A Sense of Belonging - BlogHer '13
Charlie and I had a wonderful time in Chicago at the end of July. We went sightseeing and I attended the BlogHer 2013 conference. This is my third time attending the annual BlogHer conference.
In 2011 BlogHer was in San Diego and we made it a week long family vacation. I came away from the conference totally overwhelmed with all I didn’t know, the sheer size of the conference plus the staggering amount of information available. To quote Javacia Bowser from The Writeous Babe Project, I felt like a total loser that first year. Although Javacia has done quite a bit more than I have!
Last year I volunteered as a Mic Wrangler at BlogHer ’12 in NYC. It was the only way I could afford to go. I needed a break from dealing with Robert’s (Hubby) cancer and all the crap that came with it. My goal that year, honestly, was to have fun and relax. I didn’t attend any sessions besides the ones I worked. I did attend a few parties, the meals and the keynotes. I still felt unsure and had a lack of confidence in myself.
This year was different. I don’t know why but I felt a sense of belonging this year at BlogHer in Chicago. One that I didn’t have the previous years. I wasn’t freaking out about being in crowds. I wasn’t clinging to people I knew like a drowning person with a life preserver. I actually talked to brands and strangers. I attended sessions and cruised the Expo by myself.
I can’t explain it. I tried and was having a hard time putting my feelings into words until my totally awesome roommate, Jean @geekbabe, TheShoppingQueen.com, said “sense of belonging?” to me. My AHA moment. For the first time I was comfortable being just me, who I am (warts and all) and didn’t constantly fret over what others thought about me or what they were doing, etc.
I am not sure what caused this change in me. It may have been partially because Charlie was with me in Chicago, but he wasn’t present at the conference part. Or possibly the past year has tempered me in ways I didn’t realize? Maybe I have begun to grow up emotionally? That being in PTO and Scouting leadership roles have increased the thickness of my skin? New friends that have given me mega-support, both in real life and online, the past 2 years?
Honestly, it is probably all of those things. And more.
To sum things up:
I learned some good stuff about blogging. I reconnected with friends; met some new ones. I enjoyed spending time with my roomie. Charlie and I had a blast exploring Chicago before the conference started. I took lots of photos which I will upload later on. I got some swag (more on that later).
For the first time I came home content. I didn’t feel like a loser or that I have a thousand and one things to do to improve my blog, my stats, or SEO. Yes, there are things I can and should do to improve my writing but overall I am happy and content with my blog.