Stick with me here. But first things first. Thank you. Seriously. Everyone who is reading this. You help me feel that having a blog is one of the better decisions I’ve ever made.
I wasn’t so sure 3 years ago when I first showed up here on the internet.
I’m not easily intimidated. Plunging into something new? No sweat. The technical side of blogging? Totally intimidated me.
Stretching the furthest limits of my technical know-how, that first week I googled women and blogging; and discovered that a blogging conference was happening at that instant in San Francisco.
Could a message from the universe by any more clear? Help was two hours away. I jumped in my car and showed up.
I figured I’d be the oldest—and the newest– blogger in attendance.
I was also the most clueless.
Who knew blogging was so BIG? Who knew I had stumbled on (not the internet site; that took me 2 more years ) to the very BIGGEST blogging conference for women?
Actually it’s a pretty funny story. Only I didn’t meet a soul. I didn’t learn a thing about blogging.
I did learn that you had to buy a ticket in advance. I couldn’t even get in the door.
Unintimidated, I showed up for the next year’s BlogHer (with a ticket, this time). I still didn’t know anyone. But that year I did learn a little secret about blogging that surprised me. It’s not solitary; it’s social.
For two days every summer, BlogHer erupts into a huge, hectic party–where thousands of women attending run the gamut of anyone and everyone online. It’s impossible NOT to make friends or at least, connections. So in addition to all the other ways blogging had already enriched my life, this opened up a whole world of people I never would have known— at a time of my life when I least expected it.
The highlight of that year, and every year, is when the entire community comes together for one event in a huge ballroom. Which is where the tampon comes in. (As a public service, I’ll refrain from wordplay or age-related jokes )
A few people are selected to read their posts that were chosen as the best of the past year. It’s called Voices of the Year. Kind of like the Academy Awards only with no envelope—and much less glamour.
Sitting in the audience that day , I can’t begin to describe the experience, the talent—and the emotional range. I sobbed listening to the woman who had lost her only child . And I choked laughing over the story by the woman who couldn’t remember if she had removed a tampon or if it had launched itself into (her) inner space.
This year I’ll have a completely different perspective. At my third BlogHer (if you don’t count my guerrilla attempt) I’ve gone from reject to respect.
In a few hours I’ll be one of those standing on the stage, reading my post; selected as one of the Voices of the Year. I figure it’s as close as I’ll ever get to making an Oscar speech.
As I said I’m not easily intimidated. But I am honored.