Yesterday, I got to experience in person the miracle of birth as my best friend delivered her second daughter after 18 hours of incredibly painful, unmedicated labor. Back labor. If you want to know more about it, Google it, and I’ll spare you the details. But suffice it to say, it was a rough night and a long morning.

But let me just tell you one thing. Being in the room as that child came into this world was one of the most incredible moments of my life thus far. The surge of pure joy that filled that room was unlike anything I’d ever felt before.

And I thought, this changes everything.

But this is not a post about becoming a mother, because we’re still waiting a while for that. And it’s not a post about working and being a mother, because I don’t have any experience in that yet. And it’s not a post about how crappy the insurance industry is, although it could be, because I have learned a lot about that in recent days. It’s not even a post about pain or labor or any other metahpor.

It’s actually a post about blogging. And how that has changed my life.

About two years ago, I was at a place in life where honestly, I was pretty miserable. I had a good job, a great boyfriend, a new house, and it looked like everything was going well. I was in grad school, learning lots, and ready to start going places in my career.

But it felt like something was missing.

I felt that way, because it was.

So I started looking. Reading. Poking around for something to fill that void with. A friend suggested I start selling Mary Kay, and I was ready to fork over my inital $100 bucks (the check was written, in my purse, and I was at the meeting ready to go) when I realized, this isn’t it. But I was energized by the force of relationships those women experienced and intrigued by the idea I had so blog as a way to promote the business. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t use the product anyway and had no desire to sell it but was raring to go on the other two parts: relationships and blogging. So I left the meeting with my check and used that cash instead to buy a domain and start the blog anyway.

Then, the fear hit, and I went through a fierce dip. A few months later, after lots of skepticism and a radical journey into embracing my own byline and all the uncertainty that came with it, my first blog was officially born.

And truly, my life has not been exactly the same since.

And in that moment, I thought, this changes everything. Because what was changing was me.

And looking back, it’s incredible to see what happened next.

Quickly, I realized that the most transformational part of blogging was the relationships it helped form. As I have been reading lately, a lot of my peer bloggers have experienced the same phenomenon.

My world has expanded and I’ve even had the honor of meeting several of my blogging heroes in person. Sam Davidson. Bryan Person. Penelope Trunk. And there are many more on my list of people I’d love to meet – both near and far.

But something else has opened up for me as well. My world of possibility is larger than it ever was before. I’ve watched as my peers have begun the process of becoming thought leaders in their niches. I’ve seen books written and careers rise. I’ve seen businesses and communities born. And that has come back to me, inspiring me to add a lot of things to the list of what I want to do before 30, 40, 50. Watching first-hand the journey of my new friends has empowered me in ways I never had imagined possible.

And with this new world of possibiltiy, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to spread that enthusiasm and opportunity to others. To cheer on their efforts to build their own worlds, careers, dreams.

And this is where I realized what it was that had been missing and what really changed my life.

It wasn’t blogging.

It was relationships. It was people. It was impact. It was change.

Two years later, here is what I know: Just blogging as an act is worthless. It’s a waste of time. It’s words on a screen. It’s nothing.

But blogging with purpose and passion and vision, that’s something else entirely.

Blogging with purpose and using it as a platform to grow your world, to build relaitonships, to create change. It’s an opportunity unlike anything else.

So here is how blogging has changed my life: it’s taught me that really, everything in the world can be just anything.

Blogging can be just blogging. Work can be just work. Friends can be just friends. Life can be just life.

But it doesn’t have to be.

What makes the difference is you.

What you do with your blog. What you do in your career. How you form and build relationships – online and offline. The passion you act out in your life.

So, when I think about it now, about that first time I hit “publish” and the journey that began at that moment, I see how it really did change everything. But it wasn’t just because I did it. It’s what I did from there.

So why open this post talking about how a child entering the world changes everything?

For one, I am just so excited, I had to share. And also, it’s important to realize how our life can impact out work and all the lessons there are all around us all the time. And we should talk about them.

But also, the birth of a child reminds us of opportunity. It changes everything when someone new enters the world.

Somewhere, years ago, someone thought this about your life. They realized this about you.

It’s my hope that you realize this about yourself too.

You matter. You change everything. If you decide to.