How blogging changed a life

I was at a party the other night and was discussing some of my exciting current projects with a new friend.  He asked me: “Five years ago, could you have ever imagined you would be where you are today?”

He probably didn’t get the answer he was expecting.  In fact, this question hit me like a punch in the stomach.

You see, five years ago I was hopeless.

It’s a long, gruesome story and it’s not necessary to reveal all the personal details, but let’s say that I went through a series of tragic events that seemed beyond my emotional, psychological, and physical capacity as a human being.  I was in a storm of debilitating life changes and for two years, the overwhelming tone of my life was colored by relentless fear, pain, despair, and rage.

I clawed my way back from this edge through the grace of God, the support of friends, and something else that might surprise you.  Blogging.

I discovered blogging at the cusp of my new life. I wasn’t very good at it when I started and I didn’t have any readers but I didn’t care because it was therapeutic.  When I was writing, the rest of the world fell away. During this period of life-changing stress, I was having problems with high blood pressure. I had to monitor my BP every hour and there was only one time it always fell back into a normal zone — when I was blogging. Blogging put me in a zen-like state of peaceful concentration. Literally, the act of blogging improved my health.

After about six months, I began to find my voice on the blogosphere and somehow found a few regular readers.  I clung to these new friends like a lifeline out of my dark world. I was so happy to connect with anybody who was apart from my chaos.  I didn’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I just wanted to be appreciated for who I was in that moment.

To this day, the primary reason I blog is for the intellectual stimulation and personal connection. It is the most fun part of my job. My blog is like a modern day Parisian salon where interesting people stop by for a bit of a chat. I can’t wait to see who will come by each day and what they have to say. I really love your comments, even if it is only to say “hello.”

I have come to love many of my new blog friends. Not in a Facebook way, but in a “come stay at my house” way.  A circle of new brothers and sisters surrounds me and we support each other in some way almost every day. Maybe you are my next friend? You never know where this journey will lead next.

I would not want anybody to experience what I had to go through, but looking back, my personal nightmare was a gift. Suffering provided me a unique capacity to understand.  If you haven’t experienced darkness like this yourself, you can never truly empathize with the suffering of others.  My heart can connect deeply with those who feel hopeless. Suffering stretched me out.  I am an emotionally larger person.

And maybe that helps me as a blogger too. I’m sure it shows up in unexpected ways.

In any event, it has led to this, to this day and to this moment. And that is a very, very good thing. Thanks for being here.

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  • Aw Mark. I can’t wait to give you a big ole Margie hug.

    It’s why I always say, you never know when the gift you’re giving is one that will change a person’s life. Who knows how many people you’ve given hope to via your blog posts. It’s only correct that you received hope as well. 

    I am sorry that you went through such a hard time, but I am happy you started blogging, because otherwise it probably would have been darned hard to meet you.


  • Wow, great post…. thanks for sharing!  Blogging too has changed my life, and am so glad I  found yours, which I did thru Marjorie’s tweet about this post.

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing your story- I really enjoyed this post and hearing more about your history. Hooray for blogging, right? 🙂

  • Keith N.

    Thanks Mark. I am going through a bit of an emotional time lately and it is good to know how blogging has helped you. For me, I have been busy doodling. I realize, just as blogging has done for you, that it calms me and let focus more on my creative energy.

    Love your work. You have been an inspiration.

  • Thanks for sharing this very heartfelt post.  And I can relate to just how therapeutic blogging is, and how meaningful the personal connections are. 

    I really enjoy what you have to share, Mark.  And I’m glad that you found your way to blogging…

  • Wow, Mark. I had no idea that’s how you got into blogging. It makes your story all the more powerful.

    Tough times suck. And, I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. But I think those experiences help us better appreciate when things are good. And, in your case, sometimes it takes crummy situations to lead us to better things.

    Thanks for sharing. I hope this inspires others to get out there are share their stories!

