I’m not going to even try to describe the rest of my thursday night in some sort of long, drawn out, play by-play as it would be like making you sit through a slide show and I sincerely doubt jokes about wasabi lip balm and sharing bananas would be as funny out of context. I have never laughed so hard or had a better tasting cosmo.
After dinner there were official BlogHer parties to check out. It was exhilarating grabbing my first hug of the conference from Aurelia and FINALLY getting to meet Jenna Hatfield – both women are super important in my life and being able to be in the same room and sway to a drag queen singing Adele is pretty fantastic.
It was at one of the parties that Briar and I heard that J’s daughter had arrived. We sat on a sofa next to a dance floor as chaos and silliness passed us by and our world grew quiet and wistful as we looked on our phones at the first photos of our dear friend holding her daughter, just a few hours old.
After a full day of travel and day one of the conference (including the Geek Lab!) looming the next day it was time to go to bed.
Friday: Day One of the Conference
The beginning of the first day of BlogHer is all about the breakfast and welcome session. The conference was held at the San Diego convention center next to the hotel and meals were set up in this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge room with a concrete floor and glass walls. Circular tables dotted the space with avenues of food stations scattered around.
I can not imagine walking into this space and not knowing anyone. I can not imagine walking in and not having anyone waiting for you. As someone who is very extroverted as long as I am with someone who I know I can tell you that if I did not have Briar with me I would have gone into a flop sweat.
I was e-mailing with Mel so that we could make sure we meet up for breakfast. (Mel & I later learned that in the massive, giant, huge, ginourmous, filled to capacity hotel we were staying right next door to each other!)
We munched on our bagels and coffee and then went into the impressive ballroom for the welcome message from the BlogHer founders. Next was a giant speed dating session where I was thrilled to discover that almost every blogger I met said that they blogged “about their life”. WOO! This was a very different experience from last year where I can now confess to feeling a bit out of the crowd for not having a better answer when asked what my blog was about.
I actually felt that a lot of the bloggers I met were really wanting to make it clear that while some (and maybe even most) of their posts were about parenting or being a mom it was not ALL they were writing about. The one-size fits all “Mommy Blog” is very much a thing of the past now. At the core the bloggers I met in the speed dating session wanted to simply own that they were writers. They wrote. They blogged. No one flinched when I spoke about the origin of my blog.
Something BIG that was new for me at this conference was, well, me. It has been a shift that has been slowly coming. The longer I write in this space the more I feel less and less the need to be Calliope. I just want to be me. Having the alias served me well for the specific reasons that I needed it in place. When I met people on Friday I gave them my card, shook their hand, and told them my first name. “Hi. My name is Dresden and I write Creating Motherhood.”
[more about that experience later]
Next there was the session that I attempted to share with you on Friday followed by OMG OMG OMG OMG my session!!
The lab was overwhelming and wonderful and just a smidge chaotic and before I knew it time had passed and my session was over. Even in the moment I was making a list of how things could have been different, better, smoother, more efficient. I had imagined things to be more one on one. It ended up being twenty on one about every fifteen minutes. I loved every minute of it.
I dashed back to the hotel to meet some Muppets because how could I not??!! It was just simply beyond cool to plant a big one on Elmo’s cheek. (I think Abby is about to take me down though.)