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.