  • Thanks a lot for sharing, this makes me admire you more. I am very happy to know that Blogging helped you during hard times in your life. 

    It makes me realize the importance of keeping doing what you love and believe on. Sometimes the answers are where we never expect they would be.

    One sentence stayed in my mind: “If you haven’t experienced darkness like this yourself, you can never truly empathize with the suffering of others.” This is so true, to understand someone you need to be in their shoes, or have fully experienced their situation.

  • 5 Years is a long time. Congratulations!
    And yes: Blogging is a way to change a life!

    Kind regards from Germany


  • Tanya McTavish

    very inspirational especially since I am about to go live with my very first blog post 🙂

  • Great post, Mark and it is inspirational to know how you arrived at blogging and came to thrive at it.  Nobody would wish on anybody the problems you went through beforehand but life throws challenges at many of us and how we overcome those is a measure of each of us as people and often, as you say, a measure of our family and close friends.

    I’m a relatively new follower of yours and pretty new at blogging – with a very small audience.  Your post encourages me to keep at it.

  • I needed a tissue to get through that one Mark! I learn so much from you and right now my life is in total chaos. Blogging is one thing that does help keep me thinking straight and putting life into perspective.

    Five years is amazing, and when I look back I have to say i would not change my life. It has taught me so many things, and compassion and love of my fellow man is at the very top of that list.

    Thank you Mark, for being one of the best, and most real bloggers out there. I admire you and I am happy I know you.

  • Rkravitz

    I know of some of your personal and professional traumas.  I can tell you, friend for more than 20 years , during some rough times in my life I look to how you’ve come through it with grace and style. You continue to be an inspiration.  You’ve always been an entertaining writer (the Schaefer Holiday cards were ones we actually looked forward to) so it’s no surprise to me that blogging served you so well.

  • Thank you Mark for being here!  Your availability, authenticity, and honesty is inspirational, and has changed my personal, and professional life… ~Rae?

  • As a relatively new reader/fan, I had no idea you had gone through trauma to reach this place.  I came here for the information and stayed for the insight and inspiration; your blog is the one I look forward to the most, and I love your “salon” analogy…it feels the same way from this side.  

    Thank you for sharing how you arrived here, it’s yet another point of inspiration.  I can’t wait to meet you in person at Social Slam!

  • Thanks Margie. Look forward to seeing you soon at Social Slam!

  • Hooray indeed.  Thanks Amy!

  • Awesome.  You should do a {growtoon} for me.  Let me know if you’re interested!

  • Very much appreciated, Lance. Thanks.

  • Very true.  I appreciate every moment and 2011 was the best year of my life. : )

  • Thanks for this nice sentiment Luis. I’m glad we’re connected. I think I will be in Montreal in May and look forward to meeting you!

  • Thanks very much Hansjörg.

  • How exciting. Good luck!

  • It does take time to grow a community Matthew. Be patient, focus on great content and celebrate your audience!

  • It is a really pleasure and honor that we have become real-life friends in addition to the blog friends Nancy.  Hang in there. You have so much to give the world and it is certainly coming through on your blog!

  • Wow! having only just come across the blog in the last couple of months (via the Tao of Twitter!) this post has amazed me! I’d echo everyone else’s thoughts and comments, but truly, what an amazing story. I could not picture the Mark Schaefer I have an image in my mind of now, with the image that your article creates.
    Ive noticed the 5 year cycle in my own life, if i go back 5 years and then 5 years before that and 5 years before that (I know, thats a bit depressing isnt it!) i can ‘map’ how EVERYTHING has changed for me. for the better i hasten to add
    thanks for sharing – great blog as ever

  • Amazing to have you weigh in on this my dear friend.  I’m sorry we have not had a chance to see each other more often. Thanks for this gift today!

  • You’ve made my day Dr. Rae, as you so often do. Thanks for being a loyal reader and friend.

