After I purchased my flight, BlogHer Expo-Hall & Party Pass I developed this ginormous pit of
butterflies snakes in my belly. Am I seriously nervous about attending a conference? Um, yeah. I guess I am! Who knew? I will be breaking my blogger-conference cherry on the biggest conference of them all… so, I think I deserve a moment to freak out a little! I don’t talk about my fears very often. I try to keep this blog a positive, light-hearted, but deeply honest place. Honest = fears when you’re human… and when you’re a Momma, with what feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders at times, those fears can multiply quicker than the neighborhood cats. Many of these fears are, let’s face it, a waste of energy, but here I am, writing another post where I may hit the Publish button and immediately feel like I’m walking through high school naked. Read on… and if you share some of these fears or have tips for alleviating my anxiety, I always appreciate a friendly comment or an email!
1. Leaving the kids for a week. Sure, the hubs & I leave the kids for a night or two here & there. But a full week is beyond rare. The hubs & I will not only be attending BlogHer in San Diego together, but he also has an even geekier conference to attend that starts the day after BlogHer ends in Salt Lake City. So we’re doing both. Together. Without the kids. We debated hiring a sitter or two so they could stay home in a familiar environment, but we definitely can’t afford to do that. So we’re leaving them with my MIL, which should be ok… if they don’t live off of constant sugar and tv for a week. My MIL raised 6 kids and is an RN. Why am I worried? I really need to let go and realize how this could be beneficial for all of us. My MIL and family back in my hometown get to spend some extra special time with my girls for an entire week! When we left my oldest at 15 months with my MIL, she still wasn’t sleeping through the night, yes, we really did need a vacation! By the time we got home from our 5 day trip to Tucson, she slept through the night from then on. If I could just focus on the positives…
2. Flying. I hate flying. Heck, I could easily compose 10 reasons why! Generally speaking though, it’s a pain in the ass. I’m very uncomfortable on a plane; being a leggy chic, I especially have a problem with with the lack of personal space. Not to mention all of the big & little things that can go wrong always enter my brain at takeoff. Thanks, Lost. Anxiety sucks. Putting a little alcohol on it can and will help me through it though. It has in the past! You can still take flasks on planes, right?
3. Jet lag. Not a huge fear, but knowing how late some of these parties can go, on top of being 3 hours behind… oy. This Momma isn’t used to staying up much past 11p anymore! Packing extra B12 and my french press. Hoping to squeeze in a little naptime when necessary… even if it’s poolside. I think I can, I think I can.
4. I won’t know anyone. I usually have this fear going into anything. It goes WAY back to my school days, since between 4th-9th grade, I attended 5 different schools. You would think that I learned something from that, and I did, but I can’t help feel like an ugly, awkward 5th grader when I dive into something new. I’ve attended plenty of parties where I don’t know anyone and had a great time. But I’ve only been blogging for a year and I don’t have a huge following like many bloggers do at this point. If you’re going to BlogHer and would like to meet up, drop me a line, will ya? I’m very excited about this, but I also worry about venturing out alone, looking like the biggest loser there. Silly, I know.
5. Crowds. The flip side of this I won’t know anyone coin? My uneasiness in a crowd of strangers! I don’t think I’d ever make it in NYC because I’m just not a fan of huge crowds. Last week at U2, we had actual seats and still had to deal with a tool trying to soak up my personal space. It didn’t ruin the whole night, but I’m sure you follow. I’d rather take the backroads to avoid traffic, the seat in the back of a concert venue instead of fighting a boatload of people just to get closer to the stage, visit a family friendly spot like the zoo or museum on an off-day or right when they open just to avoid the gobs of people. I’m slightly claustrophobic, and standing in a crowd of people is something I can accept here & there, but I don’t deal with it very well long-term.
6. Not living up to anyone’s expectations. Fear of failure sucks, doesn’t it? Damn my mother and her drilling the what will people think? phrase into my fragile little head for 20 years. I think I can get past this one because it’s something I’ve truly worked through. I am who I am… and if I don’t live up to someone’s expectations, well, I don’t think that’s necessarily my problem.
7. Spending more money than my family can afford. Damn you guilt. We are a one-income family and can barely afford this trip. I’m geeked I uncovered enough frequent flyer miles to cover my multi-leg flight, but the rest of it will still be a craps-shoot. If you or a business you adore could donate any amount, $5 – $10 – $100… whatever! You would be my personal hero for life. I’ve been getting pretty good at burying the guilt, knowing how important it is to make MYSELF a priority for once, but money sucks.
8. Not being able to party with the hubs. Whine whine whine. Here I am, lucky enough to take the hubs with me, but he won’t be able to attend all the parties I will. I married my best friend. He knows me better than anyone, can snap me out of a funk if I’m in one… and has been my biggest blog supporter! I have a lot of fun with him, so I’m bummed I can’t take him with me to every party. Then again, he’ll likely ditch me for plenty of geeky-conference soirees once we’re in Salt Lake.
9. I’m a rusty networker. I haven’t networked face-to-face with bloggers, well, ever. I was a killer phone-networker back in the day… but even back then my face-time networking moments were few & far between. This could be one of the biggest fears, once I get to San Diego. Yes, I realize I’m a freak.
10. The pressure to perform “better” post-BlogHer. So let’s say I go, I have a blast, meet a ton of old & new friends and just rock the whole conference! Then what? What if I feel that post-conference pressure to perform? What if BlogHer just makes me realize how shitty a blogger I actually am? I really hope this fear dissipates. I have heard of many bloggers fading out post conference, and that might be my biggest fear of all. I do love writing, so I deeply believe that going to BlogHer will only bring positive results.
As I composed this fairly therapeutic Top Ten list, I realized I could counter every single one of these fears with something positive. Overall, I know that first week of August will be full of incredible opportunities and I will not be able to duplicate virtually. Not to mention the kid-free time with the hubs in a city we love, and a city we’ve never visited. There is more to look forward to than to fear for sure. Look out fear! You will not get the best of me! Now if these damn snakes would just turn into butterflies…