Happy Birthday Bonzai Aphrodite; 3 Years Is A Good Solid Run; This Post Sucks

February 1st, 2012 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Today marks three years that I’ve been inhabiting this little slice of cyberspace. Three years of sharing my life online. Three veganniversaries, two books, one pregnancy. Three seasons in the garden and three years of recipes. Countless comments and conversations, shared creativity, and blossoming community. In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s really been three years, but then I think back to where I began . . . and man! I was a whole different person back then.

When I started down this path, my life was wide open. I had just quite a job I hated, I was ambitious and excited and had all the time in the world to throw myself into my writing. I worked tirelessly, as has been my nature, and slowly but surely I pieced together this precious little space. My intention was to create a community of like-minded individuals, a network of action-oriented optimists to move and shake and make the world a better place. And . . . I think I did! We have done amazing things here, you and I. Whether you found Bonzai at it’s beginning, or whether you joined us somewhere along the way, or even if you just arrived last week, you’ve all played a part in making this place incredible. Thank you.

But there have been hard parts, too. For me, there are times when it’s difficult to live my life on display. At first I really appreciated being held accountable; it was motivating, and I loved connecting with people on a similar path. I found it empowering to feel like I was making a difference in the world. That may sound silly, but I’ve received enough emails by now that I do believe I’ve played some small but important part in changing a lot of lives. These emails light me up, and often bring me to tears. Every email, every single one, has filled me with gratitude. That has meant more to me than anything else, and has really become the force that keeps me moving forward here.

Over the years I’ve grown, and everything else has grown too. I’ve become a mother! Things have changed. My responsibilities and obligations, my day-to-day life and the way I use my time, and many of my priorities, have had to shift. And oh boy have I fought it! Often to my detriment, I have fought it. I can run myself ragged but the truth is, I no longer have the singular focus and endless energy to throw myself into this project. Bonzai is so much more than just a series of isolated blog posts, you know? Nurturing a community takes a lot of energy.


There’s a few things that you should know.

See, there’s this elephant in the blogosphere.
When I created Bonzai, I dreamed of a space that would provide for others what I’d wished I had for myself: a place to belong and to be inspired. A space for hope and positivity, for sharing ideas and spurring creativity, with simple mindful solutions for building a better, more beautiful life. I had nothing but the best intentions.

What I’ve since come to realize is that this is an unfair model. In the process of preserving Bonzai as a “happy place”, I’ve painted an incomplete image of my life. And although I always knew that it was only a partial picture, I realized (too late) that this [mis]representation – even coming from a place of caring – was having unintended consequences.

To be clear, this is a problem that goes well beyond Bonzai Aphrodite. The same thing is happening all over the blogosphere (especially with “mommy bloggers”), and it’s something I’d love to see addressed by the larger community.

The dilemma essentially is this: bloggers want to perpetuate positivity. To lift people up and empower them. We want to show you beautiful things. Or maybe I should just speak for myself. That’s what I want.

But in doing so, we paint an unrealistic, idealized version of a person – me – and of a life – my life. Again, just speaking for myself, I fear that I’ve created an impossible standard. A measuring stick whereby readers, trying to live up, will always believe they fall short. I know this because I’m also on the other side of it, with other bloggers, comparing myself to my perception of them, and feeling like I’m “less than”. And I know it because people write to me, feeling just exactly that way after reading Bonzai.

This is a real problem and it really breaks my heart. I don’t ever want to play a part in someone feeling bad about themselves.

It’s something I think about a lot these days, but as of yet I haven’t been able to see a perfect solution. (And it’s entirely possible that there isn’t one.)

Postpartum Anxiety.
So yes, there are parts of myself that I choose not to share on Bonzai. That’s pretty obvious I guess, since I’ve never gabbed about my sex life and I’ve never discussed the specifics of my finances. And along those lines, something that I’ve kept private is the difficulty I’ve experienced as a parent. Becoming a mother has been a really rough transition for me, actually, and I struggle with it . . . a lot.

