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How Squidoo Has Changed My Life

Updated on October 8, 2014
That's me circa 2012
That's me circa 2012

Hello Squidoo! It's me Shinichi!

When 2013 started, I had big dreams and a whole list of new year's resolutions that I intended on keeping. I had been designing clothing for a virtual world since 2007 and had enjoyed years of success. I wanted to take it one step further, perhaps into the real world and a few opportunities were there for me to pursue. However I realized that my work was starting to affect my health. Hours were long and erratic with months that went by cooped up in my apartment without meeting a single soul. Although I enjoyed my work, I knew I wouldn't last for long.

Sometime in the summer of 2013, I wrote my very first Squidoo lens. Thinking back to that day, it's amazing how far I've come. I started writing for Squidoo when I wasn't sure what I was doing. I've always enjoyed the writing process and how healing it could be to the soul. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to write about. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to write about my passions. I had a desire to share my interests and wonderful experiences with the world. I didn't exactly know where I was headed but I can say, with all honesty, that Squidoo has changed my life.

*All photos taken by myself unless otherwise noted.

Shinichi when he was overweight
Shinichi when he was overweight

Making My First Lens

Starting is the Hardest Part

I knew it was time for a career change and although I wasn't sure where it would take me, I started to write for Squidoo. I thought hard about what I wanted to write and decided to go with a story on how I lost my weight and kept it off. I already knew quite a lot about weight loss and having been overweight for half my life, I thought it was something I could write about. So that's what I started out with. I continued with a few more lenses that focused on health and weight-loss and then added some low-carb recipes into the mix. So after I had completed a handful of lenses, I had to sit back and ask myself, "Why am I doing this?"

My Very First Lens

Are You Stuck in a Rut?

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

A friend of mine gave me a copy of this book back in 1988, when I was working as a flight attendant. It was obvious how unhappy I had been and I was lucky that she decided I should read it.

Doing the exercises in the book helped me to not only to figure out why I was unhappy, but also what I needed to do if I wanted to be happy. After I had read the book from cover to cover, I quit my job and moved away to another country. It was the best decisions I had ever made in my life.

 

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

— George Bernard Shaw

My First Goals

I wrote about Ome, a small town not too far from Tokyo, which won me my first Purple Star.
I wrote about Ome, a small town not too far from Tokyo, which won me my first Purple Star.

As I was just starting out, a fellow lensmaster suggested I join the Rocketsquids University. I figured I had a lot of learning to do so I immediately signed up. Once I was in, I tried to do as many of the assignments (or quests as Squidoo calls them ) as I could and there were a lot of them. But sometime around completing my 15th lens, I already knew I had made the right decision. The numerous quests challenged me to write about things that I wouldn't normally write about and in the process, I learned a lot about myself.

One of the first goals I made for myself was to get a "purple star". A purple star is awarded by Squidoo editors to lenses that are, in their eyes at least, exceptional in some way, so of course I had to get one. I am happy to say that I got my first purple star in August of 2013 and I was over the moon. I literally jumped for joy and did my happy dance for a full five minutes ( in the comfort and safety of my bedroom ). I currently have 28 purple stars under my belt and I am proud to have earned each and every one of them!

What Is Your Passion?

Have you found your passion in life?

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Tohoku Earthquake
Tohoku Earthquake

My Next Goal-LOTD

My next goal was to have one of my lenses nominated for the Lens of the Day. According to the Squidoo blog, the Lens of the Day is a daily award given to one lens that really stands out from the crowd. The award celebrates original writing, creativity, generosity, and a willingness to try new things. So my next goal was to achieve this.

At that time, a little over two years had passed since the earthquake and tsunami incident in Japan. Although I was far from the epicenter, I lived in Tokyo where we felt one of the biggest and longest earthquakes in our lives. I chose to document my personal experience on a lens and although it was far from perfect, I knew I did my best to portray the experience from my perspective.

