In 2006, Liz linked to a post of mine about bathing suits on BlogHer. Another friend wrote about music on the site at the time. I clicked through a few pages and joined the site. I remember nearly passing out with glee when Lisa Stone, one of the co-founders, emailed me personally to ask me to join their new and growing ad network.
I made it a goal to someday work for the site. At the time, I still worked for an adoption content website as a blogger and editor, but I stayed active in the BlogHer community. I knew what I wanted.
In 2010, through a series of life changes and coincidence or happenstance or fate or friends or what have you, I achieved that goal. I spent the following five years working with other smart women. I learned not just about editing but about life and balance; about topics and subjects I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to consider or research; about the many ways to mother, to parent, to love, to nurture, to let go; about friendship and grief, love and loss, highs and lows; about achievements and set backs and all the spaces in between when talking about professional endeavors. I learned so much I couldn’t begin to define or quantify it all, but I know the things I learned helped shape how I viewed the world and the people in my life.
I also wrote. I wrote a lot. I wrote about things that piqued my interest and things that didn’t really. I wrote poorly; I wrote better. I wrote because the words of others inspired me to write. And sometimes I didn’t write because someone else already said what I needed to say, what people needed to hear. Editing and writing do that sometimes. I didn’t feel silenced by the words of others. No. I felt empowered.
Over these past five years, I found my voice. I learned how speaking my own truth helped others. When I stopped writing about adoption and shut down my adoption blog, I wasn’t sure I’d have anything worth writing, sharing, or reading. I struggled for awhile, silenced by my own fear and anxiety of not ever being “enough.” Through the daily reading and editing of others’ work at BlogHer, I found the courage to keep writing my truth. Last July, I stood on stage and shared that truth with a room full of people I knew and didn’t know.
BlogHer helped me get to that place.
And that’s why it’s so hard to say goodbye.
Last Friday, I closed my laptop and walked away from five years of hard work, growth, achievement, and everything else that comes with working for a company you love. Choosing to leave remains one of the harder decisions of my professional life. It feels both brave and scary in the same shaky breath. Setting off on a new path feels invigorating and paralyzing, but I’m taking each step a day at a time.
My reasons for leaving aren’t as important as the people I left behind in making this decision. While I’ve enjoyed my first week off, spent largely and fully with my sons and husband and associated family members, I’ve also missed the daily interaction with some of the most intelligent, loving, funny, inspiring women I’ve ever had the joy to work with, for, and beside. Our “small but mighty” team did a lot of good work, and BlogHer continues to touch a lot of lives in so many different ways. I will always be proud to say I worked for a company that empowers so many women, both financially and with words.
Now I find myself in both a time of uncertainty and discovery. I’m taking the month of June off to be with my family. Tomorrow marks one year since my Grandmother’s passing, and we’re interring her ashes along with my Papau’s ashes next Saturday on their wedding anniversary. Over the past year, though many hard life experiences, I’ve found myself wanting to draw closer to my family. And so I am.
I have a few contracts lined up for July. I am searching LinkedIn, job boards, and the world at large for my next job. But for now… for now, I am just enjoying a bit of time to breathe, to stretch, to look at who I am and who I want to become. I’m excited for this time and for whatever waits just down this path. I feel like great things are right ahead of me. I just need to remain patient and steady in the journey. I need to remain present in this time and place.
And so, thank you, BlogHer. Thank you for the five years, the time before that, and the time yet to come. I still believe in your mission, in your work, in the voices you help people find. Thank you for helping me find mine.