Do we ever really know where that first timid step on a new journey will take us?
How can we?
What we do know though is that as we venture into what is essentially a mystery, or at the very least the unfamiliar, we are filled with hope and excitement. We hope we are embarking on an adventure that will expand our world in myriad ways. Maybe, with luck, we’ll learn and grow in unexpected ways. And, in a perfect scenario, perhaps we will meet extraordinary people along the way.
That is precisely what happened all those years ago when I decided I would take that first uncertain step into the mysterious world of blogging, which brings me to the essence of today’s conversation.
Our little international group of By Invitation Only (BIO) bloggers has chosen our last subject and, appropriately enough, we decided to discuss our blogging experiences. As you may recall, we choose a theme and from that moment forward all communications shut down and each of us writes our take on the topic.
Like most of us I assume, following through on the decision to begin blogging, I knew what I wanted to say — broadly speaking. I wanted to write about life in France from my longtime total immersion in the culture, playing off of that peculiar perspective of the outsider looking in. Then, because I have always been a fashion/lifestyle/decoration journalist, I decided I would use that background to inform my writing.
At the time, I was struggling with some unsettling challenges in my life and was searching for a way to find some focus and a specific reason/means to do something that would make me feel positive about what I might still be capable of doing.
But here’s the thing. . . just because one thinks she has a good idea does not mean anyone else will agree. In the beginning at least, writing a blog is an exercise in stringing words together in a vacuum. How in the world can we ever know if we’re opening a conversation with like-minded Francophiles, or simply talking to ourselves?
Then it happens, the miracle. . .
Little-by-little and then more-and-more people we have never met, never imagined we would ever know, begin to gather around our conversations and best of all participate and expand the discussions and suddenly we are surrounded by the most unexpected, fascinating, kind, generous, interesting, intelligent, like-minded individuals from around the world.
And this, above all else, is what the wonderful world of blogging has brought to me and, I know, from the extraordinary friendships that have grown out of the journey it is this single and unexpected “gift” that has brought us together and that we treasure above all else.
It makes me incredibly happy to be part of this strange medium. Thank you, though never enough, is all I can say. You have no idea how much I appreciate your kindness. In ways you will never know, you have changed my life.
As we approach the holidays and the new year, I’m filled with hope and continue to look forward to our shared adventure. XO
Ed. Note: You may have noticed above that I said this is our last BIO conversation. Our founder, Marsha Harris, of the gorgeous and glamourous blog, Splenderosa, feels we have accomplished our mission. (Please do click over to Splenderosa where you will be led to all the other members of our group and their thoughts on today’s topic.)
So, it is a bitter-sweet moment as we close out this chapter of our blogging experience. But, once again, Marsha’s By Invitation Only series widened our circle of friends and for that we will be always grateful. And I will forever treasure the friendship she and I have developed over the last years.