It wasn’t even until a few months ago, more than 18 months postpartum, that I realized my suffering went beyond the normal aches and pains of adjustment. That it was more than just me being bad at this (which, sadly, is something I’d considered).

The problem is that they always talk about postpartum depression, and I didn’t feel depressed. I wasn’t sad or listless or losing sleep or extra sleepy or losing weight or extra hungry or any of those other signs of depression. I was just . . . anxious. All the time. And irritable and short-tempered and angry. As a pacifist and someone who deeply values compassion and communication and cooperation, this was pretty horrifying for me. It threw me for a loop and consequently, I’ve been cloaked in shame and self-doubt for a very, very long time. And all the while, I didn’t really realize it was happening.

I don’t want to get into the details of it here (this is an epically long post as it is), but if you’re interested in learning more about postpartum anxiety, you should read this blog post, because it describes what I’ve experienced to a tee. Like, exactly. I couldn’t have written it better myself.

I just want to say, now, that I’m so sorry for keeping this from you. At first I was just confused, and then it grew into embarrassment, and eventually self-loathing settled in. I know that mental health issues carry an unfair stigma and I wish I’d had more of a grasp on what was really happening to me, so that I could have shared my process with you. As it was, I hardly even realized it was happening, and mostly I was just trying to put my head down and hold strong, get through it, and put on a pretty face in the meantime.

I’m sorry.

But ultimately, my life is too full.
Since Waits was born I’ve written two books, maintained a thrice-weekly blog-posting schedule, and kept up with freelance writing work, all while parenting full time, trying to be a good wife and partner, keeping house, and making most of our food from scratch. Oh, and being a dog mom and chicken guardian and farmer/gardener. It’s a lot that I’ve been juggling.

Over the years, one of the most frequent questions I’ve received is: “How the hell do you do it all?” Ha! But I’ll tell you the truth. For the first time, I’ll actually answer the damn question.

It comes at great cost. In order to “do” so much and give so much of myself, I set aside the things which are the most important. I sacrifice my relationships.

I skip relaxing craft nights with girlfriends, and evenings spent on double dates, and unlimited afternoon reading time with my kid, and weekends away and weekends doing *nothing* at all and having the space in my day for a spontaneous picnic, and all the other moments that make life, you know . . . sort of actually worth living. Not that I never have fun, because I do, but so much of it – too much of it – is buried under a pile of stress and deadlines, pushed back with promises of “later” and “when/then”.

I. Am. So. Burned. Out.

I’m an atheist, did you know that? So no afterlife for me. I only get one shot. I used to believe that in my 100 or so years of existence, I had to make my indelible mark on the world. Do something great. Secure my spot in the annals of history so that I’d be . . . remembered.

But I don’t think that’s what it’s about, anymore. Because even the most important person ever – even Mozart or Einstein or Alexander the Great – even they are just a blip in the entirety of human history, and all of human history is just a blip in the entirety of the Universe. I know that it sounds like a 14-year-old’s acid trip “deep thought”, but for me, it’s been an epiphany.

If I only get 100 or so years of existence, I better make damn sure that I enjoy them.


So, why am I telling you all this?

Because I need to step away. I need to stop blogging. It breaks my heart and I’ve fought it for a long time, but I know, deep down, that it has to happen. At least for now.

I need to clear everything out so that I can really see. I need some quiet so that I can take stock. I need to slow down. I need to know what it feels like to not always live a week (or a month) behind at my life. I need to find my happy, because I seem to have misplaced it.

So this is my goodbye-for-now. This is my goodbye to Bonzai.

I’ll still be around the Internet though, sharing interesting finds and my freelance articles on my Facebook page. And tweeting my general musing, random thoughts, and silly silliness, through my Twitter. I’m sure I’ll continue to flood the net with photos of my kid, via @sayward on Instagram (or Followgram) (also Tumblr) And I’ll definitely continue to obsessively curate my little collections on my Pinterest boards. Bonzai will stay here, just exactly as it is now.