  • Don’t feel left out. Nobody else knew this either. As so often happens, it is just a question or prompt from a friend that leads to the idea for a blog post. Psched to meet you at Social Slam. So many from the {grow} community will be there!

  • Great. Thanks for letting me know. Glad you’re here!

  • One of my favorite books is Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. He poignantly explains that to be human means that we will suffer. I’m not immune from that.  I do have a concern that people regard bloggers as some kind of superheroes. I’m just trying to get by like everyone else. I have paid my dues and I’m sure there will be more to pay in the future.  Thanks for your comment Tony!

  • That will be great. I can present you to some key people here , that work in Marketing and Social Media. And be of help visiting this amazng city and great places to eat. 

  • Claudeoggier

    Mark Schaefer, a man with values I appreciate and I do hope to meet one day in person.

    Thanks for your honesty and glad to see you smile with your {GROW} community


  • Parisian Salon. I like that! I’ve yet to hear it and I instantly connected with it.

    It’s very cool to see to see your story of how this platform has allowed you to flourish as person.  It seems to me this will hit home with a lot of people like me who feel like if they have a second to think out what they want to say, they can say it like they meant to, rather than being put on the spot in a live conversation.

    What doesn’t break us, makes us and it’s cool to see the inspiring display on this site of what life has made of you.

  • Claudeoggier

    Mark Schaefer, a man with values I appreciate and I do hope to meet one day in person.

    Thanks for your honesty and glad to see you smile with your {GROW} community


  • Mark – Thanks for sharing your “soft underbelly.” I didn’t know that part of your story. Although I’m sorry to think of any friend going through painful times, I’m grateful that your experience led you to blogging and to all your new friends. There’s a reason blogging delivered you to that “zen-like state of peaceful consciousness” … blogging something you’re built for. The quality of your work, loyalty of your readers, and intimacy of the circle of friends you’ve nurtured over these past five years is a testament to the fact that you’re doing what you should be doing – you’re in the “zen zone,” as it were. 

    I hope you continue to enjoy blogging for many years to come & look forward to having the chance to read and be one of those folks who stops into your virtual salon for some conversation and camaraderie. 


  • Jsilverman


    story, especially around this time of the year, I’m planning to share it with a few colleagues. Will have to also check out
    Man’s Search for Meaning.

  • “Suffering stretched me out” – brilliant quote. It’s great that you invest so much of yourself into your blogging Mark…and I get the feeling that if nearly everyone stopped reading, you’d still carry on doing what you do. Inspiring stuff.

  • Thank. You. Just before I opened your post, I was commenting on the site of  @bdorman264:twitter  about the despair tugging at the corners of my consciousness. Being the purveyor of all that’s positive and perky, it’s hard for me to admit I am fearful. But here’s what I say and what you just did (um…because I’m better at preaching than practicing): When you compare your life to anyone else’s for ANY reason, you will always be in a smaller place. However, when you compare yourself to self, it provides many opportunities to look back and say, “Look what I’ve learned/lived through/celebrated…” We need to see our life in its whole, rather than the thread of joy or pain we’re currently weaving in our tapestry’s story.

    I will survive. I will be better. And I will write a post just like this one day…maybe in about two years. And my guess is, I’ll still be blogging then, simply for the sake of self expression along the journey.

    Hope, Peace,  Joy and Love to you and yours.

  • Mark,

    Thanks for sharing this incredibly personal story. I am terribly sorry to hear about the difficult times you endured 5 years ago, but am incredibly grateful that the end result was this blog. It’s one of the few blogs to which I subscribe via email. I learned a great deal from you as an instructor at Rutgers and this blog has been a wonderful extension of that education. I am pleased to hear that you have found the experience to be as valuable as your readers. 

    I too have found blogging to be cathartic during trying times. I wrote about the experience (and some of the surprising rewards it can bring) last week here:

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for this blog. I don’t comment as often as I should, but I’m reading every day and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us all.


  • Billy Delaney

    I see you!

