(This post is a part of Gwen Bell's The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Thanks for the great inspiration idea, Amy!)
Blogfind of 09
A single find? Well that is a tall order.
I'll start by saying this. I've always been kind of a joiner. Growing up I was super involved in dance and when I say involved I mean, IN-VOLVED. Man, I did so much tap, jazz, and ballet from the age of 3 on, that you would never have doubted my commitment to Sparkle Motion. It felt like breathing, it was just what I was meant to do pretty much every day and I loved it. I always knew what was expected of me and I pushed myself until I succeeded. If nothing else it certainly taught me a lot about discipline and spandex -- and frankly both have come in handy in my adult life. I danced right up until high school when I had to make the OMG-HUGE-HUGE-LIFE-CHANGING-DECISION (ha!) of whether to quit dance to join the cheerleading squad at my high school. And whew! Were those some sleepless adolescent nights.
In the end I did quit dancing, but I basically just replaced it with the sort of high school shenanigans that inspired pretty much all 97 incarnations of the Bring It On franchise (and for the record, I want you all to know I never dropped The Spirit Stick.) -- but as cheesy as it sounds, those are some of the best memories of my life. There really is a little bit of magic that happens when a group of like minded gals get together to do something that brings them joy. It's why in college I ended up going the sorority route (though that ended up totally NOT being for me), and it's why as an adult I pretty much love everything about being a card carrying member of Junior League...it's nothing like the pearl wearing housewives club that you would imagine, and I have met some of the coolest gals on the planet.
Now of course when you are talking about groups of women, there is always the possibility of that magic turning into that of the "Mean Girls" variety, but as I get older I find myself encountering that a lot less frequently. I think as my age has increased, my tolerance for catty bullshit and exclusiveness has decreased -- especially since I've gotten much less afraid to express myself -- and as a consequence I find it seems to happen so infrequently. Well, I take that back, I definitely still see it, but I guess more accurately it just doesn't have the same effect. I sort of roll my eyes and move on.
I guess all of this is to say that this year -- 2009 -- my "blog-find" is not just a single link. Sadly, part of the reason for that is that my favorite blogger EVER decided to quit blogging (so sad!). But more importantly, my "blogfind" this year was really so much than I can portray in just a few links (Plus, I'd hate to leave someone out, because there goes that exclusive thing again). For me, it was more of a shift in perspective. This year I realized that blogging is more of a community for me than I ever thought it would be. That I'm not just some random gal sitting in my office, or on my couch typing away alone. I'm in a HUGE room (that spans the globe!) full of a bunch of other like minded gals (and guys, of course too!) who are just putting their thoughts and ideas into words trying to make sense of it all. I kind of feel like that iPhone commercial...."Need to know how many calories are in your dinner? There's an app for that."
Want some advice about how to decorate your house? "There's a blog for that"
Need some inspiration for continuing to write your novel? "There's a blog for that"
Garrett's job is moving to Denver, who the hell do I even know in Denver? "There's a blog for that"
And behind every blog is someone fabulous and helpful. Someone who understands the power of a friendly email or comment. Who realizes that sometimes words from strangers are more meaningful than advice you get from people in real life. Who will tweet things that make you laugh so hard you snort when you are having a bad day. Who will provide you with inspiration when you aren't finding much. These are people who understand how awesome it is to have broad network. We've got a community here, us bloggers -- and the whole is so much great than the sum of its parts! And really feeling this in a tactile way this year -- that is my best blog find.
And in my humble opinion, that realization is much more powerful than a little link love.