Only The People At BlogHer Cried

This isn’t a hate post. Or a love letter.

I had extraordinary highs. Like meeting Pundit Mom and discussing a guest post for the Mothers of Intention section of her blog. (swoon) Or inviting someone to lunch and realizing five minutes later that it’s Kamy Wicoff a co-founder of She Writes whose one passion and site reminds me of my love for writing.

Or seeing my posts, WARNING: Don’t Read If You Quit Smoking Yesterday and Prayer Changes Me And Even The Atheists Say Hallelujah, in the form of art done by Mighty Girl and The Modern Hive, respectively, and will be auctioned off for charity.
Women Holding BeerPrayer Changes Me With Butterflies

And the bright side of my low (which I’ll get to) is that it happened on Thursday night. I could only go up from there!

On Thursday at about 10 p.m., I stood up in the People’s Party and walked to the elevator as tears of not belonging and wondering why I came streamed down my face. A mix between feeling terminally unique and the struggle of writing humor without curse words, being liberal and God-happy, having wildly shocking stories without having tattooed them on my body. The pressure of having to prove myself as important.

Luckily, almost everyone I met at BlogHer or follow on Twitter cried! (Oh wait, FEEL BETTER!) And I’m grateful to my husband, F*ck Yeah, Motherhood, Pretty All True, and Coffees & Commutes for listening at various times. (Note: Pretty All True had to comfort me through DMs. She was not in attendance. And grateful even before my rant.)

And after that, I stopped trying to be important and started trying to just be.

Some practical insights:

  • Wear whatever you want and feel comfortable in
  • Hang with people you want to hang with as long as they want to hang with you (or at least have no choice)
  • Clip your paraphernalia to your card so you don’t have to do a double-handoff
  • Introduce yourself to everyone at the table because you may find out you’re sitting with PhD in Parenting, The Feminist Breeder, Mooshinindy, and Alitable (and realize you didn’t mention that you WILL be at the session Annie is speaking at as well as the one The Bloggess is presenting at even though you only mentioned The Bloggess’ talk at the table and they are talking at the same time and now you feel awkward and you try and fix it by making a really loud entrance during her session and maybe including a sign that says: I’m here. And I would be here even if I hadn’t sat with you.)

Some not-practical insights:

  • Wearing a sash that says Housewife on it will get your more dirty looks from blogger than New Yorkers
  • Only three times were the cardboard cutouts of people are better than the real versions
  • Be nice no matter how big or small the blogger is (even though the bigger bloggers may assume you are a climber and the little blogger may assume that you are not climbable enough and both may blow you off in succession. mostly they will say hi and appreciate kindness. or be talked about behind their backs.)
  • The Next Martha and I did not sing to No Points For Style but I did give her a snuggle.
  • If you like dancing, find Sarahcasm.

I have pictures to back up most of these statements and I have more amazing bloggy friends to tell you about, but my bed is calling my name. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get my flickr stream presentable and get some more shout-outs together.  Or maybe you will just be happy when I stop blogging.

About the conference.

I won’t stop blogging.

Except for Wednesdays.

And Saturdays.

I’m taking those off. At least this week. And probably forever. See you tomorrow. Please someone stop me from typing.

If you want Late Enough swag, let me know. I’ll mail you whatever you’d like. Also, I’m starting a sticker campaign inspired by Bad Mommy Moments. If you want to get a picture up and a story told, put the sticker in the funniest or most meaning place for you. Take a picture and tell me why. You will be blogged. By me. Does this even make sense?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

61 thoughts to “Only The People At BlogHer Cried”

  1. I wish we had met. Especially when you cried. I would have put my arm around you and brought you back when you were ready.

    I just met you through the twitterstream this week and am looking forward to reading more!

    Blogher is about community.

    1. Wow, thanks Susan. For your kind words and for reminding me of the goodness that is community.

      And I wish that we had met too. Maybe next year (since I’m pretty good at crying even when I’m having fun 90% of my time. and even if I’m not not crying, we can still hang out ;)).

