I’m thankful every day for WordPress.
This is no exaggeration: Witness my daily posts on this blog about “living in gratitude” (daily, except for one WiFi-less week this fall on the west coast of Vancouver Island).
This is not shameless self-promotion.
It is just simple gratitude.
I’m grateful to WordPress because it helped me to write again, after I was convinced my writing life was over.
I’ve been a writer since childhood (ask my parents — all my sheets and clothes had ink stains).
It took a lot for me to move past grief and loss, and through years of mourning what I then believed to be the end of my passion for writing.
Me, covering Hualapai Nation at Grand Canyon (Hadi Dadashian photo)
WordPress offered a platform for joy: Hadi and I celebrated a milestone of marriage, our 10th anniversary, by starting our first blog together, on WordPress.
That venture has been far more fulfilling than we could have imagined.
First, we learned a lot about online publishing (the hard way — we’re still tech-illiterate).
We had a lot of fun just picking the name — tripsfor2 — because we wanted to write about romantic travel and the romance of travel.
The site was intended as a celebration of our passion for discovering new places and cultures. It’s a celebration every day.
tripsfor2 helped take the edge off unemployment, and chronic pain, to recall all the adventures we’ve had together in so many countries.
It’s helped us rediscover places we were overjoyed to find, all over the world. We’ve reviewed our travel photos — negatives, prints, disks and memory cards — and every time, we find something new there.
We want to share our joy of traveling with others, not because we want to brag about where we’ve been, but because we want others to experience some of what we’re fortunate to enjoy, whether we’re exploring our own state, Oregon, or other continents.
Traveling is like scuba diving: Every dive is so amazing, I’m always encouraging others to try it, at least once.
Scuba diving is the world’s second-best pleasure, I always say. Hadi snorkels; his stories about underwater encounters are funnier than mine. Plus, he’s seen more sharks.
Like scuba, WordPress teaches me (some) patience, while I experiment with writing styles, and we learn to post photos in different ways.
Our WordPress adventures have taught us a new vocabulary.
Hadi Dadashian, interrupted while shooting Oregon's fall (Kathleen Kenna photo)
In only a few months with three blogs (Hadi has a photoblog too), we’ve met WordPressers in India, China, Brazil, Italy, Britain, Ireland, and Pakistan.
We’ve corresponded with bloggers all over the U.S., including some in states we have yet to visit (Tennessee, for one).
Stateofgrateful just got its first comment from Tibet — thanks, WordPress!
We’ve met fellow bloggers in Oregon and neighboring states, online only, through WordPress.
We’re so impressed by their work, we’re hoping to meet some of these bloggers in person in the near future.
I am particularly grateful for their encouragement, so I intend to honor a few of my favorites this week.
I’m so grateful to WordPress for all these reasons, that we’ve launched another blog, aimed at inspiring others.
It’s a new venture with our nephew, actor Hoover Wind.
We could have spent a few bucks just to dot.com the title, but we wanted to keep WordPress in the name, to draw attention to what we consider the best place for publishing words, photos and art online — for free.
This is especially important, given our subject: Unemployment.
Hire Your Neighbor is intended to spark a national conversation about historic unemployment in the United States.
Today, Laura DeWitt tells the world why, at 26, she wants one thing in life: A job.
Thanks, WordPress, for the opportunity to share her story.