I can still picture myself sitting there and wishing the walls would just somehow hide me. No such luck. He grabbed my hand to pull me up and started to walk dragging me behind when he came to a sudden stop.
He wanted to know why my hand was so sweaty.
That’s what I was. Completely and utterly mortified.
Earlier that evening, my mom had dropped me off at this youth group gathering that someone had told her about. No doubt that she thought it would be a great opportunity for making friends or boosting my self-confidence.
No such luck for this gal. I never went back.
Many of you have asked me questions or wanted to know how the BLOGU blogging conference was that I attended last month.
And if I started off with a sweaty palm story to start this conversation, you can probably imagine the direction it can take.
Only that wasn’t all there was to it.
Excitement and anticipation kicked in especially the week before I was to leave. What would I wear? All the new clothes! What would I say? Probably nothing because I would be way too nervous! Would I pay attention in class? Assuming I found my way around campus…maybe!
The big day finally arrived and I set out on the long drive from North Carolina to University of Maryland where I would be spending the weekend in dorms and learning the ways to be the ultimate blogger. Along the way, I picked up my awesome internet blogging friend, Nicole from @ suburban shit show. What’s it like picking up someone at an airport who you have never met in person? Well both of our families were thankful neither one of us ended up being serial killers.
On we went ready to conquer all things blogging. We
rolled up with our fancy sunglasses were blasting Highway to the Danger Zone and immediately got nervous until we saw/recognized members of our tribe. What tribe, you ask? One of the best things about blogging I have learned is your tribe or if you are lucky enough, your tribes. These are the people who will support, encourage, and give you direction to help you achieve your writing goals. I honestly am so thankful for them and getting the chance to meet so many in person. I will tell you right now, this was the highlight of my weekend.
We checked in, parked our car practically in another state. I can’t even begin to tell you how much walking and getting lost happened on campus that weekend. We got ready for our first class. By getting ready, we headed out for a drink and decided our first class would not be happening until the next day. Whoops.
By dinnertime, I was talking and meeting new people. It was very surreal to introduce myself to so many that I had admired and learned from this past year as I ventured out into the world of bloggers.
I had seriously come a long way from my sweaty hand ordeal.
Okay, so maybe I still had sweaty hands but no one figured it out.
The big theme at this conference was “Be You”. It could be in all things whether it was blogging or just life in general. Some random things I learned:
- I HATE dorms. The first thing I did after one night tossing on that awful mattress and pillow was to text my parents and tell them I would have never lasted going away to school.
I felt like those walls were closing in on me. My roommates were also nowhere to be found that first night and I lay awake most of the night hoping no one would get mad if I was in the bathroom when they wanted to be.
- I still suck at some social situations where I don’t know what to do.
- I actually ask for help when I need it rather than struggling alone.
- Loyalty is everything. So are snacks. People really do love you when you bring the Doritos.
- Listening to people read their writing in person adds so much to words that were already so powerful.
- When everyone goes one direction, go a different one. It’s pretty cool when one of the funniest guys you follow thinks the same way. The party theme was tacky wedding and I went for this look.
There were some amazing presenters. I took so many notes and thought about changes I could make. It was exciting to meet people who told me that they kept up with my blog and writing. It did wonders for my self- esteem. I really should hang out with these people more often. Everyone probably should.
Some moments were just plain uncomfortable. Most of the time, I pride myself on being an extrovert. Turns out I am really that way when I know people for a long time. Other times, I just missed home and my kids.
One of my favorite moments was when I walked out of my dorm suite at the same time another person was. I asked if she was heading over to the dining hall for breakfast. She pretty much said hell no, she was going to Starbucks. I told her she was my new best friend and I was going with her. REAL COFFEE!!! Turns out as we were walking I learned this was Lisa from Sassypiehole who is an amazing blogger. I probably asked too many questions or made too many comments once my caffeine kicked in because she assured me all of the bloggers with big followings and smaller ones put their pants on one leg at a time just like anyone else.
I call bullshit. Pretty sure based on the talented company I was in all weekend, they can do it with both.
Another favorite moment was just sitting around and getting to know some amazing friends.
So what did Be You end up being to me? Well most of my internet buddies seemed to go home , change some things, increase following, write their hearts out, and get published.
I went home, binge watched Netflix shows and ate Devil Dogs as I took a much needed break and breather.
I needed time to be “Me”. Sometimes I get caught up in everything I have to do that I don’t get time to just be. I read a couple of really good books and spent time with friends without worrying about deadlines and topics to write about. I even went to bed early a few times and caught up on some much needed sleep.
Then, I realized how much I missed my writing adventures because that’s part of me now too.
So deep breaths as I go back in using what I have learned and continuing my journey. Thanks for being here. I would shake your hand but you know… sweaty palms.
Thanks for always reading my work and sharing! It is so appreciated!
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