But yeah, who am I kidding. That’s not the same. And this hurts. I have a knot in my belly the size of Kansas and I feel like I’m letting everyone down, and I’m sorry, and I’ll miss you. I just really hope you can understand.

And I hope that I’ll see you ‘round the Internet.

And I hope you know how sincerely I cherish you. Thank you so much for being a part of this.

With all my love and from the bottom of my heart,

*** I’ve been absent lately when it comes to answering comments, questions, and emails. I’m sure it was just my way of keeping some [emotional] distance as I prepared for this post. But I want you to know, I *will* be going through and responding to everything. It may take me some time, but I will.

As well, I’m about halfway through my Great Grand Diet Trial. Im not one who likes to leave unfinished business, so I do plan to post the rest of that series. Eventually.

  • Erin

    I always look forward to your posts, and I’ll miss them! I hope you decide to come back someday, but in the meantime, take care of yourself and your beautiful family.

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com/ Rachel@MyNaturallyFrugalFamily

    I felt the same way as I was reading and I had to remind myself read everything she is writing MAYBE she isn’t really breaking up with us…but alas the inevitable truth was presented.

  • Savannah

    Maybe, someday, she’ll be back! And we can all have a “this is what changed in my life!” celebration post, like old friends that have found each other again. I’d love that. I’ve loved every post of this blog.

  • http://gawkylu.wordpress.com/ erica

    you will be so much happier! deleting facebook alone helped my depression a ton. i will miss your posts but i still follow you on twitter and now your Pinterest boards, and hope to run into you at Powell’s someday! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  • Kati

    You will be missed!!! I hope you find everyhing you’re looking for and more!

  • http://almostveganchef.com/ Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    So sad to see you go, Sayward, but I wish you the best. The blogosphere won’t quite be the same without you…but you deserve to find your bliss! Best of luck and hope to still hear from you now and then.

    PS – High-five for atheism! ;)

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    Oi! I meant to give an atheism high five as well!

  • http://twitter.com/OliviaSweets Olivia Sweets

    I love this blog. I’ve been reading for a good solid two years with few comments (I’m such a lurker), and look forward to every new posting. I’ve made my own drain un-clogger, made oh so many batches of UH-mazing lentil soup, done raw, gone no-poo, and finally, finally made the switch from 5 solid years of lacto-ovo-pescetarianism to veg*n… all thanks to this amazing blog, and the thought and time you put into it. Thank you, thank you for all your work on this blog, and the dedication over the years. I feel like I’ve come to know a friend in you (a one-sided relationship, I realize). Who lets their friends continue on a burned-out, unhappy path?

    Don’t ever, ever feel like you’re letting anyone down. Will I miss the “What I Wednesdays” and the fabu recipes you post? Of course I will… But I want you to be content. I’m positive that the rest of the regular readers of this blog (whether they be silent like me or outspoken) feel the same… we kind of love you. Take time off, girlfran, and go get happy.
    I fervently hope to see you on the internet again someday… as someone who has time to breathe, and has time for her own bliss.
    Until then, Go find peace.


  • Ceisentr09

    Get outta here! :) I think it’s more inspiring to read a blog by someone who knows themself well enough to stop than it is to constantly have posts. Taking time for yourself and your life encourages others (sometimes through a sad separation) to do the same. You’re letting no one down, you’re presenting opportunities for yourself and all of us who have LOVED reading your wisdom, fun, recipes, epiphanies and so much more. Enjoy this new sphere of time you’re making for yourself. And thank you so, so much. :)

  • Kate in SB

    Well, first of all, congrats! Congrats on making it three years and building such an amazing site. And congrats because you achieved so much, as it seems to have opened so many doors for your writing career.

    Like they say, “don’t cry that it’s over, smile because it happened.”

    As they also say, “when one door closes, another opens.”

    I hope this feels like a weight has been lifted. Now you’ll have more time and energy to spend on your next projects, whatever they may be. Of course, only YOU know what is best for YOU. So if that means taking some much-deserved downtime, laying on the couch watching Hedwig and RuPaul’s Drag Race, by all means do that! You deserve every chance you can to be happy and enjoy watching your adorable little boy growing up.

