Allright, I guess I ought to Say Something about being selected as one of the new HOFers following the big brouhaha. But it's awkward. I've been trying to compose my thoughts for a couple days now and I'm still not quite there. So bear with me, all six or seven of you who read my blog. ;)
First I have to give a very sincere and huge Thank You to all who have supported me, encouraged me and said such kind words about me and my work. From the bottom of my heart, it is appreciated! Special thanks, and lots of love, go out to the ScrapChicks, the BLECKsters, my fellow HMers on both the 2006 & 2007 groups, the OCC, Kari and Jenn. Your friendship means the world to me!
And now that my Academy Award acceptance speech is over, onto the heart of the matter. I know that there will be those who are critical of my decision to accept the open HOF spot. I respect that others may have chosen differently. I want everyone to know that I thought long and hard about this. First in that "what if I win the lottery" fantasizing way, not for one second thinking it was a real possibility. Then when I knew I was going to be asked to step up, in a more concrete way.
From the start, what upset me most about how the contest played out was my feeling that the contest's reputation was now tarnished. I knew I would not feel comfortable entering again if things were allowed to stand as they were. But I also came to a point where I decided I would be satisfied if CK just cleaned up the rules and their processes for selecting winners for the future. I could have lived with nothing being done about this year's contest.
When CK announced that they were disqualifying Kristina Contes and possibly others, and would fill any vacated spots with the next-in-line HMers, I was actually pretty surprised. But I was also impressed. Not because I bore any ill will toward any of the current winners, but because I thought it spoke volumes about what CK would do to restore the reputation of the HOF contest. And I believed that those who cared about the contest - and I do care about it - needed to do their part to work toward that goal. For me that meant accepting the belated win.
Lest you think I'm being entirely too self-serving here, let me assure you that I had selfish reasons as well. The $500 prize would be a nice little payday for me. Not that $500 is going to make or break my family, but a little guilt-free splurging? Yeah, I can do that.
And validation? Well I dunno. I scrapbook because I love to scrapbook. It's fun! But that fun is definitely enhanced for me by being able to share my pages with other people who love this hobby. It's a good feeling when someone else appreciates something you've done. So while I enjoy that, it doesn't really define me either. Because no matter how many pages I get published or contests I win, I still have to do the laundry, feed my family, drive my kids to all their activities, help with homework ... you get the drift. Scrapbooking is important to me, but it is not my life.
I realize some people will think I'm accepting "too little too late". I guess I just came to a decision not to look at it that way. Missing out on the hoopla of call week, tooting anonymously and all that? Eh, that might have been fun, but it's nothing that important to me. Besides, I did get to participate in call week, just from a slightly different standing (as an HM). And I've had another call week this week, with the embarrassing recorded phone call to prove it. So we're all good there.
Not being in the original book? Again, I can deal with that. I do want to share some of the pages of my entry. I'm proud of them, I know they mean a lot to my family, and I'd love to send them out in the world! But I'm hopeful the supplement CK is working on will accomplish all that.
Missed opportunities? Hmmm, maybe. Who knows what opportunities I might have had in the past 7 months? Maybe some, maybe none. I'm not interested in being a "celebrity" (gads, perish the thought!) so I'm not too worried about missed opportunities.
But all in all, what it really comes down to is this. For all that I may have missed out on in the past 7 months, I have gained so much more. I have gotten to know an incredible group of women, whom I admire soooooo much both as scrapbookers and as people. Call me a sap if you will, but the friendship and camaraderie of the 2007 HM class truly means more to me than hoopla and publishing opportunities. Those things are fleeting, but the bond of the HMers, well that's gonna last much longer.
And now that I've "graduated" to the HOF group, wow, now I get to meet another group of uber-talented scrappers, and hopefully get to know them as well. Best of both worlds? You betcha!!
So here I am, a new HOFer, ready to move forward. What happened, happened. No changing that, and I refuse to live a life of regrets and what-ifs. I'm not here to replace anyone. I know some people will like my work and some won't. And that's okay. I never set out to be the best scrapper, I only set out to be my best.
So while I didn't arrive here in the ideal way, man do I ever have a good story to tell my grandkids. And I'm all about a good story. ;)