I struggled with this topic because it dealt with a real incident and it wasn't something that I wanted to relive. When I had finished creating the lens, I still wasn't sure about how I felt about it and I debated about whether I should really publish this lens or not. In the end, I decided not to think much of it and pressed the "publish" button. Interestingly, this was the lens that won me the Lens of the Day award.

Natural Disasters

Have you ever experienced a major natural disaster?

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I Am A Giant Squid!

By this point, I had already come to terms with the fact that I was enjoying this. Although writing lenses for Squidoo had started out as an experiment, I knew I couldn't and wouldn't stop. My next step on my journey with Squidoo was to become a Giant Squid.

The goal was to create, update and maintain 25 good-quality lenses that meet all the requirements. Once I got 30, I decided to apply. Surprisingly enough, I got an email that said, "Congratulations You're A Giant Squid!" even before I sent in my application! That was a good day indeed!

Once I had reached Giant Squid status, I was more determined than ever to keep on writing. There was no stopping me now! My next goal was to become a Level 50-Monster Squid ( create and maintain 50 good lenses ) and sometime around the middle of the autumn season, I had successfully reached that goal.

Art Cake
Art Cake

How Squidoo Has Added to My Life

So how did Squidoo change my life? In the beginning, they simply held my hand and gave me a gentle nudge in the right direction. They gave me a platform to create, experiment and express myself through writing. Soon after, they were giving me assignments to write about things that were totally out of my comfort zone.

I was given deadlines and although it wasn't mandatory, I tried to meet those deadlines. In return, Squidoo rewarded me with prizes, trophies and other goodies that gave me a sense of satisfaction and achievement I haven't felt in years.

Squidoo has also made me a more passionate cook. Although I've always loved cooking, I had always been satisfied with making dishes that I had been making for many years. Through the numerous food quests, I challenged myself to create shortbread cookies, art cakes and vegan tofu loaves. Throughout the entire fall season, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with new gadgets, cookie cutters and measuring cups. I loved every minute of it!

One other thing that I hadn't expected from this experience was all the wonderful people I met through being a part of this thing called Squidoo. I have met some of the most beautiful and genuine people here and it has only increased my joy and love for writing on this platform.

Recipe Poll

What kind of recipes would you like to see more of?

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Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

This book is unlike any book I've ever read. The concepts are simple but most importantly, honest and to the point. Much of the advice in the book can be used not only for artists and writers, but useful for anybody who lives creatively.

 

The Most Valuable Lesson

Squidoo has not only given me the opportunity to express myself through words, it has changed my life in so many ways. Through Squidoo, I've re-discovered my love for the writing and has helped me to make some major decisions in my life. Reading lenses created by other lensmasters have also opened my eyes up to an entire new world-lenses created by unique individuals with their own dreams, hopes and passions and the courage to follow their hearts. Getting to know these wonderful people have been a cathartic experience. I'm always learning new things I never knew before and I've grown quite close to a couple of those people. In short, my experience with Squidoo has given me the courage to live my life on my own terms.

I still have a few more milestones I would like to reach. I know I'll have to celebrate once I can create and maintain 100 lenses. Not only will I have become a Mammoth Squid, but I will know that I have accomplished something I never imagined possible last year. As I continue to write for Squidoo, I know that I will only get better. Squidoo helps me everyday to become a better writer and by letting me share my passions, dreams and hopes with the world, gives me the opportunity to contribute to the world.

Early last year, I was lost and in the process of finding myself. But as the late Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw says, " Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." That's exactly what I'm doing.

This was my personal journey with writing for Squidoo, which ceased operations in the fall of 2014. I now continue to write for Hugpages as well as for my own f

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    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 3 years ago

      I loved Squidoo and all the people there. I'm happy to find them again here but it's sad not having those cute little monsters guide me through the creation process. It's nice here too but I miss those goofy little things that made me smile and gave me that sense of accomplishment. They were uniquely Squidoo.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I've always loved reading your work because its infused with such a positive vibe. I miss Squidoo and while it may be dead to us all now, its really nice to see the souls that made it such a great place for a while continuing on with that spirit of greatness. I don't say this to many folks, but your star has just started to rise. You will go far on any platform you desire. You have something special that shines through. I can't wait to see what you do here at HP.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      I loved Squidoo it also changed the direction of my life and gave me reason to strive for an independent lifestyle after disability. The friendships made there will last forever.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Squidoo had changed my life as well. I think it made me a better writer.

