Finding My Purpose

Photos by Nicholas Robson...I promise that they are relevant to this post so bare with me  :) 

I rarely get personal about heavier topics on my blog. I like to generally keep this space lighthearted and fun, but sometimes I feel like I need to talk about things that aren't on the highlight reel of life.

You see, a few months ago I was in Rochester to watch a body building competition (don't ask), and on a quick little public art hunt I came across a mural that said "What's Your Purpose?" Now, I never really thought about my purpose in life, but ever since then I've been thinking about it...hard.  

What's my purpose....why am I here...

I had initially started this blog almost 5 years ago because I didn't feel like I had a purpose: no hobbies, no special talents, my job wasn't that great, my self esteem was super low, and I just had that general blech feeling. What I DID know is that I loved to write (I had a Livejournal for years!), I was really interested in fashion and was passionate about Buffalo, so why not combine all of these things together? 

In February of 2013, Nickel City Pretty was born. To my surprise, things took off pretty quickly for me, almost immediately getting opportunities to work with some local businesses. I was happy, but I didn't feel like I had found my purpose just yet.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2016. When I had initially started blogging, there were probably only two or three other local bloggers that I could find. Since then, so many bloggers and vloggers started coming out of the woodwork. I had an idea that there needed to be a space, a website, a something for these social media enthusiasts to come together, meet one another, be there for each other for support and guidance, and form friendships and partnerships with each other and local businesses.

In July of 2016, my second child, the Buffalo Blogging Network, was born. 

I created the BBN website as a way to list all of the local blogs/vlogs by their name, website, and social media channels. I will soon be adding an extra feature of categorizing everyone into groups as an even easier way to connect with a blog that is relevant to your interests. This Blog Directory is important in two ways: bloggers are able to visit the site and connect with each other and local businesses are able to visit the site and connect with bloggers who they might feel are a good fit to form a collaboration or a partnership. 

Along with this website, we also host monthly meetings. Every month, a group of us get together at a different location in Buffalo. Sometimes we have guest speakers, sometimes we just talk, but every time I feel like each and every person has gotten something out of the meeting. This is where things started to get interesting for me. 

A switch was finally turned on in my brain last month. I had been in talks with the Darwin Martin House to host one of the Buffalo Blogging Network's meetups. What I thought was a pipe dream of an idea finally became reality, and a select group of bloggers were given access to the Martin House where we were given an exclusive tour by Mary Roberts, the Executive Director, and we ended the night with drinks and snacks on the veranda. Taking pictures of the house are normally not allowed, but for one night only they let us get a little photo-happy and snap away...that's how we were able to get all of these beautiful shots. 

Generally speaking, when these monthly meetings are happening, I'm too busy to just sit and take it all in as I'm trying to chat with everyone and keep things rolling. But towards the end of this evening, I actually stopped and took a step back. 

I took a step back and I finally saw what was happening. I noticed this group of people, who were strangers just mere months before, laughing and talking with one another in excitement of where they were and what they were getting to experience. They all write about something totally different, and might not have gotten a chance to meet if it wasn't for an event like this.

I also noticed this same group of people having the chance to interact with the incredible team that works at the Martin House. It was such a privilege and an honor to be in that space at that time. It was something kind of awesome to also see their team become excited to interact with our group.

That night, as I was unwinding from the excitement, everything clicked.

This is it. This is my purpose. 

Connecting people.

Being the catalyst that allows others to form friendships and partnerships. 

These meetings, this group, introducing friends to one another who I think would be a good fit to collaborate.  

Every time I see a blog post that people have collaborated on, or a photo shoot, or a video, or an event, or just seeing bloggers hanging out with each other in the wild, it makes me SO happy. 

This family that has been formed and the opportunities that has been presented to us from these meetings are so special, and it actually makes me feel like I'm finally leaving a mark. Sure, I might not be leaving behind a giant legacy, but if I could have connected just two people who eventually form a wonderful friendship, then all of this hard work has actually paid off. 

So I will leave you with this thought...

If you are feeling down, not sure what your purpose is or why you are here, PLEASE don't give up. If you work hard at what you are passionate about, you will succeed and finally discover that everything has been worth it.