October 28, 2010


A Big Milestone & A Big Decision

Happy Autumn, again, everyone. This Fall, I have a big milestone coming up to celebrate. On Sunday, November 14, it will be the five-year anniversary of my Survivors Can Thrive! blog. You can view the original post from November 14, 2005 here. Hey, go over and leave a comment there, will you? I notice it has "0 comments." LOL! Thanks! ;)

But, I have also made a big decision. So, on that anniversary celebration day, I will also be sad. I've decided that, on that day, I will write my last official post for this blog.
Flying With The Leaves

Flying With The Leaves by MarjakaThriver(on break) on Polyvore.com

I've been thinking about it for a while now, but I didn't want to make this decision final--much less announce it--until I had someone to take over for me as the blogger who maintains The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I've asked Tracie at the FromTracie blog to let me pass the blog carnival baton to her. She thought it over for a while and has now agreed! Yay, Tracie! I know you will do an excellent job running the carnival.

Splinty, (Splinteredones over at Twitter) who runs the SPLINTEREDONE'S BLOG, has committed to hosting the November edition of our carnival. I will make sure to help Tracie and Splinty organize, promote and run this carnival edition, whether it takes place before or after my November 14 anniversary/last-official-blog-post date. As I told Tracie in a recent e-mail, I will continue--especially for the first several months of transition time--to help her with any maintenance issues, promote the carnival over at Twitter (although I'll continue to reduce my presence there) and even submit some old posts I have in my SurvivorsCanThrive coffers to monthly editions.

I will not be pulling down my blog or my Survivors Can Thrive! dot com site. I will leave them both up indefinitely. I want them to remain available on the Internet as a resource for anyone who might be able to use them. I will restrict my blog posting, however, to a once-in-a-while personal journal entry when I'd like to scratch out a therapy poem or otherwise hit the keys to do my journaling rather than put pen to paper the old-fashioned way. That is what "blog" stands for after all: web log, as in journal. I know a lot of folks who use their blog simply as an online journal, and I think I will now be okay with that for myself, rather than feeling any pressure to post weekly or on any kind of timeline at all.

The thing that I will be the most sad about--severely restricting my presence in the blogosphere--is not spending more time with my bloggy buddies and advocating for child abuse prevention and survivors. Over the last five years, the people I have met through blogging have become quite important to me, in addition to my ability to stop the silence, silence the shame, and break the cycle of child abuse.

But, in the midst of my sadness, I will also be celebrating. Not only will I be celebrating the work that I've done here at Survivors Can Thrive! and the wonderful survivors and survivor advocates I have met along the way, but I will also be celebrating my journey toward thriving and where it is now leading me. I think the journey to becoming a Thriver is somewhat similar to the goal of becoming more Christlike or being more like The Buddha. It is probably not something that many of us actually completely achieve in this lifetime, but it is something that we can make strides toward every day. This is where I am on my Survivor-to-Thriver path.

I will continue my therapy and working toward achieving Thriver status. But, now that I am finally feeling like I truly am thriving more every day, I will stop and take time to enjoy the things that make me feel like I'm thriving. Right now, a big one of those things is my work toward my certificate in botanical illustration. I am about a third of the way through the educational program at The Denver Botanic Gardens and I've got my work in a show for the first time ever. I'm hoping to continue to show my work in exhibits more down the road. And, eventually, (in addition to completing my portfolio and earning my certificate) I hope to start making some sales. *fingers crossed*

So, folks, the bottom line is that I don't know whether or not I will ever finish writing the book that I began, with the working title of "Survivors Can Thrive!" I want to see where this botanical illustration path will lead me. And, I'm feeling more comfortable right now with the decision to use my creative energy and time (that I would have put into finishing my book) for becoming a professional botanical illustrator. What this will, hopefully, mean (and I've had a lot of folks ask me what this will mean) is that I may, some day, have some of my illustrations published in a book similar to this Plant Select Guide. And/or, I may illustrate some seed packets for a company such as Botanical Interests, who uses illustrations instead of photographs for their plant seed products. Maybe some day I will even get represented by a gallery, have my own one-woman shows, and sell framed illustrations and prints made from my original works, just like one of my instructors who has this website. She is an awesome artist and so inspiring to me!

As you can probably tell, I'm very excited about this. And--even if I'm illustrating plants instead of blogging and otherwise writing--I will continue working every day toward thriving. It's the same journey, just down a different path now. Thank you all for your readership, support, bloggy and tweety friendship, and survivor solidarity, as well as your commitment, involvement and promotion of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse over these last five years. It's not even possible that I would have come this far on my Survivors Can Thrive! journey without all of you and I am truly grateful. During the next three weeks and before I write my last official blog post, I will come over to visit your blogs and thank you personally for everything you have done for and with me in bloggyland.

In the meantime, don't just survive...bloom, grow, THRIVE! ;)

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I just started to get to know ya.it will be sad to see you go,I will Celebrat your milestone with you.
It's very brave of you to know when to move on. Yes, sad. But also glad to see you thriving! I am so happy for you.

You have done so much. I hope you are proud of it all.

