Aug
06

BlogHer 2010: Soooo Out of My Comfort Zone!

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Come Talk to Me I don’t know if you’ve seen this button on my sidebar over there. I put it up shortly after I registered for the BlogHer 2010 conference.  Yep, BlogHer 2010 officially began today! And I am going! In a few short hours I’ll be on the bus to the city to join about two thousand other bloggers. With my new laptop bag and business cards in hand, I’ll be trying to act all nonchalant, like I totally belong and know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going. Inside, of course, I’ll be convinced that everyone else has figured out I’m a fraud and are really looking at me and thinking like Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny—“Oh, yeah, you blend.”

The past few weeks I’ve been prancing around saying things like, “Oh, I’m going to my blogging conference! I’m soooo excited.” I thought it would be educational and a great experience for me as a relatively new blogger. I was also excited (and not just a little bit nervous) about the prospect of meeting some of my favorite bloggers in person. Now, I’m going all by my lonesome and won’t know anyone there (well, except for the aforementioned bloggers I read but don’t really know), so my excitement has been tempered with a certain amount of social anxiety.

I’m not good at meeting people. I’m not a schmoozer. I don’t have a commanding presence. I am not what one would call charismatic. I have no great accomplishments or interesting tidbits to break into conversations with.  Now that’s not to say I’m a complete and total social freak. I am a confident girl and can make small talk (sort of) and mind my manners.  But to foster actual relationships, well, it takes me time. Most of the people who have taken the time to get to know me, I’m pretty sure are happy that they did. I think that says something. But that doesn’t help when I’ve only got two days at a conference

I’m going to try, though. I’m going waaaay out of my comfort zone here by flying solo at this shindig.  It’s important, I think, for people to do that—that is, get out of their comfort zones once in a while.  I was happy to take any help I could get in this venture, so I read a lot and have tried to mentally prepare myself.  My friend Lisa sends me links all the time to some pretty good stuff (thanks, Lisa!), so I read some advice on how to mingle and such. I also continued reading my favorite bloggers, who naturally had something to say about this event.

BlogHer is a BIG deal in the blogging world, so naturally, as the conference approached, blog posts started appearing here and there about things like what to wear and what to expect. I was grateful to have a bit of heads up on this new adventure, so on I read. On one hand, I did find the posts very helpful in my quest to get a little more “comfortable.” On the other hand, I’ve got to admit that a part of me was maybe, just maybe, a bit overwhelmed. It went something like this:

What I read: Don’t obsess about what to wear. Be comfortable. Make an effort.

What I thought: Um, well, I wasn’t worried about that. Should I be? Crap. What am I going to wear?

What I read: Don’t get upset if you’re not invited to the private parties.

What I thought: There are private parties?

What I read: If someone doesn’t talk to you, don’t think it’s because they are “popular” and you are not. I’m tired of hearing how it’s clique-y and like high school.

What I thought: Oh God. I am 43 years old. Really, if I have to worry one more time in my life about being in the “in” crowd, I’m just gonna hurl myself off a bridge. They have those in New York City, you know.

The only conferences I have been to in the past have been English teacher ones, and I’ve always gone with a group of friends where we’ve done things like play “Spot the Teacher” in the hotel as we look for wooden apple necklaces and pins with books on them and shin-length skirts. Okay, that’s mean. But also true.

Now I’m going to this blogging conference where I just won’t be in Kansas anymore. People are hip and cool and geeky, and hip and cool because they’re geeky. They’re going to be tweeting from their iPhones and talking search engine optimization, and I’m just going to try not to stand there with drool coming out of my mouth. I’m just not geeky enough to be hip, and not hip enough to be cool, and, oh my.

But again, I’m going to try.

Confession: the”what to wear” blog posts did send me on a bit of a shopping spree (that I could ill afford as an unemployed girl, but that’s another story), but I was delighted to discover that I could make use of things previously unworn or unused in my closet (like the requisite little black dress with tags still on, and a cute little dressy purse). I did spring for some new shoes, a new pair of jeans, some jewelry, and the aforementioned laptop bag. We just won’t mention that most of those items I got at Kohls and Marshalls (LOVE those stores!). As they say on the East Coast, have a look see (and you can click on any of the photos to enlarge):

So my wardrobe is set, but I’m not so sure about my nerves. I’m still excited.  Uncomfortable, yes, but still excited. Wish me luck! (Oh, and if you happen to be a blogger and read this at the conference, PLEASE come talk to me!)

Comments

  1. Helenie says:

    Just remember that you survived a weekend at that Silent retreat place with Carol and the rest of the gang. Yes, we were a gang, but seriously? Jani had to be pried OUT of the TRUNK of my car. How much worse can this blogger thing be? I’m hoping for a full report in your next post!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

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