The #Selfie – A Blogiversary Retrospective

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.

Blogiversary, 1 year, anniversary

Image: Gus
(I’m wishing this was chocolate)

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.

struggle

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.

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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.

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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:

selfie, NYC

My NYC Selfie – after having my hair colored for the first time professionally.

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?

About Melissa Burton

I’m Melissa Burton, a recent transplant from Brooklyn, New York to Southern California. By profession, I’m a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. In my actual life I’ve been a million things ...

31 Responses to The #Selfie – A Blogiversary Retrospective

  1. AJ

    I have been blogging for over ten years now, actually. And I keep going because it’s such a cathartic outlet for me. And has truly brought me some wonderful relationships!

    Congrats on your anniversary! HOORAY!
    AJ recently posted…Every Girl’s Crazy ‘Bout a Sharp Dressed… #MendayMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Wow, 10 years AJ? You’ve got my husband beat by one year. I couldn’t be happier to be a blogger and I’m so glad to have found you and your blog via SCLB. Happy Decade Girlfriend!

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you so much AJ! I think I may have responded to your comment but I can’t remember if I did so on FB or via the blog. I can’t believe you’ve been a blogger for 10 years! I look forward to another 10 years of COAFG.

  2. Carrie Skoll

    Congratulations on your blogiversary (one of my favorite words). I love the way you’ve been able to express what you get out of blogging. And, it’s a great reminder to me as I wrestle with some blogger insecurities. Thank you for that.
    Carrie Skoll recently posted…Peace, Love and Low Carb – Soups and Stews Cookbook ReviewMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you Carrie. Balance isn’t easy. I rewrote the post a number of times because I wanted to include how difficult it is to be a blogger. It takes me HOURS to write. I’m certain that my process is so much slower than most – don’t get me started on formatting photos…. As I get ready to start a private practice, I’m afraid that my blogging will suffer because I’m not a writer at heart but because there are so many things I love about blogging, I’m going to try my hardest to keep it up.

      I love your blog. Please keep writing even if you feel like you’re stuck. Your voice is one we need in the blogosphere.

  3. Galit Breen

    I really, really love how you went about this.

    Happy blogiversary to you — here’s to many more!
    Galit Breen recently posted…The HerStories PROJECTMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Many thanks Galit! Congrats to you about the HERStories Project as well.

  4. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    I love this post Melissa and your reflections (and your clever way of doing this). We learn so much through blogging, huh? I never expected it.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…It’s Official. I’m a Yoga Teacher.My Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you. I really am surprised at how much this year has taught me about myself and the world around me. I’m a grateful blogger who sometimes gets more than frustrated with social media and my self-induced slavery to it.

  5. Jamie

    I love how you took the word Selfie and more deeping defined it.. and you gave great examples.

    Melissa: You are an awesome person and I still remember your first tweet when you were first moving here =)

    Happy 1 Year Blogiversary.. it’s a fun anniversary to celebrate =)
    Jamie recently posted…Make It a #Project12 Holiday Party with Budweiser #ad #MC #BrewForYouMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you so much Jamie! How sweet are you?! I’m hoping you’re enjoying NorCal. Your winery pics make me swoon a bit. Happy holidays to you.

  6. Kimberly

    This post is beautiful.

    I’ve been blogging since 2010, but I relaunched in June 2013 with my current site, Manifest Yourself. I had another site for 2+years before that but I really wanted to rebrand. Blogging teaches you so many things…and it evolves daily. I love it! And blogging allowed me to meet you! Xo

    Happy Blogiversary! …I shall never look at the word selfie the same. :)
    Kimberly recently posted…Mindfulness Moments: Surround Yourself with PositivityMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you! Meeting you Kimberly was definitely a benefit of blogging this past year. I didn’t realize that you’ve been blogging for so long. Blogging can be a slog in terms of time and direction but the benefits absolutely outweigh the costs.

  7. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance

    Happy Blogiversary! What an amazing post! You spoke deep from your heart! You hit the nail on the head with these. Passion personified is so true. I actually love reading about things I totally don’t care about just because the blogger is so passionate. It is one of the few times in our lives that we can really speak freely about our passions and not care if someone is nodding off! I think your blog is amazing and I cheers to your next year! :)
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Fitness Biathlon!My Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you my friend! I’m so glad that blogging brought us together as well. As our friend Kimberly has written about, adding you to my circle of positivity has made my life so much better! Cheers to us both for the holidays and 2014!

  8. Running Hutch

    HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! I treasure your selfies and your blog thoughts and your boldness.
    Running Hutch recently posted…Gift Guide for Active WomenMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you Tiffany! I’m glad the blogging world brought us together. You are a special and treasured “blend” (blogger friend) and if there’s anyone whose boldness needs to be lauded, it’s yours!

  9. Chris

    Congrats on your one year anniversary! Here’s to many more!
    Chris recently posted…Cyber #MENday 12.2.13: Supporting Men of Doctor WhoMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Many thanks my friend! I’m glad that the blogging world brought your special ray of sunshine into my CA life.

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  11. Allie Burdick

    You nailed it Melissa! What an amazing tribute to blogging and bloggers. Thank you for this read and being so selfless with your selfie:-) Your blog is a gift. Thank you for sharing it!
    Allie Burdick recently posted…My 20 Year High School Reunion – What I Least ExpectedMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you so much Allie. Blogging has definitely brought a new level of life to my existence. It may sound dramatic but it’s true. I’ll never forget getting your first comment on my blog and what joy it brought. I’m so glad to have “met” you here in the bloggy world and one day, we will definitely have to meet in person. Your blog is definitely one that makes me laugh, cry and feel inspired every time I read it.

  12. Debbi

    Mazel!! Well said. XOXO

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you so much Debbi! I fake it as a writer but I have come to love blogging.

  13. Ilene

    It’s amazing the confidence that one can garner from blogging. I’ve felt it too! And the friendships! And the occasional information overload. I am so glad you share your life with us – as well as your love of music. Happy blogging anniversary! And many many more! xo
    Ilene recently posted…Modern Family: Jersey EditionMy Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Thank you my friend! I love that blogging has brought you into my life. Your eloquence and observations are more than inspiring. It doesn’t hurt that we might be musical soul sisters once removed either. May 2014 be a fabulous year of adventure for both of us!

  14. Stephanie

    I love your breakdown of this word. I’m a new-ish reader but I really enjoy your blog and am glad I found it/you! Congrats on the milestone!
    Stephanie recently posted…Christmas Song Mix – Twisted Mix Tape 36My Profile

  15. Melissa Reyes

    Happy Blogiversary Melissa! I remember when we first met in Vegas at Bloggy Bootcamp. I love this post. You are doing a great job and I am very proud of you and glad to call you friend.
    Melissa Reyes recently posted…Scheherazade at the Walt Disney Concert Hall @LAPhil Dec.5&7-8My Profile

    • Melissa Burton

      Many thanks my fellow Melissa. Check your email as I may hit you up for something special that I’m planning for Feb.

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