Seems like the easy way to start this page would be to tell you all the characteristics that I feel would make me cool or hireable. But instead, I’d rather just dive in to my why and see if there are any holes left to fill once we cover that!

I started this blog in March of 2008 on the weekend of my cancer diagnosis. Blogging was something many people started doing at that time and it seemed like an easy way to write down what was happening and what I was feeling in a way that everyone could easily read it when they wanted to. Facebook was the planned way to keep everyone up to date, but having a blog where people could check in each day seemed much more simple (especially when lazy was the easier way!).  It quickly turned in to a diary of sorts and a few weeks in to my own journey, I found myself sharing links to posts about surgeries and my early fears with people who had just received their own diagnosis.

Thankfully after 4 months of treatments, I was deemed in remission and my doctor told me to “go back to normal.” At the time, I wasn’t even sure what that meant. I spent the next year or two trying to figure it out. And, these pages contained musings and meanderings of what life should/could look like post cancer.

Somewhere in those 2 years of processing, I realized I was keeping cancer as a label. I had a list of “someday” things I wanted to do but I was letting the “I had cancer” phrase hold me back. I was a different person after that journey and it was time to get past the new normal to discover the new me. I think I saw the world with a new set of eyes, new opportunity, a different kind of nostalgia, and a desire to start moving things off my bucket list.

In 2012, an opportunity on that “someday” list opened up. For obvious reasons, working for the American Cancer Society was something on my someday options and when a chance came to move to Northwest Arkansas and do just that, it felt like a no brainer. The details worked out and I moved away from Arkadelphia.  A city I loved, I grew from 18-30 in, and where most of my friends all resided. It was hard. And, the year that followed was very ugly. I loved Northwest Arkansas and I started making new friends, but the transition was not void of some real grown up issues.

Transparency has been a foundation at Bigpittstop from post 1. It’s always been my desire to keep it real by keeping it honest. I want this to be a place where people feel comfortable, where they can relate to others, where easy dialogue can begin, and community developed.

Northwest Arkansas wasn’t all bad! I did make great friends, I was introduced to the community of Arkansas Women Bloggers who opened by eyes up to expand an understanding of digital communication and social influence. I developed my personal brand by understanding the core of my life calling, and I met Mr. McKinney.

The last year has been a whirlwind of adjusting to married life, making tons of #McKinneyMemories, learning how to be a #dogmom to our Bailey girl and just settling in to a new every day after I #becameMrsMcKinney. It’s new and its different and it’s a blast.

Somewhere along the way, cancer journey, removing labels, stepping out on my own, and finding community, I learned to be content. I became comfortable in my own skin. I started learning where I could say no, which allowed me to say a deeper yes to the things I was meant to do. I learned that it was ok to not be good at something and that that alone didn’t make me a failure. I was reminded the value of trusted community, giving gifts with purpose, the power of a thoughtful conversation over coffee, sharing creativity and brainstorming for a friend so they can expand their business. Investing in others always pours back out 10 fold.

Bigpittstop is a place where Keisha Pittman McKinney lives out authenticity, holds a mirror in front of the everyday, shares a recipe or recipe disaster here and there, and provides a little commentary along the way of being a bridge builder, solution seeker, and everyday encourager.

It’s real. It’s honest. Its authentic and its always lived BIG!