By Big Idea Facilitator, Yvonne DiVita
Everything comes to an end. Life teaches you that at an early age.
I am experiencing the ending of an era, right now. I am trying to grasp so many lessons, taught along the way.
As I embrace a new adventure in my life - my monumental move cross-country from CO to NY - I am also trying to grasp the ending of an era I thought I had taken care of, a year ago.
Oh life, why are you such a hard teacher? Why do you sling those arrows with pointed tips at us, so regularly? Why do you offer us sunshine and fat white clouds in the shape of dinosaurs, only to eventually rain on our parade? Why, life? Why do you do these things to us?
It's the "woe is me!" syndrome, I suppose. I am not crying out, "Woe is me!" since... the woe is of my own doing. Although, life could have offered some comfort and solace. And chose not to. Such is the way, with life.
Ten years ago, ten conferences ago, to be exact, four simple people met in a hotel meeting room in Columbus, Ohio and began outlining a dream. It was a tenuous dream. There were solid parts to it - colorful parts - brilliant parts - full of life, energy, color, design, and desire. There were foggy parts, also. Parts full of mystery. Parts that were gray and tenuous.
"We can do this," they said, full of enthusiasm.
"Have you ever done anything like this?" one of them asked the group.
Six eyeballs blinked...ahead of three shrugs. "Nope," they said.
"How hard can it be?" one of them said. "We've attended events like this. Why can't we do one?"
And so they did. Tom Collins, of Old Dog Learning and the 100+ Life these days (because we know you can teach an old dog new tricks, and the old dogs he's teaching are people), Caroline Golon of High Paw Media (she was Romeo the Cat in the day!), Chloe DiVita of Perceptive Presence (daughter to Tom and Yvonne, and the numbers gal, at the time), and myself, Big Idea Facilitator, Yvonne DiVita (also writer at scratchings and sniffings). These were the four. Crazy people but bursting with determination and full of wayward energy. Full of big ideas!
We launched something called BlogPaws in 2009. We held hands, we said the words out loud, "We can do this!" and it became real. Life began... in a small community called BlogPaws. A truly special community. There was and is none like it anywhere in the Universe. It's a community of pet bloggers.
I could no more mention the brilliant and amazing pet bloggers in this thriving community, than I could count the stars in the sky. And, like the stars in the sky, these devoted pet parents who write about all things pet, shine with a brilliance that puts the sun to shame.
This weekend, far from me, the 10th Celebration of BlogPaws happened. How was I not there? How was my heart able to stand the fact that I could not be there? How was the enormous empty space in my soul going to be filled... without the music, the laughter, the essence of all that is BlogPaws, when I was not there?
I cannot answer that yet.
Today, days after the close of the event, I see pictures posted everywhere. I see videos. I see comments and share my thoughts. I feel the wonder that is and was BlogPaws, and I lament that I was so stupid not to go.
But, I could not. There are many reasons for my absence... a founder who was not present at her community's 10th Anniversary Celebration. But, let's just say my pending move cross-country made it impossible. I struggle with health issues that don't show in my daily appearance to the world, and this move from the almost west coast, to the east coast, is taking all the energy I can muster.
And so, I participated from afar. I told myself it was enough. I told myself that... the community was an entity of its own, and did not need me there. Or Tom. I don't believe Caroline was there, either. Luckily, Chloe was there. She has been the energy and idea maker for several years now, and if we could not be there, no one better than Chloe could represent the community of BlogPaws.
What sadness there is in this dramatic change to a warm, welcoming group of pet bloggers from across the globe. Sadness that was bound to come, I think. Because, as in all things of purpose and planning, change is inevitable.
Change, in and of itself, is not bad. We all know that. We've endured change before. We pet bloggers who lavish so much love and attention on the creatures in our lives that our friends and family members look at us askance, sometimes. We know change. We know how hard it is to watch a beloved pet depart to the Rainbow Bridge. Our hearts never recover, no matter that we will surely adopt again, from a local shelter. At our house, we prefer senior pets.
And so, knowing how it breaks our hearts, again and again and again, this change that has come to BlogPaws, is not unbearable. It's disappointing to some (to me, for many reasons I cannot write about), and to pet bloggers who were with us from the beginning. Who loved the community that was BlogPaws. Who cherished the connections formed - the love and friendships that will endure, no matter what.
But what is change? What is the ending of an era - if not an invitation to move forward? It's a message from the Universe. To mourn, if you must, as we will, but then to get up and get on with it. Because, life does not stop here on this side of the cosmic cloud.
How you get on with it, is up to you. Life will not dictate what you must do. It may guide you, it will certainly open a door or a window and beckon you. And, if you are as crazy as four people who loved their pets unconditionally, way back in 2009, as crazy as they were to believe in not only themselves but the hundreds of pet bloggers they knew were out in the web craving connection, well then... I think you might do something amazing.
My amazing is here, in big ideas. With baby boomer women. Women like you, perhaps. I hope you'll join me. We can share what we've learned from the journey through BlogPaws, as it was. And we can embrace the journey of BlogPaws, as it will be. Because... know this... none of us owns BlogPaws. It's a bigger idea than any of us can own, individually.
Let it soar. Be part of the new journey. And, at the same time, create what is important to you.
Me, I'm nurturing big ideas - brilliant ideas - from baby boomer women and their friends. So, yes, it encompasses all age groups. We have so much to teach each other. Come, I was to learn from you.
And, bring your pets. We are totally pet friendly!
I love all of you!