New York City.
Seemed like a great idea when I signed up.
Now, I'm panicking. Why? Why would I leave the comforting hug of my couch and my jammies for the most glamorous city in the US? Because I want to learn something? Partly. Because deep down I want to be a better blogger? That too. Because I am a mental self-flogger-blogger? Yes.
Remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula (Nia Vardalos) reflects on her growing up greek in grade school. Flash to a chubby girl with sideburns and a moustache eating "Mouskaka." Odd girl out...awkward and alone. This is the vision I get when I think of 4500 other bloggers flocking to the conference. I'm nervous, afraid I'll get trampled, certain I'll lose my Conference Pass, not find a seat - or worse yet, go to sit down and someone will say..."sorry, this seat is taken.." I also think of Milton from Office Space getting passed over repeatedly for cake. Great - my self-image is a young Toula Portocalos peppered with Milton Waddams' bad office fortune. I have these horrific images of me trying to quietly sneak into a session while ending up tripping on several laptop cords, ripping an entire row of computers off of their tables and the whole room stopping to watch me fall into someone's lap. "I'm ok!" I picture myself saying as I pull my skirt out of my bloomers and smooth out the wrinkles. And as I get up and start walking, I notice the speaker giving a quick nod to security while pointing to me. Why is the 12 year old chubby me surfacing in my thoughts about this conference? I just don't know.
Therefore, I shall set up a blogging station in the comfort of the Ladies' Room at the hotel. I will hand out towels to those who are done washing hands with a smile, I will rub the backs and hold the hair of anyone feeling like they need to vomit, I will make sure the soap remains filled and the toilet seats are clean. During down time, I'll blog from in there and report whatever bathroom banter I overhear.
I realize that by the time I get to the hall, all of the freebies will be gone and there will be nothing left to prove that I was there except a rubber grip to open pickles that says, "I went to BlogHer and all I have to show for it is this Rubbergripper..." I will be mistaken for the hotel help and people will start handing me trash saying, "be a dear and go throw this in the trash for me, kaaaay?" (Flashback to the last big party I went to, when two older ladies were chatting and one said to the other that she'd like a glass of wine - the other pointed to me and said, "there - have the nice Mexican girl get some wine for you..")
I have no sponsor, unlike the vast number of other bloggers I know. I will carry around a canvas bag on my hip that says, "Had you sponsored me, your name would be on this bag.." I am sponsorless, penniless, clueless and scared...so I'll be in the bathroom if you need me.
|How sad. I wish I would've thought to order this bag beforehand..perhaps I would've caught the eye of a future sponsor and scored a sympathy vote?|
Honestly though. Joking aside. No matter if you are the most successful blogger in the world or you just started writing yesterday, don't we all panic the same? We type, type, type something that we think is brilliant or poignant or funny or touching - we re-read, edit, change, fix, and then boom - the adrenaline hits when we finish. Then, the second we hit publish we give a slow-motion, robotic, NOOOOOOOOO as a choking feeling takes over our throat region.
Something twitchy happens when we hit the publish button ...self -doubt, fear, the realization that maybe no one really cares what we have to say - or do they? We do this little head game of fear and self-loathing mixed with hopeful promise that if just one person can relate to what we wrote (and comment with a heartfelt touching - "oh my god thank you for this..and here I thought I was the only one...") it will all make it worth the time and emotion we put into it.
So no matter how much I joke about being a day late and a dollar short to BlogHer (I arrive Friday afternoon, long after everyone has filled their bags with swag, their pockets with business cards, and their heads with more blogging knowledge than their brain can hold), I find solace in the known fact, that we all put our jeans on the same...one leg at a time...lying down...sucking our stomach in. We all blog the same...fiercely, with passion, hope, confidence sprinkled in hints of self-doubt, but more than anything else...the love of writing.
I kid when I say I'll be in the bathroom. I may be nervous or weary - but I am excited beyond reason - and so anxious to be in a room with people who 'get it' and share my love of expression. Safe travels to all who are going - and please - if you see me in the bathroom - be sure to say hello.
Cheers & Happy Blogging,