There is good reason you should always check your spam folder. Sitting at breakfast in the Sunrise hotel in Hoi An mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed with one hand and holding my Vietnamese coffee with the other. I received a text from my sister “any emails from Kidspot?” Breakfast was our time to chat, while I took advantage of the free wi-fi at the hotel. “Nope, why?”
“Seems like their blog competition is running again, you sure you don’t have an email?” I was in holiday mode and emails were the last thing on my mind. “Nope, nothing in my inbox.”
“Maybe check your spam?” Sitting in the abyss of my spam folder was an email from Kidspot. “Oh cool I’ve been nominated! Lucky I checked – there is a form I have to fill out and return by the end of the week.”
“What for?” And with that I read my email a little more carefully.
“Oh my goodness, I have made the Top 100.”
Her text back “just quietly, that is a little bit awesome.”
That is how my journey in Kidspot’s Voices of 2014 started, in Vietnam overlooking the South China Sea. Of course I felt excited. I also felt complete disbelief and had to re-read the email over and over again. It felt like my heart had skipped a beat and yet at the same time like I was being weighed down with something far greater than I had anticipated. Here I was praying to the Universe to stay open to all possibility and possibility had gone and landed right in my lap – or better still, my spam folder.
A whirlwind trip to Sydney over the weekend saw me attend the Voices Master Class and the launch cocktail party. Oh what a weekend! I would need thousands of words to describe all that went through my mind as I met so many people and breathed in the motivation of so many bloggers all working hard to follow their dreams.
In my mind, I wrote and re-wrote the words that I would post today; the inspiration, the knowledge, the thoughts that I gained from my experience. Yet, it was reading a post from a dear online friend and the disappointment she felt finding out that she was not one of the nominated blogs that gave me the greatest sense of purpose about Voices of 2014. My response to her I wanted to share with you:
Zanni, I feel disappointed in myself all the time. Almost daily. Another pitch rejected. Another blog post that could have been written better. Another competition failed to be part of. We all seek validation, it is human nature, we all seek guidance in what we do and validation is often mistaken for guidance. Perhaps you are sitting there thinking “easier for her to say” but honestly, even being in the nominated few, I feel more scared than I did last year when I wasn’t nominated. I think the key is perspective. In its simplicity and its difficulty. I need to find gratitude and happiness in what I have right now. I’m trying and you know what, it is harder some days than others. Zanni sit with the disappointment, let it wash over you and once it passes just remember that your words will outlast any competition and any judge of merit. The community you have here is testament to that and I love being part of your little space. So please don’t change, just grow and keep taking us on this journey with you xx
Perhaps I need to listen to my own words of wisdom. While I am terribly humbled by the journey that I am on for Voices of 2014 I must not forget that blog or no blog, nomination or no nomination, we all have a voice. That voice is taking each of us on our own journey. In all of our differences, we need to remember that at the heart of it all, we are all exactly the same.