Every once in a while around here I like to start (or end) the week with a little bit about me – my plans for the weekend, upcoming trips or what I’m working on. Maybe throw in a motivating quote to get the week going. But today… today is going to be different, my friends. And a little wordy (so grab your coffee and stick with me here).

A couple of weeks ago a handful of amazing bloggers started what I’d like to think of as a mini-movement in the form of a post entitled “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You”. In an effort to pull back the curtain of our happy, pretty little lives and talk about the reality of being bloggers, wives, not wives, moms, not moms, women, designers, creatives, and entrepreneurs, these bloggers all wrote their own posts revealing a little of their fears, insecurities and struggles. And I was thrilled.

See, for months now I’ve had posts started in my drafts folder that tackled this subject a bit. But every time I started them two things would happen (which are totally happening right this moment). 1) I’d stop and start editing. “This is too long! This is too crazy! This is more information than people care about!” I’d think to myself. Delete, delete, delete. 2) The moment I’d finally start writing about all of these things, I didn’t know where to stop. There are so many personal things I could talk about. So many thoughts about blogging and being an entrepreneur. So many struggles and adventures being a single gal making things happen for herself. So I’d stop.

But then I’d keep having these conversations – with many of the bloggers who joined in on the first round of this challenge – about being authentic and how we’ve lost that closeness that we used to have when us ‘older’ bloggers first started. In fact, I received a comment after my Alt post in the beginning of this year that really really made me think about this. An anonymous reader said “One thing I would love to read more about: you! Who are you? What are you up to? What projects are you working on? I used to subscribe but don’t anymore (I check in though!) because I don’t get enough “connection” with your voice anymore. We are all excited to see things shake up around here – especially since you are one of the “originals!”

So here it is, you guys. I’m bringin’ more Cass back. And you might think I’m a crazy, dramatic, whiner. Or you might see yourself in a little bit of my struggles. And I certainly hope you’ll celebrate with me when there are victories.

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You… (and many more to come)

1. I am alone a LOT. It’s something I love and hate. Does this mean that I’m lonely? Occasionally. I miss having coworkers, or roommates from time to time. But, I remember back when I lived with my ex-boyfriend, how much pressure there was to always be present in the relationship while trying to grow a small business and blog every day. Oh, did I mention I had a full time job at the time? He tried to be supportive, but honestly, he wasn’t very understanding of where I was with my life then. And I didn’t know how to give any more of myself. So now that I’m in a really good place with my blog and career, I’m insanely conscious of making time for friends and family – always trying to find that balance. But, I think I’m also really wary of dating because it’s hard to find guys who understand that I’m still going to need to work my ass off for a little longer until I’m ready to settle into a relationship. And as I creep towards my mid-30’s, I know that this is something I need to work on. Because I certainly don’t want to be single forever! Which leads to #2 (and #3…)

2. I get jealous. Jealousy is such a horrid, unproductive emotion, but it’s there. And the one thing I am truly jealous of are the ladies out there who have supportive husbands to lean on. Or even better – husbands that are incredibly involved in and help them to build their businesses. Luckily I don’t get jealous in a crazy, downward spiral kind of way. Many of these gals are my friends, and the good thing is that they know how lucky they are (if they didn’t I’d slap them silly!). Having that other person at the end of the day to share things with, to lean on, to help you grow and to make you turn your laptop off… that is priceless. I’m quite envious of the relationships I see that really function as a team, and I hope I’m lucky enough one day to have one.

3. I’m struggling to balance it all. When people ask what I do for a living, I kinda laugh and start rattling of a list. Well, I have a blog, so I maintain that – two posts a day every day during the week, plus managing advertising, insane amounts of emails, ongoing projects and more. Then I’m also the Market Editor at Rue Magazine, which takes a good chunk of time every month. I also have interior design clients which keep me busy…. on top of a lot of travel for speaking engagements or events… Are we exhausted yet? I am. You guys… I am completely exhausted. To the point of tears sometimes. To the point of forgetting to pay rent and bills and having a stack of paperwork and receipts under my desk in a brown paper bag that date back to January that I still need to file. To the point of being completely happy and yet totally pissed that on a Friday night all I want to do is stay in and watch a movie and not think about work for two hours. And, guess what? I’M TIRED OF IT. I want a freaking weekend that doesn’t involve me trying to catch up on something. I know I am blessed – insanely blessed – to be where I am, but man has it been hard work. And I’ve been juggling blogging with something else for five years now. And I. Am. Tired.

