For over 24 hours I wandered past my BlogHer ’13 suitcase in the middle of my bedroom floor without unpacking it. If I didn’t unpack it, maybe BlogHer didn’t have to end? (I did dig out my toothbrush and contact lens solution).
But as anyone with kids knows, there’s no avoiding the bumpy re-entry to normal life.
My re-entry started with this reality check:
Home is different from BlogHer —
Where’s my food? Here, instead of sidling up to an amazing buffet full of delights, I trundle over to the fridge, open it, stare bleary eyed at the contents, create a meal worthy of getting Chopped and serve it to the hungry minions. They eat it. Then 29.5 minutes later announce they are hungry again.
Where’s my booze? Here, instead of sidling up to an amazing bar with options galore, I find one dusty bottle of my trusty Two Buck Chuck in the wine rack. I do manage, however, to pour a glass rather than swigging from the bottle. I do have some class. Even though it’s Two Buck Chuck.
No one is “squeeing” at me and coming at me with arms wide open for a glorious moment of “Hug a Stranger: Make a Friend.” Here, I get eye rolls and a half-hearted, “Of course I missed you, Mom.” (Although I will tell you that I FELT a harder hug when I got home than when I left — I think I really WAS missed here. Or that’s the delusion I choose to keep.)
No housekeeping. Here, instead of leaving for a day of delightful squeeing and hugging strangers and returning to fresh towels, a made bed and gifts at the door, I have been harshly reminded that I. Am. Housekeeping. Without a tip. I think it’s safe to say that the dishwasher that didn’t get loaded or unloaded even once while I was gone. Pretty sure the kids ate food straight off recycled newspapers. Or the floor.
No hip coffee shop. Here, instead of taking a delightful walk in the city to a quaint locally owned coffee joint, I can walk 2.0 miles to the nearest McDonald’s. Not quaint. Not locally owned. Not even sure it’s coffee.
And then the reality of blogging at home returns:
- Back to learning independently.
- Back to individual problem solving.
- Back to me, my words, my screen.
This could result in feeling like I’m back to being an island unto myself in the big blogging sea.
But instead, I realize that I’ve made connections with amazing people —
some I hoped to meet,
some I semi-stalked to meet,
some I stumbled upon and their presence at my table opened my eyes to aspects of blogging that I had been unaware of before.
I have lifelines to kindred spirits.
I have more real life blogging friends.
I have expanded my network authentically.
I have stretched the boundaries of my comfort zone.
I have grown.
BlogHer ’13 was a powerful experience.
As I sit at my desk, with only my words to reach you, I know I am not alone. I am connected to each and every person at the event. Just by having experienced it together. Like a giant web of connections. Reaching from my desk in Missouri to the far reaches of this country – to Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, and even just across the state line in Kansas.
And that, my friends, is a whole different kind of reality check.
What amazing connections did you make at BlogHer ’13?