    I love you and miss you!

  • Jessica McMillian

    I was very sad upon reading this but after letting it sink in I decided to delete all the mommy bloggers from my Google Reader. I hadn’t even realized that I was comparing myself so much to other women who are only showing a glimpse of their lives.

    So thank you Sayward- it’s also my birthday and I feel liberated. What a great gift!

  • Alllebasii

    yeah, I know exactly how you feel. at least we have instagram…

  • Maria

    Hi Saywayrd,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and thank you for your honesty! You have been truly inspirational and I value all the work that you’ve done. Although I am sad to see you go, I understand and appreciate your choice.

    Now, please take care of yourself, take time for yourself and be well!

    Best wishes,

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sad to see you leave but have loved all your posts-from the great lifestyle advice and homemade beauty products, recipes, fashion, cute Waits pics, what I Wednesdays, and of course just your writing itself :) I do understand that you’ve got a huge amount on your plate! and you definitely need to carve out a little time for you in that. Life is to be enjoyed not to be stressed out over. Thank you again

    Oh and p.s will you be leaving the blog up so we still have access to the archives or do I need to quickly write down things?!

  • Stacey Watson Ann

    i found this after reading your article in Vegnews and i fell in love. thank you for all your time and sharing and i hope this isn’t forever and i will be joining twitter and instagram just to follow your recipes and Waits growing up! i have made some great life changes after reading up on them on here. you are so informative and understandable. thank you, thank you, thank you

  • Jill K.


    Thank you for all you have given of yourself to make Bonzai Aphrodite such a magical, fabulous place. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed every blog post, and what a difference you’ve made in my life. Your recipes, advice and perspective have impacted me during a time I was searching for my own balance and health. The positive energy you put out in the world helped me become inspired and balanced, and of course I wish the same for you as you now take time for yourself and your family. Please just know how much all the time and effort you put into Bonzai is deeply, deeply appreciated. I wish you all the best, always.

    Thank you,

  • Lydia Pagnotti

    You are the reason my family integrates vegan food into our lives. You have changed our lives for the better. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this new chapter!

  • http://simplybeme.com/ Jenny @ simply be me

    Thank you for all that you do and will continue to do. You have to look out for number one and in this case that is you and your family. Feel proud you are taking this step for it is clearly an important one at this time in your life.

    I will miss Bonzai dearly.

  • Tenise Rae

    You don’t ever have to apologize to me! I LOVE YOU!! And you’ll always be my hero. You take care of yourself, woman! I understand your anxiety more than most. I might just have to make a Tumblr account so I can keep tabs on your little fam. Gotta get my weekly Waits (and Sayward) fix! :-D I will miss you something fierce but feel comforted in knowing you’re at the other end of the state. Lol. Oregonians For! The! Win! *hugs and smooches*

  • alyssa

    Sayward! This is the strangest thing, I have felt this coming for the past few weeks. I have kept having thoughts like maybe I need to print out and save some of your articles, because what if you decide to stop the blog? I have wanted to refer more people to your blog but I have waited because I felt uncertain. I have wanted to buy your vegan pregnancy guide even though I am only 21, because what if I need it in 5 years and it isn’t around anymore?

    You have created my hands-down, absolute favorite blog. You inspired me to return to being vegan again, and it has felt great. You have provided so much great information and inspiration.

    I hope you feel great after you do this! I cannot imagine how much extra energy you will now have, I hope your life goes where you want it to go. Enjoy it.

    I’ll miss you Sayward! I always feel like you are my friend although we’ve never met! I hope maybe we can be friends and hang out someday. You are great (even knowing you only share the better parts of your life, your light shines through!)

  • http://without-a-map.com AprilInAutumn

    Thanks so much for sharing with us what you did! Bonzai’s like a great book series… you enjoy the hell out of it and are sad when it’s over, but you know you have to let go when it’s time. I wish you the best!