4. I work in a world that’s very materialistic. And (sometimes) I hate it. Let’s switch the subject, just a teensy bit for a second. When I started blogging, it was to create a place where I could collect ideas, resources, things I aspired to have, places I aspired to live. I was cultivating a lifestyle that I admired and loved. I never claimed to actually live this life, or that I could afford it. Because I can’t. I come from a pretty humble background (not poor, but middle class for sure), and I don’t really understand a world where people can drop ridiculous amounts of money on the latest ‘it’ bag or shoes that cost more than some people make in a month. And yet, I blog about lots of those things. And I design homes for people who will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to decorate with materials that I absolutely drool over, and I’m so glad they do, because it pays my bills. But it’s also insane. So I want to make it really clear where I stand, because I know that a lot of the things I blog about are not reality for most people. Appreciate what you have – at whatever level that is. Surround yourself with beautiful things at whatever level you can afford. And know at the end of the day that none of the material stuff matters. But it sure is nice to look at.

5. There’s so much more. Remember when I said earlier that once I start these posts, I don’t know where to stop? I could keep going. I haven’t told you about myself politically (fairly liberal) or spiritually (still figuring that out most days). Or how I have huge fears of failure and what people think that keep me from taking risks I should. Or how my biggest regret in life is building up way too much debt in my 20’s. Or how much I think blogging has changed in the past five years (for better or for worse). But let’s just save that for another day, shall we?

Overall, I’m pretty darn happy with my life. I get to do what I want and make a living off of it – which amazes me every day. I’m constantly working, but that’s because I don’t settle for mediocrity – so I know I put that on myself. I’ve reached a point at which I’m able to take more time off here and there, which is awesome. And I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for. So you know what? It’s really is all good most of the time. But, it’s also important that we as bloggers put out a realistic representation of our own lives once in a while. So, check out all the others joining in on the “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” posts today for a little dose of reality. I know I’ll be reading them all!

Meg: MIMI+MEG (thank you for organizing round two!) / Christine: Court & Hudson / Caitlin: Sacramento Street / Roxy: My Cup of Te / Crystal: Blog / Ashlina: The Decorista / Katie: Modern Eve / Erin: Apartment 34 / Erica: Design Blahg / Victoria: Vmac & Cheese / Christine: Miles to Style / Franki: Life in a Venti Cup  / Sue: The Zhush / Erika: Radiant Republic / Gabrielle: Savvy Home / Mackenzie Horan: Design Darling / Monika: The Doctor’s Closet / Naomi: Design Manifest / Tobe: Because It’s Awesome / Becca: {extra}ordinary wonders / Lynzy: Sparkling Footsteps / Hitha: Hitha On The Go / Sarah: Note To Self / Liz: So Much To Smile About / Sarah: Blogstar / Alissa: The Goods Design / Jessie: Style & Pepper / Erika: Small Shop Studio  / AV: Long Distance Loving / Maggie: Maggie Rose Blog / Nicole: The City Girl In Me / Priscilla: The Best Laid Plans / Jen: Concrete Jungle DC / Janelle: Food Fashion Fitness / Natalie: East Coast Chic

AND a huge thanks to Jess for her initial post, and to Ez for starting the movement!

106 responses on “THINGS I’M AFRAID TO TELL YOU…

  1. null

    I rarely comment on blogs, and I read over a 100 a day. However, I read yours and really wanted to comment as I can totally relate and often get super overwhelmed by just keeping pace with everyone. To succeed in your industry and in this life can be difficult. One thing that definitely gets me through is my faith. Without Jesus I would be nowhere if not with him. I also force my soul to remember that we work to live, not live to work. My dad tells me that all the time and it is hard to remember when things get busy.
    I am not trying to be pushy, just trying to let you know that You are not alone! Women I think experience it all differently as well. We wear many hats.

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

  2. Project 52

    the is one of those posts you stumble upon and its like ahhhh (not to be confused with aghhh) meaning i am glad i took the time to read it! it is like going down a rabbit hole to reality that happens to be so refreshing so thank you for that! as a newbie in the blog/small business start up world you have just helped affirm to me I am diving in to a pool of like minded people….more alike than I thought! and I can’t wait to take the time to keep reading others that have joined the “things i’m afraid to tell you” movement!..
    creatively yours, cassandra stearns

  3. null

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! You expressed beautifully how I think some days and I want to take a step back from reading blogs b/c I find that it’s getting too materialistic and causes jealousy. They’re feelings I don’t like to admit so I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  4. Morgan Stone

    Thank you for this. This is such an amazing series, and I’m loving reading everyone’s posts. I especially love number 4. I feel this way a lot as well, and I feel like I can’t keep up with everyone because, financially I’m just not there. It’s so nice to know that someone like yourself who is successful in this business can relate. I can not thank you enough for your honesty and transparency!

