Ok, People, you got the pictures (weren’t they lovely? G-d forbid I manage to remember to bring a camera & not always resort to the camera-phone) & now the musings.
You know, the ones which *aren’t* all sponsor thanking and panel-love sending.
BlogHer? I ADORED IT.
But let me back up first.
I have to admit: I was pretty much dreading it.
It isnt so much Im a recluse (no matter what people say!) it’s just that Im often an observer when meeting new people en masse.
I like to hang back initially and just watch & absorb.
Im the person in the corner of the room checking out the mayhem until I feel comfortable enough to approach total strangers and introduce myself (which, now that I think about it, is reason 347387 why it’s a good thing my blog name doesnt resemble a venereal disease).
I feared Id be completely overwhelmed by the whole BlogHer-shebang and proceed to say about three words the entire weekend.
I feared Id wander about aimlessly, connect with no one, and potentially spend the 3 days hiding in my room.
I feared what I like to think all of us (many of us? none of you? please to hit me up in the comments) fret about when going to conferences like BlogHer.
*I* think Im entirely the same online as off—will you?
Will there even be anyone there I know and who has any idea who I am/or any interest in finding out?
And, as I guess is so often the case, my frettage was unfounded.
I had a fantastic time.
The panel went well (which I knew it would given our preparation & the fact other women on it are friggin’ awe inspiring) but more than that I had a chance to talk & connect with people in a way I dont ‘in real life.’
It was a conference comprised of kindred bloggin’ spirits across many genres and totally felt like a sisterhood.
(Id add that the word sisterhood includes the vaginally-challenged but I didnt meet any male bloggers while I was there.)
So many at-the-time strangers came up to me and shared their stories that I left Chicago truly feeling uplifted and CONNECTED which was exactly what I needed.
Blog bettering tips? None for MizFit (& more than you’d ever wanna know about that coming next Friday).
SEO info? Eh, didnt glean much of that either.
Swag: This seems to be a hot topic and really one on which I cant weigh in. I did get lottsa swag but stuck with the expo kind of thing where the treats were pressed in your hands as you walked past.
I did go to one party where I saw women practically knock each other down in an effort to get a swag bag (the bags were rumored to contain vibrators).
More than annoying the desperation over the vibrating-swag craziness stuck me as pretty damn funny (& yeah. a little perplexing.)
Finding my mojo in a way Id forgotten? Laughter & connection? Hell YES. And that’s really more what I needed.
BlogHer for me was more about being surrounded by women (& a handful of men) with whom I had a bunch in common.
My days are typically filled with 3 year old dramatics or the solitude of writing so, as a result, BlogHer09 was perfect for me.
Mingling. Talking sans child yanking on pant-leg. Laughing. Commiserating. Connecting.
And thankfully, unlike last time I visited the Windy City, I didnt flash a soul.
**cue flash(pun intended)back movie-like montage to my last Quaker sponsored visit to Chicago**
If you’re a BabyMama on any kind of a regular basis you’re aware that the aforementioned hectic life means I rarely shower without tinytoddlerpryingeyes waiting for me to hurry up and finish (TMI? yes, but that’s the way we roll here).
As a result, one big reason I was looking forward to the generous hotel stay provided by Quaker was the chance to take a long luxurious shower.
Did I mention LONG?
In fact SHOWER was the first thing I did Saturday morning and it was fantabulous.
Long and, because of the lovely enormous window, totally beautiful and relaxing.
(you see where Im going here)
Post-shower we all met in the lobby and, as I walked up to the group, I heard a woman say: …and that’s why they call this hotel naked building.
My. Heart. Dropped.
I’d made the assumption that, since there wasn’t a *shade*, the window in shower must be tinted.
It ISNT (for those of you who may have the opportunity to stay at the well-windowed Hard Rock Hotel in the future).
And, when I went back upstairs at the end of the day, I discovered a shade pulled veryveryVERYtightly to the top of the window.
So tight & snug that, were you a mama who was way too excited about her solo-shower time, you mightcould unknowingly invite all of Chicago into your watery fun.