Arsene's insights got me thinking about my own 5 year experience blogging doing it both personally and professionally. Here are 7 awesome things blogging has brought me:
- Liberation: What I love most about blogging and social media overall is that it is borderless and boundless. We are no longer limited to our own backyards to meet people, make a living or to make a difference in the world. In fact, we don't even have to leave our homes, and even more remarkable, we can build empires or lead movements from our mobile phone.
We have the ability to escape from cubicle nation as my friend Pam would say, and I love that my "job" entails days where I am eating and drinking fabulous food at a restaurant opening, and I'm taking photos and sharing them on Twitter and Facebook, and tweeting with others about the food and drink to help them eat healthier yet still enjoy.
- Brainspin: The good kind that expands and challenges my mind. On Twitter particularly, I have been exposed to new perspectives, thoughts, and ways of thinking that I could never have imagined, and it gives me a workout for the noggin. I make a conscious effort to go outside my circles and absorb myself in looking at the world through different eyes, and wow, it's incredible the things you can learn from others that you could never learn in a classroom.
- Love: In all shapes and forms, love has come into my life via the interwebs from making best friends, new friends, family ties, business connections, and even dates. Sometimes I think Facebook and Twitter make for better online dating sites! I've met people who met their spouse through social media.
I've shared many personal ups and downs on my blogs over the years, one being the worst time of my life when I relapsed in 2007. I thought game over, people will vilify me for being a hypocrite, and instead I experienced a loving and accepting side of humanity I never knew existed. My blogging career also soared after that experience. For all the negative we see in the world, blogging reminds me that there is also far greater good in the world. It's all what we choose to spread, and I choose to spread love!
- Thicker skin: I am a creative and emotional by nature with high empathy skills so yeah, sensitive one here. A career in Silicon Valley toughened me up, but being online and allowing myself to be exposed and vulnerable has been like spiritual and emotional ninja training. As much as the web will love you and support you, when it turns on you, holey cow, ouch! Imagine Fight Club on your psyche.
You have a choice to either stay laying down on the mat all bloody and beaten, or you get back up, learn from your mistakes and take criticism constructively, and keep going. I'm still blogging!
- More than a career, a life purpose: I have developed an entire career simply by starting to blog about wanting to wear my skinny jeans again. Yeah, it's insane. Five years ago if you told me that my bio would look like this, and I'd be asked to speak at conferences and even be a keynote speaker listed next to a VP at Harpo Productions, I would have laughed my ass off. You cannot go to a career counselor or know what color your parachute is when it comes to the endless possibilities available on the web. You just have to show up and get experimenting!
I have a BS college degree in Industrial Technology: Product Design, and blogging has helped me find my life purpose work which is to help people live healthier lives. I have no training, certification, or papers in health, and yet in the social media space I have managed to become an influential voice in helping others up their healthiness.I didn't have a plan, I just shared what I could not shut up about - living a healthier life in pop culture.
I honestly think it's miraculous in how things have evolved in my life, the funniest being that in high school I couldn't break 500 in English on my SAT scores and all my teachers told me I sucked at writing, and now I'm known as a blogger who can story tell really well.
And even though, right now, I have challenges with the monetizing part, I know it will come together. I've learned from other people, I've read about or met online, that when you have a strong sense of purpose and stay committed, the crops will eventually bring forth fruit. I'm expecting a whole crop of delicious metaphorical blueberries and mangoes any day now.
- Belonging: Left to my own devices, I would be a hermit. I could live in a cave for endless amounts of time. I know people find this surprising, but I'm actually more introverted than extroverted, and working in marketing and social media has helped push me to work on and develop my people connection skills.
I love going to tweetups because people are always friendly and welcoming at those things. I love that if there is a cause, a movement, a whatever I believe in or want to get involved with, I can find a group of people online who are more than happy to include me in the group. Yeah, there is plenty of high school and cliques that happen online, but there are also numerous groups and individuals who don't give a crap about that stuff and are just thrilled to meet and hang out with you as well.
Online, you can see that there are many people who are going through the same things as you and even worse or better. Twitter constantly reminds me that even though on the surface we may all seem different and separate, we actually are more alike than we even realize or want to know. Not saying that is good or bad, just saying that we all do belong to the same group - humanity.
- Awesomeness: Of course you knew I was going to say this one! I don't mind being a broken record. On my Facebook profile, I put that my religion is awesomeness. Seriously, I wouldn't have a clue how I would have found my awesomeness had it not been for blogging and social media. Yeah, I know all the spiritual gurus will say go inwards, okay sure, but sometimes you need the outside to help you get clear on the inside.
Likewise, I am constantly reminded of other people and their awesomeness. One of the reasons I so love watching the TED Talks is because these are awesome people, showcasing awesome stories in how they are helping to make the world an awesome place. You get goosebumps watching stuff like that.
My favorite tweets are the ones where people are sharing their good news, accomplishments, joys, humor, and their good works. You can just feel the positive energy radiating from those tweets. Those vibes are remarkable, and one of the many reasons I continut to blog, tweet, and "Like" :-D
What's an awesome thing blogging has brought you?