Friday, January 24, 2014

Transformation & Friends

On December 20, 2011, I hit publish on my very first Because Shanna Said So blog post. I had only read a single blog entry in my entire life. It was a friend's "journal", so to speak, documenting her kids, how cute they were, what food they ate that day, what games they played, yada-yada. I thought, this is fun. I want to make a blog...yes, I just used the word make. So I did. It was named after my two girls and it consisted of one whopping post. That was in 2009...I think. Then 2011 rolled around and I was lost in my career, my marriage and life in general. So what does one do while in the beginning stages of a mild depression and mental break down? They start a style blog. Go figure. I spent about one hour researching. I found Blogger and WordPress. I chose Blogger. I mean, I already had an account set up from that one post I did two years ago. Let's go with that. At that moment, after I created my new blog account, picked out a pre-made template that looked GOD awful...like a scrapbook page on crack, my life changed then and there.


I could literally write a hundred posts on why this little space of mine has truly transformed my life and was one of the things that literally saved me from the loony house. Maybe one day I will share a few of those reasons and stories. I am just not ready to go there anytime soon. Just take my word.

What I will chat about is the selfless, endearing, most thoughtful people that have crossed my path because of this blog and not necessarily in the flesh. They have impacted me more than they will ever know. Have stolen my heart. Will never be forgotten. Blown my mind with their kindness and sincerity. Okay, I am sounding super sappy right now, but it's the truth.

Let me digress.  I have a stellar group of friends in real life. My best friend from third grade and I still talk on a regular basis. My college sorority sisters are genuinely "my sisters" and six them stood beside me on my wedding day. My neighborhood friends, well they are my daily life lines and I wouldn't be able to function without their support. It takes a village you know? Total team effort raising all these crazy kids.

But, the friendships that have come my way online...man, it is indescribable. If you are a blogger, you know what I mean. Girls I "know" have legitimately found their best friends through blogging. Like they book flights, visit each other, Skype, text, the whole gamut. I was lucky enough for this same thing to happen to me with Stesha and Sarah (and a handful of others). I got to actually to squeeze these girls that I met through my blog...talk about online friendship dating. They have become great friends. We text, share secrets, vent, laugh and most importantly support one another in all aspects of our lives.

But what about the people that I haven't ever actually got to hug? Ones that I feel like I've known for years and probably know more about me than people I know IRL because they come here on a daily basis and read what I have to say. It's totally bizarre and crazy abnormal, but I don't think any of us would have it any other way.

Again, digression. So many bloggers, NOT companies, that I have become friends with have literally gone out of their way for no other reason than to make my day brighter. I felt it was long overdue to say thank you here on my blog, that's the whole reason we became friends in the first place. You ladies know who you are and your acts of kindness will never be forgotten.

To blow my mind even more, a special shout out to Elena Fay. She surprised me this past summer with an illustration...100% out of the blue. I was floored, flattered and almost in tears from her talent. I did not ask her or even hint around for her to sketch a picture of me. She sent it over from the heart because I inspire her, just like she inspires me. Last week, she put her magical hands to work again and created another painting. I am still in awe.

This whole blog world can be quite ugly. We put ourselves out there as unintentional prey, just trying to do what we love and share pieces of our lives. It sucks, but it's part of the package. I try to sweep that not so pretty part under the rug and remind myself of all the good that comes from it. So, ladies, in my most wise words, go make friends, engage with them, enjoy the ride and deliver those random acts of kindness. Most importantly don't stop believing in yourself, take things for granted or give up on your dreams just because someone else reached theirs before you did. And don't ever let the negatives outweigh the positives.

Thank you for everything that each an every one of you have contributed to both my blog life and real life. I have said it before and I will keep saying it until my last published post...you guys keep me trucking.

Elena didn't pay me and I didn't pay her, it's just a gift she wanted to give. It's just another random act of kindness happening here and now. Enter to win a personalized illustration ($75 value) from this amazing artist. The winner can send her a picture of themselves or loved one. This would make a brilliant Valentine's Day Gift. Good luck and have a happy weekend.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Shanna

31 comments:

Audrey @ Putting Me Together said...

So glad and honored to be your bud, Shanna!

Rachelle (http://pinksole.com/) said...

Elena did an amazing job, you are so sweet Shanna.

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

Lovely post Shanna! And those drawing are GORGEOUS!

Kimberly said...

I agree with so much of what you said here - starting my blog literally saved me from loneliness after we moved to NY and I had no close friends around me. I'm so glad that we have had the chance to connect & get to know each other on a deeper level, beyond the fashion - to me, that is what life is all about! Love you girl :)

www.pennypincherfashion.com

The Pink Growl said...

awww I love this! Blogging is truly an amazing community!

Because of Jackie said...