I look forward to participating in the Carnival. It's an important resource. I'll offer to host if Tracie needs one. Thanks to her doing that administration stuff.

So glad you said you will write now and again. I will keep your feed alive and jump up and down when I see something from you!


Marj, I think the comments are off for that post of 5 years ago. Totally relevant today. The pink for breast cancer. It's this month. All over the NFL and elsewhere. While breast cancer is a horrible thing, what you said about a child's chances of being abused being greater than their chance of getting breast cancer, makes one wonder why there is not greater public outcry about abuse. Is it because of the long history of not feeling comfortable talking about it? Because it's "icky"? Because cancer is purely medical? Funny because I was going to blog about this this month. I shoudl have just linked to your 5 year old first post here!!!
Mike: I remember when you announced that you wouldn't be around much anymore, I was sad, too. But, I just went over to your blog and it looks pretty active at the moment. I'll have a read and leave a comment. Thanks for celebrating with me! :)

Paul: Your first comment there is quite touching. Got me choked up a little bit. It's kind and supportive comments like this that have kept me blogging as long as I have! Thanks for your continued support of the carnival. I appreciate it. Namaste to you, too!

Paul again: Thanks for the heads-up about the comments being disabled on that old post. I had no idea that they were. Well, true to form, I have to go out being lil' ol'cyber klutz me, right? ;) And thanks for the comment about breast cancer. I felt a little, --er, what? disloyal, maybe?--when I originally wrote those words, but I was trying to make a point. There should be more public outcry about abuse. And I hope that you do write about it yourself. Go, Paul!
Very best wishes for a beautiful future in a delightful area of work!
Marj, I feel so proud and joyful for you. It is so great to see you thrive - exaczly as my blog slowly gets a different input from me too. You have done so wonderfully and I wuish you all the very best. Surely any botanical illustration along my way will remind me of you!
Von: thank you for those well wishes. Yes! I DO think this is a beautiful and delightful direction to be going in. You've put that so well!

Paula: Oh, dear, thank you! I have so enjoyed seeing the positive, healthy changes at your blog as well. And I know that will continue. I DO hope you will think of me in the future, as I will have fond thoughts of you. *hugs*
Such an encouraging post. I am really happy for you dear one, and sad that you will not be around as much. I celebrate with you and give you a BIG ((((((((MARJ))))))))
Marj, how bittersweet! I am sorry to see you go, but happy for you that you are feeling the pull to do more "thriving" things. Good luck with your botanical drawing! I hope it exceeds your hopes and dreams! You deserve it.

Thanks for all you have done for advocacy of child abuse issues!
JBR: You are so sweet! I always appreciate--no matter what is going on with you or how many other blogs you have to visit--that you always manage to come over here and leave me those warm hugs. Thanks and backatcha, deary! (((((((JBR))))))

Oh, Leslie! You are one of the bloggers that I feel so sad that I have not gotten the chance to get to know better, since I just haven't been running my blog as actively as I was a couple of years ago. I used to write a couple of posts a week, do a lot of advocacy and awareness-raising, and get around to visit my bloggy buddies so regularly! *sigh* Yes, it's bittersweet for me, too.
The last five years have given you the platform to build a solid, thriving future. You will succeed in your goals, no matter what they turn out to be. Best of luck and keep in touch.
So sad to see you go, but so happy for you as well! I will look forward to your updates and continue to pray for your healing!!!!
you've been a strong solid voice of hope....and knowing when to move on...takes courage. I hate changes..but know change is so important. I'm cheering for you Marj....stay safe and strong out there. ☺☺☺
Brian: so nice of you to have such confidence in me. Thanks! :)

Lily: Thanks for those prayers--still need 'em! You will remain in my thoughts and prayers as well. *hugs*

Sarah: Thanks for cheering for me. I'm cheering for you, too. ((((((Sarah))))))
Marj, I just want to thank you again for the honor of carrying on the Blog Carnival.

I am going to miss your regular updates in the blog world, but look forward to hearing from you when you do feel inspired to type something.

You have been a real inspiration to me as I have walked this healing path.
Such sweet words. Thanks, Tracie! And you are absolutely the right choice for the person to pass the baton to for the blog carnival. I KNOW you are going to do a fabulous job. Good luck and Best Wishes and... *HUGE HUGS*
Oh my! Sad for us, but very good for you! And I suppose we can't help but share in that happiness, so I guess good for everyone! Still, I'll miss your nice voice-of-reason posts and comments. No need to be a stranger around these parts, of course. Best of luck in your education plans. If I ever need a botanical illustrator for anything, I'll know who to contact.
Adventures in Anxiety Land
dear marj~ wow, what big news! i admit my first response was that i felt like crying. but i mean this in a good way :) it just shows what an effect you had on me that the idea of your leaving would make me feel sad. you have been such a kind and sincere connection here in the blogworld. i only ever felt encouraged and reinforced when i had the fortune to connect with you. even though i'm sad to hear you won't be around, i'm SO happy for you as to why :) my goodness how wonderful that your life and healing is going so well! that you are indeed thriving. you deserve every happiness. and good for you for taking the steps you feel are right for you. you are an inspiration, in everything you do, and in this step as well. thank you for showing others what is possible, what it looks like to care for yourself, follow your instincts and dreams, and make life what you need it to be, instead of what happened to you.

i wish you all the best every day, marj~ and i thank you for everything. safe hugs and warmest wishes for you and your future! :)
Best wishes to you on this next part of your journey!
Hi Marj,

Glad I stopped by in time to read the announcement about bringing your blog to a close.