  2. This is a great post Susan. I think most of us have these conflicting feelings about ourselves and others. I hope to be at the next Blogher.
    I see you live in Richmond, I live in Williamsburg. We should hook-up sometime.

    1. Alex, I’m sorry I called you Susan in my earlier comment. That’s what happens when you do to many things at once.

  3. I’m glad you were finally able to Just Be. Because you are awesome. I am jealous of those who were able to meet you.

    Very cool that your posts were done in the form of art. Very cool that you got to meet some great bloggers. I can’t wait hear more!

    1. Aw! Thanks! I would’ve loved to have met you too!

      And I thought the art was very cool. People are pretty talented around the inter-banets

      But I think if you want to know more, we’ll have to email. I’m not sure I can write about blogher again for awhile.

  4. Alex~
    You are important. You are important to the people who really matter like your kids, wonderful husband, family, friends, and online community of friends (like me!).

    I have MORE respect for you because you are a successful writer and blogger and you do it without compromising who you are for shock value or pretend to be someone else. The fact that you can be a success without dropping the f-word every sentence gives me an even greater respect for you and hope for me.

    I am not sure my opinion counts for much because I would not fit in at that party either. I wish I had been there because we could have left together and the only tears would be from laughter because I know we would have done something really fun and would have laughed that night.

    For what it is worth, I sat on Twitter reading and looking at photos. I saw people dressed up as freaks and wondered why. I also wondered if anyone was sober. I even saw a tweet that someone was drunk at breakfast. No judgement on my part; I was just curious why someone would waste the opportunity to learn and grow as a blogger.

    I am not being obnoxious now plugging my latest post. Really, I am not. I want you to read it and then read the comments. This post is similar to the one you wrote about your son in the sense that I opened up on a different level. I am having a very difficult time right now and I let my heart do the writing last week. The support has been overwhelming. Maybe reading this post and the subsequent comments will remind you that the readers are important. We help them and they help us. I felt lifted up over the weekend as I read the comments that flooded in. This reader support, I discovered, is yet another reason I blog.

    I am so happy to read you will be taking Wednesdays and Saturdays off! I hope you sleep Tuesday and Friday as a result. (: By the way, I link-up a post to The Red Dress Club Saturday morning and then just promote the post I linked up. It doesn’t take too much time and it keeps traffic flowing over the weekend. Just a thought.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      And when I arrived home, I really thought about how lucky I am. And getting comments by you and other readers and bloggers today made me realize how much I missed my piece of the bloggy world.

      I agree that the support is amazing here and I’m glad that you are feeling it too. I can’t wait to add to it on your site 🙂

  5. That’s why I’m afraid to go, Alex. I don’t think I’ll fit in.

    AS ALWAYS: coming here reminds me why I come here.

    You are wonderully unique, and when you want some Alex, only one place has it.

    You are the best at being L8 Enough.

    You are down to earth, and post with a point. I love that.

    THank you for blogging.

    Do you remember how encouraging you were to me when I first began blogging? I do.

    1. I do remember. And I’m glad I did because you are a great part of this blogging community. Thank you for your kind words. And like you said, you don’t need to fit in because when someone needs some Alexandra/Empress they need YOU just the way you are.

  6. Glad you are back. I missed you.

    I’ll miss you Wednesday too. But maybe not Saturday because we’re moving. I’ll TRY to miss you on Saturday though. Promise.

  7. I absolutely loved meeting you. I’ll happily participate in your sticker campaign 🙂
    I hear you. I really do. It took until Saturday night for me to really get to my breaking point, so I’m so sorry I didn’t get to hug you good bye! It was all just so much. But I’m so glad I was there. And that you were there. And your art… gorgeous.

    1. YAY for meeting each other and thanks for being willing to do the sticker campaign!

      And I’m sorry we didn’t get to hug goodbye or spend a little extra time together BUT I was glad for the time we had. You rock!

  8. Wow. I’m impressed by your ability to put all those big, conflicting emotions into words.

    You and I? Seems to me that we have much in common under the surface. Much.

