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Redefining Making It

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Hello My Tribe’s Caita Holm talks about social media, her career path and the importance of making time for loved ones.

By Caita Holm, Photo by Iliasis Muniz, In collaboration with Hello My Tribe

Recently, I attended a memorial service to celebrate of the life of a wonderful woman. I had only a handful of interactions with her, but they were always genuine and meaningful. And as I listened to her loved ones eulogize her, I knew I was among the blessed many who had similar interactions with her.

Attendants spoke of her love, her unyielding faith, her grace and her laughter. As her friends and family consoled one another, they all agreed she was taken too soon. She was 48 years young.

She was remarkable in every way, and after being around her friends and family and listening to folks tell stories that will keep her memory alive, I realized she lived her life within a small radius. Every single person who came to celebrate her life was made better by the many or, in my case, the few interactions they had with her. And I couldn’t help but feel I was living almost the exact opposite way.

I am a writer and motivational speaker, and for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to reach the many. I have dreamed of the day that I stand onstage and address thousands of women. To that end, I have written, blogged and vlogged my heart out. I have Facebooked and Instagrammed into the wee hours of the night, wanting to expand my platform to reach and help women. Early on, I defined “making it” as having a best-selling book, speaking to crowds of thousands and being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. So, anything short of that would be paying my dues.

If you’re in business of any kind, you know social media is really the city that never sleeps. Today’s climate demands a constant social-media presence, which is sometimes fun, but most of the time is exhausting because it’s not just sharing; it’s sharing the exact right thing at the exact right time to increase engagement. It’s a science and full-time job on its own.  

And while I sat in the aftermath of a lady who didn’t seek to expand the radius of her life in order to make it, who focused on pouring into her family and friends, I couldn’t help but want to steer my life in a different direction.

As fate would have it, a few days before my friend’s funeral, I vowed to take a weeklong vacation from social media. I thought it would be tough, that I would miss it, but I just didn’t. Without ever-present social media, I connected with my daughters more, I dozed off while nursing my 4-month-old and I started reading two books. And because I wasn’t glued to my phone, I magically found time to talk with girlfriends, spent more quality time with my husband and I really took notice of how beautiful the sky looks at sunset.

The way my friend lived her life pushed me to rethink how I was living mine. She made me redefine making it, which consequently made me redefine my priorities.

Her way of being gave me renewed inspiration to cultivate face-to-face relationships, to pour into the lives of my girlfriends and neighbors, and to give deeply to those around me.

Like Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

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