It’s time for the 2018 Word of the Year! I’m excited about this one because it’s a totally different mindset change from the previous two.
In 2016 my word was PRESENT because my future was so unknown.
In 2017 my word was INTENTIONAL because I wanted to focus on action rather than reaction.
In 2018 the word is…
Last fall I reconnected with a friend of mine from Charlotte, Diana, who writes the blog The Chic Life. She wrote this post about her divorce that was similar to my Things I’m Afraid To Tell You post. I found her post to be so inspiring, especially when she talked about vulnerability:
“But as Brené Brown has taught us, vulnerability leads to connection. So here’s me trying to allow myself to be vulnerable. If nothing else, my hope is that someone reading this post who is going through a similar situation will see that they’re not alone.”
I LOVED reading her thoughts because c o n n e c t i o n is what inspired me to start a blog a decade ago. I wanted to share my life with you and foster a community of like-minded people.
Thus, one of my main goals for KERF this year is to be more vulnerable in an effort to reconnect with you all. When I look back on my most popular posts of 2017, the common theme was that they were personal and open. “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” Another one of my favorite quotes is “Creativity takes courage” by Henri Matisse. If I want to continue to grow, love, and connect through my blog, I need to be brave.
When blog trolling was at its peak, I didn’t want to share anything about my life. I considered quitting. (I’m saying it peaked because the number of harassing comments I get these days has drastically decreased.) During that time, it was easier and safer to hide behind topical posts and recipes than it was to put my life as a mother and business owner out there. I felt like I couldn’t win with anything I posted, and thus I just went inward. I know a lot of other bloggers felt the same.
I think the bloggers of the internet hit a big turning point a few years ago when we collectively realized that the problem with trolls was within them and not us. Befriending one of them was even more eye opening. As time passed, we crawled back out from under our rocks and saw that vulnerability didn’t have to mean the end.
Back in the blog day, I used to travel to a city and invite as many strangers as would show up to have coffee, a drink, or dinner with me. I had a blast getting to know you guys in person! In this day and age, I wouldn’t dare! How sad is that? A few friends and I were discussing this over dinner the other day and one of them asked me: “What’s the worst that would happen if a mean person did show up at a blog dinner?” Assuming this person wasn’t literally out to harm me, my answer was that they might post an unflattering picture? Maybe gossip to their mean friends that I was X, Y, or Z in real life? She reminded me that normal people would be nice and pleasant and that more good could come from it than bad.
A Boston meet-up dinner in 2008
But the truth is, connecting with you guys and getting to write and photograph and create and share for a living is an incredible dream job. It would take much more than an army of trolls for me to totally throw in the towel. If I want to grow as a person, I have to grow as a blogger, and that means being real and relatable and fostering as much connection as I can. And as Brené Brown and Diana reminded me, that comes from a place of vulnerability.
So, I am not concluding this with a grand meet-up announcement, BUT all this is to say that I do want to connect with you all more. I want it to come from a place of real vulnerability. Challenge me to it!