Monday, August 08, 2011

My Blogher Recap: The Third Time was the Charm, Four Balls, That's a Walk

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 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.

On the way home, I had a lot of time to ruminate and I have decided that as much as I like Blogher, that ship has sailed. That martini has been shaken. That blog has been posted. This was Blogher #4 for me, and I think I am just done. I am at that awkward stage: I am too old to drink 'til distraction, but I still like to stay up until the wee hours. I just feel like I have no business there, with the cool kids. I love almost everyone at Blogher, but am a friend to few. I enjoyed seeing people, but as far as deep connections? Few and far between. I felt in the way, a lot. If you fall off the face of social media and no one is there to see it, do you even make a sound? That's where I am right now.

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.

12 sent chocolate:

Juli said...

I'm glad you wrote this post. This is kind of how I imagine myself at BlogHer. (I've never been. Think it's a bit overrated.)

Jessica said...

I am about to hit publish on literally the same post. I'm sorry you had the same time I did, but happy I am not alone in how I feel.

Lara said...

I imagine I would have felt much the same way. As it was, I had moments of this last year in New York, which is part of why I didn't go this year. I'm sorry you had to experience that, though. :(

Anonymous said...

I totally get it. I really do. That's how I felt (somewhat) after New York.

Not sure how I will feel after some time has passed, but I am (so far) planning on being at BlogHer next year as it's in my home town (NYC).

And so what if your opinion is unpopular? You're entitled to have it. :)

Vikki said...

I wouldn't have made it without my wingman. No way no how. That said, I had a great time and will always remember hanging out with you that last night!

Deborah said...

I, for one, really enjoyed your company and conversation! Since this was my first BlogHer, I wasn't sure what to expect, and since I have a really hard time meeting new people and not completely putting my foot in my mouth and saying grossly inappropriate things to exactly the wrong person, I was a little nervous to arrive at these giant parties where I knew no one except my husband. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice people were, but especially grateful to you for your willingness to talk at length with a new person who found herself adrift as the rest of the group waited for their cocktails to kick in.

I totally get wanting to take a break, but if I make it to NYC next year, I'll miss seeing you there.

Muskrat said...

I'm glad I saw you this year, though we weren't together as much as in years past. I guess my joining the DadCentric group meant several events and meetings off site during the dinner times and evenings, whereas I usually would hang out with you and a few of your peeps who couldn't come.

In any event, I hope you reconsider later in the year. While I'm not certain right now I'll go back to NYC, I have a feeling I'll change my mind in the spring.

Again, glad we got to spend some time together, even if the time change meant I wasn't able to stay up as long as I do on the east coast!

Florinda said...

I don't think I've commented here before, but I'm pretty sure that if I HAD gone to BlogHer this year (I went in 2009 and 2010), I would have felt a lot like this about it - which is a big part of why I didn't go. I'm glad you said this - thanks.

anymommy said...

I've read this twice now and it really resonates. There's no lost like the lost with 3000 people lost. I had a wonderful time and I'll probably go again, but that feeling is not a fun one.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I must have been a big help because I didn't recognize you. Gah! I'm so sorry! If it makes you feel any better, I never remember anyone. I see people and think "they look familiar" but it takes me a good ten minutes of talking to them to say OH IT"S YOU!

I think everyone has moments at BlogHer feeling exactly how you describe here. I'm actually very shy and I have to force myself to go out of my room. It doesn't help that half the time I'm on pain meds too. I walk around in a fuzzy brained manner hoping I don't get lost somewhere in the hotel! : )

I'm undecided on NY. I love the city, but the sessions don't usually tell me anything I don't already know.

Kim Tracy Prince said...

I was actually going to skip a blogher recap post (gasp!) because I am just too damned tired and up to my eyeballs in PILES of things in my house. But your post puts me over the top. This was my 3rd BlogHer and I was thinking "third time's a charm" AND I went by myself. But there are many reasons why it worked for me so well this year, and I will tell you on my soon as I can see over the edge of this pile of papers...

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I hadn't contacted you yet because I still haven't gone through business cards (and YES, I made a note on yours to make sure and follow you and read you.) And then, I saw you on Twitter replying to someone else's post and I was "Tina Cruz! I need to follow her!"

Wow. This post. I get this post. Totally. I usually feel this way at BlogHer, every year. I do my best to pull myself out of it and concentrate on the fun that I do end up having.

I am writing my recap right now, actually. I wrote about one particular party where I was near tears and almost left. That was the People's Party. Sigh.

SAd to hear you are giving up on BlogHer, but I understand.

I am glad I got to meet you at your last one, though. :-)

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