    When the dark night of the soul is the only jacket to wear, and the fashions of men are  posing as reality, we huddle into the comfort we find for relief. If only for a moment to escape the reality of our suffering.

    I know that jacket, and I have felt the reach of your comfort in my need.

    I sincerely appreciate your the person, and as I said: I see you!


  • How nice of you to say, I feel the same about you Mark!  ~Rae?

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  • Wow. What a wonderful post Mark. Your blog is the one blog I always try to make time to read. That you take the time to respond to all of your commenters, is a big reason why. The comments and your level of engagement is as valuable as the posts themselves. 

    Everything happens for a reason and I’m sorry the road leading to today was not in anyway easy. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lisabhella

    Thanks for sharing and keeping it real. Your blog posts are always a good read. Keep up the great writing!

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  • Roula

    LIke many, I had no idea. So thankful to read your blog. Hope to meet in person one day!

  • Hey Mark – without a doubt, suffering makes us better people. Those who overcome and prevail have much to contribute to the world. These seasons open our hearts and eyes to compassion, concern, sympathy, empathy and kindness.

    It gives us the ability to help others and impact lives.

    Looking back, was it all worth it?

  • Well said; however, I just know I want to be like Mark when I grow up………..:)

  • It is always the darkest before the light and it is usually these painful life experiences that help us grow; if it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger, right?

    Interesting story and I certainly had no idea; I think most assumed you had it all figured out and just hit the ground running. 

    The main reason I blog at this point is to connect and hope in some small way I can put a smile on someone’s face for the moment. Fortunately I was able to attract some friends relatively early and it has made it a much more enjoyable experience.

    Thanks for sharing and thank goodness you were a survivor. 

  • You are a kind friend. Thank you Claude.

  • I’m a work in progress. Aren’t we all? : ). Thanks!

  • Thou rocketh. Thanks Jamie!

  • It’s barely a book. Almost more like a brochure, but it packs a wallop. Read it in college and have read almost every year since. Thanks Jack.

  • Yes, that’s true. But it ever so much more fun when people read the thing. : ) good to hear from you Michael!

  • Why not write it now Mimi? It does take some courage to blog. I have never published one post without a tinge of anxiety, including this one. I continually underestimate how supportive and kind people are. I hope you give yourself the gift of risk to find that out for yourself. All part of the adventure : )

    Thanks for this wonderful comment Mimi and good luck with everything. I am just a phone call away if you need to talk.

  • Michael Martel

    Wow! I just stumbled on your blog.  Thank you for a very open inspirational post.  It seems to me that blogging can serve us so much to connect to each other in these days of 140 character Tweets and links posted on Facebook.  Blogging allows us to open our hearts, explore our thoughts and find others that share the same.  Thanks for the reminder.


  • You are assuming I’ve grown up??? : )

  • It’s always great to hear from former students Dave and I’m glad we remained connected. Thanks for sharing this great post!

  • What a lovely and inspiring comment Billy. You’re really a special man. Thank you!

  • Seriously, I regret nothing about my life. I have nothing to complain about. Having a few roadblocks and detours is part of the journey. You just have to keep on pushing to see the other side sometimes. I’m lucky to be alive at a time when the technology was there to allow me to connect in this wonderful way. It’s an exciting time to be alive, isn’t it? Thanks so much for reading my blog Barb.

  • What a wonderful, truly human post, Mark. Thanks for sharing it, and for persevering through the hard stuff to emerge stronger on the other side. The blogging world at the very least is the better for it.

  • Many thanks for your kind comment Lisa.

  • Now this is cool. I think this is your first comment here? Thanks for making the leap Roula! I’m sure we will meet soon! You’re on my list when I get to Chicago.

  • It was worth it because i am here and have a lot to give the world, but to be honest the magnitude of my loss still creeps back in almost every day. It always will. There is no escaping it. The best I can do is compartmentalize things and not dwell on it or I would be a living corpse. You never fully recover, you survive it.