    1. Well flat adrienne didn’t have much under the surface but we connect pretty well so I’m not surprised.

      In all seriousness, thank you. For your kindness. I’m glad we have much in common. It’s so terribly boring to be unique and alone.

  9. “A mix between feeling terminally unique and the struggle of writing humor without curse words, being liberal and God-happy, having wildly shocking stories without having tattooed them on my body. The pressure of having to prove myself as important.”

    Oh, honey, do I ever identify with most of that. I’m glad that moment passed for you and that you had a (mostly) great time!

    1. That’s so cool. Because I really WANT to be the same online as in person (as much as any of us can be of course).

      And I adore you too. Mostly because you’re an amazing person.

  10. I felt left out as you all headed to BlogHer but I am not sure I could have handled this all.

    You are very important, Alex! Be yourself always and know that we all love you – whether we were there or not.

    1. I wish that I could’ve met you. And I totally understand feeling left out, but it definitely wasn’t a super picnic there too. It takes a ton of perspective or being a seasoned veteran to handle it gracefully.

      Thanks for the love. Hugs back!

  11. I loved this post. I adored meeting you. You are so warm and genuine and lovely.

    And I cried – I made it until Friday night before the meltdown hit – a tidal wave of gratitude, fear, insecurity and wonder. What an experience it was to look up from my tears surrounded by bloggy people I only knew virtually before, who I now call friend.

    I’m grateful to have found your blog, too. And thanks for the dancing. To my surprise one of the highlights of my trip was dancing at Sparklecorn – just a rushing release of energy amongst all the stifling small talk.


    1. It was one of my highlights as well. I LOVE dancing.

      And I’m so glad that we met too!! It’s wonderful to have you in my bloggy world! And thank you for the kind words too.

  12. See Al? You did have a good experience. I knew you would. I can’t wait to hear how S faired with the kids. Did his helicopter crash again? Were the children flesh colored upon your return? Dish the dirt.

    1. Oh Walt. Always right.

      Scott did okay. N did have a fall and bruise and scratches on her forehead. Of course, I was in charge today and she got an even worse one so I can’t even make fun of him. Stupid universe.

    1. It was so great to meet you too! Y’all threw a great party!

      And just to be clear: I kept my sash on for my walk back to the hotel (because DUH! Cool sash!) and no one on the street cared. But a few bloggers leaving the hotel? WOW. They must’ve perfected that look while vlogging about us pathetic stay-at-home moms.

      But I just used my ninja housewife broom maneuver and we’re good. They even follow me on Twitter now. Because they HAD to.

      (okay I’m stopping now)

  13. Are you glad that you went though? I love your tips too…especially the ones about treating the little bloggers the same as the big bloggers. I’m thinking of going to Blogher 2011, but the more I read about everybody’s experiences, the more I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t go!

    1. I am glad that I went. I actually feel better and better about it as we move further away from it. If you had asked me Thursday I would’ve sniffled: I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY I’M HERE. WASTE OF MONEY.

      Like I’m not sure whether to go to BlogHer 2011. But I think that in a month I’ll probably end up buying a ticket.

      I don’t think that I could tell how the experience will affect me or my blog or my writing for at least another few weeks. Ask me again?

      I think that you won’t know if it’s for you unless you try it once.

  14. You’re back! That makes my world spin a little happier just knowing you’re in the vicinity. Wow! Sounds like it was overwhelming at times but a great growing and learning experience. And “Yes Please!” to the swag. Let’s go out soon and binge on whatever you binge on…since you don’t do chocolate I’m not sure what’s left. Can one binge on tea? Seems like it’d be counter productive. Love to you girl! Wish I could have been your wing man.

    1. Aw, thanks. I’m glad to be home too and will definitely hook you up with the swag. You’ll be like a walking billboard when I’m done sticker-ing you up. Or are we going for subtle?

  15. So glad we met. I look forward to reading your blog. Conferences can kill a girl. I’m still recovering. . I plan to watch at least eight episodes of the Golden Girls tonight.

