*This is going to be a little corny, so I’ll apologize in advance!
In lieu of a Valentine’s Day post, I’ve decided to write a little something for the bloggers in my life! It seems so long ago that I started this blog—yet so recently since I feel like I’ve really started.
When I first started blogging, I wasn’t very good at it. If you don’t believe me, look through blog posts from 2 years ago (please don’t because no one should have to read crap like that). Back then, I had only one goal and that was to rise to the top, doing so by leaving comments of no substance, tagging it with a link to my site. Single liners that no one really enjoys reading because we all know those took no thought or real effort to write. Things like “Haha, that made me laugh!” or “I love this!” Heck, I put more effort into looking up the HTML to insert a link and disguise it as a word than the comments I left on some blogs.
I was trying so hard to build the relationships that the blogging community was touting, yet I didn’t know how. Maybe it was punishment from the social gods because I so wasn’t in high school. Maybe it was just a lack of experience or belief that relationships through the internet could ever come close to one made in real life. What was I lacking?
Years later, I haven’t risen to the top—I haven’t even really risen to the middle—but I’ve come to realize what had been missing. Rising to the top wasn’t my goal; that was the problem. It created a sense of inauthenticity in my writing that was evident to everyone but me. Without even gaining an authority over my nonexistent audience, I was trying to give sage advice garnered from 20 years of living, which takes a certain kind of exceptional to pull off.
Instead, I’ve been gifted so many friendships, blossoming and long-standing, that make my day each time I log in to Disqus and find all these lovely comments. (Am I being meta right now by referencing Disqus?) Not too long ago, 3 or more days would pass before I would receive another comment, and I keep moments like those in my mind.
Before, my mindset had been not to form relationships, but it should have been. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to connect with people! All of last year, when I was traveling, I could’ve been meeting other bloggers left and right. While in Heidelberg, I missed a chance to meet up with Melanie and Jordan (though I’m not sure if she was there yet); while in Madrid, I missed Courtney; I think Marianne and I weren’t in France at the same time?; Marcella in London (multiple meet-ups in London, actually); if I ever find my way to Thailand, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit up Lani … and those are just a few of them!
Ironically, it’s only now, while writing about last year’s travel experiences, that I’m meeting the people I glossed over unintentionally. But then again, would I have come into contact with this group of travelers if I hadn’t had anything to travel-write about? All I know is that I’m grateful for the patiences this community and I have both had to wait for me to mature so I could fully enjoy it.
I’ve found the community and I am forever grateful to know all of you. I’ve yet to meet anyone in real life, but just knowing that my people are out there is a good feeling indeed. That being said, if any of you are anywhere near the Austin area, I’d love to meet up and organize something with all/any of you!
Have you ever met a blog friend in real life or gone to blogger meet-ups? Who are you thankful for? I love discovering new faces.