    Looking forward to the day when we finally meet Mark. I appreciate you.

  • Sorry to pop your bubble! I don’t have much figured out. I’m a student. I think that is a good way to be. The day I ever think I have it figured out is the day people should stop reading this blog! : )

  • Great to have you here Michael. Welcome. Sometimes I get a little cranky on this blog. It’s part of my job I think. But you know what? The social web is unbelievably awesome. Thanks for connecting!

  • It is fitting that you’re here and commenting Amber because you are certainly one of the bloggers who has inspired me to step out and teach by being humble, honest and courageous enough to be imperfect. Many times I’ve read one of your posts and challenged myself to be more like you. It has not been easy but I’m trying. Your spirit is very much embedded in this post. Thank you.

  • I’m truly humbled by that, Mark. We are people, for crying out loud. I *want* to know people, and I don’t believe for a moment that they are without flaw or damage or insecurity or difficulty or anything of the sort. In fact, it is the writers and the businesspeople who are capable of showing that who are the ones that influence me most powerfully, and challenge ME to be better, more vulnerable, more open, and as a result, so much stronger. I’m so very glad you wrote this, and the respect is very much mutual.

  • Claudeoggier

    Unfortunately my comment got posted twice. Please feel free do delete this one because I can’t do it through my smartphone.

    Sorry about that,

  • Audrey Dixon

    Great article.  I just attended a blogging boot camp last week, got my webcam and have started writing an article for my first blog.  I hope I’ll have the same experience as you.  I could relate to where you were as that’s the way I’m feeling.  Thanks for sharing.

  • I couldn’t agree more. Twitter has done for me what blogging has done for you. I moved to NJ a few years ago and left all of my friends behind. Twitter really opened up the world and I was able to connect with people in a whole new way. While I knew very few people on a personal level in real life, I had a slew of on-line connections that kept me company. That lonely time is the reason I am enjoying the successes of today. The lessons learned were so valuable, that I’d not change a thing. 

  • Melissa

    I loved this so much I just subscribed. Having only been out of my own dark period of despair and hopelessness for only a matter of weeks, I related so very much to your words! I love writing, and abandoned even that while my focus narrowed further and further, and I let the pain overwhelm me and fill every area of my life. You have inspired me to resume my own neglected blog!

  • “Suffering provided me a unique capacity to understand.” I believe you have just made the simplest statement covering a profound truth. You have indeed become a friend, and you are welcome to come stay at my house anytime. New Zealand is worth the effort!

  • “Suffering provided me a unique capacity to understand.” What a simple statement, conveying a deep truth. You have become a friend, in that, you are part of my daily life, with the voice of a humanitarian mixed with a sharp, enquiring mind. What a mix! You are welcome to stay at my house anytime. New Zealand is worth the effort.

  • Thanks, Mark. I do write about my journey and have taken great comfort in the words of friends and strangers who have offered encouragement along the way.  You’re offer that you’re just a phone call away is added ballast in stormy times.

    It’s been a rather challenging three years, so I’m guessing that I’m two out from your five year milestone reference and the retrospective post acknowledging I’m on higher ground. Maybe even sooner!

  • Stefan Heinz

    Hi Mark – Thanks for the post, brief and inspiring.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Mark.  This was moving, and thanks for sharing your story. Humanity, connection … in a marketing blog.  Now, that’s an art.  

  • Wandering Wino

    We cannot always control the cards we are dealt, but we can control the way we play our cards. Got to say I appreciate your style and taking the bull by the horns of personal responsibility and not playing the victim card. Congrats on your journey and coming out a champion! 

  • Samantha B

    Thank you for this Mark,
    It is always special when anyone opens up about their pain and suffering. I have suffered depression for a major part of my life and I am not afraid to talking about it (obviously in appropriate situations).
    Once we open up and let people know they are not alone the world definitely becomes a much friendlier place.
    So thank you for your honesty Mark and I look forward to reading more of your awesome posts.
    (from a long time reader and first time commenter)
    Samantha B

  • This was a truly touching post Mark. I think we sometimes forget in social that we really don’t know the path that people traveled prior to becoming part of our digital (and maybe non-digital) lives. Hearing how you came to blogging really showed another layer — not only of you but of blogging and how it can be transformative.

