I know what you are thinking, “That silly girl and her song lyrics blog posts. Does she ever write a title that isn’t song related?!” But I can’t help it. I literally had this part of House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ stuck in my head all weekend.
I am an unusual combo. Part lazy, part Type A, all rubbed with a liberal amount of dork.
If you saw my house you’d understand the lazy part. Or if you could at least see the indentations on my couch and number of shirts I can leave on any given floor.
If you heard about the different ‘hats’ I wear, you’d understand the type A.
It doesn’t take more than a second of talking to me before you understand the dork.
In any event, BlogHer’11 highlighted all three aspects quite nicely. There was the Lazy Annie that did ZERO preparation before attending. Thankfully, I am often gifted with dumb luck. I stumbled into the last empty seat on a Blue Van full of fellow BlogHer attendees. $7 ride to the hotel AND I get to meet awesome women right off the bat? Why, laziness can pay off!
The Type A is basically why I was rapping this blog post title to myself all weekend. I felt pretty overwhelmed by this conference. I wanted to attend every session. Snatch up every Kudos model piece of swag. Dance at every party. Meet every fellow blogger in attendance.
Oh, and explore every inch of the beautiful, seaside, clean city of San Diego. (Sorry, NYC, but she has you WAY beat on that last one. At no point did I fear a giant cockroach might fall down my dress or rat scurry up my leg.)
Clearly, it was physically (and, I found out, emotionally and mentally) impossible to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish in full. But I tried my damndest.
I heard intelligent, thoughtful women discuss topics like diversity, locality, marketing, and photography as related to blogging. I took notes, I tweeted statistics, I absorbed.
Then, of course there was the intense Expo center, which I know is a point of contention for many BlogHer attendees. I did do my best to fit in mini visits to the Expo hall in between sessions and meals, but I am not ashamed to admit I tried to stop at every booth. Call me crazy, but I like free stuff. There. I said it. Plus, I blog because I love writing and love connecting with other writers. However, if a company happens to mesh with my vibe? Happens to be pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down? Sorry, I’m not in a place to turn down money. I won’t change how or what I write for money, but I also won’t refuse it on principle. That, as my 3-year-old would say, ‘is my truth.’ (Yeah, he’s deeper than his mama.)
And oh, the dancing. The dancing. I love the dancing. All I have to say is that I woke up the morning after Sparklecorn (i.e. three hours after I went to sleep) with sweaty hair and still in full make up…including some serious stripper cow length lashes.
Perhaps most importantly, to me anyway – the girl who likes to befriend anyone and everyone – was meeting people. It is so exciting to finally come face to face with someone after reading their jokes, feelings and observations for a year. Sometimes, to be honest, it can be a disappointment. ‘Funny, you didn’t seem like such a jerk in your blog posts. Huh.’ But mostly it is thrilling…and superbly emotional.
I would almost say that even better is meeting someone you didn’t know existed. And then discovering their blog. And loving it. Yes, at BlogHer’11 I earned myself approximately 57 less minutes of sleep a night as I try to keep up with all of the new, fabulous blogs I now know about after exchanging cards with their creator.
Last, but not least, is my crush, Sandy. (Holy comma, lady! I’m pretty sure they were all necessary, though. Correct me if I’m wrong.) I didn’t get to see much of her, but what I did see got me very excited. I am going to need to see some more. Way to be classy and not give me everything at once. It worked. I’ll be back. Plus, she even gave me a ‘first.’ I swear, I had never eaten at Nobu before meeting you. We’ll always have Nobu.
So, there you have it. That is my personal debriefing session after BlogHer’11. Except one other, small detail: I forgot to mention that I’m cheap. If you suffer from this as well, you may have seen signs throughout this post. I like free stuff. I want to pack in everything I came for (and, ahem, paid for). I was excited about that $7 ride to the hotel. Basically, I made sure I took full advantage of every aspect of this conference. If meals were served, I wasn’t skipping them to go to a restaurant. And I used every last drink ticket. When I couldn’t drink any more alcohol, I cashed in my final four tickets for cokes and waters to get me through my red-eye flight home. Waste not, want not. (A cheap girl’s philosophical cover for her frugality.)
Thank you, BlogHer, I gained so much this weekend-friends, connections, memories, insight and, quite frankly, pounds. I’m pretty grateful for all of it.