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Media: My Mental Health Checker

Joined: 10/30/2010
Posts: 5
I fell into the blogging world the way most kids end up in recreational soccer leagues. My mother, always searching out some way to help her children, told me it was a good idea.

"You need an online presence," she insisted. I might've groaned. Probably, I did.

She's an avid Writer's Digest subscriber. Each issue is read cover-to-cover before it's shipped off to me.

So that's how it happened. Just one blog post at a time. Like trudging up a steep hill in the middle of a rainstorm. Often, I thought, I wasn't making any progress.

I didn't plan on getting sucked into some vortex. In fact, I don't think I even understood blogging much at all.

But then I stumbled across Hannah's blog, and that changed.

Here was a girl who wrote about dreams written in chalk across the sidewalks, about jumping in puddles filled with passion. Here was a girl who told the world what demons she faced and let that admission's honesty empower rather than stifle her.

And with Hannah came Emily, who helped me bridge two otherwise huge barriers between a 20-year-old American girl and a 25-year-old British woman: a cultural divide and an age gap.

After Emily, there was J, who, at 40-something, continues to enlighten me. She sees the world through a child's kaleidoscope, morphing it into whatever she wants it to be.

And that, to me, is what blogging (and really all media) has become. It's opened this door to a world where some of your best friends become people whose faces you see through a screen. Whose voices you imagine as you scan words on that screen.

Blogs are short and sweet and to the point. They take a concept, albeit small, and shove it under a microscope to magnify it. Pulling a larger concept into focus.

I've been blessed to stumble across blogs that inspire and encourage me. These writers' posts stack up on my Wordpress subscriptions page and I hoard them like Halloween candy. I savor the enthusiasm they have for life and I let that pull me out of a rough day, week or month.

When push comes to shove, I turn to the rock in my life that ironically shifts with each new post. I scan archives for my favorite sentences and images of a life I've never lived, but one I can relate to. And I try to find a moment in each busy day to take a deep breath, read a few lines, and reflect.

Pause. Reflect. Move on. A recipe for digesting media. Because when I can filter out out the bad and focus on the good, I use blogs as a mental health checker. For that, I have some wonderful women to thank.

Maybe if I’d been like everyone else and played in a recreational soccer league growing up, I wouldn't feel the need to follow bloggers. Unfortunately, I'm more than a little uncoordinated.

So for now, I'll read and write.
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Comment by michness

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 210

I'm the Writing Intern for

We wanted to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Media writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Two things...
1) Megan, our PR Coordinator, will be in touch with you via email (the one you used to register for to see if you'd like to be named in our national press release going out via PR Newswire.
2) Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:34:26 PM
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