Dreams, Tears, and Memories at BlogHer'14
When I first began blogging in April of 2013, I really didn’t know what it would become. I didn’t understand the culture of blogging or the community that you become a part of when you are now given the cool kid title of “blogger.”
One of the first organizations that I joined, because I saw a button on a random blog sidebar, was BlogHer. Little did I know that BlogHer was going to become a life changer, and game changer, for me. I love a good conference. I’ve planned them for years in my work life, so anytime I see a conference on a subject I’m interested in I’m about 90% sold before I even check out the details. Although I was only an infant blogger at this time last year, I really wanted to go to the BlogHer conference. The pictures, the stories, the experiences I was hearing about sounded like the BlogHer conference was the place to be. Unfortunately, my daughter’s nationals dance competition fell on the same week and I was unable to attend. *sigh*
When the marketing began for BlogHer’14, their tenth anniversary celebration, I saw the dates and literally rejoiced. My daughter’s competition was scheduled for the week earlier so there was no conflict. Without further delay I sent the link to my bestie and fellow blogger Mimi, and we purchased our tickets that same day.
Since October of last year, when we secured our tickets and flight, the anticipation has grown. Announcements were coming out about speaker lineups and excitement grew ever more hard to contain. With Arianna Huffington and Kerry Washington doing keynote interviews and Rev Run of Run DMC performing at the closing party I knew this was surely going to be the time of my life.
Being a Huffington Post Blogger is awesome; and what does every HuffPost Blogger dream of? Well, if you ask me it’s meeting Arianna Huffington herself. Live. In person. When Arianna’s keynote interview concluded, she hung around to sign copies of her new book, Thrive. I had a totally fan girl fail because I didn’t bring my copy of her book with me on the trip – it never even dawned on me that I should. But I happily stood in the massively long line to buy another copy so I could get her to sign. Although there was a scary point where we weren’t sure if we would make it, Mimi and I were one of the last to get Arianna to sign our books.
When I walked up to her I could hear my inner voice screaming with excitement. OMG!!! THIS IS ARIANNA HUFFINGTON!!! I heard over and over again. I looked into her eyes, and she looked back into mine, and I froze for half a second. Then I snapped out of it and said “Arianna thank you for all that you do for women, and for the world. I’m one of your bloggers and the opportunity to hear from you directly, and to stand here with you right now, is something I cherish.” She then said to me “Thank you. Thank you so much for being here, and for contributing your voice to the HuffPost. Keep up the good work.” We both smiled and quickly posed for a picture before I was ushered off so the next person could enjoy that same beautiful moment I just had.
I love how we're looking at two different cameras. And although mypicture isn't perfect, meeting Arianna was truly a dream come true.
The voices of the year winners were simply amazing. The 10x10 project speakers were outstanding. There were so many touching moments I cannot possibly recount them all. The one thing I could’ve used more of at this conference was tissue! I had no idea I’d be crying that much. Tears of joy, sadness, pain, and even anger; I experienced a full range of emotions while enjoying the exceptional stories of so many beautiful writers and wonderful women.
Another thing that brought me to tears was a concern that’s been hanging around in the back of my mind since I started blogging last year. The thought that I’m not a good enough writer and that I don’t have an interesting enough story to tell. But the thoughts that truly bring the waterworks on are the ones that tell me I’m not white enough. I’m not a married stay-at-home white woman so who in the world wants to hear from me?