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      Terrific lens! I find Squidoo and its contributors to be terrifically smart, funny, and interesting!

    • profile image

      marsha32 3 years ago

      You do sound very successful in squidoo.

      I only have 5 purple star lenses and I've been a member since 2007 or 2008!

    • Andromachi profile image

      Andromachi 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your journey at squidoo with us all. Keep up the good work. I hope I can follow your example some day.

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 3 years ago

      I am very happy for you. Your lenses are fantastic and enthralling and your recipes are delicious and inspiring.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Great personal journaling of your experience with Squidoo, smine27! I enjoyed reading it!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 3 years ago

      I have always been a stay-at-home mom ever since I started my family, but thanks to Squidoo I can also make money (doing something fun) while doing what I love (taking care of my children). The best of both worlds :)

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Not everyone finds their path in life, but all of us on squidoo and tell and see that you have. Your lenses are exquisite and should be learning tools for others. Congratulations!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      Your journey mirrors mine in so many ways. I love Squidoo. It has given me confidence in my own creativity. Nice lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I sure enjoyed reading this very positive lens about your Squidoo experience.

    • corinnephillips1 profile image

      corinnephillips1 3 years ago

      I joined squidoo late last year and my first lens was hard to create I have since then created 6 lenses but now am disheartened by squidoo as some of my lenses have been locked for no apparent reason and why they are locked is not explained to me and squidoo deleted my sixth lens for no reason after I edited it and wrote to them about the poem.However your brilliant lens and sharing of your personal experience on squidoo has somewhat sparked some interest in me to keep on soldiering on with squidoo.Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Great to see your passion for writing and how you have enjoyed making lenses in Squidoo. You can possibly make another lens on what caused the 50 pound loss. :-)

    • MelaniePaige13 profile image

      Melanie Paige 3 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Congratulations on reaching your goals! Those dishes look amazing. If I could choose more than 1 dish I would love to see more of, it would be main meals and appetizers. Of course desserts won though (they always do ;)).

      Thank you for sharing your writing experience and the journey you have embarked on with Squidoo. Great lens :)

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      Wonderful work and you definitely have the writers knack. I have the ideas but the words just don't flow out of my fingers. I started on Squidoo in 2013 as well and yet to have a strong focus. I joined Rocket Squids, have a stable of Purple stars and even won LOTD. It does help to have goals and I've set some new ones for 2014 that I hope will create a higher income stream on Squidoo and beyond.

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      We started about the same time on Squidoo. My progress, in terms of lens writing, has been slower, but I share the same responxnse and feelings as you for the opportunity to write to people from across the world. I don't mind if it is just six people who reads the stuff I turn out - as I am writing as much for myself as for the readers. Your lens are always personal and interesting, and we get a sense of a real and vulnerable/strong person behind the computer. Keep at it, man.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 3 years ago from California

      I enjoyed reading your story. Squidoo has become a big part of my life as well.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Shinichi, you mentioned that you knew you wanted to write about your passions, and that you had a desire to share your interests and experiences with others. I know exactly how you felt, I wanted to do the same...it actually was cathartic for me to do so. Squidoo in a sense has changed my life as well...this through personal contacts with information from worldwide readers that helped me in finding the truth about my family research. I am so grateful for that!

      Your passion in writing and sharing is obvious, 8 months and 99 lenses ...WOW!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @poutine: Thanks so much.

