7.24.2010

The Benefits of Blogging

Though I have been documenting our chaotic lifestyle for over seven years, it took a day like today for me to remember how truly powerful the internet can be. For many years my email updates turned blog were solely written for our family and friends, and it wasn't until early 2008 when I started to branch out and get involved with other expats, other websites, and other bloggers. Needless to say, the ramp up to where I am today took time... energy... and dedication.

Blogging can be as time consuming as anyone wants it to be, with dare I say hundreds of thousands of blogs to chose from. I read all of my girlfriend's blogs. I find that I connect with State Department bloggers just due to the nature of the lifestyle. I enjoy writers who are witty. Crafty. Snarky. East Coasters. Stay at home moms. Dog owners. And those who travel. I read many of the blogs that are named on the sidebar of my blog, though in all honesty, I'm so far behind in updating it to reflect where I truly spend my time online. One of these days...

Which nowhere near brings me to my point, though I'll just jump back there lest I digress any longer. Today, Matt got a chance to enjoy the benefits of my blogging. Today, on his way to Baghdad (via a quick stop over in Kuwait), Matt spent several hours taking a windshield tour of Kuwait City followed by a Lebanese dinner with another foreign service family, with whom I've been in communication for the past year. Today when he got back to his hotel, he sent me an email about his wonderful encounter with the Briden family that totally validated why I continue to blog. It's all about the community.

As a stay-at-home mom, formerly living overseas as a diplomat's spouse, I have noticed that sometimes just finding a community where I can relate, is the biggest challenge of all. Sure, I'm linked in to several State Department websites. I participate in support groups for spouses who are on unaccompanied tours. I connect with others via Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. But now that I'm back in the States for an indefinite period of time, I have the ability to change the focus a little bit. To find myself again. To scratch that seven year itch and rediscover the piece of me I gave up when I quit my job and began this nomadic lifestyle.

In two weeks I'm doing something totally for me. I'm heading to New York City, by myself, to attend The BlogHer 2010 Conference. For two days I'm going to be in the Big Apple meeting 2000 bloggers ... including many of the people whose blogs I've been reading for several years. I'm going to be learning about creative writing... enhancing my photos... social media... and controlling my online footprint. I'll be going to cocktail parties and evening events. And rooming with Christy, a sassy chick from the East Coast whose rockin' blog I've been following for ages.

Though I have no plans on changing the tone or content of I write in my blog, I want to really spend this year owning it and enhancing it. To freshen up my communities.

I'm excited. I'm investing in myself. And as I'm discovering, I'm worth it.




Matt in Kuwait

24 comments:

Natalie said...

Jill, that's awesome in every sense of the word, and of COURSE you're worth it, darlin'. Enjoy your time in NYC.

The Bald Guy said...

New York! Have fun!

Thanks for sharing this little bit of info with us about your blog friends. I had already sensed some of it when I read your tweet earlier. It's amazing how much the internet can do for us if we do it right.

Safe travels Matt. We're all wishing you much luck!

Mom24 said...

Very cool that your connections found Matt a family for a night. You've captured exactly why I blog. I find it harder and harder to meet people and make good friends and find a community here. Online, I've found a network of support and it feels wonderful. I'm very thankful for that.

Have a wonderful time in NYC. You definitely deserve it.

Daniela Swider said...

Wow it's so neat that your hubby spend time with blog friends in Kuwait!

And you are going to NY for the BlogHer conference - awesome!!! I hope you'll share some of the cool ideas and resources for bloggers that you learn about there. I know my blog can use a facelift but am not quite sure where to start...

Shannon said...

That is so great. I am glad that Matt wasn't just stuck sitting at the airport. Enjoy the BlogHer conference, I hope to make it there some day.

Sunny said...

I love it. I know what you mean. There is something about this life that really can only be experienced at times. It is nice find a community.

Have a fabulous time in New York!

Christy said...

Um yes you are! TOTALLY worth it! I'm so freaking excited to be going alone and rooming with you! We are going to have a blast. And that is so cool that Matt was able to meet up with your friends in Kuwait. Blogging is just awesome.

Jen said...

Too cool that he could meet up with them...what a neat experience.

Can't wait to hear about your experiences in a few weeks!

Crystal said...

I couldn't agree more!!! You are completely worth it and you are an inspiration to me and many others.
I have followed your blog for almost two years(at first I was a stalker)and it has been been such a blessing for myself and my family. My husband was interviewing to be an RMO with the State Dept. and I was totally overwhelmed and uniformed as far as the FS life. I stumbled upon your blog one night and I will never forget it! I remember thinking if she can make it with two girls while pregnant in India, I can do this with five kids.

Jill, you have answered questions for me, shared tips and made me laugh until I cried in the past year. I am so glad to be part of your FS community! Someday we will meet and share laughs over Starbucks!!!! Until then my friend, knock them dead in NY (I wish I could go : )

Thanks for sharing Matt with us, we truly enjoyed the whole evening with him and we hope to meet up with you all again soon~

Crystal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirsten said...

You are going to have so much fun... and you are totally worth it! Can't wait to see you and your little people when you make it up my way.

katie t said...

have such a great time!!!

Sara said...

You are worth it! Enjoy your kid-free time in NYC!

David L. said...

Have fun!

I hear what you are saying about being able to relate with a community in what can be an isolating experience. While out with another FS family, another EFM and I had a brief conversation about this very topic about how to keep sane in such a challenging lifestyle.

佳瑩佳瑩 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

diplopundit said...

Have fun at BlogHer, Jill! I'll look forward to reading your adventure, there!

Brooke said...

I couldn't have said it better. You think sometimes "Is this just an exersize in vanity for me?" (or at least I do) and then I remember the oodles of fabulous people I've met this way who have already helped me boatloads. Blogging is great. Have fun at the conference!

anymommy said...

Totally, absolutely and completely worth it.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Yep- there is no doubt in my mind that the blogosphere is a wonderful place. I've only met one blogger IRL, but about to meet two more very soon, and catch up with the first as well. I've met some great people.

Have a fabulous time at the conf. Tres Jealous!

xx

Lisa said...

Yay you! You deserve it & I hope you have the best time :)

Bfiles said...

this is so great! I discovered the anymommy blog because of your sidebars and I truly love her. So I hope someday you'll update and let us in on some of your other wonderful finds. In the meantime have a wonderful time- you deserve it!

Melissa V said...

I'm so excited for you to go to BlogHer! I'm really looking forward to reading all about it.

It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

Here is the link:
http://www.vonhinken.com/?p=782

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

Emily said...

I have heard/read so many fantastic things about the Blogher conference.
What a great trip! I am a bit jealous of
1. Going to NYC
2. Going without kids
3. Meeting up with bloggin friends. How fantastic!

Emily said...

I have heard/read so many fantastic things about the Blogher conference.
What a great trip! I am a bit jealous of
1. Going to NYC
2. Going without kids
3. Meeting up with bloggin friends. How fantastic!

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