  5. Prippy Handbook

    I’ve been reading everyone’s “Afraid” posts and I have to say… THANK YOU!

    It’s really a breathe of fresh air to know that people… REAL people… are the ones creating the content. And that just because you post an image doesn’t mean you live the image.

    I recently started posting more “truth bombs,” for lack of a better word, after experiencing some crazy blog-induced weirdness while planning my wedding. I wish more people had doled out the good with some splashes of not necessarily the bad… but the real.

    Your blog is an amazing place for inspiration… but I now feel a stronger connection to the content knowing the a bit more about the wonderful person behind it.

  6. Desiree Jacobs girl! it must feel good to put some of this into words and not delete.delete.delete. good for you! it’s really nice reading that other people/you struggle with the same thing we/I struggle with. thanks for being brave and putting yourself out there. i’ve been reading your blog for years and always drool over the pics you post- inspiration, your vacations, and your furniture- but it’s refreshing to also get to hear what’s real for you. keep it up!

  7. Cerrissa

    I know a lot of days I feel that same way–“I just need to catch up with one more thing!” And the tears spontaneously start when you are asked how your day was. Living alone is another thing you wouldn’t think would be as hard as it is (Do you find that you talk to yourself or the television too? maybe that’s just me…) Anyways, thank you for being honest and putting yourself out there!!
    We are all in this together!


  8. Sarah MacKay

    This is very brave of you to write. And refreshing to read. The business of blogs is something interesting to me, this presentation of self as a brand … the best blogs strike a balance between inspiration and creation of self and honesty about who that self actually is. You are one of those. You inspire me, and it’s because I know how hard you worked to create a life based on your passion.

  9. 820am

    how lovely! a blog post that is honest. honest about life, what’s important and how someone really feels. many fashion/interior design blogs are steeped in fantasy. and not always healthy ones. beauty and fantasy is great, but so is reality and honesty. bravo! xo, am ps. i’m going post’things i’m afraid to tell you’ on my blog as well.

  10. kelly@refresheddesigns.

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. I’ve followed your blog for a while, and am a blogger myself who feels the same as you do on all of these things. It is comforting to know that you also share the same struggles while loving this kind of work at the same time.

  11. Naomi@DesignManifest

    Thank you for sharing more Cass with us!

    Gosh, its crazy how we are all similar, no matter what “level” we are on. I think lots of ladies think (incorrectly) that IF ONLY they could have as much success as you, than they would be happy, life would be perfect. But life is never perfect and always has stress and jealously. Really enjoyed hearing your view one it. And yes, please post more!

  12. mmarthaac

    I found this post infinitely touching and so human, thanks for sharing. Keep it up, you’re doing great so far, love your blog!

  13. Blair

    I have to say how refreshing these posts are — just read yours, Erin’s and Crystal’s. Thank you for having the guts to post this. I was shocked and reassured to hear how many of my own thoughts and fears align with yours. Thank you!!!!! xo, Blair

  14. Cara

    So glad you wrote this because I feel the same and I feel a lot of other bloggers feel the same as well. I am also trying to grow a sucessful real estate/ design business and a blog…it’s a lot of work to do it all at once…but I do it, somehow.

  15. mikky

    Hi Cassandra,

    Thank you for writting this post. It hit me right in the heart. How many times I have felt those exact same feelings you wrote about, I can`t even count. So to sit here and read your post felt like a little weight was lifted off my shoulders (for a few minutes anyways, got to remind myself to reread this when the worries come back!). How I wish we could sit down for a drink and talk. Thanks so much for writting this, you are helping alot of people with your post I have no doubt. And I also have no doubt that when the time is right, Mr.Right will be right there waiting for you.


  16. toni

    Thanks for sharing Cassandra…your blog has been one of my faves for over 5 years. You can do no wrong in my book!

  17. Susannah aka Petunia Face

    Love this. Love the honesty and your blog and everything else that you post. πŸ™‚

  18. Brandy Graff

    I loved reading your post. It was very brave and honest and so relatable and human. I am really glad I read it and love your blog! Keep up the good work!

  19. null

    Your post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I just did a spring clean of the blogs I read because so many of them embody the things that you also describe hating. I’m a lawyer for legal aid so I spend all day helping poor people get access to services the rest of us take for granted. I read design and lifestyle blogs because I want to connect with beauty and creativity that I don’t have in my regular life.

