A year ago I took my first steps into a new world that I hadn’t got a clue about. Blogging. Since then I have spent a lot of time learning about and absorbed in writing and posting, interacting and commenting.
The Filling Glass is not successful in traditional blogging terms (page views, income, indexes, awards or whatever other metric you want to use), but in my eyes it is one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
I am learning so much about myself and I honestly don’t think there is anything more valuable than that. Some lessons have been harder than others, but they have all given me, in one way or another, a way to move onwards and upwards.
I didn’t really want to write a ‘three things I have learned from blogging’ post; it kind of goes against the grain of the type of thing I like to write. But for me the whole purpose of blogging is sharing insights. These are my lessons, but I think anyone can find something to take away from them.
Meeting new people
Blogging has brought me a small, but very important, network of other bloggers. People who I get, who get me, who are truly inspirational. Some of whom I would now call friends, others who I would like to get to know more, and I shall. I have even met a couple of these in real life! Thank you to all those who have welcomed me.
Having said that, I realise I haven’t got the capacity to keep up with the thousands of people in the blogosphere. Maybe to some other bloggers I have appeared standoffish. But I refuse to make a transactional connection, or jump on a bandwagon and *newsflash* you can tell them a mile off. If I am going to put effort into a relationship I want it to be genuine, to me at least.
I’ve never used the internet as a meeting place before; I met my husband well before internet dating became a norm, and social media was just a place to keep up with old friends. But I have really enjoyed finding a meeting of minds. It is easy to find people like you online compared to everyday life where opportunities don’t arise to meet new people so frequently.
Learning new tricks
From technical computer skills to writing craft, from parenting tips to psychological theories, from meditation to business teaching. I have needed or wanted to look at so many different areas of knowledge over the last year. And it has been a fascinating journey. I have always enjoyed learning, but expanding my world onto another level has been so stimulating. I’m not sure that I would have done this without blogging.
Books, blogs, vlogs and online conferences; reading, listening or watching; there is a vast array of resources out there to be used for learning. A lot of the time it can be overwhelming to open the door to this stuff but how amazing to have such a supply of sources. And my book pile has grown rather large from all the recommendations!
I have seen a massive increase in my creativity as a result of this learning. I have constantly got something to look at, to challenge me and learn from. There is a fine balance between timewasting (thank you very much social media) and being productive but I am gradually finding what works for me. And a lot of it is about the permission I give to myself.
Some of the lessons have been hard, but they remain worthwhile. How much social media I can allow in my life (not a lot!). How sometimes my thoughts and reactions come from a place of hurt or jealousy. That blogging can feel like a popularity contest I’m definitely not winning. But these don’t mean what I’m doing is not worth it, they mean I’m growing.
From my first post, I have been finding my voice, growing my voice, being my voice. I have allowed myself to be me. No more false me, no more false anything. Before, I was hiding from myself, I was lost in myself. I put others before myself. As a result I struggled with my mental health.
Seeing this blog as a way to fill up my glass, to live life to the full, I have moved on from that. I have looked deep into my soul. I have searched myself well and I know there is more still to find. I have the power to be who I want to be. So many times over the past year I have written to give myself power and now I feel it resides within me.
My identity, both as a mother and as simply me, continues to crystallise. I can also see my limitations. I am only one person, with a finite amount of time and more goals than a blog. I have seen how easily life can become distorted by one facet that it becomes an entirely unreal world.
I have a new (or perhaps resurrected) sense of purpose. I can live the life that I dream of, finally get to do those things that I have always wanted to do, and new ones as well. I have and continue to change as a person. I am me and not anyone else, I am forging my own path, on my terms.
My one piece of wisdom to encapsulate all this is; be open, be honest, be genuine, be you. With others and with yourself. And your glass will overrun.