This post took longer than I thought to write. Today I’m celebrating my One Year Blogiversary. I had written some posts before December of last year as a 31 Day Project (aka dare) to see if I could actually start and stay committed to keeping up a blog but I’m considering today (ok, so maybe yesterday) my true Blogiversary.
When I heard that the word “selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s Word of The Year, I was appalled. I had never heard the word before FitBloggin and as someone who doesn’t enjoy seeing myself in photos, I’ve spent a lot of my life working hard NOT to be photographed. With the elevation of the word, “selfie” I really thought that as a society we’d reached the pinnacle of narcissism. Then I realized that was the same attitude I used to have about blogging. After a year of being a blogger, my perspective has changed.
Instead of being selfish, blogging has proven to be an expanding endeavor. The world has opened up to me in ways I never imagined in this past year of blogging. As a gesture of eating crow and in the the spirit of attitude adjustment on my blogiversary, I’m sharing my blogger influenced revision of the definition of the word “selfie“:
S – Struggle
While deep down you might know that everyone has their struggles, through blogging you learn that the struggles that you think are yours alone most certainly are NOT.
There’s something ridiculously humanizing about not only writing and reading about life’s peaks and valleys and seeing your own issues reflected in the words of other people. There are some brilliant writers in the blogosphere who not only share their various journeys with the world but they illustrate the human condition in a wonderfully artful manner. I wish I had more time during my day to show all of the people who touch me with their words my appreciation.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t read more books but then I remember that through blogging I read some of the best non-fiction stories ever written.
E – Education
At first, the only education I received via blogging was gossip-related (PerezHilton) and then I decided that the internet could offer me more than an escape from real life – it could aid in making my real life even better!
There are blogs for everything and based on the expertise of the source, many people have changed their lives dramatically! Who wouldn’t want to be more organized, a better parent, differently motivated, a fabulous cook, stylish, tech-savvy and money conscious? Even if you aren’t at the stage to make a change, the blogosphere offers a way to make the transition easier or help you feel more comfortable until you are ready.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few amazing blog-related events and conferences that are dedicated to deeper education not only about blogging itself but for subjects that I love like fitness, health, wellness and (although I couldn’t attend) even Duran Duran. There’s no doubt that a good blog can feed your brain, body and soul.
L – Love for Life
If you want to see passion personified, read a blog. The right blog will make you want to try something new or give you a renewed passion for what you love. While I might not have made monumental world impact with my own love of food, fitness, family and Duran Duran, I’ve found others who share some of my fervor.
Back in June, I did a Thank You post to some of my fitness blogging inspirations but six months later, I could add at least a dozen more to the list. I started a series on my own blog called Friday’s Featured Female as way to showcase some of the amazing people that the blogosphere has brought into my universe. Passion connects, motivates and invigorates. I’ve gotten all three through blogging and I can only hope that this blog might do that for someone else.
I – Information
“Too Much Information” is the title of a Duran Duran song and honestly, sometimes there really is too much. I’m easily overwhelmed and the availability of information (especially through social media) can sometimes feel like an assault. I constantly feel like I’m playing catch-up with all of the information to make my blog better, my life more efficient, my soul more at peace and my mind better informed but I realize that I likely know a lot more than I think I do because of the company I keep.
Bloggers like to share information. For the most part, bloggers learn from each other. I’m very fortunate to be involved with a number of groups but I’m especially grateful to the So Cal Lady Bloggers, a fabulous group of women who exist to support and educate each other. Even before my first post was published, this group welcomed me. I love that this group puts the catty women stereotype to shame.
F – Friendship
Is it wrong to admit that I feel like that through blogging that I now have a bunch of best friends that I’ve never even met? It’s true. Blogging is a community. You connect with like-minded people by reading the words that describe people’s innermost thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas and you feel like you know them. If you’re lucky, they interact with you as well and a relationship is born.
The interactions you have with other bloggers via social media is different than in real life. There seems to be an intimacy born through writing and reading that sometimes isn’t cultivated through human interaction. Words on a page are indelible, it’s different than a conversation and the things that some people share on a blog are deeper than they’d ever feel comfortable discussing. I consider my bloggy friends (or blends) very special even if they don’t know it.
I – Inspiration
There are people doing mind-blowing things out in the universe and and through blogging, not only are their stories accessible but their influence and interaction are direct. Social media makes it easy to get that inspiration, give that inspiration and communicate about the getting or receiving inspiration. I can’t count how many times that a Tweet, a Facebook post, a blog comment or even an Instagram photo has changed my mood or motivation.
The blogging community is fantastic about supporting each other and finding inspiration from peers. It might sound a little “Kumbaya” but it’s the truth. I’m happy to have real people and their stories serve as incentive to grow versus the Hollywood-type manufactured stories from fashion and gossip magazines (don’t get me wrong because I do like those magazines but I take them for what they are – entertainment not motivation).
E – Evolution
I read this line in a book by Caroline Knapp years ago and it’s since become my favorite quote:
Change is glacial in nature,
Progress charted not in victories but in inches and slight degrees.
One year of being a blogger has changed me. My moral fiber and essence haven’t changed but through blogging, I’ve changed in inches and slight degrees. I’m now more comfortable being me in more ways than one – I’ve even embraced taking and posting true selfies like this one:
Overall, being a blogger has given me the confidence to finally launch the private practice I’ve talked about for years! Blogging has helped me refine my own passions, make treasured connections and allowed me to take more control of my own happiness. Professionally, I’ve always wanted to help others learn to be healthy and happy and very soon, I’ll get to do that on my own terms in many ways propelled by my year of blogging.
I’m so very grateful to the blogosphere, to my blogging peers. my friends, family and to anyone who reads my blog for this wonderful year! Thank you all very much.
From the bottom of my ValentineRD heart, I hope you are having a very happy holiday season. I’m looking forward to sharing not only a fantastic end to 2013 but a wonderful beginning to whatever will be in 2014!
If you’re a blogger, how long have you been doing it and why do you continue?
If you’re not a blogger, what gets you to read a blog and why?