Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
~Theme song from Cheers
If you've been reading me for a while now, you know that's what I say at the end of most blogs and FB posts.
Who knew it would be the perfect theme to help me describe how I feel about the upcoming BlogU Conference in Maryland?
Where everybody knows your name.
I've been thinking about my blogging years; about the highlights and lowlights, the ins and outs, the funny one liners and hysterical hiccups of the time I've invested. Of all of my experiences over the years the most important life lessons I've learned involve friendship. I have learned more about life through these friendships than anywhere else.
In this crazy world...sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.
Life is hard...so taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
In the end, we're just doing the best we can -- and you wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.
We just want to be seen and heard, loved and appreciated. You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
I cannot begin to describe the way my heart overflows with love -- from strangers, friends, fellow bloggers, fans and laughter on a daily basis just by being intertwined with my tribe of writers.
Food blogger? Fashion blogger? Family blogger?
It doesn't matter. Labels don't matter. The friendship is what matters. Finding support and lifting someone else up in the process -- that matters.
Years ago when I first started blogging I surrounded myself with fellow "humorists" -- a label I wanted to fall under so desperately in order to justify my sassy outlet for my stress. I wanted to make fun of my shortcomings, justify my imperfections, and laugh about it in the process. Over time, I learned that these were not humorists -- they were 'life-ists,' much like myself. We were all just flawed, funny, silly, wonderful human beings. All of us with our different heartbreaks, victories, challenges and thrills. The thing we most had in common was courage. Courage to write about the roads we've traveled and the desire to share them with the world whether for a laugh, words of encouragement, or healing. I've learned it takes a special kind of bravery to share our written words with others. Sometimes it works brilliantly, and sometimes it flops; either way we learn something every time we tell a story. Either way, at the end of the blogging day, we have each other to give and get a virtual high five, hug or encouragement.
Instead of telling you how much fun you will have and how much you will learn at BlogU, let me just say that the friendships you will form and cultivate at BlogU, and the knowledge you will take away has no limits -- just an endless supply of love, laughter, and pure enjoyment of each other's company with the common thrill of blogging as the glue that binds us together.
We are from opposite ends of the country. We are all different. We have various backgrounds and life stories. We may type the stories at home alone and we may be by ourselves when we hit publish, but having a group of people that share this hobby and understand why we do what we do means we're never really alone out there in the world of words.
Fellow writers, people who share this hobby, this love of expression, no matter if you just started, are thinking of starting, or have been writing for years -- please join us at BlogU this June to learn how you can grow your beautiful little blogger garden into something even more special and really recognize your potential. More importantly, surround yourself with others who also fell in love with blogging - hear their stories, their experiences, their ups and downs. They will help you in so many ways and most importantly, by the end of the weekend, they will know your name.
Cheers and thank you for knowing mine... can't wait to see you in June! ~DG
This post is part of a series produced in partnership with BlogU and The Huffington Post for the upcoming BlogU conference in Baltimore, MD, this June 6-8, 2014. For more information and to register go to http://bloguconference.com.