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BlogHer: Reality Check

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.

BlogHer Hip Coffee 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.

Each and every connection melts the isolation.

And that, my friends, is a whole different kind of reality check.

What amazing connections did you make at BlogHer ’13?

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jackie July 30, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I’m missing all the same things as you are. It kinda sucks…

    It was fun though and I did learn a lot even though I only got an expo/party pass.

    I’ll probably even go again!
    Jackie recently posted..Saving Mr. Banks – The Mary Poppins Story

  • RChicken July 30, 2013, 2:51 pm

    I think I’ll go again too, but also really like smaller conferences (i.e. SITS and others like it). It was fabulous to meet you :)

  • Carrie (akaLaverne) July 30, 2013, 5:13 pm

    It was pretty amazing!! It is odd to not have someone to constantly talk to and throw ideas at. I also miss that coffee shop…so delicious! And oh the squeals those were oh so fun but it really was all those truly unexpected meetings and connections that were so very fantastic! Our network of others we are connected to really is bigger and my heart is filled with all the fantastic gifts you gave me and the time we spent together. XOXOXOX

    • RChicken July 31, 2013, 7:28 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better, my friend! xoxo

  • Brook July 30, 2013, 7:17 pm

    So VERY happy to see you!!! I miss you already.
    Brook recently posted..Mom Style Files Informant Brittany Gibbons: Mission Beach

  • Ilene July 31, 2013, 7:49 am

    This is a great post-blogger post – I want my booze and my buffet and my bloggy friends back too! And seriously, my one bummer from BlogHer is that I didn’t get to meet you! Next year?
    Ilene recently posted..My Aha Moment from #BlogHer’13: Thank You Sheryl Sandberg

    • Kimberly July 31, 2013, 7:25 pm

      I left feeling sad that we didn’t connect too. Maybe I will be there next year! Have they announced the location yet?
      Kimberly recently posted..BlogHer: Reality Check

  • Jenni Chiu @MommyNaniBooboo July 31, 2013, 4:01 pm

    “I. Am. Housekeeping.”
    That was one of my biggest reality checks too. It was great to meet you super briefly!
    Jenni Chiu @MommyNaniBooboo recently posted..BlogHer’13 – I Can’t Quit You

    • Kimberly July 31, 2013, 7:26 pm

      I’ve been using my insomnia to ponder how to pitch a housekeeping service. Not just a weekly deal, but a follow-me-around-and-pick-up-everything service!

      It was great to meet you too.
      Kimberly recently posted..BlogHer: Reality Check

  • Stephanie B. August 4, 2013, 8:29 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed BlogHer! It seems like it would be such an experience!

    And isn’t it hard to get back to reality? When I was 17-18, I lived in Australia. I was *known* because I was Canadian in my average Australian high school. My nickname even became “Canada”. Coming home, I was back to being “Steph”. It was no fun. LOL
    Stephanie B. recently posted..#I Support You!

    • RChicken August 4, 2013, 9:10 pm

      Reality bites. But I’m adapting :) Australia would have been a wonderful experience!

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