Oh Shanna, I love this. Blogging IS special. Despite some of the drama and outside noise, it connects people in the truest sense of the word, and for people like me, a mom that stays home with two young kids in Michigan, an outlet. So glad to have found YOU, you are one in a million;)

Heidi said...

I love the blogging community. It's going to sound crazy, but so many of my friends have kids, different jobs, and different lifestyles from me that it's really hard to connect sometimes. Yet, blogging friends have been there and have offered up so much advice over the years that I no longer question if this is crazy. I question those that don't for their sanity :)

http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

Lauren {Fizz and Frosting} said...

It truly is amazing how great an impact blogging has had on my life. I think I'd go crazy (or crazier?) without my outlet! I am so glad to have found you and your blog! xo

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

This is a wonderful post! I'm truly thankful I've gotten to know you through blogging.

What an amazing gift from Elena! Beautiful.

Lewis Lane said...

Such a sweet post. I am so glad to have found your blog. It has made me try to step up my style lol. I can use all the help I can get when it comes to style

J is for Jessica said...

I love the drawing, such a fun decoration for an office, or perhaps to put on a business card? I work from home and have one good friend I've had since I was two that we e-mail daily to keep each other occupied. But other than that, although I haven't made any solid connections with bloggers, I have found one that lives in my city and we both teach at the same college part-time, and I definitely start to feel like I want to know what's going on in blogger world more than my surrounding real world most of the time! My blog has been a lifesaver for me too, especially on this journey of new motherhood!

Helene in Between said...

i love reflecting on the past to see where I began and how i am now. it's crazy how things can change. but it's interesting the people that stay with you throughout. those are the ones that count.

i love the illustration. she is amazing!

Sarah said...

We are having a glass of wine IRL one day!! It will happen!!!

Maggie Frost said...

You floor me everyday with your honesty and sincerity. It truly does read through in every post, every day. It also makes me so excited I have started on this blogging journey. Keep the inspiration coming, Shanna!

Have a great weekend!
xx maggie

Niki {Glossy Blonde} said...

What an absolutely beautiful post! I've said it before and will say it again, I am thrilled to have met you through blogging! There are so many times that I sit and think, I would love to just email Shanna about this and get her thoughts. It's weird I know haha but it's just crazy how you can feel like you know someone from meeting them online. And her illustrations are absolutely beautiful!!

Carly said...

Love this, and both pictures are AWESOME….she's so talented!

Carly
www.lipglossandcrayons.com

Whitney said...

You write with such sincerity that you make everyone feel like a friend. Your blog and your attitude are an inspiration to me!

Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

You are so cute. I love the way you wear your heart on your sleeve. I've watched your site completely grow wings and take off (I think I was your very first giveaway winner - the Stila makeup) and you deserve every bit of kindness and success!

xx
Erin
Currently Coveting

Susan Liberatore said...

Loved this.
And love Elena. So I entered of course!! xo

Katie Did What said...

This post was beautiful to read and I found myself nodding and saying "YES!" to everything you said. Love it all. And I love your heart!! You are beautiful, inside and out. <3

xo

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

This is such a terrific post! You have expressed so many of the things I feel about blogging and bloggy friends, which is probably why it made me cry. This is such a beautiful place :) BTW, a couple of weeks ago, I checked out some of your earliest BSS posts...and they gave me a little giggle. You have come so far! Keep dreaming big!! XO

Darcy said...

Aww those drawings are so good! The blogging community is wonderful and I feel so grateful to be a part of it! Even in my short few months as a blogger I have already made some amazing connections!
www.amemoryofus.blogspot.com

Denise said...

Shanna, you are wonderful! I LOVE following your blog and IG, you're so pretty! She did an AMAZING job on those pictures. Like, wow!

DC in STYLE said...

Shanna, this is such a touching post, I also very grateful to be connected with so many amazing bloggers around the world, I read about their families, career and style and feels that I'm a part of their lives. Blogging world is the best!
And thank you so much for your lovely words about my illustrations, hope we'll meet in real life one day!
http://dcinstyle.com/

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

If you come to California again and I don't get to hug your tiny ass, we will be fighting FOREVER.

(jk I will still love you, maybe just a little less)

Alice Warren said...

Such a sweet post. Elena is so talented. When I saw this on her post - I recognized you right away.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Alice
www.happinessatmidlife.com

Nina Piccini said...

Aw, cheers to blog buddies!! Muah!

xo, Nina
afterthe40barfinish

Nina Piccini said...

Aw, cheers to blog buddies!! Muah!

xo, Nina
afterthe40barfinish

Jessica S said...

Shanna, you are beautiful inside and out. I love how you come across as so real, someone who I would love to be BFFs with ;)
xx
Here&Now
Enter to win a $500 shopping spree!

Misty C. said...

Love you and your blog!

Janna Renee said...

Holy cow! Those paintings are gorgeous! I, personally, feel like I've known your forever! Love ya!

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