Work Like Everyone is Watching

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Iris awards

Being oblivious in life can be a blessing. As a little girl, I enjoyed doing what I loved and diving deep into an obsession. I worked hard at my own little projects and passions. I was a nerd when it came to chess, books, and writing. I was quiet, but lively. I aimed to please, but knew that the one person I loved the most was me. So I did what that girl wanted to do. That was oblivious little me.

25 years later and oblivious little me is a grown woman with a husband and 3 kids. She also has this here blog to share her escapades in life, frugal and otherwise. Oblivious little me recently won a very important award. That’s when oblivious little me panicked a bit.

Mom 2 Summit 2015

Last month, I was nominated for Breakout of The Year at Mom 2.0 Summit’s Iris Awards. As someone who keeps her head down, and only looks up just enough to help other bloggers attain their goals, this nomination was a big shock for me. I’m a “small” blogger. I don’t do things like the “big” bloggers do. I’m quirky. I’m odd. My blog reflects all of that. And I love that about life right now. But this nomination? It informed me that while I was dancing like nobody’s watching, they were. They saw me dougie, cupid shuffle and humpty dance all through my little corner of the internet.

I was extremely honored to be nominated with some of the best bloggers out there. I planned to take it for what it was, wear a pretty dress, and cheer on the winner of the category. Oblivious little me never thought about actually winning. I mean, weirdos don’t win stuff, right? Maybe a year supply of Nutella, but not an award. That’s absurd.

Mom 2 Summit 2015

When Heather Armstrong said my name, it was like life turned to slow motion. The option of being oblivious was no longer there. The walk up to the stage felt like I was trudging through quicksand. I couldn’t hear, nor think. While those senses eluded me, I could feel the hot tears that were produced by shock, anxiety and excitement. Within those 10 seconds it took me to reach the microphone, I felt my whole life change. My peers gave me this award. Not some secret squirrel committee. Not my lacrosse coach because I was “most improved.” This was gifted to me by the community I love and respect.

What happened next was somewhat embarrassing, yet awesome. Supposedly, I went on to call myself and the few hundred people in the room a bunch of weirdos. Apparently, there were cheers. I say “supposedly” and “apparently” since I blacked out during my speech. Do you remember that scene in Old School where Frank blacks out during the debate? Yeah, that was me.

My friend Andrea caught it on Periscope, so I was able to watch it the next day. Weirdos. I said it. There was proof. The best part is that I truly meant it. The blogging community is full of weirdos. People that have a deep passion for the subjects they talk about on their websites, YouTube channels, and within freelance articles. Excited professionals that work diligently creating each and every paragraph they write and video they edit. Oblivious weirdos. That’s what we all are, and that’s what we’ll always be.

Mom 2 Summit 2015

To each and every one of you, my dear weirdos, I say thank you. Thank you for reminding me that even though I’m dancing like nobody’s watching, I am working like everyone is watching. Thank you for making me accept the praise, enjoy the process of the Iris Awards experience, and take a minute to be proud of being little old me. While I may be a breakout, I promise to continue to breakthrough. From no-bake dessert recipes, to thrift store fashion and teaching children to be an advocate for change, I won’t change my peculiar ways. I hope you won’t change yours, too. Stay weird, blog buddies.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


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  1. 5.28.15
    Andrea said:

    SO glad you got to see it but sad that my Periscope soon disappeared into the cloud. Would have loved to share it again later. So proud of you!

  2. 5.28.15
    Amber said:

    and you. and loved seeing you and watching you win and oh my….so many feels.
    But yes, we are ALL weird. And I love it.

  3. 5.28.15

    I cried then … between wooting and all that … and cried now reading your sweet, honest and humble words … You have a heart of gold dear friend, a huge big puffy heart that loves on everyone just as that smile surely fills a room.
    So proud of you xxx

  4. 5.28.15
    Gina said:

    You are wonderful, I’m so glad to see you recognized for all you do for our community.

  5. 5.29.15
    Brandi said:

    This is perfect. <3

  6. 5.29.15
    Heather Solos said:

    You are absolutely one of my favorite weirdos.

    • 6.4.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Big awkward hugs, Heather!

  7. 6.4.15
    Nichole said:

    Dance like nobody’s watching is part of my favorite quote! Love it!!
    I plan on spending more time contributing to my own blog and I hope to be able to share yours (more than I already do) through it so that others may find and enjoy your (continued) weirdness.
    Love ya, darlin’ and I hope to come visit next summer.

  8. 6.4.15

    I am glad that you received this award. I am glad because you deserved it. I am glad because it is good for you to have tangible proof of how wonderful you are. I am glad you do not do things like “big” bloggers and hope this award makes you realize that “big” bloggers should do things like you do. You are what people should aspire to be. Congratulations.

  9. 6.6.15

    Your speech and this post? Perfect! So glad to call you a friend and remind you how much you deserve this award!