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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

American Blogger - Your Story

Buckle up for a loooong post - consider yourself warned!
Have y'all seen this trailer for the American Blogger documentary? Take a minute to watch it and let's discuss...
  
If you're like me then you recognized some of these faces, and when you take a minute to look under the Meet the Bloggers tab, then you recognize even more of their names. Telling your story - your funny little day to day stories and your big life changing moments on your blog is such an important thing. People poke fun at bloggers, but they have no idea the friendships we form and how lasting they can be.
 
Blogging is hard to describe to people in your real life. I've told this story in some form before, but I had a friend who started a blog waaay back in 2006 because she was moving away. That was my introduction to blogging. It was a simple online journal of her journey. She had a couple girls that she connected with via the internet and I started to read their blogs too. I've always been a reader, but reading someone's first hand account of their life story seemed like such a cool concept to me. Then about 2011 I decided that maaaaybe I had a few stories in me to tell. I had no idea how to start, knew very little about HTML and it took me days to think up a name. But in it's own little way The Pink Growl was born. Through SITS girls and link ups, I began to meet girls, make connections and form friendships. We skyped, we emailed, we talked on the phone and sent each other gifts through the mail. It was a little strange, but at the same time fulfilling.
 
Not too long later, I got engaged. And my blog friends shared in my excitement. I had about 350 GFC readers at that point (give or take). I was caught up in a season of excitement and did posts about Our Love Story and wedding planning and really began to open up and share deeper parts of my story. My numbers began to grow because let's face it, girls love wedding talk. But I also ventured into talking about my mom being sick, and my mamaw passing away, my dad's by-pass surgery and other topics that I really just needed to blow off steam about. Then off a sudden in November 2012, my world fell apart when my engagement ended. My blog had grown into this portrait of a happy life as a future cop's wife, and now that identity no longer existed. I felt lost, not just in my day to day life, but in blog land as well. Where did I go from here? Most of the people I followed were in the same stages of life as I was and I couldn't bear to read about their wedding planning or marriages at that point. I did a breakup post, and was ready to shut this thing down.

Enter Kim, Cassie & Erin. These girls refused to allow to let me sink away into the darkness. They pursued me (for lack of a better word). They were relentless in sending messages of hope, love packages, and telling me their stories of struggle. Blogging is incredible y'all. You can doubt it all you want to, and that's fine. But these girls kept me going. I have tears welling up in my eyes right now just remembering how that felt to me. People in my real life were upset with me, choosing sides, saying hateful things about me and these girls were there to pick me back up - day after day. They were a source of strength for me at a time when I needed it most. I had my first blate with Kim & Cassie in Jan 2013, and the rest is history. I talk to them constantly. I've met their families, we've met each other's friends, they are a huge part of my life.

You find bloggers who inspire you and bloggers who are JUST LIKE you...ahem Manda! You "meet" girls who you have zero qualms about driving across states to hang out with. My dad still has a hard time with that concept...


My blog has since transformed into a place where I can tell you all the exciting things God is doing in my life, all my funny dating stories and throw out pictures of Luke Bryan until you are sick of seeing him (if that ever happens, we might not be friends anymore...). But my #1 goal is to keep it real. And real is NOT always an easy story to tell. Blogging has allowed me to document this life change - the good, the bad and the reeeeeally ugly - and it's pretty incredible to look back on. I'm kinda proud of myself honestly.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, I love blogging. Somehow you crazy people are interested enough in what I have to say to keep coming back every week. That's pretty awesome and I love you for it! So even when we feel like we aren't making a difference, we are. Even when we get stagnant and just do silly posts, people are still following our lives and reading our stories. TELL YOUR STORY!!

 
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32 comments:

Amanda aka Manda said...

I'm seriously crying right now! Love you so much! And I'm so glad you introduced me to Cassie, Kim, and Erin. I don't know what I'd do without them too!

And I'm so excited to see American Blogger!

Dee Stephens said...

Blogging has truly changed my life too.
People that aren't into it truly don't understand it and you know what? I don't care. They can be haters all they want.
I'm private now because of haters inside our family but they haven't stopped me from writing and posting!! I had a lot of people tell me my blog would dwindle when I went private, but you know what? It hasn't! I've made some awesome friends and so has my husband! So, in the face of the haters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))))

MommyMandy Musings said...

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award on my post today!! http://www.mommymandymusings.com/2014/04/kickin-it-old-school.html

MommyMandy Musings said...

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award on my post today!! http://www.mommymandymusings.com/2014/04/kickin-it-old-school.html

Erin @ Keep Calm and Sparkle said...

Cue the tears!! I love you so much and thank God daily for making the plunge to blog (even thought IRL friends and family think I am nuts) and in turn meeting you! As much as I have uplifted you, you have done the same in return. It's crazy how when I needed a pick me up you would text me just at the right time. Pretty sure we are meant to be together!! I can't wait for the day that I hug that sweet little southern neck of yours and let's be honest, I may shed a few tears too (Mav is pretty excited to meet his Aunt Nikki too).

Ok, is this comment long enough?! Point is I love you and our friendship that we created via the internet in a totally non creepy way!!

LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!

Erin @ Keep Calm and Sparkle said...

PS - Totally stealing this idea -

P!nky said...

