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12 months ago
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The world is my penpal

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The world is my penpal hero shot

As a teenager I had two pen friends. One lived in Hong Kong and we used to send each other lovely packages containing stationery from our countries. From her I discovered Hello Kitty and also just beautiful pencil tins and stickers that no-one else in my class had, so I felt the epitome of cool when I proudly showed off my new additions! The other penpal was my exchange student from France whom we were paired with via the school’s exchange programme and we spent a summer at each other’s homes.

The world is my penpal hero shot

I remember both girls fondly and even sought out my french penpal on Facebook several years ago as I remembered her name and where she lived so I was able to track her down! Unfortunately I don’t remember the full name of my pal from Hong Kong, so we are no longer connected. But I remember how it felt to open up a new package from her, see the gifts she had carefully sourced and put together to make me happy, as I did the same for her. We brought a little bit of the other side of the world into each other’s lives and learned how gift giving can be even more pleasurable than gift receiving. It was a nice lesson to learn so young.

Reflecting on my pen friends who I’d spend hours writing to and sharing stories of my life, I had a realisation! This is what I’m doing now with blogging! Maybe it seems obvious, but I hadn’t connected the dots before – blogging has just evolved for me over the last 7 years, I found it as I was looking for a creative outlet. I’d always favoured the written word, my teenage years spent writing stories, letters to my pen friends and many, many journals where I could untangle my teenage thoughts. Seven years ago when I was home again with a baby and desperate for adult company, to be able to articulate myself and basically to have a place in the world where I could say and do whatever the hell I pleased and no-one could do anything about it, I started blogging. I loved it!

pink desktop pens & note book

I set about learning HTML, what SEO was, how to edit a video, how to crop and brighten a photo. How to stage a photo, why tags were so important to being found online. I started to make new friends and build a community of like minded women. I got into social media, I learned how to condense a thought into 140 characters (harder than it sounds for a wordy wordsmith who goes all around the houses -according to my husband – when I’m making a point!) I joined in with blogging community linkys, read other people’s sites and left comments, responded to my comments and basically re-entered the world again as a fully functioning adult who does have something to say that is worth hearing.

My blog makes me so unbelievably proud, not for the stunning opportunities it has opened up, not for the money it has enabled me to earn, not for the fact that it is seven years strong and shows no signs of slowing down, but because it is mine. It is a reflection of me, my DNA is in every pixel, I shot every photo, I crafted every word, I lovingly share each post socially to get eyes on it. JuggleMum is me and I am it. But that’s the greatest thing of all – I look around at the mamas out there juggling work and family, running business around their kids, showing up each day to get shit done because that’s what we do, and I realise that whilst JuggleMum the blog may be my IP, juggle mum – the woman – is all of us.

Thank you for being a loyal reader and do leave me a comment to tell me what blogging means to you if you are a blogger and if not, what you enjoy about JuggleMum.

Article Categories:
Culture · JuggleMum · Lifestyle · Social Media

Comments to The world is my penpal

  • I love this post and never thought of blogging in that way. When I was younger I had penpals, usually people I met when I was on holiday.

    angela hamilton 6th June 2016 10:35 am Reply
    • I never seemed to keep up with holiday pencils, it would fizzle out after a while!

      Nadine Hill 7th June 2016 2:23 pm Reply
  • Oh never thought of it like that!

    Penpals are such fun…trying to find international penpals for my eldest daughter as think she would enjoy it

    Fozia S 6th June 2016 7:34 pm Reply
    • I think my daughter would too.

      Nadine Hill 7th June 2016 2:23 pm Reply
  • Great post. I had lots of penpals when I was younger too and often wonder what happened to them! I love my blog and couldn’t imagine life without it. x

    Louise 6th June 2016 9:53 pm Reply
  • I LOVE blogging. It has turned into the BEST job in the world and provides for me and my family and allows me to show and use my creative side.

    Jen Walshaw (@Mum_TheMadHouse) 7th June 2016 7:21 pm Reply
  • I love the idea of the stationary form your penpal in Hong Kong, you would have been so cool. Sometimes I love blogging and others I don’t, not sure where I am today! Mich x

    Michelle Twin Mum 7th June 2016 10:27 pm Reply
  • What a great way of looking at your blog!

    And you absolutely should be proud x x

    Cass@frugalfamily 8th June 2016 8:58 pm Reply
  • I am still in touch with my penpal who now lives in London but was originally from New Zealand. You are right that blogging is like having a penpal

    Kara Guppy 9th June 2016 12:45 pm Reply
  • Love it! Congrats on 7 years of JuggleMum 🙂 I loved having pencils when I was younger, I used to write every week x

    Sonia 10th June 2016 1:16 pm Reply
    • Thank you!

      Nadine Hill 14th June 2016 6:30 pm Reply
  • It’s true blogging does bring friends .
    Congrats on 7years

    Ninjacat 17th June 2016 8:37 am Reply

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