Yes, I spent several days in San Diego last week for BlogHer. Yes, I was surrounded by thousands of women and a few men for what can only be described as an overwhelming and exhausting. And yes, I am going to do a recap because how can I not reflect just a bit? It is not often that one spends almost five days that can inspire just about every emotion in the book.
I could live in San Diego.
Seriously. The minute that I arrived and was in the taxi to the hotel, I fell head over heels in love with San Diego. I walked along the marina and started contemplating how I could pull such a move off. Walking around Coronado later that afternoon only cemented my desire. I even found a few places that I could happily call home.
I admit that I only went to a handful of sessions. Luckily for me, each conference session that I went to was AMAZING.
On my first day, I attended Women Create Media by the amazing Lindsay Maines. The first speaker was Brene Brown, who I have come to adore and cherish–for whom I may just have a serious crush. She talked about vulnerability, about authenticity, about imperfections. Between getting chills because her message gelled so well with my new efforts at Just.Be.Enough. and hanging on her every word because she is just so brilliant…this session, made my day.
On my second day…I um…..went to see Brene Brown again. But also, she was flanked by a few other amazing ladies talking about blogging our way to self acceptance. Between Mr. Lady, Gretchen Rubin, Brene Brown, and Shauna James Ahern…. this was like free therapy. Talking for an hour about how to open yourself up to your readers (clearly, I have a problem with that!–Ha!), to finding a balance and what should be kept private, there might have been serious speaker envy going on from little old me.
On the third day, I went to learn about how to create a KickA$$ Proposal by the wonder team of Julie Meyers Pron, Leticia Barr, Kelly Whalen, and Andrea Fellman. Not only did the team explain and show the difference between a poor proposal and a fantastic one, but they also talked through how they follow up with brands and manage campaigns.
Yes, there were parties and events. Private and non private. I went to both. The things they all had in common: laughing, friendship, silly picture taking. Whether you went to one private event or none, there was plenty of fun to be had. One of the best times I had was an impromptu event in @Caitm’s room with @HighImpactMom, @ColoradoMom, @Chimomwriter, and @lordwilliam even joined us–on a balcony, drinking Thistle Wine together. There were no sponsors. No guest lists. Just a few folks wanting to spend some quality time together.
The Clever Girls I’m With the Brand party literally was something out of a music video. It was glamorous and decadent. There was dancing….or I should clarify, our fantastic Team Leticia reunited after having come in 2nd place during the Type A Parent conference to SWEEP the competition this time around.
The Blogging Angels hosted a brunch on Saturday that may have been the highlight of my conference because of how intimate it was and how we were able to network and learn about branding from the brilliant Perrin Kaplan.
Another intimate event, also a brunch, on Sunday was another favorite of mine. The Clever Girls did it again with a Ladies who Tech brunch that brought together some very savvy women and gave us the chance to learn from each other, network, and ah yes…relax before starting our journeys home.
Lets be honest. When you get 3600 women together, there is bound to be drama. Last year, I think I was too new to notice any of it. This year, for better or worse, I saw it. I felt it. It just is. And luckily, that is where the best thing about BlogHer comes into play. The true connections, the knowing glances, the hugs that make you feel like a million bucks. Those things, from the people that I either already knew well or started to to get to know well…those were the things that blog conferences are made of.
I wish that I could keep a few of the women that I met and/or got even closer to in my pocket, or at the very least in my purse. Sadly it does not work that way. We all go home, to our families and in real life lives and attempt to make the most out of the time we had. But we remember, and we plan. And we do what bloggy friends do: tweet, comment, skype,instagram. Give us an app and we will stay in touch.
The truth about BlogHer is that there is a lot of swag, there are things going on every minute of every day, and there are pushes and pulls from every possible direction. To go to everything is impossible. And so for me, I did the best that I could. I spent time with almost everyone on my list (my biggest BlogHer fail? Not meeting The one and only Empress), did a lot of laughing, giggling, plotting, and reflecting. There were hushed moments of friendship, there was squeeing, and there was love amongst friends.
I am not sure that I could possibly ask for anything more.