Blocktrades /Writers Block Write Your Own Ticket GiveawaysteemCreated with Sketch.

On Steemit, I go by the handle @dollarsandsense. Browse through my feed, and you’ll find an account filled with 46 posts and 700 comments, give or take. Glance up at the top of my profile page, and you’ll see I’m from New England in the United States. The date “April 2018” will catch your eye as you see that I joined not so long ago. And then you’ll find a short description which says: I’m one of those annoying people who is “still finding their voice.”

That’s all you’ll glean from my profile page. But you want to know more. You want me to talk about me. The man behind the curtain. This guy who wants a free ticket to Steemfest 3. Who is he really?

Well, if you check out one of my more recent posts, you’ll see I end it with the footer “@DollarsAndSense is a father, veteran, participant in the rat race, freelance writer, and volunteer EMT.” But you want to go even deeper than that, right? “Sincerity and candor” was the request, correct?

If I go ahead peel back the curtain the entire way, you will find a very insecure man. A guy who craves approval. A dude who just wants to be liked and to get along. A person who is afraid to speak his mind in public because of the consequences that could come from an unfiltered opinion.

A 30-something who wanted to be one of the cool kids so badly in middle school that he sacrificed his grades and a few good friendships in a futile pursuit of popularity. A former college student who grew up during his time on campus as he realized he didn’t need anyone else’s approval but his own to be happy. A veteran who realized during his time as a soldier that he actually didn’t approve, and wondered if he’d ever approved, of who he was. A father who found meaning and purpose in raising a child. A Christian who let his faith take a backseat for far too long and is now trying to rearrange his priorities.

And today, a man who is still trying to find his voice.

Writing is something I have always enjoyed. I was always good at it, too. I remember taking a test in high school after we finished reading The Scarlet Letter. My friend read every word of that book, but struggled with his writing. I read a chapter or two at most, but paid attention in class during discussions. When the test was handed out, I saw that it was some character matching followed by a mammoth essay. I scored a 98% on that exam. My friend got a C.

I’ve had to write a lot in most of the jobs I’ve held over the years. I was an officer in the Army, which was mostly paperwork. I send dozens of e-mails an hour at my job today. I’ve done a bit of freelance writing and posted to a personal blog here and there, but nothing like what I’ve produced in my last few months on Steemit. This place is finally helping me find my voice.

I’ve gotten to experiment with several different kinds of content. I’ve gotten to weigh in on some pretty heavy conversations about topics I am too afraid to talk about in person. I’ve learned more about myself and what I enjoy, as well as forced myself to examine what I believe and reassess where I find personal value.

I have swapped out mindless Netflix binge-watching each evening with writing time on Steemit and I feel immensely more satisfied with myself because of it. I’ve joined the community #steemitbloggers and I try to submit an entry into the Comedy Open Mic contest each week. I’ve made several friends, one of which I would definitely keep in touch with if either of us ever left the platform.

I am writing this particular post because I want to attend Steemfest. I would like to go partially because of the adventure of it all as well as the chance to meet other members of the community in person. I am looking forward to exploring a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met. Most of all, though, I see it as a chance for personal reflection and soul-searching. Life with a toddler and a full-time job leaves precious little room for that. The opportunity on a transatlantic adventure to ponder who I am, what I should be doing on Steemit, and where my voice belongs… that is the real prize here.

There are a few obstacles in my path, some practical and others mental. Being away from my son for a week would be a challenge, but it’s something I can overcome. Summoning the courage to tackle the difficult questions is another trial in this journey. Much easier just to download a few movies or read during my alone time. But if I’m given this opportunity, I will make the most of it.

How would I improve the Steemiverse overall? Well, I have a UI project in mind, and I’ve actually started working on it. Trouble is, I don’t have the programming skills to do it justice. If I do make it to Kraków, my goal would be to find a programmer to work with on rolling out a prototype of my design.

So there you have it: my contest entry (link to contest). Probably a little too personal and revealing at times, but hey, it’s refreshing to be honest once in a while. Thanks to the team at @blocktrades, @thewritersblock, and @anomadsoul for the opportunity to win this prize, but also thank you for challenging me to open up about myself and inch one step closer to finding that voice of mine.

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I worked as an EMT for several years before my health got the best of me. I loved it. I volunteered with a squad and also worked for a service toting Gomers. Even that has its rewards.

Glad to see you in the Block! I'm excited about this ticket giveaway. :-)

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Glad to be there! Thanks again for the warm welcome!

Thanks for this

We are SO proud to have you as a member of our
FANTABULOUS @steemitbloggers family!
uvoted and resteemed!

❤ MWAH!!! ❤

interested in joining the Steemit Bloggers Community?

Give this man a ticket.

Good luck and God Speed, sir!

I really enjoyed reading about you, @dollarsandsense. It's tough to reveal things about yourself, especially for those of us who would very much prefer to talk about anything but ourselves. You've inspired me. I've been afraid to write my own "get real" post. But it is such an exciting opportunity!

I wish you luck. If you do win, it will indeed be difficult to be away from your little boy. I remember those days. Every day is precious with little ones. But you will return refreshed, and have exciting stories to tell about your travels.

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Thank you Jayna, I appreciate the feedback! Yes it can be tough to look inwards, but if you can't do that, you'll never grow, and I certainly want to continue to do a bunch more of that!

If I win, by the time the date rolls around it'll be a little boy and a little girl!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by DollarsAndSense from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you would like to delegate to the Minnow Support Project you can do so by clicking on the following links: 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.
Be sure to leave at least 50SP undelegated on your account.

sir dollarsandsense! great job of writing for whatever this was for..some tickets to something about steemit or something? I don't know but you are such a fine writer! great job!

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Thank you sir! Yep, it was an entry into a contest to win tickets to Steemfest 3 this November! You should finally take that vacation and come to Poland!

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what? I don't even know what steemfest 3 is. what is it? and who in the world would want to go all the way to Poland? oh you ..right? sorry. yeah great event to want to go to I'm sure.

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Haha how have you not heard of this yet? Mr engagement himself isn’t even aware of the annual festival for Steemians?

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haha! that's why I'm engaging you about it right now to find out about it! lol. no I've seen it in a couple of post titles but never read those posts. I mean, is see all these get togethers everywhere and meet ups and all that and I have no idea how people can afford to travel all over to get to them and them what do they do at those things anyway?

since there is no central authority to meet and make plans or decide important issues, is it just a social thing?

All I know is, I usually have no idea what's going on with steemit and headchange usually lets me know. lol.

so I still have no idea why anyone would want to go to one but then I'm a hermit so...