  16. see? the fantastically awesome thing about you is that you are you in blog life as you are in real life. and that, my friend, is more appreciated than you know.

    the crying is really annoying, isn’t it? well, at least i was annoyed (by myself….not you…oh crap, do I EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE ANYMORE….)

    1. aw, thanks. i’m so relieved to hear that since it’s really important to me to blog honestly. the hubs has even called me out on a few things before I’ve posted which i’ve appreciated.

      crying is annoying BUT I pretty much do it once a week so I’m used to it — during pregnancy? I’m out of control. I cried when US soccer made it’s first world cup goal in 2006. I don’t even LIKE soccer.

    1. SO COOL!! I’m glad that it comes off positive because I really think everyone should go at least once. You don’t know if it’s for you if you never go! Maybe we’ll get to MEET! (although im like 50/50 with going right now — it’s FAR AWAY in some land called California)

  17. holy wow, Alex…

    i was not there, i do not even have a blog… but why am i getting those nerve-wracking, college-orientation weekend feelings all over me?? you know, looking forward to it forever, can’t wait to be there on my own, on my OWN, ready for the big world, stepping out of my little pond and what THE??? surrounded by 18 yr olds who had traveled the world, published books, knew 40 other people there already, shopped fashion week for their orientation wardrobe, oh and and released their own CD’s (after their world tour) last year – what the state school whaaaa?

    deep breath… you’re back home… you’re loved… you’re HOME.
    and in a week or so I’m sure you’ll reflect on millions of things you’ve learned, discovered, unearthed, been repulsed by, aspired to, etc…
    can’t wait to hear about it all : )

    meanwhile, where do i get the (kick-diaper-butt, hot-) housewife banner?
    and seriously, you had to BYOP(araphanalia?) – where does one even GET the stuff? I’m impressed. and i totally need some flair for my banner.

    1. I will get you some flair. Because your housewife sash could use a little jazzing up.

      And yes, it was a lot like a college orientation. Except some of the people had gone to orientation for like FIVE YEARS in a row and that wasn’t a BAD thing.

  18. It was great meeting you! 🙂

    Thank you for mentioning you came to my session…I didn’t notice your loud entrance. 😉 I was trying to focus on faces of friends I knew were there so that I didn’t freak out, so I didn’t get to glance around the room much.

  19. DANCE! Dude, that was so much fun! I had a good time at BlogHer, but the most ‘fun’ I had was that night just cutting it up with you. You were awesome and refreshing.

    So many conflicting feelings at that conference. Though I didn’t cry, I did skip off to read in Central Park all by myself. It was those moments that held me together.

    I was also at the breakfast with you and Annie and Gina. Now that you spell it out like that, it was a pretty hardcore table!

    1. Aw!! I had such a great time dancing with you at Sparklecorn. I was so happy you found me out there!

      And thanks for your kind words. I loved getting to know you better at BlogHer. A serious highlight for me!

  20. Well, l8enough, you were a friend to me when I walked in to that stressful People’s Party knowing no one. You and Jennifer. And I shan’t soon forget it. I thought you guys were the cool kids table, I didn’t know you were feeling lonely too!

    I still think you’re one of the cool kids, by the way.

    Best BlogHer size-up I’ve seen, by a country mile. thanks for writing it.

    1. Aw, I’m so glad that we got to meet and chat. Our conversation was post-cry so it helped to be able to reach out to someone else and stop thinking of my own stuff.

      You are a cool kid too. We just needed to find each other!

      And your kind words about this post mean so much. Thank you thank you!!

  21. Meeting you and F*ck Yeah Motherhood on Friday night was a high point for me. I was so happy and grateful to see familiar, friendly faces on Saturday morning. I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better.

  22. “Be nice no matter how big or small the blogger is (even though the bigger bloggers may assume you are a climber and the little blogger may assume that you are not climbable enough and both may blow you off in succession. mostly they will say hi and appreciate kindness. or be talked about behind their backs.)”

    Oh my gosh did you just tell it.
    I hear you, sister.

    How did I miss this post 2 years ago??

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