There are many guides to blogging out there, and many of these said guides offer templates, themes and advice for blogging. As many of these as I have read (literally dozens, perhaps even hundreds, given my line of work) say much the same of what to share with your readers. Don’t share this, don’t cover that. Don’t write too long, don’t write too short. Never be vulnerable, okay only be vulnerable about this, that and that; consider your audience. Don’t consider your audience. Never swear. Write for yourself. The oodles of advice, much of it contradictory, is enough to make any gal – or bloggers’- head spin.
The only advice I did take from all of these blogging experts, ironically writing about blogging, is how important it is to keep on writing. I started this blog in 2007 to chronicle my continued journey of travel and life in my 20s; the blog has grown, evolved and changed over time, just like myself. While I write to develop my personal writing the happy side effects have included the growth of my business and personal brand, but I will never forget that at the heart of my blogging is the joy of the work. The love of writing itself. I always thought of myself as a better writer than speaker: I can be too emotional speaking, I can be blundering, I can grasp for words or sentences that easily form under my finger tips. While the tone and posts have varied tremendously over the years, some of my best posts have been written straight from my heart. My vulnerable sharing has gifted me some of the best responses in my blog over the years: a terrible bike accident, my Grandpa passing away, my Dad’s job change. I recognize the beauty of my blog- in my own eyes- has been about sharing some of the deepest parts of my heart.
With vulnerability at the forefront, I write today about breathing deep. Where my personal world is at this moment in time. In the morning I wake up and I remind myself to breathe deep.
Breathe deep because the little business that could is growing, and in its growth are awkward steps, bambi-like steps, occasionally clumsy and painful in the movement towards (what I hope is) a more graceful mammal. That growing means hours, late hours, long hours, and weekend hours. And while my gratitude lives and flows through the work, there is a sense of being very alone and very scared at times: working for yourself is both difficult and extremely rewarding.
Breathe deep because your husbands job has shifted to add in the covering for a colleague off on medical leave, and this has thrown your entire days and weeks. That his schedule shift and absence is abnormal but not forever. Breathe deep because your mother-in-law fell suddenly and completely ill; her illness has stressed her and the family the way scary illnesses do. Breathe deep because a CAT scan has been ordered to examine the concussion damage from a bike accident almost three years prior because of the pesky symptoms that won’t go away. That the late nights staring at the ceiling worrying about work and Jon and Karen and the head are part of this moment in life. One must keep on breathing deep.
Last weekend I visited with my sister and soon-to-be-brother in law in Texas. While I enjoyed each of my five days away from Calgary and the day-to-day; I was haunted with the worries that have filled my early days of this year. What will happen to my business? How do I support my husbands family during this time of trial? What if there really is something more wrong with my head? One night at dinner the pair lovingly made for me at their adorable little condo, I sat at the table and cried loudly, ugly, verbalizing my worries as they came out in one long string, sentences blending into strange half-monologues and incomprehensible sentences. At the end of it all I dabbed my eyes with a purple cloth napkin, breathing deep.
While I am uncertain what these next days and weeks will hold, I do know this. I have always been given what I can handle. I always believe there is something greater at work I cannot see. I don’t know why, but this time is teaching me, developing me, expanding my capacity. The best I can do is be patient and kind, keep my feet on the ground and my heart open. And keep on breathing deep.
Feet on the ground in Houston, Texas in the way-cool neighbourhood of Montrose.