I’m Casee Marie, the editor behind The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, and I’m adopting Anika’s ever-memorable two-word introduction here in my guest post for a few reasons: because it encompasses the warmth we all anticipate with a ByAnika blog post, it’s familiar, but also because it reminds me of the positive ways Anika has influenced me and my life ever since I first landed on her blog so long ago.
It was called Sweetfaced Style then, but the blog – like its creator – has gone through changes over time. (And she’s still as sweet-faced as ever, I needn’t tell you that.) As life grows around us and as we grow within ourselves everything changes; it’s not always welcome, especially when we were comfortable and happy as we were, but without change how do we find those new, uncharted areas of our personalities to embrace?
I’ve changed a lot and I’ve observed, over time, the pieces of brilliance that together make up the art of living. I think it looks different to each of us, and that’s the whole point, but sometimes we live and grow and change so, so fast that we don’t always take the time to notice it. And there’s a void in your life when you haven’t yet understood your own special art of living; when you haven’t fully come to understand yourself. George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” and when you’ve done that, when you’ve finally starting putting together the pieces of your own beautiful little puzzle (it’s never too late, by the way) I think there begins to be a sense of illumination from deep down inside you.
That’s what I call joie de vivre. The joy of living.
I’ll express it to the world sometimes through what I wear – through fashion, sometimes through beauty, behavior, always with kindness – and most often through writing. There’s no wrong way to live when you’re living in true honesty with yourself and there’s no wrong road to take when you’re following your heart. When you combine those two ideals to your life you often find that you radiate empowerment as a result, and someone else is bound to pick up on it and follow your influence. It’s a wonderful process and I’m always motivated – particularly by Anika’s example – to be a part of it.
I met Anika for the first time a few months ago and I still smile when I remember her amazing energy.
While I am getting back on my feet I have reached out to some of my dear friends for help. I am honoured to feature Casee Marie and her post, the first guest writer on my blog ever. Thank you so much my darling Casee Marie for your friendship and for gracing By Anika with your post! I love you.