    • profile image

      poutine 3 years ago

      Hi,

      Saw you posts on B.......

      mimimi

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Elsie Hagley: I know what you're saying Kiwinana71. The money is great but it's the contact with all the wonderful people around the world that's keeping me around. I hope you keep writing and sharing your stories with us as I always enjoy your lenses.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ChristyZ: Wow, you're writing a novel. That's so exciting!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @SheGetsCreative: Thanks so much!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Vantis: Hi Vantis. Welcome to Squidoo. I know it's frustrating when a lens gets locked, but usually a few tweaks get it unlocked really quickly. This is a great portal to express yourself with the greatest bunch of people. Looking forward to seeing more from you.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @LynetteBell: Thank you so much for the kind words. I enjoyed the journey very much.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Congratulations with your LoTD, I am still waiting hopefully it will be this year.

      I just love Squidoo, making contact with people all around the world, learning about countries I have never heard of, so many more reasons, but the main one is being a RocketSquid Greeter. I know what it was like when I started, I was completely lost. I am not here for the money, just the sense of being around and trying to help people in my seventies, sometimes at that age you start to feel a bit useless, also it keep my brains working, and I love being part of Squidoo..

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 3 years ago

      It's nice to read such an upbeat article and it's great that you are enjoying writing for Squidoo! :) I'm happiest when I'm writing poetry or working on my novel, but I also have a terrific time writing Squidoo articles as well!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      You've come a long way in a relatively short time. Congrats!

    • profile image

      Vantis 3 years ago

      Wow, what an enthusiastic lens :) I'm a new squid, and I really like this portal too. Unfortunately they blocked one of my lenses (I worked 3 entire days on that particular lens). I became so angry I almost ended my squid-journey. However I would have missed it, so finally I decided to stay :) Great portal with great pages (like this one) written by great people.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 3 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Congrats on the purple stars and getting LOTD! You have written an amazing amount of lenses over the last year. I enjoyed reading your lens.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @flinnie lm: Thanks so much flinnie. I always enjoy your lenses as well.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @RoadMonkey: RoadMonkey, I never thought of it that way, but yes it's so true.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoyed reading about how squidoo has changed your like. Great lens. Congrants on the many purple stars and LOTD.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      This was amazing, a real way of using "journalling" to work out your voice and what you wanted to say, even if you didn't know it!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Minoru10: Thanks so much Minoru

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @JessicaLVine LM: Thanks Jessica. I couldn't have asked for a better support system.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @TerriCarr: Yeah I find that once you get a momentum going, it's not too difficult. I also promote my lenses on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I find this helps a lot with traffic.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you Janis. I appreciate your kind words.

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      You've come a long way...good for you, I'm proud of you. Keep it up !

    • JessicaLVine LM profile image

      JessicaLVine LM 3 years ago

      Congratulations on all of your success. I'm sure you'll go far and it definitely helps you being in the Squidoo community as you are learning and growing daily. :)

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      I haven't got as much momentum as I would like...only 7 1/2 lenses so far. But I appreciate the positive atmosphere on Squidoo. I also love that you have a (sort of) built in audience for whatever you write. Course, you have to promote your lenses too. I haven't really learned how to do that. But I will get there I hope. I appreciate your always positive attitude.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      You're doing great here and congrats on all the Purple stars.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ChocolateLily: Thanks so much chocolate!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Erin Mellor: Same to you Erin!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Magpie Feathers: Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate it.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ecogranny: Grace I truly appreciate your thoughtful comment here. I am really happy to hear about how Squidoo is getting better by getting rid of the "gamers". I know that things will only get better.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @The_Kelster: Thanks for reading and visiting. Much appreciated.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Zeross4: Thanks so much Daisy. And a very warm welcome to Squidoo!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @LornsA178: You are so kind Lorns. Thank you. I hope you continue writing for squidoo as I do enjoy your lenses.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @norma-holt: Thanks so much.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sierradawn lm: Thanks so much sierra. Really appreciate your kind words.

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 3 years ago

      I enjoy reading your lenses. You've come a long way in a short time. Keep it up! :)

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      What a great story, you've achieved a lot in 2013, here's to 2014.