    And to echo some other commenters — 5 years is simply amazing! I’m glad you persevered so that you were still around when I finally showed up. 🙂

    Really, truly good stuff Mark!

  • Well done!

  • I think everybody ultimately has there an experience but I can guarantee you that if you make an effort to connect to people, provide great content and try to be helpful, you will realize amazing benefits! Good luck.

  • That is so great Melissa. Send me a link and I will be your first commenter!

  • Watch what you ask for! New Zealand is on my short list! Thanks Becky.

  • You’re welcome Stefan.

  • Seems like humanity, connection and marketing should always be intertwined: ) Thanks Rhonda!

  • Kind of you to say. Thanks!

  • I’m so happy you commented. It’s really the only way I know you’re out there! Thanks for sharing Samantha.

  • That’s a great point Adam. We only see a tip of each person in our interactions. Let’s be slow to judge because we don’t know their path r how they’ve suffered themselves. Thanks for the great comment!

  • Wow – powerful Mark. I can relate to the ability of blogging to take us places and make us feel things that change us to the core.

    If nothing else – it gets us through and opens up a new world of friends and inspiration.

    Thank you Mark for the power of your words.

  • Oh Mark, my heart breaks for your pain but suffuses with the joy of hope and purpose that followed. I now understand more fully why you were so ecstatic that someone had found your blog when they searched for “hope.”  Do you see what you have just done? You have given hope to everyone reading who is currently or ever has or ever will be going through a difficult time. The way out may not always be blogging, but it will always be something meaningful, something individual. And you have proven that success in blogging, or marketing, or whatever your career might be, cannot happen without contributing a piece of your soul. That’s what people connect to. They may be attracted by your wisdom, but they return, eagerly anticipating when you will next share a little bit of who you are. And who you really are is a wonderful, caring, ethical and transparent human being. I am so fortunate to be able to call you friend. Thanks for everything you do. Here’s to the next five years.

  • Mark,

    Thanks for sharing this. To me, that is one of the truly amazing aspects of this realm. That you can write like this and touch so many people AND I’m discovering the feeling of writing about your past is pretty darn cathartic.

    As someone who frequents your blog, I had no idea, but very glad you made it out.

    A year ago I wouldn’t even have considered getting into social … and having a blog. Well, let’s just say I was social media averse, but some events in my life really made me rethink things. Now, because of blogging my plans have completely changed and this blogging world is way more than I imagined it could be, in a very good way, that is! So, I certainly can relate to what you’re saying here and really appreciate you writing this post. It’ really is inspirational.

    Here’s to good times ahead and great things in 2012!

  • Anonymous

    And thank you Mark for sharing.  I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I have enjoyed the voice you found, and the insights you’ve shared here.   Good work!

  • Love this post Mark. My dad and I have a shared blog where we just reflect on life and the universe. The readership is small, but it’s not about that –  it’s about having a space to write. It is very liberating to just write for the satisfaction of it. ( if anyone is wondering)

  • Much appreciated Frank. Always an honor to have your comment on {grow}! Thanks.

  • Thanks for your very kind and generous words Alice and for connecting the dots with that post I wrote about hope. I had not add that connection myself but you’re absolutely right. That was oe of my favorite posts, too! Delighted we’re connected and looking forward to meeting you soon at Social Slam!

  • So glad you’re exploring the blogging world Craig. It really does open up so many opportunities ad connections! Much appreciated!

  • Thanks for being a regular reader Carla. I don’t take that for granted!

  • Thanks for passing that on Belinda.

