I’m so glad I was me.
This is what I want to tell anyone who is thinking of starting a blog and wants to know what the #1 most important thing is about venturing into this unknown world that so few people know about, and even fewer understand.
Because there I was on Thursday evening at the start of BlogHer, walking into a room full of wandering bodies and buzzing voices, full of anticipation and the unknown. I was a bundle of nerves not knowing what to expect from my first BlogHer conference in NYC but there was ONE thing I was fully confident in. I had been ME in my blog. I had told no tall tales. I had not embellished my life. I had not tried to be funnier than I am in person or promised to be more social than I actually am. I never wrote that I have a perfect marriage or that my kids don’t give me grief. I portrayed myself as a bit insecure, full of doubts and wonders, sometimes too sarcastic, and not so brave. I am in my blog who I am in person.
Like me. Or not. (But come one, you all liked me right? Right?)
And that made the experience at BlogHer so much easier for me. Because way too often, I feel like I have to live up to something that I either WISH I was or think other people WANT me to be. Instead I went into this thinking, people that I care about in this world expect me to be that person. Want me to be that person. The one who may be too sensitive and ask too many questions but who can also laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. Because people DO keep coming back to read my blog and comment on my life so they must like THAT person…
I had told myself going into the weekend that if I felt I couldn’t be ME (that Drama for Mama Me) then this blogosphere was bullshit. And I’d be done with it. I would have blown the whistle and called it quits.
Luckily, that didn’t happen. Yes, there were a few I was disappointed in. A few I walked away from feeling sad and let down. A few I wanted to tell to get over themselves. But I shook it off pretty easily and managed to find my space within these 2400 women. It was a small space. But one I didn’t want to leave.
The only sadness I did feel as I traveled home late on Saturday night and haven’t quite been able to shake, is that I wasn’t able to grab onto a few women I adore in this online world, look them in the eye and tell them “You inspire me.” I wanted to hug some women I met and not let go. And tell them how I dream of writing the way they do. Take the photographs they create. Find the strength they have every day. But I didn’t. Because I ran out of time. Or because they would have thought I was a stalking freak. Or it was too damn noisy and crowded and I knew they’d never hear my squeaky voice. Or I was too insecure.
But I am sad I didn’t manage to talk more to some people. Just sit and talk. In a way that it’s impossible to do very often at home. Because talking and reading/commenting is just not the same. And I would have loved to hear some more of my friend’s real thoughts on life beyond the blog.
And to those of my friends who I DID get to spend quality time with, at breakfast, at dinners, beside each other in sessions, sitting in the sun on a random wall, in the Jimmy Dean chill out room, or having a drink Outside the Gala, Thank You. I adore you. I loved every second with you. You are the friends I find it so hard to make on a regular basis.
So now, post BogHer is when I wish more people lived Here. Where we can sit on my front stoop together and chat. Face to face. I was fine before BlogHer with the computer screen between us, but now I’m not. Because now so many of you are my IRL friends. Not just my Blog Friends. And it sucks that the roads, these long long roads, come between us.
So maybe I’ll pick up the phone every once in a while to hear your voices. Or I’ll write you some notes on Paper or outside of your blogs to keep the friendships moving forward. Maybe you’ll open your door one day and find me standing there with a pitcher of Pink Twitters (virgin or not). Because THAT is what I enjoyed so much this weekend. Not the sessions. Not the getting dressed up. Not the parties. No, it was YOU. The ones who helped me find this place, stay in this space, and reminded me how important it is to be ME.