    But I swear, I cannot handle one more post about how to apply $500 lotion, or how I can use a chalkboard as a serving plate for to write which cheese is which. Duh. I get how to put lotion on and at my dinner parties I just use my verbal skills to explain the cheese selection. I rankle at how much money or swag these bloggers get to promote things they can’t actually afford to use in real life.

    More importantly, I think it’s a huge disservice to women to promote an image and lifestyle that is all style and no substance. I hate the pressure these blogs put on women to live a perfectly gorgeous life and make a pristine home for their handsome husbands. All this June Cleaver/Betty Draper homemaking obsession and no wonder why we have to fight for birth control rights again.

    So I’ve cut out all of those Pollyanna/keeping-up-with-the-Joneses/I-never-leave-my-house-without-being-meticulously-styled blogs out of my life. There is too much pressure on women without wondering if my Ikat print chairs are now passe.

    My point to you is that I kept your blog as one of the few whose work and voice are smart and authentic. I admire your style, your ideas and your accomplishments. I’ve been reading your blog for three years and I thank you for allowing us a peek behind the curtain. It’s comforting to know that, even though you make it look beautiful and easy, you’ve worked very, very hard to achieve your success (like us real people who use the same glasses for red and white wine, because really I can’t taste the difference the glass shape makes). I wish you nothing but the best and I’m cheering you on from among the silent masses.

  20. Jamie

    I was literally sitting here chewing on my nails as I was reading this post. I loved your honesty and hope one day I’ll have the guts to dish out my feelings. I think the best part of the design world, for me at least, is that it’s a total escape from reality. We could get lost in the beautiful lifestyles that we help create (/design/decorate) and it’s fun because life doesn’t always have to be taken so seriously- it’s just too short! I love your blog and always enjoy your posts- especially the wordy ones πŸ™‚

  21. Design Blahg

    Your list was rad, Cassie! And I hear ya on the “there’s more” front. I had to limit myself to 5 because I was completely convinced that 5 was enough to ensure that everyone who reads my blog will never want to speak to me again.

    10 and someone would have hacked into my site or kidnapped me πŸ™‚

    Also, I need to start thinking about who I can set you up with…maybe you need a hot nyc beau!

  22. Inner-Outer Beauty

    I love your blog and I love this post! I hear you are tired, since you say so. We have all been there, we type A-girls want it all working far too much. But it can change. I think you are totally on the right track in your life, maybe you just need some rest, a break, and some inner peace. That will not come by itself. Inner peace is hard work (oh the irony, of course it is:) but it is worth it to balance the hectic life in the outer world. I am not talking about religion, I am talking about being your own best friend on the inside. Take time for YOU, you will still succeed! Take care!

  23. dustjacket

    Thanks so much for sharing, your honesty is so refreshing (I relate with the delete, delete πŸ˜‰
    xoxo dj

  24. barbara@hodge:podge

    Thanks for sharing. In this world of blogging it is so easy to “cover” up reality and show a world that might not exist. I try to show reality on my blog but then too fall victim of trying to keep it pretty and show something that really isn’t real.

    I too agree that I find that being involved in the design blog world comes a materialism that I have never been part of and can’t afford to either. And part of me doesn’t want to, as I know and have been to parts of the world where people live with so much less or struggle just to put food on the table. It is a hard balance, isn’t it?

    But what I do enjoy is that we bloggers are a fabulous community and for the most part are supportive and encouraging. That is why I love this post and need to get my butt in gear to write one myself!

  25. chanteusevca

    Best blog post ever! Ever! I read your blog daily along with almost 300 others. Yes, you read that right. Don’t even ask how I have that much time on my hands. I am not anywhere near where you are in life. I am going to hit the Big 6-0 this year. Help me! Confession is good for the soul. And it helps to let loose and just be totally real. Transparency sells! At least it does to me. And I bet your feedback today will confirm it.

    Praying you find your way through this crazy life with grace, and experience every good blessing and reward from all of your hard work. I also pray that you find balance in all things and someone wonderful to share it all with.

    Remember to breathe….and continue being grateful. You rock!

  26. Habitually Chic

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m in exactly the same boat on all Five points. I don’t think anyone realizes how hard it is to do everything we do without a husband or a bf to lean on or to work at home alone most days. And how the heck does every single fashion blogger have the same Celine bag that costs $2500-3000??? I like sharing fun or pretty things on my blog but sometimes the lack of appreciation and mean girls definitely make me consider quitting. But then someone will email me to thank me for all my hard work. Keep your chin up and find an intern to deal with all those receipts! XOXO!

