Happy New Year! It’s officially 2020, and while thinking of my personal resolutions, this website is a significant part. This year, I hope to continue growing The B.L.A.I.R. Connection and helping more siblings. 2018 was a year of brainstorming, creating, and testing. 2019 was a year of growth and success for the site, but I was still hesitant to explore certain topics or ideas for improvement. I am proud of this year’s content and consistency, which has been fueled by several goals.
At the beginning of this year, I was working towards a goal of winning the Florida Future Problem Solvers competition. Each blog I posted was partly motivated by that objective. Even after winning, I was working to have success at the International competition. My achievements in Future Problem Solvers really proved to me that the website had potential. My excitement from the competitions motivated me through the summer.
Near the start of the school year, I was approached with the opportunity to apply for a teen leadership program. The program would connect me with teen entrepreneurs from around the world, along with an experienced mentor to help me advance my website. I applied in September and waited for a response. The idea of taking part in such a cool program motivated me, even when I was feeling stressed about blogs or school. A couple of weeks ago, as my car pulled up to the MPS Conference, I got an email from the program. I wasn’t chosen. This obviously wasn’t the response I was hoping for, but as soon as I met a few MPS siblings just minutes later, it was okay. The truth is, they should be my main motivation. Not winning a competition or getting into an exciting program.
Getting denied from this program was honestly the first time I’ve lost when it comes to The B.L.A.I.R. Connection. In the weeks before their response, I scrolled through the program’s website often. I realized that I was competing with people who had the same drive and passion for their projects as I did. They were inspired by their struggles to create something incredible and help others. And their projects were groundbreaking. And I am the one that always says, The B.L.A.I.R. Connection is only beginning.
My website has a long way to go. In 2020, I hope to add features that will make expression on The B.L.A.I.R. Connection even easier for siblings of all ages and interests. I hope to reach many different types of terminal illness communities, who are each going through their own unique journey. I hope to attend more conferences, give more speeches, and meet more siblings in person. And like I emphasized in my speech at the MPS Conference, I hope to be as REAL as possible, even if it is sometimes uncomfortable.
And don’t get me wrong, I’ll be applying for that program again. Sometimes the best motivator isn’t a win, but a loss. Loss has motivated me more than anything during the past two years of running The B.L.A.I.R. Connection. The loss that I experienced is my constant reminder that change is so necessary in the terminal illness community. I am so glad that I have been able to offer support to siblings through my website in 2019. 47 blogs, 21 contributors, and 4,400 readers.
I’m calling it, 2020 is our year.
My Viral Mission
My new Tik Tok account got a sneak peek of this blog before it was published! I’m hoping to reach more siblings by posting short & powerful videos and trying to go “viral.” If you’d like to help my viral mission, follow @theblairconnection on Tik Tok!
If I don’t have a topic in mind when it’s time to write a column, I read articles. I look into the lives of other siblings of special needs individuals, delving into the struggles, pains, and joys of their respective experiences. From this, I usually find something that I can relate to in my own life, and I let the writing guide me to my own ideas. Read More
Now that my sister is gone, photos are one of the main ways I feel that I can connect with her. Whenever I’m missing Blair, I look through old photos and memories. I find it healing to edit photos of us creatively to be symbolic and make it feel new. Here are some of those edits. Read More