At the beginning of each year, I get very sentimental. I often think about what changes I have experienced from the previous year and what I have to look forward to in the year ahead. I also find in the quietness of winter, it is a natural time to reflect; to be grateful for what I have, for what I have achieved, and for what has been given to me.
I would not be here, at Charlene Chronicles, if it were not for Christine Koh (of Boston Mamas and Posh Peacock). While we have known each other before mortgages and diapers entered our lives, we reconnected online via Twitter in 2009. As she saw my interest in Blogging, she invited me to a Blogger event sponsored by Steaz and Isis Parenting on January 16, 2010, which in retrospect, changed everything for me. (I’m the one wearing the blue top in the back row.)
It was that event that launched amazing friendships and a seriousness for Blogging. Armed with Blogger business cards and unique perspectives on life, there were inspirational Bloggers who ended up being some great new friends, such as Cindy of Isis Parenting and The Social Craft, Kami of Working Mom Fence, Liz of Goddess in Progress and Erin of Ladybugs Picnic.
Those connections let to dinners, 5ks, blogging conferences and other local Blogger events. All the while, I kept meeting even more fantastic women and talented Bloggers along the way, such as Christy of MoreThanMommy, Kim of MommyCosm, Sharon of Life of Reilly, Melanie of The Coupon Goddess, Sarah of In the Trenches of Mommyhood, Cary of Ziptivity, and more. (I wish I had time to list everyone, but then the music would start and the cameras would cut to commercial).
Each one of them has inspired me to keep writing, keep being and keep believing. All of these women reigned me in when I got too pushy, encouraged me when I got down, kicked my butt when I got too stagnant or when I was acting like an idiot. Which happened. (A lot.)
As my Blog became ‘more’ (and it became my new career when I got laid off recently), once again Christine was my go-to-person for a blog overhaul and redesign last August. For me, it was another turning point (and another appreciation for her talent and guidance).
It has not been an easy year though. There were times I just wanted to walk away: conference fiascoes, brand (and media) rejections, blogger snubbing, and more. So as I start my first full year under “Charlene Chronicles”, I am more cautious, but still optimistic, that things might take off for me.
Yet, regardless, I reflect on my ability to write, the platform in which I write, and for whom I write. I am grateful for every single one of my followers and fans. Every. Single. One. I hope that every day, I make it worth their while. I am also grateful for my blogger friendships and connections, and getting to know these fantastic women even more in the year ahead. All in all, while none of them may care that I do appreciate them, for those who do know what is it like to be on the outside looking in, you know what it is like to get that ‘invitation’ to the table.
But as Christine often reminds me – just let it happen organically. And that, my friends, is my motto for 2011.
Image Credit: Steaz