  27. heidi | white loft studio

    I loved your honesty…and it’s so very true. I have friends also in the wedding industry and we chat about this quite a bit it seems…the pressure to project perfect happy in a world where “real” isn’t always that. xo to you for posting this!

  28. Elizabeth

    I understand completely! I was blogging a few years back and all the materialism got to me. I had to end it as I was just absolutely disgusted by it all. My love for fashion went right outta the window. Now I just do it for the love of love!

    Liz @

  29. suzannem80

    Awesome post!! Thank you for sharing. Debt is my biggest regret in life too. It eats away at the back of my mind every single day, and I am (selfishly) glad I’m not alone in that. Keep on keepin’ on!

  30. Miz.November

    Keep it coming, girl. I am loving this “truth in blogging” sort of movement. I hope it really creates a change that permeates the whole system. I love hearing more about the real you. And don’t be afraid to throw in some of your humor, too. You give us just enough every now and then (the drinking with my bitches banner) to let us know that it’s gotta be good.

  31. kate @ undeniable style

    Girlfriend, I know the feeling. It’s my least favorite thing about myself: that jealousy thing. Especially when it comes to awesome partnerships. What do you do to curb it?

  32. Nat

    I’ve loved this series and visiting everyone’s blogs to read! Your honesty is so refreshing. Don’t be jealous of what you see out there. I’m married and I love my husband dearly but marriage is a lot of work and can be really hard! No one tells you the stupid things you’ll get in fights over and how frustrating it can be to have to answer to another person, that’s been the hardest for me since I’m fircely independent.

  33. Eleven Gray

    I know how you feel. I recently switched blogs from Lavender and Lilies to my new blog 11 Gray, which I am glad about because I do think I lost my voice on L

  34. Cristin {Simplified Bee}

    Love your post and bravery in opening up. Jealousy is an emotion I have to tell to leave my head {a lot}.


  35. Designwali

    I just heard this the other day, “the days are long but the years are short.” I feel your pain girl…life can become overwhelming sometimes. I just try to remind myself to take those moments to breathe it all in.

  36. null

    I never comment on blog posts and I look at SO MANY for all different kinds of reasons…but I just wanted to say, it’s posts like these that I think show a really awesome side of blogging. And that is being able to connect to other people on a real, social level without even knowing them. The words you have written here have completely changed my mind about your blog, in a positive way! Because I feel like I now know that much more about you…on a personal level. And that I’m not just staring at a bunch of stuff. I understand a piece of your life and what you are doing and why you are doing it. Which is awesome because in that way, we are connected. And isn’t that the point of it all?

  37. cassandra @ coco kelley

    You guys, are so so so so so so amazing, awesome, supportive and wonderful. Not only did you take time to read my post, but to leave comments that have literally brought tears to my eyes. Especially you – anon – because YOU are are exactly the type of person I don’t want to alienate, and I’m so glad I made the ‘cut’ on your list.

    Big hugs and love to you all. Here’s to strong women – and humankind in general – for all that we really do struggle with together. xo

  38. McKenzie Powell

    I love this! And clearly I’m not alone. So refreshing to read this in the blogging world. Yay for you and other talented, hard-working, beautiful, brave bloggers!

  39. Annick

    I loved reading this, I’m so glad that you did not delete, delete this time! As a twenty something girl who is endlessly inspired by your blog and others but who is struggling to get a foothold in my career and in the job world, it’s refreshing and reassuring to feel a solidarity with you and other bloggers. I feel that I have looked to blogging as being the ‘dream’ job with endless perks and the ability to make your own schedule and it’s nice to hear that it’s not perfect. Just being able to remind myself of the fact that nothing is perfect allows me to appreciate what I read and see but not measure myself against it, so thanks again for the honesty.

  40. Ivy de Leon

    Great post! As a new blogger I appreciate hearing from you. It’s a great example for the new generation of young women and bloggers that success takes hardwork and sacrifice. Keep up the good work.

  41. null

    Thanks for sharing. I admire how hard you work at something you love doing. Not everyone has that tenacity and dedication. I follow several blogs, but yours is the first one I read every day.

  42. Carla Aston

    We all love to see behind the pretty cover. I would like to know how blogging has changed in your opinion over the last 5 years. I wonder if Pinterest is really going to be the gamechanger? Are the blogs with just pretty pics going to stay on top? Has anyone seen their stats falling significantly in the last 6 months? Just wondering.

  43. iheartluxe

    Thanks for sharing – it’s strange but so many of the things you wrote about, I really identify with.

