Five years since I was a college junior, secretly reading food blogs instead of doing homework.
Five years since I moved into my first apartment and said good riddance to dorm food.
Five years since I decided to try whipped banana oatmeal and see what all the fuss was about.
Five years since I began commenting on blogs, sparking friendships that will last a lifetime.
Five years since I started blogging, too.
I posted this picture last year on March 16, along with a few other blasts from the past. I love looking back on them and realizing just how much has happened since that naive first post on baby kiwi. Even the differences between last year and this year are crazy. The past 12 months have brought new professional opportunities, a new city to live in, new personal challenges…not to mention new friends who came about as a result of – you guessed it – blogging!
It just goes to show that no matter where we are in life at any given time, a lot can change, and it can change quickly. But in a way, blogging makes it seem less scary. Not only is there an entire virtual community of support out there when challenges come our way – people who have been through similar experiences and are eager to help – but there is also an almost guaranteed “real life” friend in every city you visit or, in our case, move to.
Not long after I announced that we were moving to Arizona, I received an email from Nicole. She congratulated me on the move and mentioned grabbing coffee or fro yo once I was settled. She also mentioned that there was an entire community of Arizona bloggers and that she would love for me to attend a future meetup, which I did not long after we arrived.
I didn’t tell Nicole this until recently, but that email literally changed my perspective on our move. You all know how much I’ve always wanted to live here in AZ, but once it became real, I’ll admit that I was incredibly nervous about meeting new people. Of course, we are very fortunate to have family here, but in all honesty the thought of trying to create new friendships as a 25-year-old introvert who works from home was pretty terrifying.
Thanks to Nicole – and in a larger sense, thanks to blogging, which is why I’m sharing this story – no nerves made an appearance during that entire 1,760-mile drive. I always knew that my amazing family would be waiting at the end of the road, but thanks to the sense of community that blogging has given me, I also knew that new opportunities and friendships would be waiting for us, too.
Fast forward six months – side note, I can’t believe it has been six months since we moved – and blogging has led me to the finish line of a Ragnar Relay (which I also completed with two of those lifetime friends from the early blogging days that I mentioned at the beginning of this post). It has led me to co-run a book club. Who knows where it might lead me next?
I certainly don’t, but I’m excited to continue the journey.
In honor of five years of blogging Bender, I’m hosting a giveaway that I hope you all will enjoy! Traditionally (I can’t believe I looked this up but I did), a five year anniversary means a “wood” gift, while the modern gift is “silverware.”
Let’s combine them, shall we?
Five Years of Blogging Bender Giveaway!
For a “wood” gift, I can’t imagine anything better than a fiction book of your choice. I did this last year and thought it went over well, so I’m bringing it back. As for “silverware,” I thought a tribute to an old favorite might be in order…
Remember when the blog world went crazy over Crate & Barrel condiment spoons? Because I sure do. And I still have plenty of evidence sitting in my kitchen drawer. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of them in the past five years, too.
So in honor of my blogiversary, an Eating Bender reader will win:
- 1 fiction book of your choice
- 4 condiment spoons of your color choice above (any combination of red, yellow, green or white)
Here’s how to enter:
- Must do: Leave a comment letting me know which fiction book you would most like to read next. The only caveats are that the book must be sold on Amazon.com, and you must also live in the U.S. or Canada. Sorry to anyone reading internationally!
- Must do: Additionally in that comment, let me know what color condiment spoons you’d choose.
- Could do: Earn an extra entry by following Eating Bender on Twitter and tweeting the following (you know you want to): “I entered @EatingBender’s blogiversary giveaway so I can read while eating with my miniature spoon! http://bit.ly/ZI1ewt”
- Could do: Like my page on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know that you did.
The giveaway will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Thank you to my wonderful readers for continuing to inspire me. I always enjoy hearing from you and look forward to finding out what the next year will bring. Cheers!