As you read this I am on my way from little Halifax, Nova Scotia to the very big Atlanta, Georgia to attend my very first blogging conference. Hopefully I’ve made it through customs in Toronto without too many tears. Maybe I am desperately searching for my contact picking me up at the airport. Perhaps I am sitting in my hotel room wondering what the heck I’m going to do now.
I think I am ready. I’d better be ready.
It seems crazy to me that I can even type these words. When I started writing – or ranting – about Shiva two and a half years ago I never expected an opportunity like this one would ever occur. It was all a lark. Something to do to pass the time. A way to share pictures. I didn’t even tell my mom about it. It’s been a weird and wonderful turn of events. Of course, I owe it all to you, the people who show up to read about our misadventures on a daily basis. Without you I wouldn’t be sitting here inwardly panicking about all the packing I have left. I’d probably be sleeping or reading some boring, pretentious, non-dog-related novel.
The mind. It boggles.
Blogging has become such a central part of my life now and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give it up. Even if BarkWorld is my first and last big event, the act of writing my thoughts and sharing them with others is just second nature. I can’t lie, I’ve thought about giving it up. There have been days when I question why I am even here. Sometimes I tell myself I am going to take a break. Talk less, listen more. But the next day I find myself at my computer again, itching to connect with others who get it.
Because it’s not just about me and Shiva anymore. It’s about you and everyone else who cares so much about their pets they share all their cute stories online.
This week I received my information for the Social Petworking Offline session. The anxiety built in my stomach when I found out I’d have to give a brief presentation about what my website and what it is I am doing here. My mind emptied and my breath caught. I can’t do this, I thought. This is too much.
Luckily my PH was around to talk some sense into me. He asked some practical questions that got me thinking about this space in a way I haven’t before. That’s when it came to me.
From the outside it looks like I write a blog about my relationship with my crazy rescue dog. If one looks closer, she will see it is so much more than that. It has become almost a community of people who give up their time to provide support and encouragement to those they have never met. It is an ongoing conversation between strangers who know nothing about one another, other than their mutual love of animals. It is a space where I can be vulnerable and where I hope others can too. In a difficult and challenging world, it is a source of humour, kindness, and positivity.
This is what it is for me. My goal for this site is to continue helping others and to keep learning how to be a better dog owner, a better person, from all of you.
Is that too sappy for an elevator pitch? I guess I’ll find out.
Wish me luck! If you are going, maybe I will see you there!