Over the last week I have been emailing back and forth with the owner of the blog The Sunnyside Lifestyle. She was looking for some guest writers to write an article for her blog and I threw my hat in the ring. We brainstormed a few ideas, I sent her some titles and she picked one that she thought would be a great fit for the content she needed. The title she chose was “5 Ways To Plant Your Goals Like A Spring Garden and Bloom.” Please see the full link on the bottom of this blog.
Yesterday I got an email with a link and the message that my article had gone live. Perfect timing, as my girls were nearby. I opened it with my two seven year olds peering over my shoulder. I saw my picture and my name and something I had written on a website created by someone with far more experience and know-how than me, the little four month-old blogger.
It was an ear to ear smile stretched across your face kind of moment, but what made it feel so very different than so many accomplishments I have had in the past was that I was sharing it with my kids and they were genuinely excited and happy for me.
I didn’t get one of those “Good Job Mom” pats on the back as they quickly run back to whatever they were doing. Instead I got a huge, squeeze-the-life-out-of-your-neck-hug as they said “Mom this is so cool! I love that you have a blog Mom!”, “That is your story Mom, right there on the internet. Something you wrote!”
I know that they see the hard work that I have put into this blog and I can only hope that this is an example for them that hard work doesn’t go unseen and that life can be lived with passion.
The Blog That Almost Didn’t Happen
I am not telling you all this to prove how great my kids are or to get a few good neck squeezes from any of you. I am telling you this because this moment almost didn’t happen. It almost didn’t happen not just once, but every day for the last fourth months there were times when I could have made the choice to hold back.
Before I started this blog I knew deep down to the tips of my toes that there was something else I wanted to do in life but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was. You’ve heard the term an itch you can’t scratch? Well this was my itch and it was making me and all the people around me crazy. My husband was the one who pushed me to start a blog and insisted that my diabetic story would be interesting to people.
I ignored him for a long time but kept pondering it in my head. Finally, I took the leap, thought of a name and set it up. This easily could have never happened as I was continuously filled with self doubt and told myself that this would be another thing I would start and never finish. Too late, I’d paid for the domain name. I was stuck.
After starting this blog I quickly realized that I knew nothing about starting a blog or finding people to read it. Each day I read numerous articles looking for some sort of direction. Again, I could have easily said this was too hard and that I couldn’t find the right answers.
I quickly realized that I was not finding my answers on the internet so I had to take another step forward and talk to people that I didn’t know and ask questions. This also meant that I had to believe in what I was doing enough to tell other people about it. Yikes!
Talking to Strangers
As I started to talk to people I was shaken to my core by the kindness and feedback I received. So many people who have walked this exact same journey were willing to meet me for coffee to share their tips, connections and networks. All great advice from inspiring people I would have never met had I not believed in my blog, told people what I was up to, and asked them for help.
I took a risk and started making random calls to diabetic groups in the area. One random call landed me on a question and answer panel of diabetics and their parents at Children’s Hospital. There I met a strong and passionate mom of three Type 1 diabetics who, after meeting for coffee, offered to get me involved with the JDRF bike rides in our area and gave me the phone numbers of the JDRF leaders in town.
A phone call to one of her contacts that afternoon resulted in being invited to a diabetic technology night where I had the opportunity to meet a community of adult Type 1’s who invited me to their monthly Type 1 night out.
Find Your Tribe
I have been fighting and living with this disease for 13 years and I have rarely reached out to other diabetics and that was ok. I was not ready to open my door, but now that I have opened my door it is like I have unearthed an anthill of Diabetic groups and events and found fellow Type 1’s who are eager to talk, connect, laugh and support each other.
Whenever I make these random calls the first thing I tell them is that I have recently started to share my story with my blog but I am looking for other ways to connect. “What do you need? What can I do?” It brings me joy when I hear them instantly say, “I have a few ideas and I’d love to set a time so we can talk more.” These phone calls lead to coffee dates, which lead to new doors opening but these doors could have easily stayed shut if I didn’t pick up the phone.
While all this was happening off the internet, there was also something happening on the internet…you were reading what I wrote! There were people reading my blog who I didn’t know. There have been messages and comments that I have tucked deep down in my heart as a reminder that what we do does matter and that reaching out to others is important and does serve a purpose.
You have humbled me by your following throughout my rocky beginning (which is ongoing). I feel honored that you have trusted my words enough to share my posts with your friends and families. I am so grateful to be at a place in life to accept your support as I strive to support you. Building this community that lights me up every day may have never happened if I believed that no one would care what I had to say.
And now I have this guest blog post on a website that has great content, strong readership, and is run by a woman who makes it all look seamless. She posted a request for guest writers on a blogging group facebook site I joined (again, I felt like the new kid in class when I joined it), and I responded. Getting feedback from another blogger was confirmation that I’m good at writing, which is exciting because I love writing, and I am slowly building the courage and confidence to say that I am good at writing without feeling like I am overstepping my bounds.
As I read that post yesterday I realized that that moment I shared with my girls would have never happened if I felt too inexperienced to try or was too scared to be told “No”.
No matter what goal you are chasing or dream you are seeking, we all have the choice to put a stop to our own opportunities or take a step forward. Accept that you don’t know it all. Take the risk. Be open to those around you. Believe that you can and then go do it.
What is one thing you can do today to move yourself forward?
Link to “”5 Ways To Plant Your Goals Like A Spring Garden and Bloom.” https://thesunnysidelifestyle.com/5-ways-to-plant-your-goals-like-a-spring-garden-and-bloom/