Go Ugly Early


Hellooo...to the internet abyss! Where oh where to begin? Well for starters, I'm sitting in the Whole Foods Market in Bedford, NH where my son has daily behavior therapy for autism. You might be thinking what business does Stephanie Cahill have starting a blog? Frankly, I don't know myself. There are thousands of blogs on every single topic you can imagine. What can I possibly add to the table? Well, in my tiny little corner of the world I am hoping to share about the things I love use this space as a creative outlet in this crazy beautiful thing called life.

I guess I've always been a fairly emotive person. Historically, I've enjoyed creative writing in the past. First came diaries with lock and key. What little girl didn't love to write in a diary? I still have several of them. In middle school, it became "Notebooks" where my friends and I would pass a notebook back and forth in between classes and update each other on 7th grade shenanigans. My best friend Colleen still has one. We dubbed ourselves Popcorn and Pickles as our codenames. Our boyfriends at the time were nicknamed Twig and Tree. I digress. In high school there was LiveJournal. Thank goodness that is no longer public, but yes, I was there writing about my emotional breakups at age 16 to the lyrics of pop-punk-emo bands. During college, I enjoyed journaling now and then, specifically during the Spring Break Alternative trips I took. I spoke at my college nursing pinning and wrote a detailed tale comparing our nursing school experience to that of the Wizard of Oz striving for heart, brains, and courage. During our first year of marriage I half-assed tried to chronicle our loftly goal of eating/drinking at a new Boston area establishment every week. We tried, we mostly succeeded, but I fell off the Tumblr wagon. But it did exist. I might pull all those entries onto here some day. When we found out we were expecting, I created an gmail address for our unborn child. Periodically I wrote to what would eventually be Benjamin during our 9 month pregnancy. After Benjamin's birth, he was moved quickly into intensive care. We started a CaringBridge site to update our friends and family where I posted periodic updates there. I did pull those over here. So when I think back across my lifetime, I guess I have enjoyed writing, so why not now?

Since Benjamin's birth 2.5 years ago it's been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, like any wild ride, right? It's been challenging and fun, eye opening, and humbling. Much has changed of course, as that's what parenthood does for any couple. What hasn't changed is my need to feel the feels. So here I am. I wish I had started sooner to help process some of the things we have endured but nonetheless here we are. This site has been built for a few months actually and I've just sat on it, hitting one confidence stumbling block after another. Mostly, I think that boils down to fear and vulnerability. I've had days when I hated the moniker "CleanerStephanie" - what am I doing?! Implying that I'm clean and others are dirty? Not at all. I wanted a place to share my perspectives on living a wholesome life in all areas. If you knew me growing up, my room was rather messy. I'm still not organized the way I'd like to be. But I've learned after stumbling down a health and wellness rabbit hole in the past year, I function my best when I am at least striving to achieve a cleaner lifestyle through habits, diet, and my environment. I love connection and humanity. I am passionate about many things. I love to find the silver lining, even though I often have some pretty dark days too. There were many times since Benjamin's birth I've tried to find a voice to relate to, to feel less alone, and connect with. I googled special needs mom + paleo for example,and found one lonely ancient blog. I thought I'm sure there has to be other parents out there who are also trying to feel their best who have special challenges too. Maybe they are in the same stuck spot I was in last year and are looking for inspiration to get out of it.

One of my favorite bloggers/podcasters, Cassy Joy of Fed and Fit, had great advice from one of her episodes, to "Go Ugly Early". Just put it out there, get started, and don't strive for perfection. So here I am, going ugly early, with this Cleaner Stephanie blog. Stay tuned. If you don't want to miss a beat, please join my mailing list.

Stephanie