One Step Outside the Circle

>> Friday, July 24, 2009

It is almost midnight as I sit here to reflect on my BlogHer experience so far. I really should go to bed but I feel the need to process just a bit of the overwhelming day I had today.

The pre-parties were great! I partied with my fellow Chicagonistas on Wednesday and my fellow ChicagoMoms bloggers on Thursday. Both parties were super fun and not very intimidating at all. I'm doing pretty well so far, I told myself. Well, then came today.

It was just as I expected but not how I had hoped, if that makes any sense at all. My track record for things like this, social situations just outside my comfort zone, is for everything to seem SO complicated and take so much emotional effort and thick skin. The first hiccup was that they couldn't find my registration. It all got resolved but it was just a headache I didn't expect to start the day. I found some friendly faces and chilled with them off and on. I am not afraid to be alone at events like this. I just didn't want to be alone all day. And I wasn't. So that was good. I sat at lunch with bloggers I know, trying to not be shy. Trying to be a part of the conversation. I would like to think that it is just because I don't interact with these cool gals very often that I felt a bit like an outsider trying desperately to be part of the crowd. And that is probably it. But admittedly, I feel that way around people I know too so I think it is just me. See, complicated and lots of emotional effort. I just always feel one step behind, a few inches outside the circle. And today was no different. And as insignificant as the registration hiccup might seem to you, to me it felt like just one more example of how this is not really my scene. Do I really belong here? Where DO I really belong?

I felt like that off and on all day as I mingled with people who take blogging VERY seriously. I mean, I do too, I guess. But not like this. I sat in on a session where people discussed all the different strategies to getting more traffic on your blog. Google page ranks, tweeting your posts several times a day, managing your thousands of twitter followers, ... I just don't live in that world.
After pumping in the oh-so-glamorous "lactation lounge" (hear my sarcasm- the door didn't even stay closed!) with another bloggy friend, I walked around for a few minutes with a super-blogger friend. She knew everyone! And to her credit, she tried to introduce me but no one cared. I'm not even sure I did. She would say, "oh there is so-and-so, let's say hi... oh, you know such-and-such, right?" Um... not so much.
I left the conference around 3pm feeling a bit dazed with arms full of semi-cool swag. (I am making BlogHer sound sooo glamorous, huh?) It really was fun, mostly. A bit stressful, fairly tiring, and very thought-provoking. But an experience I am very glad to have had and wouldn't have wanted to miss. Even so, riding the train home all I wanted to do was see my babies. My heart was aching to see those little faces as if seeing them and hugging them would melt away all the insecurities that were flooding my head and heart. I was feeling a little bit like a second (or third or fourth)-tier mommy blogger (I am skipping all the cool parties after all- and that is why most people come to BlogHer) and needed to feel like a top tier mommy to affirm that I had chosen correctly in putting my family first.
Not even that worked out. I was home for almost 2hours before my kids came home from Grandma's. I was SO FRUSTRATED! And then to top it off, my little love, my Caden, very clearly wanted Grandma even after I was one of his options. Ouch. Not the way I had hoped to top off an already overwhelming day.

Tomorrow will be better. I will have day one under my belt and be more comfortable in the environment. Plus, I will have Caden with me so I have an instant conversation starter and distraction. And today wasn't as bad as I may be portraying. It was just intense and a lot to take in. Luckily, the day ended with nursing/rocking my sweet Caden to sleep and then sitting at the side of Lucas' bed, rubbing his legs as we both drifted off. I know my boys love me and I adore them. And even if my Google page rank is -57 (I'm just making that up- I have no idea even how to find out what your page rank is- that is how out of it I am), I am not upset about that. Maybe this is all just confirming that my priorities really do lie elsewhere. And rightly so.

I'll let you know how tomorrow goes. :)



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11 comments:

Amy M. July 25, 2009 at 1:16 AM  

i came home and immediately engaged conversation with hailey. even let her stay up an hour later and then snuggled in bed with her. it was nice to have teagan with me but i really, really missed hailey all day today. felt like a deer in headlights most of the day. still deciding on if i want to go back for day two. we'll see how i feel in a few hours.

Just Me July 25, 2009 at 7:48 AM  

Farrah- Heck I am always envious of how into things you are!

So I am kind of happy to know that I am not the only one who feels out of place....

Shannon July 25, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

Wow, you are really making me sad I wasn't there! But I think you are very friendly and good at making conversation. Oh, and you know what the swag was at that party back at the Sheraton after the CMB party? Cleaning products (rags and sponges), a cookbook, cosmetics, chocolate, and some "adult" products.

Catherine July 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

This is EXACTLY my take on BlogHer two years ago...which is why I wanted to go this year, but didn't try all that hard. And decided to have a birthday party instead. Maybe some year we'll both go and that will be more fun?

selfmademom July 28, 2009 at 8:28 AM  

How did day 2 go? I did enjoy meeting you! It was totally overwhelming, though.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life August 13, 2009 at 6:05 AM  

I know that I always am more at ease in social situations if Ladybug is with me. She's a conversation starter, a distraction from awkward conversation, and a diversion when Mama really doesn't want to be with adults anymore. I am so comfortable, sometimes also frazzled, when she is with me!

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