Our Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time
Words by Sarah Hartley, Editor in Chief
Four years ago, I hit publish on the very first issue of Holl & Lane Magazine and my life completely changed.
I had no idea what I was doing starting a magazine. I had no idea what I was doing starting a business. And I didn't expect it to last more than a year. But here we are, four years later, and I am so proud of how far we (and I) have come.
In that time, we have shared stories from over 1,000 women around the world. We have been called a lifeline and a safe space. Women have come to us when they are in the deepest despair of their lives seeking community and a hand to hold. It has been scary, overwhelming, and the most rewarding thing I've ever done. These stories have made us laugh, made us cry, and most importantly, they have brought us together in the arms of compassion and love.
So, as we celebrate our 4th anniversary, we’re reflecting back to our top 10 blog posts of all time - the ones you all keep coming back to over and over. We hope they bring you comfort and community as they have done for us.
Our Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time
Our minds can play tricks on us, like all the time. It can tell us that we are not good enough, that we don't have what it takes, or that we just plain suck, even though we know that we are none of those things. Our mindset and energy around it can help us deal with our gremlins (those horrible negative self-talk thoughts we have) to get us back to seeing just how amazing we actually are!
I am sick. You may not know that by looking at me, but I am. My illness is invisible. There are those out there who would say mental illness isn’t real, or isn’t as important as other medical ailments – cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis. And to them, I ask: Why? Why is my illness unimportant? It affects my mind and my body on a regular basis.
I fell in love. I got married in my 20’s. Settled into a beautiful condo with our pup, Miss B. I had a great job and my career was in full swing. Life was going well and on track for greatness. Then, in a flash, or so it seemed, it all came crashing down.
My gold glitter Sperry’s were the most exciting part of the day we decided to get married. There was no ring, no tears of joy, no celebration. It started in a tall, gray office building rising high above the streets of Philadelphia, with a lawyer telling us that my Canadian-born boyfriend of two years had been denied his permanent residency. We debated the option of appeals, the cost, the exhausting process, and the chance of further denial. My boyfriend looked at the lawyer and asked, “Well, what if we were to get married?”
Sad but true, I’ve been through A BUNCH of life’s tough stuff, my friends. Let’s start with the cancer thing... I was ignoring intense abdominal pain and bright red rectal bleeding during much of 2014. When I finally sucked it up and went to my PCP, she said, “I’m not speculating on this. I am sending you for a colonoscopy that will tell us exactly how we need to proceed.” I asked, “What do you think it is?” She said, “Most likely IBS or internal hemorrhoids.” After all, I was 43 years old, thin, athletic, a non-smoker, and a healthy eater.
I never got to hear my daughter cry, or laugh, or even breathe. But I got to hold her and feel her against my chest as I cradled her lifeless body for eight hours. I slept with her in my arms and carried the illusion she was slumbering peacefully, even though I knew better. Even though I knew this was a whisper of the life she would never get to have and the moments we would never get to share.
My journey to sobriety has been twisted, stubborn, and miraculous. Once upon a time, I could take a drink or leave it. Sometimes, I try to remember what may have flipped that switch. It’s almost impossible to determine, but I still try. Somewhere in my brain, I think that if I can just figure out what made me like this, maybe, just maybe, I can reverse it.
What do you think when you read the word “anorexia”? High fashion models? Crazy teenage girls? Another diet? Or the latest Lily Collins movie? How about a ten-year-old girl that ended up with a lifelong journey for recovery? Eating disorders are considered addictions, but unlike the addict who can abstain from the substance, I can’t. I must face both my fear and my “drug” every 2-5 hours, every day.
Many assume that second time mothers have it together; that being well-informed they are good to go. We don’t often recognize the courage it takes to enter that space again, this time fully aware. The creation of a life - and all that goes into it - is no less magical when the curtain has been pulled back, but the second time you are the magician’s assistant rather than a member of the audience. For me, it took a different type of courage to step onto that stage again and say yes - over and over - to experiences that cut me in half and built me into a new person.