What do you love and what do you do it for?

One of the things I love the most about living during this time is that there is so many opportunities for exposure.  If you’re diligent enough to work social media, have an unquenchable appetite to stay fresh and relevant, and keep up your networking and contacts, you can build something for yourself.  Today’s climate is more open than before to those who choose to walk their own paths or, in many cases, create their own paths.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I have honestly started to feel like I’m in over my head.  Everyone’s blogging, everyone’s being an entrepreneur, everyone’s doing these great new things and speaking these great new words that are quickening the soul.  It is all GREAT but it has left me wondering “where exactly do I fit in?” and asking if I bring anything unique to the scene.

 

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Source: http://www.dogonews.com

So when people have asked me “What do you think makes your brand/blog stand out from the others?”, it’s become harder to answer that.  I want to say that I’m saying something no one else is saying but that wouldn’t be true.  I want to say that I’m delivering content and context that’s next to none but that wouldn’t be true either.  The answer that has become satisfactory for me is that this blog is meant for somebody; it’s a testament to one’s audacity to snatch back her life from the depths of depression.  Does that always translate? Well…not exactly.  But keeping this in front of me has kept me from calling it quits on this brand over the past few months.

The reality is that society has wired all of us to believe that our success looks a certain way and sounds a certain way.  If we don’t have a certain number of followers or subscriptions, retweets and reposts, likes and adoring comments, we’re not successful, relevant or important.  We’ve convinced ourselves that the power of our voices are only in what we can see, failing to remember that the most powerful things often happen outside of the tangible realm.  We confuse fame with impact and after pouring much time and love into our crafts/ideas/passions, we are wearied and hurt.

I have been trying to ask myself lately – if I never become renowned and my readership stays as it is, would I be satisfied with that? Would making an impact on possibly just one person really be the reward I’m OK with it?  Because we love to be “humble” and say if just one person was helped that it would all be worth it but is that the truth about how we feel?  Time and testing will always tell the true story.

I believe it’s harder for me to answer these questions while I’m looking around to see what everyone else is doing.  If I can just learn to be content with who Ashley is and with what Ashley has to give, regardless of what attention/fame/praise is gained, I’d struggle less with why I do what I do.

Proverbs 16:3 says “Entrust your efforts to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” (God’s Word Translation).  I know this brand was a Godsend to me, as it helped save my life.  And while I’ve been consumed with wondering if I will ever become a “big time” blogger, perhaps the success has been just in what this brand was started to do – to keep me alive and maybe a few others in the process.  So as much as I want my hands alone to carry this brand, I am keenly aware that how this brand is defined and who is reached is through the Providence of God.  I pray that I can always keep that in front of me.

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