    • Magpie Feathers profile image

      Magpie Feathers 3 years ago

      Each of your lens reflects positivity and it is truly contagious. Life sometime gets in everyone's way and it has got in my too, many times. Sometime you just want to give up but reading a few of your beautiful lenses actually makes me reconsider a lot of my decisions. :) thanks for sharing..

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much for sharing your Squidoo story. It is most interesting, and I always appreciate how open you are. In that vein, I will answer your question as best I can.

      It's been more than six years since I joined Squidoo. I learned about the platform through a fellow blogger who, interestingly enough, did not continue here but did continue with his blog and is now quite successful. At that time, Squidoo was promoting itself as a good companion to bloggers, where we might spark interest in our blogs and support them with related lenses that would give us links and exposure.

      I soon discovered making lenses was fun and experimented with different types. I also enjoyed reading other people's lenses. There was a lot of interesting writing going on at Squidoo at that time, as we can sometimes find now. Yours is a good example.

      For a few years, people who are adept at "gaming the system" seemed to predominate here. It was very difficult to find substantive lenses that told stories. As a Squid Angel, each day I was online, I spent hours hunting for lenses that had no plagiarized copy and weren't just lists of Amazon modules. They were difficult to come by, as many other angels attested to!

      Thankfully, Squidoo no longer tolerates pages like that, and I find myself spending many hours each week reading fascinating lenses. It is a gift I give myself when my grandchild, whom I care for several days a week, is napping or at other times, during my lunch break.

      I don't get to write as many lenses as I would like, and my niche--which is about ways to live green and sustainably--is barely on Squidoo's radar, so it's probably just as well, but I do feel a great deal of pleasure writing here when I have the opportunity, and have received a lot of encouragement through the community and from HQ.

      One thing is certain: Squidoo is addictive. Everywhere I go and everything I do, I think, "Oh, I should write a lens about that!"

    • profile image

      The_Kelster 3 years ago

      This was a great and inspiring lens! Loved reading it, thank you for sharing it :)

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Hello, I'm new to Squidoo and much looking forward to being a part of this community. I just wanted to tell you I enjoyed reading your lens and how you have grown through Squidoo. I look forward to reading some of your great work. You are very inspiring!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 3 years ago

      Reading your experience reminded me of my own journey with Squidoo. I was enjoying my time and the friendship I developed with fellow lensmasters. But in every road there's a bend sometime - due to family circumstances, I am not as active as before, I could not keep up to be a giant squid - no regrets though, it was a great experience....I am truly happy for you, you are one of my favorite lensmasters. Keep up the good work. You deserve to have all the blessings. Thanks for visiting my lenses.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      Its great that you have found a happy place in building and creating lenses. I share some of your joy about getting purple stars and the thrill of LOTD never really subsides. Well done tribute lens.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 3 years ago

      You have so elegantly expressed my own feelings about how Squidoo is changing my life! Such a truly beautiful lens!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @captainj88: Thanks Leah. I've wanted to do this since the start of the year.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Excellent recap. I'm proud of the progress you've made in such a short time. This was a great way to chronicle your experiences here and show off your important milestones.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Merrci: Thank you for the thoughful comments Merrci. I feel blessed being here.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @SusanDeppner: Susan, you have been one of the first ones to welcome me to Squidoo as well. Thank you for your support throughout the the months. I truly has meant a lot to me.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Pam Irie: It truly is the best isn't it? I always enjoy your lenses. Keep them coming!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @serendipity831: I always get embarrassed when someone says I write well. I have so much more to learn and I hope I get better at it. You support means a great deal. Thank you for being here.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Virginia Allain: Thanks so much vallain. I truly appreciate your words.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @esmonaco: I think we both had our lives changed in positive ways. I'm always looking forward to reading your lenses.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @favored: Thanks favored1. You are one of the first ones that welcomed me to this beautiful community. Thank you.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments. Each and everyone here at Squidoo has made such a positive effect on my life and I'm forever grateful to you for that.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      You are certainly a blessing to us here and I've enjoyed everything you've written. Love your photos and the way you see things creatively. You step up to challenges and conquer them. Each quest gets better and you bring new things to the table. What a great way to celebrate success I think.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      What a beautiful story, I enjoy reading your work and will continue to do so. I joined Squidoo in August of 2013 and it was the best decision that I made for the year also. It has changed my life in such a positive way, the squidoo community is a wonderful place with so much great talent. Thanks for sharing!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Good for you to have progressed this far in this year. Well done.