  • Same here Mark – keep influencing the social web for good one blog post at a time my friend : )

  • Mark. While I would never wish misfortune on anyone, you are a mentor to me, and I’m glad something so good came out of something so dark.

    If it gets dark again, which I hope it never does, please remember that means you’re on the verge of doing something revolutionary.

  • Wow. What a comment. Love that Jenn!

  • Amazingly transparent post Mark. I remember seeing your blog a long time ago and have watched it evolve beautifully over time. Keep it up sir. 

  • Thanks for hanging around long enough to see the evolution!  And hey … you ain;t seen nothin’ yet!! : ) 

  • I give thanks each and every day for the *darkest* times in my life (and there have been many). You learn so much – about yourself, the people around you, what you can and can’t handle, and just how deep your reserves lie. I would never want to ‘undo’ them. Thanks for sharing this Mark – you were one of the first people who took the time to connect with me in this space and you gave of yourself (over an hour in fact, if memory serves! LOL) for no reason other than to give. I have never forgotten. Keep on bloggin’! 🙂 Cheers, Lindsay 

  • Hopefully NZ just got on your shorter list as a result.

  • Connecting with people like that is the best part of the social web Lindsay. Thanks for being such a great supporter of the blog! : ) 

  • Mark,

    I remember one of your posts about faith a long time ago, and this is clearly in the same category.

    Business-wise, can there be a stronger combination than openness – vulnerability – proficiency?

  • Dear Mark, Thank you for sharing your beautiful, truly touching blog with us. I greatly admire your courage and sincerity. I, too, have visited that dark world in the past, and luckily found my way back. Your blog post will no doubt help many others still trying to claw their way back from the darkness. It is my wish that they, too, will be able to join all of us here, in our supportive online community. 

  • As a person, I see strength that can come from being human and admitting imperfection but I rarely see this play out in the corporate world. I wonder if examples Come to mind for you? Always great to hear from you Kimmo.

  • Thanks so much for caring enough to comment Sirpa. Much appreciated.

  • Hey Mark,

    Just wanted to say that this blog post really affected me and got me thinking. Here I’ve been reading your blog and we’ve been connected for quite some time on Twitter and I never knew this portion of your story. It really kind of made me feel the way you did when you posted about Jenn. How we establish online connections, but we miss huge pieces of the picture. How we don’t always know what our online friends are going through. How they got to where they are now. etc.

    I’m glad to know this piece of the puzzle and I’m glad we are connected!

    – Elyse

  • Anonymous

    just read this post! I think this was the click to start mine. thank you Mark

  • I like the way you connected the dots on this one Elyse.  Good observation and I can see why that is a similar theme. Thanks! 

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  • Mark – this is my first comment on your site, followed you here from one of Christian’s tweets about this article. 

    Very nicely written, and I agree with you 100% when you say that all the hardwork and suffering has made you what you are today. It is nice once in a while to stop on your tracks and look back at the journey you have taken and appreciate for the little favors in life. 

    Hope to see you back soon with another wonderful article. 

  • I’ll be here if you are! : )

    Thank you for your kind comments Praveen, and welcome to the blog!

  • Inspiring story and not unknown among writers.  The discovery of real friends online can be quite a revelation.  Behind these gravatars are living, breathing humans who think and love and wish well to their fellow travelers.  Be careful who you friend.  You may end up caring about them and loving them, and feeling it when they get hurt.  Kurt Vonnegut in The Sirens of Titan, wrote of space creatures who beamed out a simple message, “I’m here. I’m here. I’m here” and replied to one another, “I’m glad. I’m glad. I’m glad.” 

  • Nischala Murthy

    Blogging can be truly transformational.. If you enjoy it, it can take you to a different zone and one can achieve a different state of internal peace, calm, harmony – I know that I have metamorphosized ever since I started blogging… And every time I blog, I just seem to achieve a different level of connection and connectedness… Happy Blogging 🙂

  • Hurray for you Nischala. I’m delighted you’ve had that experience!

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