In three weeks I am going to the BlogHer conference in San Diego. I will be rooming with Jill of Baby Rabies, Suzanne of Bebeh Blog and Torie of 25 Design! Yes, I feel super lucky to have such amazing roomies!
But see that above? That means it is really happening.
I have been in denial for some time about this upcoming event. Do not misunderstand me. This is something I have wanted for nearly three years. A dream in the distance. It may sound silly to people who don’t blog. Or people who haven’t been blogging for that long. But it is not silly to me. It means so much to have an outlet to continue something I love to do. I am a writer first. Blogger second.
I have been blogging for nearly five years. FIVE YEARS, people. I have never lasted this long at anything. And I’m proud to say I’ve kept with it even though I have thought about quitting more than once.
Last year I watched my twitter stream blow up with posts about the 2010 BlogHer conference. I was breastfeeding a three-month-old and had a new job so it was not a time to leave. This time last year I was just about ready to unveil my self-hosted wordpress blog with a brand new name and look. A Day in Mollywood. I set a goal for myself that I would be attending BlogHer 2011 after a year of changing and growing my blog.
The biggest change? I moved from just a virtual baby book to concentrating much more on writing. I threw myself into the written word. In the last year I have been more vulnerable on my blog than ever before. I have never been so scared to press that little button that says publish. But I pressed publish nonetheless. I trusted my craft. Believed in my stories. Believed that you would want to read them.
The result in working through the fear is that I’ve never felt stronger. I’ve never felt more supported. No matter how “small” my blog is in relation to others. It matters to me. It makes me come alive. It makes me happy. So thank you, friends, for coming along on my journey.
While I was at it, I decided to take one more giant leap of faith. I submitted a post to the BlogHer Voice of the Year contest. Not just any post. I chose the post that was the most difficult to write thus far.
The Lost Year – Part II in a five part series that I still have yet to finish. Because it’s just that painful.
Last Thursday as I was finishing up work for the day, I checked my email one last time before heading home. One new email. An email congratulating me on being a 2011 Voice of the Year honoree. Out of 1,000 submissions, 90 were chosen, 20 in each of five categories. And I am one of them.
I quickly closed the door and covered my mouth in an attempt to muffle the sound of my crying. All those years of hurting. All those years of nearly killing myself before learning how to treat my mental illness in a healthy way. All those years of self-hatred and doubt. They were wiped away. Erased.
My voice was heard.
I had always planned to attend the BlogHer Voice of the Year reception. But I never imagined I would be honored at it! (hello, excuse to buy a new dress!)
Thank you, BlogHer. For recognizing that my story matters. And for giving me the confidence to hold my head high when I arrive at my first ever blog conference.
Before last Thursday I was anxious to go. Now I get goosebumps thinking of all the fun I’m about to experience. To walk through those doors. To meet some people who I’ve always suspected are soulmates in the form of blog friends. I cannot wait.
And since you know I always love to keep it real . . . right after I got that awesome email? I walked out to a flat tire. And I smiled the whole time it was being changed