    • serendipity831 profile image

      Drake McSherry 3 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      I have enjoyed reading some of your lenses, and will continue to do so. You're a really good writer and make me want to get better myself. I love that Squidoo let's people express themselves and I'm glad I have that outlet. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 3 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Squidoo is not the first online community I've been a part of, but it's the best. Thanks for sharing your experience. This truly is a wonderful place to be!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Shinichi, I have truly enjoyed watching you grow on Squidoo. I love every lens of yours I've read, from the first one right up to this one. I read this page with a huge smile on my face - it's wonderful to know how much Squidoo means to you and how it has so positively affected your life. Thanks for sharing!

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      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I enjoyed reading this so much! You've come a long way in a very short time, Smine27! I've read many of your lenses over the past few months. It's a pleasure to get to know you and others through their lenses. Squidoo is such a wonderful site to spread your wings and fly! Can't wait to reach Giant Squid status too. Thanks for sharing this. So well done.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @MarleMac: Glad you joined Rocket Squids. It really was one of the best decisions I made last year. You're definitely on your way!

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @TanoCalvenoa: That's so awesome to hear. Reading other's experiences always inspire me.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sousababy: Rose, it is a joy for me as well getting to know you here. I am grateful to Squidoo as well as technology for allowing me this opportunity.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sybil watson: Aww you are so kind. Everytime I read one of your lens, I get homesick for Hawaii. Please more local food lenses please. :)

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank you so much!

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @DawnRae64: HI Dawn. Thanks so much for your comment. I love watching your progress as well.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: Thank you Vinn. It truly has in the best way possible.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you Renaissancewoman. Everytime I read one of your lenses, you wow me. You are such an inspiration to me.

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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you Nancy for your kind words. One day I hope to be as inspirational as you are.

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      MarleMac 3 years ago from South Africa

      Wow! This is such an inspirational story, thanks for sharing! I've had my own struggle to keep my writing going last year, but due to lots of other things happening in my life and business life. Most of the time I was just too tired and I also only got an internet connection back online late in the year. That's why I decided to join the Rocket Squid programme recently just to stimulate me to get back into it! And found that Squidoo would be the perfect place to journal the bits and pieces of my life that I want to share, but didn't know how or where! So I'm now (I think) on my own quest to trophy-dom!

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      Squidoo helped me realize I could write articles online. I never considered myself a writer until I got so much positive feedback from people. Now I can confidently say I am a writer, and I started my own blog too.

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      sousababy 3 years ago

      It's important to add meaning to our lives by sharing them with others - and in some environments (jobs, homes) it can be a negative experience, unfortunately. The online world can help others collaborate, connect, and grow. And boy are you growing. Keep 'em coming, you are a joy to know through your pages.

      Take good care,

      Rose

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      sybil watson 3 years ago

      What a lovely tribute to Squidoo and the changes that you've made in your life. Your experience is very similar to mine. I always look forward to reading your lenses because I know they'll be beautiful and thought-provoking.

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      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      beautifully put together, nicely thought out too

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      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      No, thank you for sharing with us!!!! wonderful. Especially the section "the most valuable lesson". Awesome lens!

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      VinnWong 3 years ago

      It's so good to see how Squidoo has changed your life!

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      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      You are an important member of the Squidoo community. I rejoice in each of your major milestones. More importantly, I love seeing all that you are becoming. I'm sure there are many more happy dances to come.

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      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You told this so well! Every time I read a lens of yours, I feel I know you better. The things that Squidoo has done for you, are also some of the things they've done for many others. I'm glad to know you, and proud of your accomplishments here.