As a newly-minted father with one foot out from his previous life, nothing’s like it used to be. At my peak, I tweeted hundreds of times a day, partying near-daily with tweeps full of spontaneity, drama and hilarity. I felt connected to a thriving Toronto, present in a world where presence mattered, making sure I was seen to be heard, indiscriminate on where I spent my time in the Twitterverse. I’ve been scrawling away on how much the world’s changed, the things I miss and what I’d bring back if I had the power, but Ive been looking at it all wrong.
Yes, Toronto’s changed. Yes, social media’s not what it used to be, ever-changing to accommodate a cast of characters under continual flux. But none of that controls who I am, and that’s what I need to remember…
After months of near-misses, Peter DeWolf and I finally connected for #thepetecast’s 63rd episode, talking Toronto, blogging, fatherhood and more! I trolled his site the day after, surprised to find he’d done an episode with my good friend Simone 17 episodes prior on a few of the same things!
I was blown away by the interview — not expecting to hear about myself in the podcast, Simone had very flattering thing to say, warming my heart and inspiring reflection on what a certain 6-day trip to Vegas did for me last year!
Last Vegas, I Gave You My Heart….
A year ago, Bloggers in Sin City — an unconference bringing bloggers together as people, not just bringing them together to talk blogging — made me more than 60 new friends, complete with adventures, inside jokes, and the joy of people who don’t care about your blog traffic, clickthrough rates or blog marketing strategy.
A year ago, I had late-night conversations over pizza, sharing parts of myself that rarely surface in Toronto, feeling comfortable enough to know that I could be brutally honest and it wouldn’t come back to bite me later.
A year ago, I re-discovered it was possible to share your story without putting yourself in a box, choosing instead to create based on interest — not the best practices you’re told to follow!
A year ago, I not only became a better blogger… I became a better person.
Where I’m From
Let’s not kid ourselves by thinking we fit the Canadian stereotype — Toronto’s a cutthroat city! Our blogosphere ain’t gentle, with thousands trying to show value while suffering an inferiority complex from the New Yorks and LAs of the world; we’re a city of the world, but not a world-class city, with bloggers yearning to be taken seriously. For years I drank the Kool-Aid — party hard; be seen; get your name on everyone’s lips, making sure the world will never forget you.
But I was entirely missing the point.
I won’t re-hash my thoughts from my return to Toronto last May (there’s already a post for that) but they weren’t happy. I’d found wonderful people not trying to oust me from some imagined “spot” as a blogger. They were personal bloggers, blogging about life and everything in it — your opinion be damned.
In the year since, I’ve changed — you might even read these words and think me a hypocrite with my sponsored posts, trips and a lifestyle that couldn’t be farther from the idea of just writing about things I’m passionate about.
But BiSC taught me that everyone walks their own path — there’s no shame in being who you are. We are not the food we eat, the clothes we wear, or the events we go to. BiSC taught me that life isn’t a race, and there’s nothing wrong with doing things at my own pace — that if you’ve got something amazing to share with the world, it’s worth taking your time, channelling your thoughts and creating the best damn piece of work you possibly can!
BiSC reminded me that it’s useless to compare myself to the next blogger — my real competition is myself. Making each blog post better than the last; honing my skills, continually evolving my ideas and projects; changing my paradigms to speak with the voice I always had, but never knew how to use. This last year’s been intense, and I know there’s more to come.
It’s taken me a year to learn this lesson, and I hope you’ve the opportunity to experience the same. While BiSC is no more, it made its way into my heart — and I hope all I learned will continue to do so for many years to come.