#Blogher15 : My First Blogging Conference Wrap Up
After months of hymning and hawing I made the decision to raise the funds to meet one of my blogging goals. Over the past few years I have battled with my place at Blogher, but this year #Blogher15 was back in NY and I needed to be there. I came up with a few weak excuses about why I shouldn’t go but my friends and family came through and gave me a kick in the butt. Not only was I able to raise the what I needed to cover the entire #Blogher15 conference, I had could cover my daily transportation to and from Midtown. I was EXCITED!
In my mind I had worked out what I “would do” once I arrived at the conference but as the date got closer, I was greeted with a unhealthy dose of fear. The devil on my shoulder grew louder and convinced me that I had no reason to be at this conference, I was a woman of Wall Street and this was not for me. I actually not going and giving my ticket away, Thankfully my homegirls weren’t having that shit and told me to get it together (you are appreciated). And so I went on, alone, nervous, and despite all the crazy feelings, guess what? It was everything I needed to revive my love of this thing we call Blogging. This post is long overdue but here is breakdown day by day and what I learned each day.
I had to pack for me and the boys because it just made more sense to stay in Brooklyn with my mom. That was a nightmare, I just knew I was going to forget my underwear (I did, thankfully my husband saw the ziploc and brought it to me) or something major like my business cards. I arrived at the Expo a little gun shy, but the warm greeting and amazing conversation with Nikki from Good Health Snacks helped me shake any form of doubt I may have been holding on to. I entered to win their giveaway but the time Nikki and I spent showing off our corporate scars were much more valuable than the fitbit (which I won, BTW YASSSS!). The rest of the Expo I was easy after that. I connected with so many different brands, met ALL of my twitter boos and made some new ones. It was the kind of night that could only be topped off by good sex and chocolate cake… I had the latter. Lesson Learned: It is awesome to have a tribe that supports you, but you are strong enough to stand alone when the need arrives.
I woke up early and made my way out the door before the boys woke up. That kind of broke my heart but FOCUS MOM, this is for them. I arrived early, grabbed breakfast and sat with a few women I met the night before. The conversation was great, and while we all listened to the keynote speaker at the time I was getting my life sitting at the table with these amazing women. I didn’t even care that I probably wouldn’t see any of them again all weekend, I was taking in every tip they handed out. Once Soledad hit the stage all focus was on her. I don’t need to go into how inspiring she was, that’s a given but I will say that she confirmed all the feelings I had when I was in the corporate world. I needed to find a way to give back and even the environment I was in didn’t allow for that, and my heart knew that. Breakfast ended and morphed into a speed dating ice breaker. It was nice to be around women such fascinating women. There were a few women that I immediately vibed with and I need to make sure to link up with them before the snow hits.Next up was a less than informative session on how to make your blog into a book. It was more a plug for the writers books and a place to share their stories but I did leave with a few gems. Also knowing that my story is a unique one and when I actually get to a point where I can dedicate time to it, it will be awesome. Not because it gets published, but because I told my honest and beautiful story. Lesson Learned: Inspiration over Information. ~ more on that later.
I was worn out but made it just in time for the first speaker of the day. I was drenched from head to toe, but determined to make it through the day. I only had two goals, hit up the Expo to make a few more connections with vendors, attend the “I Want You To Get To #KnowMe” session and then I was going home. I was tired, I missed the boys and I really wanted to just lay down. I hit the expo to follow up with the women at Prudential and the Today Show Parents. As I walked around the expo, I got my second wind, just in time to hear the amazing Ava Duvernay speak. All the lessons I needed to hear were in her talk. She was humble, yet very strong with her words and I know a lot of the women sitting with me felt she was talking directly to them. And while I had every intention of calling it a wrap at 2 when lunch ended I allowed myself this moment to be young and care free for a few hours. I headed over to the after party and let loose. I bonded with some amazing women, won another prize, ate some bad food, danced until my romper was sticking to my skin. Who knew Nick Cannon could make a gal sweat her hair all the way out, LOL! Then hopped the train back to my real life, with no regrets. Lesson Learned: It just takes that one moment, the one time when you step outside of yourself to declare what you want and your entire life can change. So be ready and be open!
The entire weekend was a whirlwind, I don’t even think I was ready for all the experiences. I am so happy I took this leap of faith, set intentions and GREW into my greater self. While I didn’t leave #Blogher15 with a lot of new information, I left more inspired than the I’ve felt in a while, and that is worth more than anything in the world.
There is a long list of supporters I need to thank for helping me financially achieve this goal, but even more for the amazing notes that accompanied those dollars. Your belief in me is why I will never fail.