I love you and your story and my oh my have you grown friend. I'm so glad I found your blog and now consider you a friend!

xoxo

Amy @ Living n Learning said...

This post helped me remember why I started blogging in the first place. I have a story to tell. Now I need to remember that when I feel like hiding from my blog because the story that I need to tell isn't what I hoped it would be.

Gosh girl, you just keep inspiring me to write more and more posts! I promise those dating stories are coming some day. :)

Pamela said...

Love this & YOU! Can't wait to see this!!!

Hope @ Hope in a Blog said...

Thanks for this sweet girl. I am all about keeping it real on my blog and I have been writing a little mini series about my journey with Crohn's Disease...it takes a lot of time and courage to write these "real and raw" parts of our life! Although I am not done yet, I have no doubt when the time is right my story will be shared. Xx.

Steph G said...

I just love this post. You are such a sweet heart. I think you were one of the first blogs that I followed :) Blogging has been a blessing especially since moving because it keeps a connection with an amazing network of people.

Tracy said...

Arg, I'm not part of the "cool kids' club"!!! ;) I have no idea about HTML and all of that but I love that we are buddies!!! :)

How's about we somehow meet and you school me on how it's done?!?!? lol

I'm so glad you are still blogging - we are coming back because we have ALL been through what you are going through!

TheTinyHeart said...

It has been wonderful to follow along this journey with you! Thank you for being so open and so honest in all of your posts!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

Helene in Between said...

thank you for this post, it really made me happy as lately I've been struggling with my blog (personally). I hadn't seen the trailer and it made me so excited! i always love reading your voice because I really feel like I know who you are inside and out!

Shannon Q. said...

Love this! I'm just getting bits and pieces of your story as I continue to come and read here. What a blessing you have in those close friendships you've made through blogging! My heart truly feels soo happy for you. Last night after a hard day I was almost moved to tears thinking about the "random" love I receive from some of the friends I've met through blogging. Such a treasure! Luv ya girl, and here's to one day having a meetup between us scheduled on our calendars!

Cassie said...

i love this!! you have been an amazing source of inspiration as well.

cheers my friend, to many more blog posts!!

Faith said...

I completely feel this way too! Blogging truly is an amazing thing. Not everyone can do it so I'm glad we are the ones who do!

Cheers to many more years of blogging :)

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

Amen! I love Casey Wiegand's blog. It was one of the first I started reading.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I have loved reading your story and getting to know you, blogging is such a strong community and we share so much and the friendships are real. Thank you for always being you!

Holly said...

I saw that trailer yesterday and I'm excited to see that film! It's really hard to explain what blogging is and even more difficult to explain how you met someone through blogging without people thinking you're strange. But blogging helps us create some amazing friendships. Thank you for continuing on with your blog even when it was so tough to do so!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

The connections you can form are by FAR the best! It's an amazing feeling to write something out then have someone say they feel the same way, or have been in the same place before. :)

The Modern Tulip said...

I love this post! Blogging is so important to me and I can't believe the friendships I have created through sharing me and my story. It's so exciting to see women in blogland lift each other up in their struggles and celebrate for their victories. Love it!

Hallie Oceanside said...

I could not have said any of this better myself.
You tell the story so perfectly.
That our journeys mean something, not only to us but to all who read along with us.

I have never met you in person, yet I can count you in to one of my "close friends" because most of my IRL friends could never compare to some of the talks we have shared.

The blog world is amazing, and filled with so many amazing people!

Micah said...

Wonderful post and testament to the strength of finding a community ... somewhere, anywhere.

I've still never gone on a blate, and I don't really have a blogging bestie yet. I do feel kind of left out at times.

Kim Luke said...

Even though I don't blog anymore.. Or as I say "Clog" after a few drinks.. I am so thankful for my little blog and the little posts I still do because it introduced me to you, Manda, Erin, KD & so many others!

I can't wait for our next Blate! Love you!!!

Jackie said...

If I had never started my blog, you and I would not become friends either. I am so so glad I met you and look forward to more hangs! :)

lori said...

i love this... you are SO right that its hard to explain it to anyone "in real life" how into blogging i am. it has kind of taken a back seat since i have carter and time is short, but i really miss it and am trying so hard to figure it all out... so please dont lose touch while i try to fit everything in :) i enjoy reading about your life and am really looking forward to seeing how it changes in the future :)

Ashley said...

coming off a four day vacation with four other bloggers, i couldn't love this post more. people don't understand how true and real these friendships are!

and i didn't realize your ex was a cop. i dated a guy for 7 years who was also a cop - we did the whole police academy deal together - and it ended tragically just like you.

#twinkies

haha. hope you're well girly!

chantal marie said...

I totally agree. Blogging is just amazing. It has brought some really amazing people into my life. I don't think I would have survived moving to SF without it.

Because Shanna Said So said...

Woot!!! Amen and say it again...I watched the trailer and will 100% support this film even though there is so much backlash. Blogging has changed my life...for the better. The women I have met through this space is incredible. The stories I have read and the ones I have told do impact lives...this little world of ours is beautiful!!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I love this! Blogging is such a weird and beautiful thing. I can't wait to see the movie!

Janna Renee said...

This is so sweet and so true! I hadn't seen that commercial, so thanks for sharing! I definitely think it's awesome that they are making movies about such an important part of all of our lives!