One of the reasons I love competition reality shows (think: American Idol, etc) is watching those moments when someone who has worked so hard for something is given a chance to shine. Their talents are recognized and celebrated, and you can almost feel the deep shift that happens in their hearts with such validation.
I had a moment of my own just like that last May when I won the Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ’10 contest.
I cannot emphasize enough how that moment was a turning point in my life, not just as a blogger, but as a person. The validation gave me something no one could ever take away, and has been a powerful motivator in the past year (as I imagine it will be for a long time to come).
The actual trip to BlogHer ’10 was amazing, magical, another life-changing event for me, especially as I had never been to New York City and spent the entire weekend milking every ounce of joy and discovery from it.
And for months that followed, I made a point to put myself out there in the blogging world, be bolder and buoyed by the confidence Mabel’s Labels had shown in me.
I began writing here at the Mabelhood, then branched out to write for other sites, began working more professionally online, started teaching classes offline, and speaking at blogging conferences as well. I have definitely been making waves and feeling inspired and excited in the surf.
My year writing for the Mabelhood is ending now, though, and ironically, I find myself in a much different place than I was this time last year.
My family’s situation has changed in a way that requires much more of my focus and energy, and I’ve had to scale way back in my professional aspirations and endeavors. Where I was once making waves, I need to now go with the flow.
I can be bitter or frustrated or resentful about that, or I can realize that things come in seasons, in cycles, and what we learn from one phase to the next is valuable in and of itself, and not always for whatever end result we want or anticipate or feel we’ve missed out on.
So my parting piece of Mom Advice to all of the women, mothers, and friends who may have been reading this column this year: sometimes you’ll make waves, and sometimes you’ll have to go with the flow. The key is to ride out your life the best way you can, and hold on to those things that remain from one cycle to the next.
Thank you again to Mabel’s Labels for giving me something I can carry through all of life’s tides!