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.
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!
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.