    The struggle is worth it.


  44. Liz

    Thank you for posting this! This sounds like SO many things I bring up in my therapy session-phone calls I have with my mom!:) And that you said “you don’t settle for mediocrity” – in the last year that has become my mantra. Thank you!!!!!

  45. soyphet

    I recently started following your blog and check in on it from time to time. For some reason, this jumped at me. As much as I love looking at pretty and expensive things, it’s refreshing to read a little bit of “real life” out there. Thanks for sharing.

  46. myrna

    I have to say I identify alot with the fourth point, the materialistic one… I find the same thing and I sometimes have to step back from reading my favorite daily blogs for a few days just to get back in touch with what I want to blog about and whats real and beautiful to me so I dont get caught up with everything going on out there. Thank you so much for being so open!!

  47. null

    I appreciate how honest and genuine this post was. I love design blogs and use them as a way to stay in touch with beauty which is missing in my career. However, lately I’ve been walking away feeling bad about myself and all that I’m lacking. This will help me be kinder to myself and remind me that beauty is what I love and how that can be found at all price points – including free.

    Thank you for your courage. You just helped me feel better about myself.

  48. EM {Pushups with Polish}

    thanks for being honest! i think doing something like this helps us all realize we are going through similar things and NOT ALONE! maybe that is why we blog, to help each other out πŸ™‚
    xxo em

  49. Kristina Hultkrantz

    Thanks so much for sharing! As a freelancer too it is so comforting to hear that others feel the same way as I do, and that all you ‘big bloggers’ are just like little me. This is such a great series and has inspired me so very very much.

    xoxo Kristina

  50. the brunette

    Thanks for doing this Cassie! I am a longtime blog reader and have definitely felt the shift as bloggers become more successful and have really begun to make a living from their blogs. The initial charm and creativity is suddenly overwhelmed by the need to make consistent money (which I understand!) but it definitely hurts the experience for the readers… Frankly it can get down right obnoxious and feels fairly transparent. Clearly no one is always going to fabulous parties and ONLY eating at the best restaurants… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t make this a one-off post, I would love to hear your original voice more often πŸ™‚

    That being said I definitely understand being alone all the time! This year I moved across the country to attend a prestigious graduate program and experienced living on my own far away from family and friends for the first time. Most of the time I LOVE IT but then there are definitely some Sunday evenings when I have to stop and realize that I haven’t had human contact in days… Trying to find a balance between being an independent lady and also one who loves community can be a struggle!

  51. lafemmealamode

    Thanks for that post! It was amzaing to read it, yet so… real! Can’t wait for the follow up posts!

  52. Roxy Te

    i hear ya, girl! When I was writing up my post one of the items I wrote out was- “I hate being alone.” I work from home a good part of the month so I don’t really have a choice. I miss the camaraderie too! I wasn’t sure how to articulate it so it didn’t’ end up making the cut and your admission totally hit home!

  53. Duchy

    Oh girl. You said it all. Our merry go rounds spin very fast. I’m so glad you shared this. Do you just get so tired of explaining what you do to people? I was at Brimfield last weekend and as I rattled off the list even I was bored by it. It would be so much easier just to say, “I’m a magazine editor,” or “I’m a product designer,” but we are the new economy of multi-talented, multi-tasking, crazy hard-working women.
    One of my clients just hired a life coach for me to help me prioritize and set goals for what I want my life to be first and what I want my job to be second. Of course I haven’t had time to sort through the material yet because it is at the bottom of the pile, but I’ll let you know how it goes.
    In the meantime, you must remind yourself what an incredible pioneer you are. You created something so beautiful and valuable that fills the rest of us. We love what you do and appreciate it immensely. We also want you to be happy and fulfilled by it. We’re on this journey with you and you just made it a little easier for the rest of us. xosk

  54. GlamaMama

    Cassandra….what a fabulous series. Although I met you briefly in TO earlier this year, your thoughts and fears gave me a new inside peek into who you are. πŸ˜‰ And trust me, your feelings are so similar to what I and other blogger friends feel. Thanks for being so candid and sharing. You are fabulous!! Take care!!
    Christine xoxo

  55. Bethany @ Powell Brower Home

    wow – this is so cathartic and refreshing to read. when so many people seem so plastic, this is just what i needed to find a common thread with people. the ugly parts of the pretties that we see all day. its REAL LIFE, and its OK. good job – i bet that felt GOOD. I need to do an exercise like this πŸ™‚


  56. Michelle B

    i just wanted to tell you how nice this post was. I’m a freelance illustrator and blogger and feel so many of these things! It felt good to know I’m not alone. And you are so right, even with these small downsides I love my career and hope I’m as lucky to expand and grow as you were.