    PS… the facebook and pinterest links don’t seem to be working for me, but it just might be me.

  • Sarah C

    Hey, me again. I was thinking about you at lunch and wanted to share something that has helped my parenting journey (though as I said I’m not on top of parenting or life as I want to be): preschool. My daughter was socially and intellectually ready for 2 half-days of preschool (a Montessori, so it’s not daycare but actual school) at about 19 months. We have since upped to three half-days, and she loves it. It gives me some time to do my own work, and it provides that space that you mention craving (which I think is normal, even though it makes us feel guilty). I can’t imagine how I’d manage if I didn’t get some time away. Might not be right for you, but I thought I’d mention it. Good luck.

  • Jmessier

    Dear Sayward,
    I’m crying as I write this, one because I will miss your blog which inspires me as a human being, and two I feel so isolated in my mothering, my being alive at this moment here that to hear that you experience this same anxiety, self-loathing too, it makes it feel like I’m not crazy, that it’s normal in our times, as parents, as children of the postmodern narcisistic baby boomers. Ps. A regular meditation routine (which I’ve begun doing just recently) has been helping alot. (because you start to see that there really is no self or our “selfish” drama to get caught up in. I haven’t gotten there yet but it is helping.) Love Jenn

  • Morgan

    Thank you for all the time you have dedicated!! Have a rest because you deserve one. I don’t know a mom out there (myself included) who wouldn’t completely understand your decision. Try not to feel guilty, you don’t owe anyone anything. The blogosphere is soooo fast paced. It’s not real life.

    You’ve given me and others a lot to think about over the time we’ve read your blog and I have learned from and been inspired by you. All I can say is thanks!!


  • Anonymous

    My blogging isn’t the most consistent or regular, but my mantra is “I live my life & blog on the side.” I completely get your decision to step away. Life IS about creating our own experiences & embracing happiness. I wish you the best. I think it is so good you are focusing on LIVING life, rather than maintaining a quota of “I shoulds” or “I’m supposed tos”…
    Taking stock of our life can be hard, because we become so attached, & define ourselves by these long lists. Spreading ourselves too thinly really makes it difficult to truly enjoy each experience or activity though.
    One help I’ve found it sitting down & deciding what is most important to me/what I couldn’t live without (to maintain the highest degree of happiness)/what I want to include in my life every day: the first 4 – 5 things that come to mind are priority. These are where my energies are focused. Much love!

  • Justwarber

    Thank you for the three years. I also appreciate the honesty about postpartum anxiety/depression. I hope it’s appropriate to post community resources here. There is the Baby Blues Connection (866-616-3752), as well as a local counselor that is opening a practice in the very near future (Vancouver area) who is specializing in this area.

  • ashley v.

    I will miss your blogging! i’ve been reading consistently for almost a year (which is longer than i’ve read any blog consistently) and absolutely LOVE your blog. i tried many new things because of you (hubs loves the sauerkraut!). but there is no need to apologize. life is short, and your family should come first. i don’t have any of my own, but i hear kids grow up so fast ;). thank you for all you do!

  • Rachel C

    You will be missed, Sayward. Bonzai has pretty much been my go to site since I read about you through VegNews. Everything you’ve done has been so inspiring. I’m glad you’re taking time for yourself and your family, though. You deserve it!

  • mila

    Totally understandable — but, will miss your awesome posts (and Waits updates :D )
    Am a fan on Facebook so, the withdrawal might not be as acute.
    Hope you’ll rediscover ‘your happy’

  • Sandy

    So sad sad. This breaks my heart, but thank you for your honesty. I have the same thoughts as you on one shot at life. Go out and enjoy yourself xo

  • Jessica

    Oh man, I’m so sorry to hear this, I just found you a few weeks ago. But I understand, and I completely agree. We all paint a picture of ourselves that isn’t the whole truth. No one wants to be less than the very best they aspire to be, and the very best they see in others. I admire you, truly.

    I’m an atheist too, good to know another.

