Thursday, July 30, 2009

The obligatory BlogHer'09 post where I talk about all the wonderful people I met *squee* and discuss my social anxiety until you can't stand it.

Or the post for those of you who really want to know what it is like to go to BlogHer for the first time when you don't know anyone and you are socially stunted.

If you followed me at all over the last few days on Twitter you will know that I found BlogHer'09 amazing! And completely overwhelming. Talk about information and sensory overload!

I met a lot of people and am now totally confused about who I met when and who is who, etc. etc. I still need to go through all my business cards and try and sort things out.

I had a mental list of people that I wanted to meet, many of them women whose blogs I have been reading since I started blogging four years ago. I was able to introduce myself to several of them and even have a conversation with a few. It must be a little strange to some of them to be approached like that by complete strangers. I always feel awkward doing it, so I have a feeling I come off awkwardly too. I was a little disappointed by the responses I received from three blogger's in particular, but to be fair I'm not sure I was approaching them at the most opportune time. And again, hello awkwardness!

I will say though that of the blogging "stars" that I met Anissa at Free Anissa has to be the most genuine person I've ever met! Someday I'm going to get a chance to talk to her when she isn't being accosted by all the other women who want to get in her bra. Jenny The Bloggess was the most gracious when I accosted introduced myself to her, and has me pretty much believing she actually knows who I am! And there was Jozet at Halushki, who was very calm and collected when I realized I was sitting right next to her during one of the sessions and screamed "OMG, I love you, you are on my LIST!" like a total dweeb. She is also one of the most talented writers I know and I think she might even, like, talk to me again sometime!! Squeee!

Socially, in some areas I think I did better than I expected. Not knowing anyone there forced me to sit down at tables with strangers during the meals and sessions, and in doing so I met some very nice and very interesting women. In small settings (when I'm sitting down especially??) I'm not bad at actually talking with people.

I didn't however, make it to any of the parties in the evening, and I'm still deciding if I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't. Friday night I was exhausted by the time the sessions were over and was asleep by 10pm. Although I regret that I missed the specific parties that were held that night, I think staying in was the better choice. Saturday I don't have a good excuse for staying in, other than I really don't LIKE big parties with lots of noise and lots of people. So I have this internal debate going on, where I alternate between telling myself that its OK that I don't like parties and that there is nothing wrong with not going to something I don't like, and telling myself that I'm a looser and need to make myself do these things. I'm sure that because I didn't go to the parties I missed several opportunities to actually get to know some of the women I've wanted to meet for a while.

I've always been shy, and I don't think that is something that just goes away. It doesn't matter how many happy pills I take...the social anxiety doesn't ever really go away. I pretty much feel like I'm right back in high school.

Over all I'm very happy with the experience I had. I'll talk more tomorrow about what I learned and what I took home with me (and I'm not talking about the swag!). I think I'll do a few things differently next year, like have a roommate, who will hopefully force encourage me to do more socially while holding my hand. I'll also do some more networking before I go and have some firm plans to meet with some of the women I've come to know online over the last couple years, that I feel especially comfortable with. And I'll make sure that I don't get a case of the runs in the middle of the Community Keynote and have to leave and miss a bunch of great speakers! Yeah, for real...


1 comment:

  1. OMG, you dweeb! You are one of my personal faves, and your Tweets always make me giggle. And *talk* to you again? Are you kidding? I was looking for you again to have lunch or a coffee-break so that we could chat fer reals. My biggest regret of BlogHer was that I just wasn't more forward in asking for "dates". I need a good solid five minutes of chit-chat before I can get into the juicy conversations.

    It was a pleasure to meet you and I was so thrilled that you were sitting next to me in at that session. I would have kicked myself if I left BlogHer without even saying hi.