For five years, I read about Blogher. There were the before conference posts, the post conference posts, the drama posts, the ones about parties in the hotel rooms with cheeseburgers, and more. All the bloggers I read went to Blogher, and eventually it seemed like some mythical, magical, far away place-like Disneyland, perhaps?
After two and a half days of driving and a detour to the Carlsbad outlets where I found a smoking hot purple dress and Alexis found some boots, we were set.
Blogher. I was THERE. Five years of blogging, and finally, I had made it.
In the years I have read all about Blogher, I've heard a lot of things. Sometimes people have thought that 'bigger' bloggers have snubbed them, some people have felt left out, sometimes there is drama. It's hard to know what to expect and I admit, while my introduction to conferences was being asked to speak at Blissdom, I have just as much trepidation about being thrown into the deep end of the pool to swim with the big kids, as much as I admire them. It's hard, putting yourself out there. What if people think I'm an idiot? What if they ignore me? What if I talk to someone with spinach in my teeth?
My bags hit the floor for all of 10 minutes before Alexis called and gave me some news. The shop where she bought some killer boots had emailed, and they had found something. Something of mine. Something really important that I had left behind.
I'm not sure how to explain the sheer panic I felt, but soon I was down in front of the UPS service of the hotel, trying to figure out what could be done to remedy the situation. Could they ship it to me? No. Would they keep it until Sunday and I could pick it up? No.
You have to pick it up tonight, they said. Which meant I'd miss part of the very first party of the conference, but it was a neccessity.
Still, there I was, sweaty from driving for hours, freaked out about the entire situation, and suddenly spot Ree Drummond walking down the hall. I'm not sure what happened but before I knew it, there I was in front of Ree, hand extended.
"Ree? I read your blog! Nice to meet you!"
Oh crap. The other side of my brain, the one that wasn't freaking out, suddenly gave the irrational side a kick. Who the hell do you think you are, walking up to the Pioneer Woman of all people and just blurting that out? She's busy. she won't have a clue who you are, even though you have stalked her blog for recipes for years. Why did you accost the poor woman like that ? Stupid, I say.
A warm smile, and she took my hand. I don't even remember what she said at this point but I do know this:
I felt welcomed.
At that point I realized that my irrational, insecure fears were silly. Ree and I are, after all, both mothers, cooks, and writers. We ALL were-whether we had a bazillion hits or 3, big name sponsors or paid for ourselves. In the end, we're all there to learn more about our craft. Five years of bloghers or first time, it doesn't matter. We're in it together.
Thank you, Ree.