I’ve never been shy about proclaiming my love for the SITS Girls! Seriously, they completely opened my eyes to the blogging world, helped me have a killer birthday week last year by being a featured blogger, and are hosting my first blog conference Bloggy Bootcamp in October!
One of the best things that SITS ever did for my blog was to introduce me to Problogger! Last year I took a class with the SITS ladies called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and it totally changed the way I blog! Not only did it change the way I blogged, I met so many incredible people in the process!
With the SITS Girls are at it again and this time we will be going through Problogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging! Obviously I’ve been blogging for well over a week but that doesn’t mean that I don’t need to brush up on the fundamentals. I really need some help getting refocused and now seems like a great time to do it! While sign-ups to be placed in groups are closed, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still join in! You can find out all the details of this new class by clicking here!
I’m so excited to get started! Seriously, if you are looking to start blogging or brush up on the fundamentals, this is the class for you!
Now its time to get cracking of my first assignment!
I still have close to 4 months to go before heading to Atlanta but preparations are being made! Currently Type A is going on (so close to home too!) so my twitter feed in filled with awesome 140 character bits of information about social media and blogging which is making me even more reading for October 22nd to roll around! My conference ticket was purchased a couple months ago and I reserved my hotel room this week! A kid-free weekend with 100 amazing ladies! Don’t get me wrong, I love my child more than anything, but I am really looking forward to a grown-up weekend!
While I am extremely excited, I am all kinds of nervous already. I’m quite a bit shy but the cool thing about BBC (short for Bloggy Bootcamp) is that they assign seating for the morning session ensuring that you have the chance to meet new people! If it weren’t for that, I would be the dorky introvert in the corner by herself!
Of course, being female, I’m already trying to figure out what to wear! Being with a 100 social media fanatics you know there will be cameras! I was tagged in pictures this week on Facebook from college and wow. Wish I had known how long those things would be floating around. I may not have worn this:
Boy I loved me some overalls back in the day! But just as a defense, I wasn’t the only one in the group pictures sporting them! It does make me think of cutting my hair back off though. I really don’t need that temptation.
So in preparation for BBC, I’ve been scouring the net and checking out posts about blog conferences, especially those directed for first time attendees. Here are some of the best I’ve found:
Tips & Tools for Attending Conferences by Felicia Fibro
Why Should I Attend A Blog Conference via Social Dialect
Attending A Blog Conference: Tips & Advice via Blogging Basics 101
Is anyone else in the planning stages of your first blog conference? If so, which one? If not, what is holding you back?
I first learned of the concept of “a new kind of normal” at a Women of Faith conference several years ago. A speaker said something along of the lines of “Sometimes things happen in life – sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren’t. We can’t go back in change it instead we must move forward. In turn, we must find a new kind of normal.” It truly resonated with me and has been my life’s goal since my illness diagnosis which took place almost eight years ago.
But the thing is, I’m not there yet. This blog has wore the name “A New Kind of Normal” for almost 4 years but honestly I don’t quite have a grip on it yet. I still catch myself looking over my shoulder longing for the old me. The healthy me. The me that still had hopes of running a marathon and sporting a cute baby belly. The me that no longer exists. The trained counselor in me recognizes my loss and realizes that I will still experience sudden temporary upsurges of grief (aka STUGS – take that Dr. D!) The perfectionist in me wants all of that to be behind me permanently. The realist in me knows that its just something I’ve got to come to terms with.
Honestly, I’m ok with the grief part of it. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of fertility. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of health.
What I’m not ok with is my longing to be the old me. The thought that if I can just get back to this or do that like I used to, I will be ok. I want to be rid of that. I want to be rid of the guilt of not being able to do everything I think I should be able to do. The guilt that somehow I am letting my family down by not being healthy like I once was. I want to be rid of the shame that I am sick and that sometimes I have to say no and that sometimes I have to cancel plans. I did nothing to cause my illness and honestly nothing short of a miracle cure is going to take it away so I know that I have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. I know that but I just don’t feel that.
The new me is something I should still be proud of. I may have lost my ability to run a marathon but instead I’ve gained a heart of compassion. I may not have a rock hard body like I’ve always dreamed of but I have a body that hasn’t given up on me yet (and have managed to lose and keep off 35lbs!). I may not be a social butterfly and live it up on the town but instead I have gained meaningful and cherished relationships with others experiencing chronic illness through the magic of social media. I may not have gotten to experience pregnancy but now I have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to those who are traveling a similar journey.
So this is me letting go of the old me and embracing the new me and my new normal:
It is not how I would have planned it but every day is a new gift and a new adventure and when I think of all of the good that God has created out of a desperate situation, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post was written as a part of the SITS Letting Go Series over the Women on the Move Channel! If you are looking for motivation or inspiration, definitely check it out and link up! You can follow the Letting Go discussion on twitter using the #SITSLettingGo hashtag!