    Looking forward to more!!


  57. stephania

    This such an incredible movement. Thank you for sharing. I definitely have gone back and forth about getting more personal on our blog and it is truly frightening. I have been finding solace in your posts about finishing your apartment. I have also recently gone through a major breakup, moved out, and have poured much of my energy to my new space. Transition time is a perfect space to redefine and re-energize yourself. Congrats on your new life!

  58. null

    This is my favorite post I have read on your blog thus far (and have been following you for a little over a year). Thank you for your courage and honesty.

  59. April Elizabeth

    I have read your blog before but never commented. I really loved your being real today. Thank you

  60. Bekah

    Yes, yes, YES to 3 and 4! The balancing of all aspects of life, blogging included, is enough to wear a body down to tears. And even worse is when you realize that what you work so hard for is materialistic. What good does it all ultimately do but make us happy to have shared the beauty?
    And just to balance 1 and 2, remember, if you had a guy in your life, that would be not just one more thing, but several aspects of the same thing to juggle.
    Keep it going, and thanks for keeping it real!

  61. Nadine

    Thank you for sharing this with us all!!! I know it takes guts, but it’s real.thank you thank you thank you.

    SO happy to have read this.


  62. Sarah Roads

    So glad you shared all this. I actually feel like you are one of the most relatable bloggers out there. I can completely relate to #4. and I love how you put it. Thank you for setting an example and know that you are supported by so many who are cheering you on as you lead the way.

  63. JENN

    This was such a great post and I feel like I can in some way relate to a few things you said. It is very inspiring and the part at the end about you not settling is amazing-always stick to that because you wouldn’t have started that notion if it didn’t mean a lot to you and have true value! Great job!

  64. cati

    I have never left a comment on any of the blogs I’ve read, but you put yourself out there so I guess I will too! Your blog, and your lifestyle is an inspiration to me. I eagerly awai each post, and read it only in a quiet moment where I am able to absorb and savor it all. I had never thought of being able to support yourself through your blogging. In South Africa (where I’m from), there really isn’t this online community that you keep talking about (at least, not that I am aware of). I am heading towards my 30’s, and am home with my son, wondering what the heck my life holds for me next. I have an interior design degree which is pretty much useless, since I never actually went into it once I had finished studying. I ran an event company once, but gave that up because there was too little time and money to persue it, since at that stage my husbands architecture business was just starting up. I often feel like I have waisted creativity, and am petrified of what the next stage of my life will hold once I step out from hiding behind the stay-home-mom story. But when I read your post a few weeks ago, about how you had followed your dream and are now able to support yourself through your blog, I was beyond inspired. You gave me hope.
    So I just wanted to say thanks. I know it doesn’t take away from all of the difficulties and challenges that you face on a daily basis, but I thought you should know.
    And well done for being so freekin brave!

  65. Stephanie of Pretty {much} Art

    Thank you so much for writing this! I agreed with your anonymous commenter about losing a connection with you since I started following your blog (some years back – your blog was one of the first I ever started following). The thing I love about blogging (and often feel that I’m missing on my own blog) is the “connection”. So thanks for writing this inspiring blog post. I’m loving this “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” series (hopefully someday I’ll be as brave as you to share it on my own blog) and am so glad you participated!

  66. Jennifer Fox

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the real you!!! I’m going to cry a littler more (started mid-post), then shake it off, get up and keep moving forward. And appreciate my own surroundings… Thank you so much. You’re words have made a difference!

  67. Megan Gilger

    Cassie this is my favorite “Things I am afraid to tell you” I have not read them all but I have read quite a few. I don’t comment much on other blogs so know this is really coming from my heart.

    This is beautiful and I could not hear you more. I can relate to 3 on so many levels. I am constantly wondering at what point something will have to give. What will be let go because sometimes it just cannot all happen.

    Thank you for your honesty. As a blogger to another blogger this means so much to know we are not alone in all this. That we all are struggling through similar feelings and challenges.


  68. Carl Barnett

    I love this post. Personal and honest. There is community in blogging as there is community in sharing. What we do as creative folk in general is in fact for others. For community. This post gave more dimension to who you are and what you do. ~be well and happy

  69. Jessica

    Thank you for sharing! As a very new blogger who has read your blog for a while now, it’s inspirational to hear you talk about your real issues. And to get to know you better! Your blog always brightens my day!

