Oh, the Places You’ll Go… With Open Reflection

Today is a pretty special day for me. One of my favourite things to do in the morning before getting out of bed is to check my Timehop (the app linked to my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts that shows me what I posted on that day, in the past). Today, it reveled that a year ago today, I posted my very first blog post. In this post, I introduced myself to the world after joining #IMMOOC and said that “I’m not sure what this blog will end up looking like, nor do I know how often I’ll be posting… But I am here now, and that’s already a great thing!” If I knew then what I know now about all of the amazing things that blogging would bring me, I wouldn’t have been so fearful of starting in the first place. In one year, I’ve published 50 posts, which is way more than I ever thought imaginable and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings! So, on my one year blogging anniversary, I thought I would reflect on my journey and some of the places that blogging has brought me.

Before starting my blog, I would “waste” so much time with ideas swimming around in my head with no real organization. Things would keep me up at night, my mind would race, and I wasn’t often very productive with the overwhelming amount of information that I would come across. Once I started using these ideas and thoughts as inspiration for blog posts, I was able to organize them in ways that made sense to me. Blogging also forced me to reflect deeper, because when something is public, more thought inevitably has to go into it.

Blogging has also given me so much meaning. People don’t often understand this about me and wonder how I do what I do, but blogging about my passion gives me an escape and provides me with some much needed “me-time”. When I’ve had a long day, or when my own kids are giving me a run for my money, I’ll often de-stress by blogging. Some people like doing yoga, or playing sports, or watching TV, or having a glass of wine… I blog (but I do love a nice warm bath too… sometimes from which I blog!! :))

My blog started off as a pretty basic space. I set it up through wordpress and not long after creating it, I regretted not having used my name as the URL address. At some point during the year, I decided to switch my site (still through wordpress) to my name, and had to pay a small fee to have my site redirected to my new URL. AND THEN, this summer, I finally listened to Geroge Couros’ advice, and decided to buy my own domain name in order to have my blog do and be more, while giving me more flexibility. Since then, I’ve transformed my blog into a digital portfolio, but it is still very much a work in progress. All this to say that my blog has been in constant evolution throughout the year. I am always learning, tweaking things, revamping, often getting frustrated, but learning so much through it all.

These are just a few examples of how blogging has impacted me on a personal and professional level, but with another round of #IMMOOC about to start and many participants likely being on the fence about starting their own blog, I’m guessing that many are feeling fearful, like I was just a year ago. If you’d like to know a bit more about WHY you should start blogging, I encouraged you to read the post that Katie Martin and I had co-written together during round 2 of #IMMOOC: The Power of Blogging for Professional Development.

I’ll just finish off by saying that I am so grateful to have found the #IMMOOC tribe who has pushed, supported, challenged, and encouraged me throughout the last year. I am also so thankful for your positivity, without you, this blog wouldn’t exist!

Cheers to all the alumni as well as the new participants joining this round. It won’t be long until you understand how amazing this community truly is!

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