Up until this weekend, my one word for 2016 was going to be: Quality. I was going to polish up and perfect my message of personal finance and parenting. Then something not-so-shiny, but oh-so-real happened. Something I wrote, something raw and personal and honest, went viral. Somehow, my journey fused with thousands of other people. It seemed to give them hope. That’s why my new word for 2016 is: Resonate.
Google’s definition of “resonate” is, “To evoke images, memories, and emotions.” Another definition (that’s way cooler) is, “To be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound.”
I experienced that deep, resonating sound when a certain relative, who shall remain nameless, chucked a lit firecracker off the side of the Grand Canyon to hear the echo. We listened in awe as the small detonation reverberated around the walls of the massive landmark like a tennis ball.
That’s what going viral two days ago felt like.
As of August, 2015, I became a freelance writer for hire. (I still get chills just typing that.) It’s an uphill journey, but I discovered that editors want content that resonates. Think about the articles you share on your social media platforms. You post them because they resonate with you, right? It’s not because the author received a doctorate or published a dozen books (although with certain content, professional expertise is vital).
I’ve done several parenting and personal finance guest posts in 2015, but nothing prepared me for what happened on New Years Day of 2016.
On January 1st, Scary Mommy, a website dedicated to raw, authentic stories of motherhood with over a million likes on Facebook, published my article called “What It’s Like to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom On the Verge of Depression.” It was an honest look at my life a few months ago when I faced a transition in motherhood that blindsided me. With God’s help, I’ve since risen out of that silent pit where I internalized so many frustrations, where I felt like I’d never sleep through the night, and where I thought I’d never write creatively ever again.
Two days later, my article had been shared 81,800 times on Facebook. Many of my mom friends shared it on their walls, and even showed me screen shots of their friends who discovered my article on their own.
I’m not writing this to boast because sharing that struggle made me feel very vulnerable. A little sick to my stomach, even. But I also felt empowered. I read countless comments from women who said, “I could have written this,” or “This is what I felt but didn’t know how to word it.” I saw moms conversing with each other on their Facebook threads about getting together for coffee or offering to babysit each other’s kids so they can have more time to themselves. My own friends and I planned a few play dates this week to reconnect after the insanity known as December.
In short, 2015 was the year in which I found my voice. I pray, with God’s help and guidance, this will be the year in which it resonates.
I will maintain boundaries on what content I do share, of course. I’d really like to stay married, keep my friends, respect my parents, and not alienate my children, should they read all this hoopla 20 years from now. 🙂 But the rest is in God’s hands. I can’t decide if I’m 98% excited and 2% scared, or 2% excited and 98% scared (thank you, Armaggedon).
It’s going to be fun.
Join the Discussion: If you could choose ONE word for 2016, what would it be? Leave a comment below.