As I snaked my way down U.S. 160 in the far southwest corner of our great state, I could barely keep my eyes on the road. Not from fatigue and not from the distraction of children or my iPhone. My head was clear, and my eyes were wide open, soaking in the colors, shapes and roadside delights of the beautiful countryside. I was mesmerized. Yes, I’ve traveled these roads before, but never alone, and never with these new lenses. My eyes now see the world as a series of stories, something that wasn’t necessarily the case before I started blogging. Now, I don’t see a dilapidated barn sinking into the prairie. I see the man who set the first cornerstone. I see the cattle who once let their milk be pulled out while standing in the stalls. I see the grubby-kneed children who once scampered up to the hay loft. I see the stories.
And that, my friends, is my greatest hope for this Kansas Women Bloggers venture. That you, too, can experience the joy of telling and experiencing stories. Whether it be through photographs, artwork, words or food, we all have stories to tell. Once we realize this, we can begin to chronicle the moments of impact in our lives, and begin to see a grand design when we weave them all together. Looking back on the time I’ve been blogging, I feel incredibly sad thinking about what would be lost had I not told these stories. No, they may not matter to others a few years from now, but they matter to me. They’ll matter to my family.
You, too, have a mighty story to be told. Yes, you. We hope you can find the courage and camaraderie here to either continue telling, or begin telling, your life’s story. It makes us vulnerable, yes, but it also forges us together with authentic bonds, ones that are far less likely to break. The women in this state are as diverse as the Kansas landscape, with stories of cosmopolitan excitement to stories of the quiet contentment found in the middle of nowhere. And while some of your fellow KWB members may blog more frequently, or more passionately, or more strategically, don’t think for a moment that your story isn’t as important.
Take me, for example. I’ve opened up my heart and spread it out all over the web for the world to see. I’ve told deeply personal and self-deprecating stories. And sometimes, I would wake up with a vulnerability hangover and wonder, “Why on earth did I publish that?!” I even began to regret ever having started a blog in the first place, even though I’d received no negative feedback. But then I remember Kristina. She found my post on losing our first baby, and had this to say:
” I have been searching for anyone who could truly understand the immense pain I am now going through. It seems as if no one really understands. All I hear is pity in other’s voices and in their eyes. Thank you once again for this post. It came at just the right time for me.”
Imagine if I’d never written this story. Imagine if I’d let myself believe that my story didn’t matter, that it had been told before, that nobody would care. Kristina cared. And someone will care about your stories, too. This is how we can make the world a better place through blogging. By opening up with your ideas, inspiration, hurts and hopes, you will encourage others who think they’re the only ones facing certain challenges. Gather. Grow. Connect. It’s what we do here at Kansas Women Bloggers.
Editor, Kansas Women Bloggers
Do you have a story about how your blog made an impact on someone else? We’d love to know! Send us an email at kansaswomenbloggers AT gmail.com.