A Decade of Birth, Growth & Change

This time of year always lends itself to moments of reflection and life review especially when you hear the words ‘end of a decade’. When you start to think back getting through a decade is no small feat. For me personally, the first thing that comes to mind when looking back to these past ten years is how much has happened and changed. In the end, there’s always something to be thankful for.

This decade will always have a special meaning for me. I gave birth to One Style at a Time! I conceived it all on my own and created every idea, visual concept, wording, post idea and every nook and cranny that goes into publishing a blog that is now eight years and nine months old. It has taught me so much over the years and it has pushed my writing skills, creative capacity, tested my patience, kept me up late at night and given me rewarding moments that will stay with me forever. I started this blog with the sole intention to have a fashion dialogue with anyone that wanted to participate. From my home to the tents at Lincoln Center to fashion runway shows, I took this blog with me on the road. It grew from a little post here and there about style ideas and trends to being invited to do live fashion commentary at the Huffington Post with designers and other fashion influencers. It allowed me to connect with so many industry insiders and a great social media community of new friends that I still hold dear to this day. It even put me on the arena of freelance fashion writing. How can I not be thankful for so much growth and many opportunities? But in the last few years, as the fashion world began to shift in direction and look very different as a whole, my life was simultaneously looking quite different too. I have always strived to stay as authentic with my readers and decided that writing about the latest shoe trend was not going to keep me fulfilled as a writer. They say that when big losses happen in our lives there is a period of grieving and the breakdown leads us to the breakthrough. For me, that moment was when my father passed away five years ago. At the time I was already dealing with other challenges in my personal life but now this time it was different. Since then nothing has been the same. I am not the same person and this blog is not the same blog it once was. As I changed the concept of my writing changed. It was part of a creative internal revolution that turned into an EVOLUTION. My attention turned to personal development, spiritual awareness and striving for purpose. It reminds me of a quote by the poet Rumi, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” The shell needed to be cracked in order to shake things up. The heart shatters and then the pieces get brought back together to become whole again but with some battle scars. Despite all of these ups and downs, my biggest reward has always been knowing that this blog has taught something to anyone out there. When I’ve been told it has touched a life or inspired someone in any way. Then I know that my creation has served in a positive way and done its job.

When I was at my lowest I felt I was digging myself out of the rubble and striving for that sense of ‘life purpose’. I was almost in an obsessed fog of “why am I here?” “What is the point again?” The incessant questioning was in retrospect, so harsh and full of judgment on myself. It was only adding to more resistance to finding the answers I sought. I had to allow time and events to unfold. I’m still allowing it to happen. I needed to learn that sometimes the answers we seek need space to let themselves been shown. For so long I wondered what my purpose and legacy would be. I needed facts, tactical evidence that I had a straight and narrow path. That style of thinking was all I knew. That was how I was conditioned to think and how I was raised. But so many of my beliefs have needed to be broken in order to get to my next phase. I pondered endlessly on who I was and yes, I’m still in discovery mode even today and that is OK. One of my favorite quotes that I have adopted as a mantra from Dr. Wayne Dyer will always be, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. That has led me to understand that purpose is not our jobs, titles, riches or economical status. Purpose is our day to day relationship with ourselves and others. It’s such a mistake to think that a legacy is a material wealth we leave behind when we’re gone. The true value of a meaningful legacy is priceless when you are kind to others and receive the same in return. It’s not something tangible, it’s so much more than that.

Today, I look back at this decade with gratitude for the good and yes even for the bad. Time was never wasted and no matter what the result, it has all served as major life lessons that have brought me to this moment. I stand tall and proud feeling like a phoenix rising. I am still writing and doing things that I enjoy.  I have said goodbye to dreams and to people I have meant so much to me. Yet, I am hopeful that the future is brighter than ever and I’m excited for what’s to come from this moment on. I thank each and everyone who has taken the time to visit this blog from 2011 to this moment. I’m excited to continue exploring new topics and sharing them along with the world!

Feel free to drop a line, comment or chat with me offline. The best part of this experience is the connection with YOU my readers.

Here is to a healthy, fulfilling, peaceful and a happy new day, new year and new decade! Cheers to 2020.




“Phoenix Rising” acrylic on canvas – artwork by Maria Cartagena