Even though I knew nothing about blogging or the blogging community, I was fairly certain my rise would be meteoric.
I had gigantic, dooce-sized dreams about publishers banging down my door begging me to write a book. I imagined hundreds of thousands of page views each day from fans around the globe. I just knew that brands would be dying to advertise on my little corner of the blogosphere. Why wouldn't they? My blog would be wildly successful.
Although I wasn't "in it" for the money, I figured a paying gig was inevitable.
Earlier this week, I had a chance to attend Social RevUp's Brands & Bloggers Summit (#bbsummit12 for those of you following along on Twitter).
It was a Saturday full of encouraging speakers, blogger connections and feelings of inferiority.
I looked around the room in awe of the other powerhouse bloggers. These women were getting the page views I dreamt of as a newbie blogger. They had networks of networks - too many connections to be counted. They were working with major brands, taking FREE trips to Disney World, and sharing their "secrets" on national television.
These bloggers were successful.
What was I doing here? Clearly I was out of my league.
I took notes, made new friends, drank in as much information as I could and left quietly with my tail between my legs.
Let's be real for a moment. It's been several years since I started this blog. I haven't attended any of my own book signings. The only "ad" that I'm displaying is one that I chose to swap with a blog friend. And if I get a couple hundred page views in a day, I'm elated and grateful.
The path this blog has taken has been very different from the one I intended.
If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step,
You know it's not your path.
Your own path you make with every step you take.
That's why it's your path.
- Joseph Campbell
My path has included personal growth, deep, rich community and an opportunity to improve my writing. My path has meant very slow and not at all steady growth. My path has been character building and ego crushing (believe me, it needed to be).
My path has been more than I could have hoped for and better than I could have imagined.
It's true, it hasn't led to fame or fortune. But if a "paying gig" was what I was seeking, well, it has led there.
It hit me like a ton of bricks on my walk home from the conference. Perhaps it was time to revisit my definition of success. My dream for this blog has come true. But like every other dream that I've been blessed with in this life, it looks nothing like what I dreamed it would.
And for that, I couldn't be more thankful.
Which of your "dreams come true" look nothing like you dreamed they would?