I know that to everything there is a season. You had a long run with your blog and doubtless helped more people than you'll ever know. Also, founding the Blog Carnival is something you can forever hold close as a treasure, taking joy in knowing the impact it's had on so many lives.

I can feel your excitement as you prepare to enter a new leg of your journey! I wish you nothing but the best in all your endeavors. And, good for you that you knew it was time to bring your blog to a close, and didn't allow false guilt to hold you back.

Onward and upward, fellow traveler!
Oh Marj, I will miss your updates but am so glad for you! It sounds like you have come to a special point in your life with only more good to come.

You were a major reason for me to face my abuse and its results. You were the inspiration for me to blog and join with other survivors. I am most humbled by you and your efforts to inform and inspire others.

Take care! *hugs* <3
Funny I should read this post now. I have been thinkig of doing the same thing. I am just not blogging as much on my survivor blog. I am blogging more on my Catholic one. I came by to say hi because it has been a while since I visited you here. I will miss you but I am glad you are leaving this here and will post as you feel the need. You have always been so supportive. Hugs and blessings!
Blue Morpho: Thanks for the kind comment. Voice of reason, huh? What a nice sentiment, thank you. Best of luck to you, too! :)

Oh, sweet Katie: I feel like crying reading the heart-felt message YOU left for ME. *hugs* Especially in terms of my blog, I've always wanted to find meaning for my abuse and, as you say, make life what I need it to be instead of about what happened to me. Wow! I'm reading the amazing words in your comment again and I am truly touched and humbled. I guess I didn't know I had such an impact. Thank you for that feedback and for being you. My warmest wishes are always with you, too. (((((((Katie)))))))

Dr. Young: Best wishes to you, too. After all the therapy I have done over the last 15 years, I know how important the work is that you do. I appreciate your advocacy and support of the blog carnival, too. Thanks!

b: Thank YOU, fellow traveler, for stopping by and leaving this lovely comment. Blessings!

JBR: Thanks for stopping by again with those wonderful cyber hugs of yours. Backatcha, deary! ((((((JBR))))))

IK: Wow! I am humbled and moved by YOU and your warm comment. I had no idea that I had inspired you to face your abuse, blog about it and join with other survivors. Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm really hearing some wonderful things here in response to my announcement, and it means a lot. *hugs*

Colleen: You have always been so supportive of ME as well and I thank you. And thanks for giving me the update on your own blogging. I was curious about it. You take care, dear. I know you will bless the world with your voice, no matter what you write about. ((((((((Colleen))))))))
I haven't been in the blog land for too long, nor am I very active.
But your blog has been such an inspiration, and your kind words have always touched me.

I wish you only the best, you are someone I admire. Your strength is amazing. I've read your blog, the falls and the triumphs.

Much love.
IS: I have enjoyed getting to know you, at least a little, through Twitter and some through your blog. Thanks for stopping by with your thoughtful comment. Much love to you, too. Take gentle care. *hugs*
Marj, you will be missed. I feel sad for me but very glad for you to be going off on such a wonderful, creative journey of your own. You deserve all the good that life can bring your way. Will be sending Reiki healing energy your way for your auto injuries to heal quickly. You are the one person who has taught me what thriving means. Thank you.
patricia, and u r the one who has taught ME that thisntruly is a spiritual journey and how 2 b a spiritual person while healing.

your words mean so much 2 me, thanx

and thanx 4 the healing energy--i really need it right now! *hugs*
Sometimes in life we all need to move on and this is your way of maybe moving on with your life. You have had quiet a following on your blog and I hope you feel moved by all those who have come to read and share.
Thank you in advance for your help.

6 December 2010

World Wide Outcry To Stop Gender Violence Against UK Woman Burned In Costa Rica

We are asking people from across the world, including key human rights activists, women's rights activists, public intellectuals and citizens groups to support a global petition demanding action from Costa Rican President, Laura Chinchilla.

I completely understand your need and your desire to focus your attention and creative energies on your path as an artist. You've built a vital archive of information over the last five years that will be found and used far into the future by people who don't even know it's here yet. Perhaps most importantly, you're a living testament that the transformation from survivor to thriver, to which all of your work has been dedicated, is not mere pie in the sky, but a real process with an attainable outcome. Best of luck to you as you move forward into the thriving phase of your life!

Oops! Making the rounds to say goodbye to the blogosphere, now that I finally got that last official blog post up. Didn't realize these last three comments had been sitting here. Thanks for leaving these comments for me, for your support and encouragement. I'll be around to blogs to say goodbye. It may take me a few days, but I've got a start on it now. Just going down my blogroll, but also want to visit other blogs with comments here. Take care, everyone! :)
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