This is not the popular opinion, and I feel the need to write a disclaimer. This is my fourth Blogher, and it has treated me well, for the most part, but this year the star didn't shine nearly as brightly as it has in the past..Back from BlogHer and there is one word that comes to mind for my experience: disconnected. I know, sounds like I had an awful time, but that's not true. What is true is that there were a lot of people at BlogHer, which, at times made it very difficult to find my people. It is true that the first night I came this-close to heading back to my room after cruising The People's Party, saying hi to the scant number of people I recognized, and a few I didn't. Then, feeling like a fish out of water, I flopped on to a nearby bench,where I had a great conversation with someone I had never met. Later I went back to the party, and found people I knew. And it was good.
It's true I spent sessions mostly alone or with new people. It's true that I ate lunch, again, mostly by myself, or with new people. I headed into parties and saw a sea of unfamiliar faces, all of whom were already attached. My wing-woman friends didn't make it this year, so I was on my own to find companionship.. It proved to be a challenge. Because, really, how long can you hang out in a cocktail circle of people you know in real life (but better online) without seeming like some sort of creepy stalkerish person? I can tell you. Exactly ten minutes. Beep. Time to find a new circle. Ever wonder how you can be lonely in a sea of 3000? I do. Everyone is very friendly; but where are your friends? Hopefully, you brought those with you. That sounds pathetic. I don't mean to complain.
I don't want you to feel sorry for me. In some respects, I had a great time. There were high points. I did a lot of dancing with friends, (When I could find them) and hung out in hotel rooms for great conversations with both old friends and new..pizza at 2 a.m. in the lobby, as well. I had some nice meals with people I basically foisted myself upon (thank you to you, by the way). In outward appearance, I am sure it looked like I was having a grand old time. I did have fun, in snippets. It was just the overall package that didn't work for me. At some point, you get tired of inviting yourself along and just want to be included by someone who wants you there. You want to be expressly invited to dinner, to the party, to wherever, instead of just...tagging along.
I will continue to blog, and to tweet, but think during the week of Blogher, I will take a sabbatical. I am too old to feel "in the way." High school was a long, long time ago, and wasn't much fun; I really don't cherish reliving it. So I won't be doing that again.
Ever want to feel like the only girl in the room? Go to Blogher by yourself. The experience will trigger every insecurity you have ever felt. And you will find just how far you have yet to go in order to feel accepted.