Pages

Quote

"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass







Monday, July 29, 2013

This One Time? At BlogHer?




This one time?  At BlogHer? ....   I fell in love with all the people.


It all started when I got the email that BlogHer had chosen my post as a '13 Voice of The Year for Heart.

Immediately I was honored, I was excited... I was scared.  Because now?  Now, I had to hop down off the fence.  Before receiving that wonderful e-mail, I had been wavering over the decision to go to the BlogHer conference. It was in Chicago, I could drive, and I could go with minimal days away from my family.  I wanted desperately to meet all of the women that I had come to love through their words and pictures.  But there was a problem... For me? A pretty big problem.

You see, I often like to spend time with fictional characters more than I like to spend time with real people So the thought of 5,000 business-card wielding women with shrill voices and manicured nails who "squee" kind of, ok, totally - freaked me out. 

But in my heart I knew that I had to go, even if I spoke to no one.  So I compromised, getting a one-day pass.  I knew from the days spent inside my house with only my children for company that I could most definitely survive 24 hours without engaging another soul in adult conversation. So, I slipped on my travel jersey knit over my big girl pants, and away I went.

And wouldn't you know it, the minute I had registered and started walking towards the Newbie breakfast, hoping to find other lost souls: eyes wide- deer-like, the scent of despair - practically coming out their pours... 

Up the escalator came my Fairy BlogMother, Alexandra.  As the Universe would have it, she was signed up to be a Newbie BlogHer Mentor, and let me just say, I couldn't have asked for a better one.  I knew what a force of good Alexandra was from my time with her doing Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee, so when she said, "Follow me," I did so gladly. 

Throughout the day, I met many wonderful women.  Some, I knew my heart already belonged to, and now, I was finally getting the chance to meet them in person. Others, I was delightfully swept off my feet by their presence for the first time. You guys.  I even passed out business cards.  Without laughing.  Because the fantastic part of it all was that, all of the women I met were genuine.  I'm sure there were a few in the crowd of 5,000 that wouldn't have been on the same page as me, but honestly? With each person I met, I was more and more impressed with the caliber of women who surrounded me.

 
 
By the time the Voices of The Year keynote started, I knew I was a BlogHer conference convert.  Never again would I scoff at the posts of "what-to-pack", "what-to-expect", because I now knew that behind every practical tip was a genuine motive to offer to others the same type of experience I was having right now. 








And when the lights dimmed and Queen Latifa(!!) took to the stage, I was proud.  Not proud to be somewhere that a celebrity was, no.  While that is certainly fun, I was proud that Queen Latifa would get the privilege to hear the stories of my women.  It was right then, my arm brushing lightly a new formed friend to my left in the darkened ballroom, that I knew what I was experiencing wasn't just a well run conference, what I was experiencing was, community















Even without the giant board with my name and words on it...













Even without the parties in the breathtaking suite with free booze and a desperately awesome photo booth....







I knew that moment-by-moment I was being introduced to members of my tribe.

And when I got home, no longer would I mumble under my breath that, yes, I was a blogger. 

Because in that one day, I had become a BlogHer.




{Linking with my fellow BlogHer'er Heather , and #iPPP}

29 comments:

  1. It was GREAT to have you along side as a sidekick. We made memories, girl, we MADE memories. Thanks for taking the chance. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh man. what an absolute blast. it was the best. I couldn't have asked for a better fairy BlogMother :)

      Delete
  2. I loved meeting you and sitting by your side for VOTY. I'm so glad that you decided to take the chance. Thanks to Alexandra for introducing me to a new friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have her to thank for so many great things about this weekend... and introducing us was one of them! so glad we were side by side for the VOTY. so very glad.

      Delete
  3. *pumps fist in air* Welcome to the tribe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so thrilled you had such a wonderful time. Thank you so much for taking the plunge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it was amazing. i'll be back next year...and the year after that...

      Delete
  5. Yay! So glad you loved it! And it was so nice to meet you!!!

    See you next year... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See you next year is right! so very nice to meet you!!

      Delete
  6. Very much a highlight hanging out with you - I hope we can repeat the pleasure online and meet up again somewhere in between before next year! Let me know if you have any crime sprees on your calendar - I'll definitely show up:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh lady. no words for how much fun I had with you. how grateful I am for the day to spend with you. not enough time, that's for sure! I'll send you an invite when I plan my next spree :) :)

      Delete
  7. Congratulations! I'm sorry to have not run into you there, but I did read (and very much enjoy) your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's the only downside to a conference that big... I know I didn't get to meet every amazing person (like you)! Next year!

      Delete
  8. Tara,

    Congratulations! And I enjoyed peeking in vicariously to the BlogHer conference through you. It sounds similar to the SheSpeaks conferences in NC, which I attended in 2011, sans business cards then, sadly. :)

    Happy for you and smiling to have had this chance to peek back into your life too,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks so much Jennifer. If you are ever interested in attending BlogHer, hit me up. Clearly now I'm trying to squeeze as many people as I can into the conference space!

      Delete
  9. I'm so glad you went, and found your tribe! I think every blogger has a tribe, her people, and her life becomes so much more when she finds them. What an amazing experience for you! Next year, it's on my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would LOVE if next year it was on your list. I would be thrilled to meet you in person.

      Delete
  10. Tara! Look at you! I'm so happy for you and your VOTY and just all of this. Wonderful! Also, I'd definitely be in the same boat having never been to Blogher myself. Scared out of my mind! But I know it would be worth it. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is totally worth it, and I think that fear? makes the experience something more you know? If you decide to go, I'll stick by ya! I would love to meet you in person.

      Delete
  11. This is wonderful. I had similar fears going for the first time this year! Congratulations on your VOTY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so glad we pushed past our fears and went. I don't think we'll regret it! Hope you had a wonderful time, too.

      Delete
  12. Wow, I remember reading that post, the VOTY one - so moving. I'm glad you ended up going - for all us introverts out there. :) I met so many people there, it was overwhelming!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know I will feel the same way if I ever get the chance to go. I mean, of course I would *so* want to go, but afraid at the same time. It sounds amazing and just to be in the room and share the energy with so many fellow writers and bloggers? The coolest.

    ReplyDelete
  14. One of the best recaps about BlogHer I've read so far. So glad to hear you had a wonderful time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish I could have gone though I probably would have felt very nervous too. Congrats on your VOTY win!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Big congrats on your VOTY! I already tweeted how much I love this post, so I'll just say that I hope I make it to BlogHer someday and find my tribe, too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. So glad you went and got your picture by your honored post and with your "tribe". It's a truly amazing feeling. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey, I'm just going through all my business cards (I got one of yours without you laughing). :-) Alexandra introduced us. So just popping over to say hi!

    ReplyDelete