I’m really bad at remembering anniversaries. If I was a guy, I’m pretty sure I would be in serious trouble. But since I’m not a guy with the cooking skills that can make up for pretty much everything, I’m safe for now.
A couple of weeks ago I casually remembered that True Stories turned one year this January. So I decided to break the tradition of “noneversaries” and make a post to honor this remarkable event.
Is this a place where I’m supposed to say how quickly this year has passed by?
Well, it seems like my long-term memory is also not the best, as it feels like I have been always doing just that – sitting in my kitchen till long past midnight writing down new ideas, answering emails, compiling questions, editing, moving around the pieces of a story puzzle to create a perfect picture – and then falling into bed somewhere around 2 am.
What makes it different every time, though, are the people.
Within those weeks my interviewees and I work on their story, we somewhat grow together. We often grow apart again, but my experience of taking a very close look at other person’s life changes me forever.
|It’s mind-blowing what you discover if you leave your personal universe to join somebody else in theirs: A whole new world!|
So my very first thought after I remembered the “anniversary” was about them – people who let me into their lives and shared their story with me.
How are they doing? Are they still following their dreams? What new projects are they up to? Was the interview we did together of any benefit to them?
I reached out to my story tellers with all these questions, and this is what they replied.
When Gill started her interview series, I was humbled to be one of the first interviewees, and I had a blast working with her. It was great to get a little press, since I was just starting a new women’s community at that time, and my interview with Gill helped bring attention to what I was working on.
Now a year later, our community is still growing and my business is ever increasing. I am following my passions and love in business and philanthropy. 2014 was the year of rebranding for the community, and all my business logos and websites. And boy, what a task that was!
The Kraaft Shaak has grown tremendously since we last spoke. Our Kraafters Kommunity continues to be a safe place for the people with all levels of abilities to become who they are without fear of rejection or ridicule.
I’ve added a new live segment each Monday where I meander about whatever is going on and extended our LIVE crafting show, Kraaft It LIVE!, where we still have a lot of fun and mistakes are bound to happen. Now we also have an online store where I cater to the needs of the Kommunity members to stock the goodies they are after.
The greatest part about doing the interview last year: It gave me focus! I was able to sit down and really look at what I was doing and why. When I found the purpose as I was going through the interview, it helped define my passion. And that’s why I was able to spend the whole last year doing exactly that: following my dreams!
A year already since the interview? Well, that one went by fast. So much has happened since we talked last!
Our house has been under construction with a custom kitchen to accommodate my catering business. My blog got a new, more vibrant, easier to navigate design.
I ventured into the world of video making and published my first free ebook, beautifully designed by Gill. And last but not the least, I actually got to meet Gill in person. Too much excitement, right!
Sharing my story with True Stories made me chalk out my future goals more clearly and removed whatever shadow of doubt I had regarding my decision to follow my passion of cooking to its fullest. Congratulations on the 1st Anniversary, Gill! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year.
I’m still busy doing all the same things, working with mostly women on perinatal issues and parenting, as well as doing clinical supervision for other therapists. My private practice has been steadily growing. I try to keep up my blog on mental wellness and maternal mental health at AbigailBurdLCSW.com, and my monthly newsletter. Also, I’ve joined the board of the Postpartum Health Alliance.
I occasionally update my personal blog, Baby Birds Farm, with seasonal recipes and other natural living topics. I’m still working three days a week at a college. Oh yeah, I also have two young kids! That doesn’t keep us busy or anything.
Gill’s interview on True Stories was a lovely way to let people know more about the work I do and where I’m coming from. Even close family members told me that they had a better idea about it after reading the article.
After working with Gill, I was grateful to have a professional and visually appealing infographic on GRAPES – a technique to keep your mind healthy – that she created for me. I have since given it out to my clients and wrote a longer post about putting GRAPES into practice as a self-care checklist. I also printed out a large poster of infographic and used it in my booth at a natural family resource fair.
My pro-bono consultancy in Tanzania I was so excited about while doing an interview with Gill last year was a big learning moment for me. After my arrival, it turned out that I wasn’t able to do the work I’d signed up for. I felt a huge amount of responsibility towards my crowdfunders and tried to work things out with the host-organization, but in the end I’ve decided to come back home and rather return the money to my supporters then stay under the frustrating, unpaid working conditions and end up with a burn-out.
Since then, I’ve realized that what I really want to spend my time on is making meaningful connections to catalyze career/work/life transformations in the lives of idealistic, ambitious women. I’ve spent the last few months preparing a new coaching program that will allow me to do it, called A Year of HeartWork. It’s the scariest, biggest things I’ve done since I became self-employed, but it also feels the most right.
Lingvistov project is growing really fast. We have just launched an updated design of our website and continue to improve it to make studying at our language school more efficient and, most importantly, more fun.
Currently, we’re finishing the online store where you’ll be able to buy cards, t-shirts and stationary with our doodles. We’re working hard on several books as well! Somehow China got interested in our pictures and we had a book published there. So it’s really exciting times!
The best thing about our interview on True Stories is that we can use it as a “business card”. I can speak about Lingvistov for hours, but having its story and concept already presented in such a well-structured and concise manner makes my job easier. And it’s not just “some interview”. The fact that people get interested in us after they read it has a lot to do with Gill’s professionalism here.
A Word of Gratitude
We bloggers like to think that we are cool. That we are important. That we have this writing thingy figured out, no matter what everyone else thinks.
The truth is that we are only as good as our readers, because, in the end, it’s you who decide where we stand.
With this in mind…
I’d like to thank all of you who, among thousands of stories and cat memes out there, chose to read a True Story over their morning coffee or an afternoon sandwich.
Who took a break in their busy schedule for a 4000+ word article. Who went an extra mile to leave a thoughtful comment or to tell a friend about this blog, as well as everyone else who silently comes to this place every time I hit “publish”.
To this particular people I will remain forever grateful:
Maria Nasir from Foodaholic.biz, Sam Chao from DeliciousEasyRecipes.com and Giulia C. – my truest fans who are always among the first to read and spread the word, supporting me with their (mostly way too kind) feedback.
Trudy Grossman from Trudy’s Insights for keeping me (virtual) company at night while I work on a new True Story, and for her trust in me to share her own story – the most personal story that has ever appeared on this blog and has broken all the records on the first day.
Rob Philbin from PhilbinMedia.com for giving me the final push to get serious about True Stories, for taking the time to give me some thorough feedback on my writing, and for this wonderful present he left in the comment section on the latest True Story:
Not bragging. It’s just we all need some words of encouragement from time to time to keep going, even if we know that those words are a kind overstatement.
Next on True Stories
One thing is for sure. Next on True Stories: More true stories!
As for the rest, I’ll be as surprised as you, because all the extra things – infographics, images with the inspirational quotes, special follow-up posts dedicated to answering your questions, etc. – is something that I unintentionally come up with inspired by a unique True Story.
Want to Tell Your Story?
Great! Make sure you understand how it works and how exactly an interview is getting produced. If this didn’t scare you off, simply drop me a line with a summary of your story naming (very important!) the take-aways the readers would get from it.
I publish a True Story once in 3-4 weeks. Like what you read? Want to ask my guests questions yourself?