food: -)

  4. Things change, that’s the only constant! Sounds like you’ve been through so much, and it sounds like you’re in a good place now. Big congratulations on the new job!
    I was thrilled to see your post pop up in my inbox. While once per week may seem like not enough, I’d say better posts more than make up for the filler stuff in between that so many blogs seem to be contributing to these days. At least that’s what I’m telling myself and my little blog. 😉
    Happy New Year Clara! I hope you have a great one.

    • Clara

      Hi Emily! Thanks so much for your continued support. And totally agree with you on the quality vs. quantity. xo

  5. exited to see you back, and looking forward to reading about your next adventures, in the kitchen or otherwise.

    • Clara

      Thanks so much, Jennie! xo

  6. Leslie

    Sounds like you have a good plan. Life is a journey.

  7. Frank

    Glad you are back and looking forward to your “view” on things!!See you then!

  8. Kate

    Clara - so glad you are back - was worried - but now happy you are OK - do what you want and need to do - not what others expect you to do and take care of you!

    • Clara

      Aw, thanks Kate. So sorry you were worried. Just needed some time on my own. Happy 2015! xo

  9. Jean Rogers

    Dear Clara
    It was a lovely surprise to get a message. I did miss your news but realised life was not so easy at that time for you . Be true to yourself and most importantly only do what fills you with joy. Wishing you strength and courage on your exciting journey. Jean

    • Clara

      Jean- thanks so much for the lovely comment. 2015 will definitelty be the year of focusing on things that fill me with joy!

  10. Kristy

    Clara I’ve always enjoyed your authenticity as a blogger, along with the beautiful aesthetic. It’s your voice though, that has always kept me coming back, your tenacity at life, and wonderful ideas for food and style - not the look of perfection that your blog may produce. Thanks for being you and sharing your life in this space. I’ve been a fan since the Channeling Contessa days. All the best to you in 2015!

    • Clara

      Kristy- thanks so much for your wonderful comment! Love learning of people who have been with me since the CC days. Your continued support means so much. Hope 2015 is a wonderful year for you. xo

  11. Lynn

    So great to hear from you. Sending you lots of love. I look forward to you future posts. <3

  12. Lynn

    You know, take one day at a time. 2014 was so hard for so many. If you feel like posting, then post. If not, then don’t. We always appreciate you.

    • Clara

      Thank you, Lynn. So, so sweet of you to say.

  13. Sarah

    You’re still one of my favorite bloggers and human beings! You should be really proud for getting through last year and seeing the other side. You deserve all the good things you’ve worked so hard for!

    • Clara

      Big love to you lady, always! xo

  14. Karen

    Thank you for being you. Looking forward to reading your blog this new year. :)

  15. It was a nice surprise to see your blog post. I’ve always admired the honesty that your blog conveys…this post “from the heart” is no different. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading, and I’m glad you are back, even if only weekly. Congrats on your new job, and wishing you much happiness in the the new year!

    • Clara

      Aw thanks so much, Amy! Truly. The support means so much. Sending all that love back to you! xo

  16. linda

    welcome back and as always so great to read your truth and always keeping it real!

    • Clara

      Thanks, Linda! Big hug to you.

  17. Thanks for posting this Clara. I can truly empathize, I’m going through the same thing with my blog and have been questioning myself for several months. I seem to be back in the saddle though…for now.
    Congratulations on your new SELF job and best wishes in the future.

    • Clara

      Some days I feel like I’m totally in the saddle, and other days I fall (multiple times) off the horse. I’m working to accept that the up and down pattern is the constant, rather than *always* trying to stay in the saddle. Good luck to you! xo

  18. Welcome back, Clara :) I am sorry that these past 12 months have been so trying but I have no doubt that you are stronger because of it. I look forward to your future posts and have a rockin’ 2015! :)

  19. Lynn

    Sorry your year was so bad; every human being has years so terrible that one doesn’t ever forget that year and the lessons learned. Congratulations on your new job! If you continue to post, please know your readers always enjoy reading what you have to say. Hope this is a stellar year for you!

    • Clara

      Thanks so much, Lynn! Big hugs.

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