  • Vivalaleeloo

    good for you, sayward. i’ll miss your blog, but this was a hard decision you should be very very proud of. find your happy, girl! and thank you for the insight, helps keep things in perspective.

  • Fawn

    THANK YOU FOR 3 YEARS OF BONZAI. We love you! I hope the blog stays up, since we constantly refer to your recipes and DIY tips. Best of luck!

  • MKL

    I found a new blog through “le love list” post on here last week. It’s a newer blog but I like it. You can find it at: http://www.therevolutionofthesahm.org/

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R7T2WHXM3GOPIQ5HGDZLJYHE7U Lisa

    I so agree with everyone here is congratulating you for taking the much deserved step away and doing what is best for you. I have been lurking around here for months now just haven’t ever gotten up the nerve to post, so guess now is as good a time as any. I don’t know how I will kill time at work now with out a new Bonzai post…
    I want to thank you so much for introducing me to my inner hippie. You have opened my eyes to a whole other world and without your guidance I wouldn’t have gone no poo, made my own toothpaste and deodarant and my other many attempts at homemade and natural stuff. I am a little choked up because in some respects it does feel like I am losing a friend and friendship (however one-sided it is!). Thank you for being a voice of compassion to not only to the world around us but to ourselves as well. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with and will always keep checking this blog as a reference and in the hope of new blog posts.
    Now go enjoy that beautiful family of your!

  • Melanieoates

    Bonzai has been such a force in my life. Bursting beams of gratitude to you Sayward. I even named a character in my novel after you!
    Glad that you’re taking care of yourself. We want you at your wonderful best.
    For everything, thank you.
    All my best.

  • http://rebelgrrlkitchen.wordpress.com/ raechel

    thank you for your bravery. your inspiration. for sharing so much with us. wishing you lots of love and happiness ahead…..

  • Callie

    Well, this is sad. It’s sad to hear about the hard time you’ve been having, and it’s sad that you’ll be leaving us for a little while, but it’s been sooo happy in the mean time! I’ll always be glad for the time you gave us, and all the good ideas and thoughts and advice. I hope you come back to us someday with new bright and shiny.

  • Kelly M Meurer

    Thank you. You introduced me to so many things I take for granted now – healthier eating, cruelty free and homemade products, even the possibility that I could be a mother with my “weird” views. I can’t believe that. Never would have thought it when I googled homemade laundry detergent all those years ago! Cloth diapering was only possible for us because of your blog posts on it. So yes you did make at least a tiny miniscule positive difference in the world, at least by trying to make me a better person, a person who harms animals less, a person who sprouts seeds out of old teepee rolls, a person who uses second hand cloth diapers and breastfeeds forever and makes vegan dishes for thanksgiving and wins contests with them! That’s all you! Thank you :)

  • Ashley

    I’ve never really made a substantial comment on here before, but I have been reading for months. I want you to know that this blog helped me and inspired me to find the courage to be a vegan. It also helped me think more about nutrition. And in a totally non-judgmental and lovely way. I wanted to be a vegan for years but I was too scared, thought it would be too hard. But reading your blog was definitely an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for the amazing blog and community you cultivated here and I totally commend you on the courage it takes to make space for yourself. Lots of love and luck to you!

  • Blanca

    I don’t think I have missed a post since I found your blog. I only get close to people that give me good vibrations and you definitely have. It’s been a pleasure to read you.
    I have sometimes thought that you were a superwoman, but it has never had a negative effect on me. I think that it all depends on the way blogs are read. They are what they are. They can’t be everything. But you have been a lot of things, and I would like to say congratulations and thank you for your effort and kindness for sharing so much with us! It says a lot of good things about you. Enjoy your life being a bit more 2.0-free. I honestly wish you the very best. Hugs and kisses from Mallorca! Blanca

  • Cassandra G.

