I should have written this post before heading to BlogHer. I think I told Neil that this was the post I was going to write. I don’t know–perhaps it won’t be the post I write right now.
I headed off to BlogHer on Wednesday–despite not being signed up for a pathfinder day, despite being relatively local. (No. I am not going to drive 40 min every night and every morning for BlogHer. I am not that addled.) In any case, that’s when our hotel was to start.
First night was: Denise. Me. Boy Child. And the girlchild who mistakenly thinks her name is Sunshine. We immediately ran into people we know and people who knew us. (Whoever told my 19 yo boychild you loved seeing him in his pajamas every Christmas: Thank You. It made me smile.)
Thursday we hung around the hotel. I popped down to the lobby now and then to watch the proceedings. Then I walked up to meet youngest at the Purple Line. (“I don’t need you to do that. I can walk by myself. ARGGGGGGGGGGH. Can we have McDonalds?)
Then off to the Expo center-bus ride–LONG through the Willy Wonka tunnels.
Oh…right…back to the “Why go to BlogHer?”
Part of me wants to say the default: Social Media is my industry. I do contract work for Mother Nature Network AND for BlogHer. Part of me wants to say “well, I live with a real live BlogHer employee so I have to go.” Part of me wants to say “Swag makes it worth the ticket price.”
(Yeah. I have no objection to swag and OMG people are getting very tired of me gushing over my Ninja Cooking System…but really you ought to get one. My son wants one now. I think I may have convinced Sassymonkey and the Fake Husband to get one. I may just end up buying all the adult children one for Christmas.)
I looked at the agenda this year. (as I have done every year since 06) and said “Ugh, I don’t think BlogHer is for me anymore.” (which started oh, 3 ? years ago) Right. So. (Did you propose any panels Tarrant? Well no, not this year. Did you put yourself forward to volunteer, Tarrant? Well no. Did you finish the after event survey? Maybe. I don’t remember. Sort of like not voting…I didn’t do my civic community duty.)
Then I went. I Expo’d. I hit the parties. I went to the keynotes. (*not Guy K because I have issues even though I sort of used to have a crush on him) I went to sessions. I talked. I listened. I saw old friends. I met new friends. I networked with people I need to talk with regarding sweepstakes at BlogHer. (The BlogHer contract job) Ok, so I said “Hi! I am that person who sends you mail. Please answer!”
And I was still wondering why I put my body through this every year. (on Thu and Fri–people who knew me knew well noticed) Friday was VOTY. Goodness I love the VOTY. I laughed, cried, wanted to hug those on stage and those off.
On Saturday, I remembered. First of all there was a lot of the F word: Feminism. There was inspiration. There were people in my Lean In Circle that MADE ME THINK. They made me consider and dream and write a million posts in my head that I may never share or may share.
Then the closing keynote…Gale Anne Hurd. All that I couldn’t figure out about why she came and why I should bother attending her keynote was answered and if I doubted that I was in the right place…erased. Totally erased. Top it with the fashion show? Those women. Wow. Just wow.
So there you go.
I might have gone to
- show off all three of the “little kids” (which was fun except they would vanish into their own BlogHer experience and I would gesture at air. But then, my kids met people all on their own and those people came up to us and GUSHED about them. It made me smile because well…teenagers.)
- Snag some swag and sweet talk sponsors. (I know we couldn’t afford it without sponsors.)
- See old friends. (not nearly enough time!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Meet new friends (not nearly enough time)
- Meet myself and figure out what I am doing on this planet, on the Internet, nearly 20 years into babbling about that weird concept Internet community, remember the good of the Internet
And I did. I also found out that all those sessions I sort of thought had nothing for me…did. Bunches of it. I am so glad that all are faithfully transcribed and available on BlogHer. I need them. We all need them.
Almost 10 years later, we pretend we know where the women bloggers and women and tech are–at BlogHer and all over the Internet. Yet, what good is the finding if we don’t do some seeking of ourselves?
So, yes, sign me up for next year. I will likely wonder why I go again. But then, I will remember.
I will write something more coherent about sponsors, about the things I learned, about the things I wished, about all the new dreams and re-awoken dreams. But for now, this is what I felt I needed to share.
Each BlogHer is a transformation, a footprint on my soul, a kick in the pants, and part of me, my life, my world.