I have only been blogging for a little over a year now and what an experience it has been. I started my writing career with my first novel, When Love & Culture Collide and from there I wanted to write more and more. For years, I have wanted to start my own blog but things kept causing me to false start. I wrote pages and pages of ideas and the things I wanted to share on a future blog but was too afraid to take that plunge and put it out there for the whole world to see.
Then I had my two beautiful children and I wanted more than anything to document the amazing adventures we would have and record each milestone as it passed us. With the thought that my kids could one day go back and read everything we went through as a family, the adventures we went on, the various things they learned and did at certain stages of their life, it really made it easier to finally take that plunge into the blogosphere.
My first thoughts on blogging were more of an online family diary. A place we record our lives and share with everyone. A place where I could go back and relive amazing memories if I wanted to and re-share them with family and friends across the world again and again. Then blogging turned into so much more for me.
As an expat, I found it hard living so far away from my own friends and family, culture and true home after I had kids. I wanted them to know my way of life and feel the love I felt growing up surrounded by SO many family members. I didn’t feel like I belonged here even after seven years. Yes, I have made some amazing friends and we have my mother-in-law close but other than that there is no aunts, uncles, cousins, other grandparents, and extended family in this country. I got homesick and lonely a lot. I am not used to a house that isn’t bursting with people 24/7. Somehow blogging changes all that.
My blog became my family too and along with that the blogosphere. Through blogging I have made some absolutely amazing “real life” friends. Ones I think will be there forever to count on and share experiences with. Ones that get me fully when others that I know, do not. Some are expats too and it’s only talking and sharing with other expat parents did I realize I really wasn’t alone in my feelings. There are many like me that understand what it means to move across the world and feel isolated. Ones that made me embrace my new culture and new home something I am still working on. Ones that got me to look at it all differently. This year has been the first year in the UK I haven’t felt that pain in my chest, that longing to pack my bags and run home, the homesick feeling that everyone is moving on with you and you are standing still, frozen in time. It’s a horrible pain to hide and put on a smile while you watch families gather for Sunday roasted dinners or go out days out together. Longing that it was your own family doing those very same things together.
Those are only some of what used to come my way a lot and somehow through blogging it slowly made those bad feelings go away. It healed my wounds because I get to share my everyday life with all my family and friends back home as well with an amazing new community – the blogosphere. My family back home can feel more apart of our lives too getting to read and watching videos what we have been up to and see the kids grow more now. The interaction and socializing has also really helped me. It has brought me out of my shell more and I am back to being the person I used to be before I came here. I am proud of where I came from and I am proud of who I am, I am not trying to be what everyone else thinks I should be anymore. That’s a huge step for me. I have a voice and I share it openly now.
I also have never had so many people be so supportive to me when I am striving towards my passions in life, my dreams, and my hopes. Those in the blogosphere get them, understand them, and encourage them. Everyone is continual there when I need advice, guidance, help, encouragement or just a good pat on the back and a high five. For the most part it’s the most love I have ever felt from strangers but it strongly binds us online.
I am in awe of the power of love you can have when you all have a common interest, a common passion, and a common experience. You get it when you meet a group of mommies and you all are first time mommies. It’s a concrete bond that you all understand each other better. It’s the same with blogging. In my experience, most of my family and friends don’t get it yet, or slowly getting there but I remember when I first let it slip that I started my blog, after six months of blogging, and I mostly got ‘deer in the headlight’ looks from everyone. If you don’t know anything blogging it’s very hard to wrap your head around it. My mother still says, “its like a diary right?” Yes and no! It’s so much more than that. You are a blogger you will nodding and understand exactly what I mean by that.
Even though I have been only blogging for a little over a year now, blogging still has brought me more opportunities than I ever thought possible as well. It not only fulfilled my passion for writing, my passion for documenting my children’s lives and sharing them, and healed pain that was at times unbearable being an expat, it is now my full time job. If you would have told me that all that would happen in the span of one year I would have said, “as if!” I have been honored that in my first few months of blogging I was a finalist for three awards in the Mad Blog Awards and the BiBs (I didn’t win any) but the thought that people actually read and loved what I wrote each day was more than an accomplishment for me. I cried for each one. I felt a part of a bigger picture and a part of something special. The work started slowing coming in and instead of fearfully looking for a career soon I have started building something I can do from home and still be with my kids while they are little. A job that includes them and our everyday family adventures together. I could never have dreamt of something more fitting and better for myself.
I am blown away with what blogging has done for me and what the blogosphere community has done for me this year! I can’t shout it enough THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the love, support, and friendship you all have given me this year. I only hope I have done the same for you all. I look forward to what 2015 has to offer and I hope you will be along with me too for the ride and I will be there for you too!