Go Where You Grow

SANDUSKY, OHIO — In 2019, I was stuck in a massive personal rut that I’m frankly still digging out of. In the midst of my pain, all I wanted to do was write and share through this outlet, but my heart and head weren’t in the space. In an attempt to “go where you grow”, I bought a ticket to the 2019 Bloggy Conference and figured at the very least I’d give my kids a happy weekend together at Cedar Point.

What I didn’t realize was how much I’d learn about myself and the blogging community while I spent two days immersed in learning at Bloggy Conference. Through breakouts and keynotes, I was able to put so many things in my brain bank to prepare to move this blog and my other one (‘lil Burghers) forward. Personal and professional development is vital in the ever-changing social media world.

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Lake Erie Shore outside Cedar Point / Breakers Hotel

I remember a key moment for me during the event was sitting my butt in the coldish-warm sand of Lake Erie’s shores and stretching. The morning was cool and yet humid. Staff had just started to arrive to get things going at Cedar Point for the first big fall weekend of 2019 and I was out doing a training run for the EQT 10-Miler. In that moment, I looked out at the lake and just had this sense of calm clarity in the middle of everything I was learning…

Go Where You Grow

In the social media/blogging world, there can be somewhat of a “rat race” to get the best sponsorships, biggest numbers, and maintain a consistent writing schedule. We put this pressure on us. We attend blogging conferences to learn how to do what we do on another level. But the reality is that we need to go where we grow and invest our time and energy into places, people, and perspectives that will do this for (and with) us.

Back then, this blog had been around for almost two years but was going nowhere. I was a Pittsburgh Marathon blogger and would go on to run and write with them again as a 2020 P3Runner. The primary focus of this space was my training journey and to share news about Pittsburgh running events with my readers. It became a habit, an outlet, and a space, but not necessarily what I was looking for.

Where was I looking to grow?

The Ideal Avatar

Rachel Brenke, a speaker in both 2019 and slated for 2021, had meaningful conversations with influencers at the 2019 Bloggy Conference. I listened to her talk about finding the “ideal avatar” and using that in a successful marketing strategy.

I was sitting there on my hands like – sure, I write about running, but gosh that isn’t my whole world. How do I niche down and start to focus the blog and find my real voice? To this day, it’s still a question for me, but I know everyone is searching for their thing and maybe I’m just in the right season of searching!

That’s why I’m looking forward to getting back to Bloggy Conference in 2021 and finding out more about where I want to focus my writing and where I want to take my “brand”, thebeckywillis. I’m looking forward to hearing from speakers like Rachel and Ana Canon who have the courage to tell their stories and inspire.

That’s why I have to “go where I grow”, find those places that challenge the limits I’ve put on myself and decide what needs to stay and what can go in this busy life [that we all lead]. All that to say, I’m all ears if you’ve read this far and have any ideas about what inspires you and keeps you coming back to check on my little corner of the internet. DM me on Instagram.

What is a way you “go where you grow” and keep up with your personal and professional interests? Will you be attending Bloggy Conference 2021 and helping Tiffany and the team celebrate ten years of giving back to the blogging community? Comment below.

go where you grow

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About Bloggy Conference at Cedar Point | Hotel Breakers: Bloggy Conference emerged in 2011 as an extension of the Bloggy Moms Network. Our network and live events are designed with community and information as its cornerstone. Bloggy Conference exists to offer you a new and continuously developing approach to growth, networking and education in our ever-changing social media world. 2013 was an exciting year for Bloggy Conference as our venue moved to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio! We’ve been returning to their beautiful shores since then! Join us in 2021 with our co-host and sponsor, Cedar Point.

Wash it Away

There are some bits of my story I wish I could just wash away, if I am being totally honest. Like losing two people I loved before they got to celebrate their 18th birthdays, only having one grandparent alive to see me walk down the aisle, and bad decisions made as a young adult. But the truth is, these are all parts of my story that make me who I am.

And right now, that who I am is someone who is struggling with balance. I’m so confused because I feel like I spend more time than ever in my bed and watching TV. I haven’t read an entire book yet this year. And the scale just keeps climbing from all my suagar addictions I’ve picked up during the pandemic. Add random virtual school days, changing my job right before the end of the 4th hardest year of my life, and not having friends and family to just HUG on the regular. Sigh.

So what do I do when life gets to be a little too much these days? I escape to our newest remodel project. Our full downstairs bath. And I wash it away, praying and praising while I soak the stresses out. It is so soothing and I’m so grateful to Greg and my brother for how they made it happen and for our plumber (Armstrong Comfort Solutions). I could spend days in here…but then nothing else would get accomplished.

What do you do to wash it all away?

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Am I a Plant Lady?

This being my 37th autumn season I find myself wanting to hold on to the life left in any plant I come across. Maybe it is all the gloom of being cooped up inside my house for over six months. Maybe I feel like I’ve kept children alive for twelve years and counting so there is a glimmer of hope that I can keep a plant alive. This has me wondering – am I a plant lady?

Why the question, wannabe plant lady?

Fall brings so much beauty in the ashes as we change seasons. I was recently over on Pinterest looking for some pretty fall bouquets and came across some beautiful options, combinations of sunflowers and my favorite lilies. I love the pops of color and the way we usher in the coming winter days with last golden moments of beauty.

Like these beauties from Englewood Plant Shed – how gorgeous are they?

Source: PlantShed

As I get older, I find myself wishing for floral deliveries at home, at least in the fall and winter. Greg and I are working on crushing our debt and don’t love spending money on flowers, but those sure have me wishing we could swing it more often.

Good thing we have a beautiful (free) garden for about 8 months of the year!

I’m NOT the Gardener.

My husband Greg is the one who from day one has managed our gardens and flower peds. Friends, I cannot keep a succulent or one of those ice orchids alive. I’m definitely not the gardener, but I do love the plants that are in our yard throughout the year.

Our yard has some of the most beautiful hydrangeas I’ve ever seen (fueled by my coffee grounds) and they bloom into late fall – as late as December some years! We have so many different mini roses and lillies, teeny tiny hyacyniths in the spring, and of course our pond plants.

But none of that is thanks to me. Greg is the one who makes it all happen and I am so grateful for his patience and care for our plants.

Inside Plants

Inside, I’ve had my share of succulents and ice orchids, never with too much luck of them living for the length of a life they should. That does not stop me from picking up the beauties when I see them. Like this beauty from the summer:

It has been suggested to me to get some air plants because they are really tough to kill. Have you tried these in your home? That just might be my next go to.

Well, I think I answered my question. I’m not a plant lady but boy do I love plants. If you are a plant lady, my pal Rachel has a super adorable shirt that you might want to pick up from her boutique here.

What suggestions do you have for me to keep plants alive in my home year round?