What The Cactus Means To Me

What The Cactus Means To Me

What’s the deal with the cactus plants? You might have been thinking that over the last few weeks.

I’ll share the meaning behind the cactus, but first I need to back up.

I started writing a few months ago. I wasn’t sure what I would do with my writing in the beginning, but I had so many thoughts in my head that I needed to write them down in order to get them out. At first, I treated it like a diary or journal. Sharing my writing was always in the back of my mind. To me, it seemed like there was a lot of “stay at home mom” info out there, but I hadn’t heard any stories from women who had a career and then decided to walk away from it. I thought by sharing my story that it may help someone else. I also had all this knowledge on sales, leadership, understanding and presenting data, etc. that I had picked up over the years – I didn’t want that experience to go to waste.

I thought I might turn the writing into a book or put it online. A blog seemed like an easy way to start sharing. Once I decided to start a blog, so many other things came up: What’s my URL going to be? What do I want my logo to look like? What about social media – do I really want to commit to posting on social media? How do I want to represent myself?

It was exhausting.

Couldn’t I just write?

My husband happens to do UX design and front-end software development. He did NOT design this website (he’d want you to know that), but he did help me find a template, bought my domain and hosting, got the site set-up, and tweaked the existing website theme to create my site, and a whole lot more. Yes, good partners are supposed to be there for you, but you know what? He was truly proud of me for writing and deciding to share it. He also helped me create my current logo – the flowering cactus.   

Ah yes, what is the deal with all the cactus plants on the blog?

When my husband asked me what I wanted my logo to be, I almost decided to quit the blog before I started it. I had no idea what I wanted it to be, and my mind filled with “screw this.” I was focused on writing out my thoughts; that’s where my passion was.

But like most other things that are important to me in life, I pushed through those feelings of doubt and tried to figure out what I wanted in a logo. Instead of thinking of objects, it helped me to talk through the purpose of the blog. Thinking about the purpose helped me think of things that related to the point of my writing.

The name of the blog, “Great on Paper”, describes how I felt about my career at times.

On the surface, everything was wonderful. From afar, you would think things were going great for me – great paying job, Sr. leadership position, a team that I loved (and that loved me, for the most part), my kids at the onsite daycare center, a healthy family. All those things were great and absolutely blessings that I was very appreciative of…but I was tired, and not happy any longer.

That’s where the cactus came from – it’s a plant that looks beautiful from afar, but up close, it could prick you. When I saw the image of a flowering cactus, it felt right. I’ve since used cactus images in my blog posts most weeks. The more photos of cactus plants I see, the more drawn to them I get.

Cactus plants are resilient; they are strong. And they are beautiful. I want to reinforce those things with myself and inspire others to feel the same.

So that’s the deal with the cactus plants. ?

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