So I'm watching all the people talking about all the conferences.
And it's interesting to me.
I'll tell you why.
Last year I went to BlogHer in New York City.
As you all know, New York is my home. I had to go home. And with the conference being there I was excited about the possibilities.
Post-conference I was a little let down. Don't get me wrong, I loved some parts of it.
Like the people. The people you connect with at blogging conferences are incredible. Last year at BlogHer I found myself meeting people I'd been speaking with online for some time. I found my friends. It made me happy.
I connected with some of my favorite people in the world. Some new friends, some not-as-new, and some that felt like home.
So this year BlogHer is in Chicago. Y'all know I live in NC. Chicago isn't quite a hop and a skip from here. So I won't be going. And I'm okay with that. And then I see some of my peeps talking about it and I feel a twang (yes, a twang - it's not quite a pang, as I'm still okay with not going, but it's there, so twang it is.) of sadness. Not envy, really, more like, dang, I wish I was able to see this person and meet that person and actually spend some quality time with so-and-so after meeting at Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte this past May.
And here I am, tossing around links and making it seem like I'm the conference goer. I'm the one who knows what conferences are like. But seriously, people? I'm just me. I'm just a person, a blogger, who goes when I can go and is excited about going for whatever reasons make it important to me.
BlogHer is huge. It was a little too huge for me last year because I went in with the mindset of a Type-A Parent Conference. I expected to sail around and in and out of sessions and learn and meet people and damn, it was huge. So I know many people got what they expected out of it, and I know many people were underwhelmed, or overwhelmed. And the team at BlogHer busts their humps in a huge way to get this thing going. And damn, if they don't do a kick-ass job with it. But you have to remember it might not be for you.
It's okay if you're going and you're feeling afraid. Nervous. Anxious.
You wouldn't be human if you weren't.
But I see so many people apologizing for feeling a little scared. And so many people telling them it will be fine. Myself often included sometimes. And I apologize for that. Because it WILL be fine and you WILL "survive," for lack of a less dramatic word. But it might be a lot for you to handle. You might want to go for a walk alone. Or hide out in your hotel room for a few hours to decompress.
Or you might want to skip a certain part of the Expo Hall because it's freakin' huge.
And that's okay.
You don't HAVE to do it all. You don't have to want to, even.
Just go. Be you. If you were brave enough to purchase a ticket you obviously want to be there. Enjoy it. Don't stress. And don't let yourself be disappointed. I did that a little bit and was cranky with myself for it. But I also did that for a bit at Type-A last year because after my first year it was in a different place and I was not sure what the other differences were but it felt different and I was trying to find my way. (Can I say different one more time?)
And then I got home and reflected and damn, if I didn't have an amazing time and meet some incredible people. So, yeah. Go with it. Get out of your own head. It'll be fine.
Make it what you want it to be.
Be nervous. Stressed. Anxious. But let that go when you walk up to someone you know you know and say, OMG! HEY! It's YOU!! It's ME!! And HUG. Because you'll probably be shocked at how many people you hug that weekend.
As for me? I'll be in Atlantic City with my college peeps. Catching up on years of girls' weekends I've missed. And I couldn't be happier about it.
Though I will miss meeting some of you. But hey, there's always Type-A ...
* This post is not in any way affiliated officially with either BlogHer, Bloggy Boot Camp or Type-A Parent Conference. I am simply using my own experiences to reflect on my thoughts with respect to conferences in general for bloggers.
** I wrote this post yesterday (Thurs) but did not hit publish as I had a book review scheduled. It appears that at this time of the year there are LOADS of people posting about the conference of conferences and the like. I don't want to seem bandwagon-y, I just wanted to say what I wanted to say. If you know me, you know that and are cool with it. If you don't, no worries, it's all good.