  70. iDIAV

    dope! i, like your other commenter, never comment despite reading a 100’s of blogs a day but i couldn’t resist this time. what i miss about blogs is the crude, genuine personalities and emotions. now i feel like all i do is sift thru pictures on blogs.

    props to all your success (but like ANY job, remember to prioritize and take some time out for yourself)

  71. Jaime

    This was amazing! and I know it took a lot of courage. Love your blog and look forward to seeing what you put up everyday!

  72. Vivian

    Incredible post πŸ™‚ I can relate, so so much, and thank you for that. Life of bloggers often seem picture perfect, but that’s not always the reality.

    I think you’re one of the best bloggers around!!


  73. Stripes-ON-Stripes

    I love it! I love to hear about the true lives of others. It makes me feel normal about all the things you wrote about…jealous, afraid to fail and so on…thank you!

  74. Amy Hermes Anderson (AHA)

    Hi Cass, I have been following your beautiful blog and sharing your website with friends and clients for a few months now. I can relate to so many things you shared in this wonderful post. Although I am at a different stage in my life. Thank you for being open and sharing the “unperfect” part of your life because we all have it and it’s nice to know that people who seem so perfect (like you) are just human like the rest of us!
    All my best,

    Amy Anderson

  75. Courtney Callahan Paper

    You completely encompass what I feel on a daily basis and it is so nice to read that some one else is going through the same thing.

    I am the owner of a stationery business and sole employee plus I work as the Online Marketing Manager for a skin care company so I basically have 2 full-time jobs. My work days are usually 18 hours and my weekends are filled to the brim with catching up, like you said. I feel that I don’t give enough to my friends, my personal health (experience the sheer exhaustion many days too) and my relationship. Although I have a very supportive boyfriend and am very lucky, I am not married and feel the same jealousy toward peers that are. If only I could quit my full-time job, then I would have health insurance through someone else and overall insurance on rent, bills and mental stability.

    Sometimes it feels good to vent about those things, put it all out there and then remember the good fortunes we have. And thank you for doing that and allowing me to do the same.

    I love to be inspired by other women creating a name for themselves at our age like you do!

  76. Anna @ IHOD

    I read every word and can I say, I love you more for it. The great thing about these posts is that it gives us a real taste of who the blogger is behind the blog-someone we can all relate and connect with.
    I touched on a similar issue. I curate and showcase great products all day long, but confessed that most of my hard earned dollars go to paying off medical debt and school loans!

    You were one of my first blogs that I followed and will always be cheering for you no matter what:)
    Cheers to vulnerability!

  77. GeekyCollegeGirl

    I LOVED this movement! I’m glad you were involved. It reminds everyone that everyone is human…even bloggers who blog about beautiful things.

    I am inspired to someday do this on my blog. Would it be okay if I posted something on the movement without actually being a “member” of the initial movement?


  78. Lynne

    Thanks so much for sharing, Cass. It’s so hard to be self-employed, I think, and you’ve done amazingly well. When I started having my own business, I totally underestimated the amount of time it takes to be established. I’m still working full-time, and am also exhausted. I’m also jealous of people with a partner to help them with the bills. But, it is such a privilege to do something you love. I look around my office and wonder about all the people who will still be there in 20 years. Your Friday night watching a movie sounds like bliss xx PS You need an assistant! That’s what I’m working towards some day.

  79. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    What an incredibly brave post! I’m so inspired that you shared this information with the world, bravo!!!

  80. Dovecote Decor

    I share many of those blogger pitfalls! I am alone a lot and I struggle to find balance. I might add my fingers hurt from so much typing!

  81. Lindsey

    I’m behind on my blog reading and just read this post. I’ve been following this amazing movement and I had just started to draft my own “Things I’m Afraid to tell you” post last week. As it turns out my first two items (and actually the only two I’ve been able to write so far) are almost identical to yours. I’m a bit terrified to post my list, but it helps to know that others struggle with spending a lot of time alone.

  82. Lindsay

    I first stumbled upon “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” here and have been clicking through to read as many as I can. I love the idea of this movement and I especially love the way you’ve poured your heart out in this post. It’s totally enlightening to understand more about the lovely lady behind the blog πŸ™‚ I’ve followed for awhile and love you blog even more after learning a bit more about you.

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About Cassandra LaValle

Cassandra LaValle is the founder and editor-in-chief of coco+kelley where she explores trends in fashion, decor and entertaining, highlighting pieces that exude classic design and glamour. As a designer, she consults clients across the globe on styling their homes and private events from her offices in Seattle.

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