The Iris Award Nominations That Have Led To ALL THE FEELINGS

This week while I was in New York for an intense two-day client huddle, my phone and Facebook started blowing up. It wasn't until I finished up the first day of meetings and was back at my hotel room that I was able to fully absorb what was going on. I learned that I was nominated for the 2016 Iris Awards -- not just once, but twice, in the categories of Best Parenting Vlog (for my new lifestyle solutions series) and Best Parenting Podcast (for Edit Your Life).

These nominations led to ALL THE FEELINGS, which I will get to in a minute, but to back up a few steps: the Iris Awards are hosted by Mom 2.0 Summit, a truly incredible digital media conference. The Iris Awards were created a few years ago and are kind of like the Oscars for parenting media. There are 16 awards in four larger categories and the whole process is very official: there was a call for nominations and the voting process is managed by an independent online voting firm and verified by an independent accounting firm.

In the Iris Awards' first year, Asha and my work received two nods -- for Minimalist Parenting in the Game Changer category and for our #HelpWomenAtRisk fundraiser in the Philanthropic Work category. It was amazing and totally mindblowing for sure, but something has felt a little different about this go around and I think there are two primary reasons. First, the podcast and video series represent my forays into new digital mediums. I have always considered myself a writer at heart, and as evidenced by nearly 10 years of blogging, I clearly still love writing! But I also am a generally creative person who both loves new challenges and loves finding different ways to communicate with people. The podcast and video series have been such joyful new additions to my creative palette.

And the second thing is that -- in particular with the vlogging nomination -- a couple of deeper feelings were touched. At various points in my life I have wrestled with imposter syndrome -- wondering whether I was a good enough academic, writer, designer, etc. (or, well, whether I actually totally sucked and was a fraud). So to be nominated for a new venture alongside amazing content creators...well, it hit that nerve. On the flip side, my foray into vlogging has been a powerful representation for me about how fun and awesome it is to let go of the inner critic and JUST DO SOMETHING (especially something you've been wanting to do for 2-3 years!) and also how powerful it is to not only let go of perfection, but to embrace it (my videos are not perfect and highly produced -- they are shot on my phone, and that is the point!) and to let it be part of your story. And then of course if I'm going to be really raw there's that whole feeling of OMG PEOPLE NOMINATED ME FOR SOMETHING? This is coming from the small girl who held so many insecurities about friendships and love and who had people turn their back on her for all sorts of reasons. Excuse me while I go cry into a tissue.

Anyway, I felt like I needed to write about these nominations, both for what they are at a baseline -- incredible honors -- but also because they mean so much more and represent bigger lessons. They reflect my passion for content creation. They support the notion that if you're passionate about an idea and believe in it, you should give it a try. They confirm that perfection is overrated. And they show me that there are people out there who believe in me and what I'm doing. It just means the world to me and I'm filled with gratitude for it all. Thank you all for inspiring me to do the work I do. I hope you will consider doing something you've been wanting to do -- perfectly imperfectly -- very soon.