When I first pressed publish back in January 2015, pregnant with the Baby, I had no idea of the impact that blogging would have on my life. I thought I would write a few words, press publish, and maybe my mum would read it. Or my friends if I hounded them enough (and I hounded, sharing on Facebook, in groups, so in your face you wouldn’t believe – sorry guys!). When I started I hadn’t a clue about SEO, DA, PA, Google Ranking, optimising pictures, self hosting, vanity URLs. I didn’t know much about social media, other than I loved Facebook to nose on people I hadn’t seen for 15 years. Twitter was alien to me, Instagram was baby spam. Above all, I didn’t have the foggiest about the power in blogging.
Fast forward to now, nearly two years on, I’ve learnt so much. The technicals, the social media, the writing.
I have much more of an idea of the semantics of blogging. I am slightly more technically savvy in that I know what self hosted means, that I am self hosted with a vanity URL, and because of this I have a domain authority. I understand more than I can explain, a lot like my French really, I have the basics and it shows in my site improvement from the mess that began all that time ago.
Instagram is still a place of baby spam, but also so much more. A pictorial representation of my life, a micro blogging platform. Something that has developed and grown over the past few months with my new found love of Instagram. The little moments captured and explained, our new life shot in moments.
Then there is Facebook, still my guilty pleasure, my little piece of nosey heaven. A page built over time sharing the highs and the lows of our parenting journey, and with it now the highs and lows of our expat life. A page where I share the words I have written in the hope that they reach out and touch someone else, a page where the words I have written have people reaching out to help me.
When I first wrote about the loneliness of putting yourself out there, I thought about being a new mum to the Big One. Heading to NCT classes, with a bump, then a days old baby. Battling the wind and rain in London to head to the local library. The days where I did nothing, saw no one other than this tiny baby that I had no idea what to do with. I remembered the fear of putting yourself out there, the thought of going out overwhelming but the thought of staying in even worse. Then I remembered the early days in Dubai, before the friendships were made, hiding behind a keyboard in the hopes of making new friends. Sending messages that were thinly disguised “will you be my friend” messages. Navigating a new life, new sounds, smells, food, culture, roads and driving, alongside trying to build relationships. For both of us. The loneliness of being the mum sat in the coffee morning with no one to talk to, the deep breaths before plunging yourself into conversation. When I wrote that article I didn’t know that Qatar was about to pull me into a great, big warm hug. I was focused on being brave, of attending the coffee mornings, the meet ups, the soft plays.
I hadn’t realised the power of blogging. The power of words.
That one article has had people in Doha reaching out to me. With and without children, older and younger than me. That article has seen me do something every single day, meeting people, meeting their children, being allowed into their lives. That article has seen people reach out to me, befriend me, and welcome me to my new home. That one article has reminded me to pay it forward, to always keep reaching out, to always offer the hand of friendship. To remember what it was like to be the one alone.
And there is the power of blogging. The power that your words can have. The power of kindness of people.
I just want to say thank you, thank you so much.