Monday, April 8, 2013

How Blogging Has Changed Me

This past week, as I was reading Anne Bogel's post on how blogging has helped her meet more of her goals, I nodded in agreement.

Because, in big and little ways, blogging has changed me.

I am not the same person I was when I first started typing out my day to day story 18 months ago.

I have been stretched and molded, challenge and encouraged.

I have learned to write in a disciplined way. More concise, with lots of white space. I've learned to let my thoughts flow. And also to work to get the right thought out. I write almost everyday. I have been learning how to be vulnerable and share my heart, without accusing or sharing too much information. Discretion. In many ways, blogging is about balance.

I use my camera way more now. I still am not in anywhere near enough photos, but I use it. Almost daily. To take snap shots of our regular day to day life. Nothing spectacular. Just the everyday moments.

I have learned all kinds of technical stuff. Stuff this non tech girl never envisioned herself knowing. Making buttons, and finding HTML codes. Cropping and pasting. Resizing. I've grown in this area.

I've learned that this is my story and my voice, and I can share on my space with boldness. But, I've also learned that there needs to be love and tolerance for other's views. And there is also a right way and a wrong way to say just about everything. And, really, Mr. Hippie says this is the biggest change in me. Period. I've become "softer" or something. Learning to couch my words in grace and love online, has helped me couch them in grace and love IRL.

I've learned that there are many colors to the rainbow, and each contributes beauty to the whole. I have become comfortable in my own skin, and am able to embrace the strengths of others. I revel in our opposite and complementary aspects, as opposed to our alikeness.

Blogging has changed me in that it encourages me to work harder, and go farther. In all aspects of life. As I blog about my goals and intentions, I am making you all, my readers, my accountability partners. In fitness, and home schooling, in parenting, and everything else. If I've said it to you, I feel rather bound to try an accomplish my goals.

Blogging has made me more of a people person. Even IRL. I have deepened friendships with girls I have known forever IRL. Blogging has also brought so many wonderful people into my life that I never would have met apart from blogging. Friends who I turned to in order to pray for me in the midst of dark, deep waters I have waded through. Friends who have shared their life wisdom and day to day knowledge generously with me.

Blogging has given me an outlet for my thoughts. A platform with broader walls than simply my home and kids. It starts in the hub of my home, flowing from my rocking chair and computer, out into the wide world. I have grown both thicker skin and a softer heart.

Blogging has made me think like a business woman. You would laugh to compare the conversations of the BFF and I two years ago with today. We talk writing and growth, vision and goals. More than recipes and kids. I read self-improvement books and biographies. I know. I'm wincing as I am admitting that. I am reading books that grow my mind, and challenge my thinking. Not just fluff and stuff novels.

I think, because blogging gave me a home based outlet, it allowed me space to be content, and even revel in, the life I have been blessed with. Blogging helps me see the beauty where I am. It has opened my eyes. I am blessed. So blessed.

This may sound really schizophrenic, but in many ways I have become the Barefoot Hippie Girl. Barefoot Hippie Girl invokes a less stringent, more playful, more creative view of myself. I'm still not on the green agenda, but I am as unboxable as ever. I'm still extremely conservative and totally about trying to serve God, but I'm also embracing poetry, and art, and beauty. I've become more clear cut and simplistic in some ways-like scheduling and cooking. And more gray in others-hairs, and schooling, and gardening.

Yes, this blog has changed me. It has grown me. I am glad.

How have you grown this past year or so? What has been the vehicle of your growth?