I found out something pretty cool late Saturday night. I was reading through my Twitter feed and found a link to the 2013 Edublog Finalists. I didn’t do nominations this year. Actually I never do nominations because I find it so hard to pick.
I clicked the link having no idea what to expect. I was so surprised as I scrolled down. I found out that one of my posts is up for an award.
I’m honored. Honored, grateful, and a little confused.
I did what now?
Basically, I’m a nobody in the “edublogosphere.” Even that term is confusing.
I’m not sponsored by Evernote. I don’t have a podcast. I’ve never made up an interesting hashtag. I don’t write about educational iPad apps. I’ve never spoken at a conference. I’ve only been to two conferences in my nine years as a teacher.
I just a guy typing words into a box.
I’ve spent much of my life feeling like people don’t listen to me and struggling to find where I belong. Yet somehow, my post made the shortlist of finalists for Most Influential Post of the Year. I’m not sandbagging. I’m genuinely surprised.
It feels good to be recognized. I’ve never cared about getting an award or recognition for my writing before. But the more I thought about it over these few days, the more I liked the idea.
And I have to confess something—it’s something I started to think about a lot.
Catching myself before a fall
I was excited. I thought that this could be my ticket to significance and respect.
I started thinking about what it would be like to win. Yet I felt the tension with my own pride, and the bible says that pride comes before a fall.
It’s a humbling thing to know that so many connect with my words. In that humility I started realizing something. That award is never going to give me significance.
I almost fell for it. I almost fell for the game. I don’t usually go in for the preoccupation of turning everything into a contest. But I was really close this time.
Supportive, not competitive
Of course I hope I’m going to win. I can’t believe someone who’s nominated doesn’t hope for that. But now I better understand that awards don’t really mean anything. I’m already significant.
I don’t write for awards. I write because I have to. It’s how I think and process the world. Ernest Hemingway once said,
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
I feel compelled to honestly share the stories of my life. I write to help and inspire others. I write to support and uplift. It’s not about me.
I need to be less of a flashy jersey that’s full of badges and slick logos. Instead, I need to be more of a jock strap that is felt more than seen, and supports and uplifts without needing to be showy.