    I’m not a frequent poster, but I knew I had to comment after reading your post. Just like so many others, I want to thank you for everything you have done.
    I don’t remember exactly how I found this blog, but I know my life has never been the same since. Everything has changed for me, and you were the very first person to help open my eyes to the ways I could make my life (and others’) better. I went from carnivorous meat eater (the way I was raised) to vegetarian to vegan in just a couple of years. And I never plan to go back. I eliminated nearly all chemicals from my cleaning and hygiene routines. Basically, I learned to care more and delight in the world around me.
    I know I’m not alone in these feelings, but I figured one more post to you never hurts, right?

    Again, thank you. And best wishes in everything you do. Know that many of us fully support your decision! Although it doesn’t mean we’ll miss you any less! But that’s what FB, Twitter, Instagram and other social media forums are for. :)


  • Liz Willoughby-Martin

    Thanks Sayward! I have really enjoying reading Bonzai Aphrodite, and I think it’s a brave & true decision to move on.

    As someone who has struggled with an anxiety disorder in the past, I feel that it’s often shouting “Slow down! Put yourself before outward expectations!”. Kia kaha.

  • looloolooweez

    “I have a knot in my belly the size of Kansas and I feel like I’m letting everyone down, and…”

    Nononono. Stop that. This is your life! Your real life! It is totally OK to let the blog go… and, though I will miss it and do hope it eventually comes back, I do NOT want you to feel bad about letting go.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever even commented here before, but I have been reading via RSS for, oh I dunno, like 2 1/2 years now? So I’m sorry I haven’t told you this before now, when you’re leaving, but I’ve always really enjoyed what you’ve had to say. I wish you all the best.

  • Lauren Shapiro

    I am so sad to see you go. Your blog has become my favorite to check in with. I’m always inspired by how much you do, and how well you do it. I agree with you that bloggers always have to be so “positive.” I try really hard on my blog to be honest – to say when I’ve had a bad day or when I’m not feeling well. But it’s hard because I always do want to seem positive. I’m going to think about this a lot now, and decide how “honest” I should be.

    I’ve learned a lot from you in the last year (I’ve only been blogging and reading others’ blogs for a year now). I follow you on twitter and will on facebook too. I wish you all the best, and hope that you decide to return to blogging eventually, when you’re ready. Thanks for everything you do.


  • Anonymous

    Reading this post has me all, “Aw, bummer,” but also “You go with your bad self.” I’ll miss your posts!

  • Jenn

    Apologies for speaking on behalf of everyone, but I’m pretty sure this is true – we LOVE you Sayward! Your blog has been such an inspiration to me on living as a compassionate, patient, healthy vegan. Thank you for everything, so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to read your blog for the past year. You are a wonderful mother – it shows through in everything you write. Go get happy! We will be here if and when you decide to come back. :)


  • Jordan

    I am really actually sad to hear this! As silly as it may sound, I’ve thought about asking you personally if you’d like an intern, because I (as a fellow SE Portland’er) at 30 am finding myself in a complete intersection and trying to re-find my way. I’ve learned so many things from Bonzai, and I am often referring to you (to my sister who lives in the ‘burbs) as “this crunchy blogger I follow. She’s GREAT!”

    I’ve seen you around town a few times, but have been reluctant to say hi thinking you may actually like your real life to feel private unlike your online life =) Your cute little man once came to say hi to me at Sweetpea and we shop at the same co-op.

    Lots of love and support. It’s really hard to take a step back. Just this week I came to live with my sister and her family so I can truly re-evaluate. Quitting my job, my volunteer theater gig, my substituting was hard and I struggled. But afterwards, I just felt… free.

    I hope you have that feeling of freedom too.


    ps. I’ll say hi when I’m back in town if I see you at the juice cart =)

  • Kim

    I am SO sad… this is definitely one of my favorite blogs. And I LOVE seeing photos of your little boy. I’m sorry you feel responsibility for other people’s happiness… I know a lot of bloggers have this issue. I never felt like I had to compare myself to you – I actually found you quite motivational!

    I do wish you and your family the best of luck and I will keep up with you on Facebook!

  • Leslie

    Good for you Sayward!!!!!!!!!!!