Wednesday, August 10, 2011

BlogHer Inspired

Three years ago I had not heard of BlogHer. Now it is my annual retreat.
The place I go to be me. Not mom, not wife, me.
At BlogHer I feel like a writer. I'm not sure I can adequately convey how meaningful that is.

Then there are the basic joys of not being responsible for the health, nutrition and entertainment of two children.
No laundry, no housework, no cooking.
If I want I can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner that someone else prepared.
At every break someone has thoughtfully set out drinks and snacks. I can help myself without listening to thirty ever changing requests. It's just so effortless. Instead of focusing on a packed schedule of school, camps, food shopping, play dates etc. I can sit with a cappuccino and peruse the session schedule.

The first few hours are disorienting. I don't quite know what to do with my unscheduled self. Then the magic starts.
In sessions, in the hallways, getting coffee - I start talking to other bloggers.
Actually talking, uninterrupted. Soon I am lost to so many compelling, interesting, funny, thought provoking stories.
Even blogs I read and love don't compare to meeting the author and hearing their words in person. Going a little deeper. Sharing, laughing, supporting, empathizing.

The parties are havens. There are women (and yes a few men) of every size, shape and skin tone. They dance with abandon.
No trying to impress. You don't need to care if your outfit is fashionable enough. You can be fully made up or wearing your skin au naturel. At 40 these are things I don't take for granted anymore.

At the Voices of The Year keynote and Listen To Your Mother Open Mic, I listened to blogger after blogger transform their words from the page to the stage. It was so joyful - even when the stories were heartbreaking. I will fully admit to the ugly cry several times. I also laughed from my belly.

In those all too fast days at BlogHer I feel at home. This is a place to find inspiration. The atmosphere is so friendly, fun and encouraging. These people want each other to succeed. They want to listen and celebrate. It's something I don't always find in my 'other' life. It's like coming home - if home was full of people who were endlessly nice and supportive.

I want this feeling to last. The hope in endless possibilities. The reminder of the strength in women to make changes in the world with their words. The honesty and bravery in telling your story regardless of the pain involved. Laughing, carelessly with friends.

I miss my tribe already. Roll on BlogHer 2012.


  1. I miss you and the rest of the tribe already too. NYC 2012 baby! YAY!

    Hope you have a great weekend, and are able to find a way to keep the momentum alive, even when surrounded by family instead of bloggers. You are an amazing writer, and an inspiration to many - myself included. So happy to have you as a friend, even if I only get to see you once a year. :)

  2. Amen, sister. Amen. Real life is so disappointing in comparison...

  3. I love this post. And? I miss you. so 2012 huh. Am going to try. :)

  4. This is probably the most beautiful post-BlogHer post I've read so far. You captured it all perfectly.

    I hope to make it to the 2012 BlogHer in NYC and see you again. You were one of my faves to chat with! :) (this all of course depends on deployment schedule and all that other jazzy military life stuff lol)

    So glad I got to share in some of the magic with you.

  5. I loved seeing "just you" in San Diego. And seeing you read your hilarious pee-post! Definitely working on 2012...

  6. That last paragraph really says it all. Beautiful. I had so much fun meeting you. Now, every time I dance, I will put my bag in the center of the dance floor and think how European I am being.

    I can't wait until 2012 to do it all again.

  7. HUGS. Loved it. Love that once a year I get to hang out with this awesome Scottish lass. (But dear GOD, do not glance at this woman's cell phone.)

  8. I love this post. Thank you for teaching me about haggis and for your hysterical reading at the Open Mic Salon.


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