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I Want To Be Awkward With You At BlogHer ’12 (UPDATED)

I'm going to BlogHer '12I’ve decided to attend BlogHer ’12 in New York City and be excited.

If you read me back in 2010, you know this isn’t my first time anticipating attending the biggest women’s blogging conference. However, if you read my obligatory wrap-up on BlogHer ’10, I didn’t go home excited. I was just excited to be home.

It’s not that I hated it. I met people who were nice and weird and mean and popular and unknown. Maybe that’s part of it, there are SO MANY BLOGGERS, I felt very small and kept losing perspective especially when there was yet another super-cool brand-sponsored party to which I wasn’t invited. Plus, everyone I knew cried at some point during the conference. I did on Thursday night (i.e., my first night at the conference) — I’m an early adapter.

Even with my mixed feelings as to whether BlogHer ’11 was worth the physical and emotional trip, I bought a ticket, submitted to speak on a panel, didn’t get picked up but was encouraged to change it to a ROYO (which are voted on panels with final approval by BlogHer). I was flattered, but between that and the weekend being difficult to make happen with Scott’s work schedule, I gave away my ticket on my blog as a thank you. Mostly, as a thank you for going because HOORAY I got to stay home.

In August 2011, I was happy to follow the tweets, miss all the fun, and DM people who needed a little virtual hug when the tears came as was done for me back in 2010. Well, until Saturday. For whatever reason, I got sad on Saturday. Maybe it was @ksluiter’s tweets that sent me over the edge. I wanted to meet her. (still do!)

Comparing 2010 to 2011, it was easier to stay home so I decided that I was not going to BlogHer ’12. Then I won Everything Mom’s BlogHer ticket giveaway. (Yes, I entered the giveaway, BUT I didn’t expect to win. What? I’m a complex person.) I still thought I could give the tickets away until I found out that my friend, Carrie, who has worked with me for years at This Blogger Makes Fun of Stuff, had a spot in her room and wanted to be my roommate even after I reviewed all my eccentricities with her. (I emailed twice afterwards to be sure.)

Everything fell into place and I remembered that easy is not alway better. Also, I figured IT’S A SIGN FOR THE BLOGGING GODS so I bought a train ticket to NYC.

This year, I’m okay with my excitement for BlogHer because I have much more perspective at this point in my blogging life. And by “perspective,” I mean “the worst-case scenario is that I hide in my hotel room and work on my book (that is not based on my blog thankyouverymuch), and the best-case scenario is I get to meet super sweet bloggers like Jessica and Erin and see just-as-cool-in-person-people like @TheNextMartha again.

Plus, I look forward to free stuff because FREE STUFF!, which in 2010 I mailed to random freaders (friend+reader) like Kristin so let’s do that again.

If you’ve gotten this far, you are probably going to BlogHer ’12, too.

To you new attendees or scared attendees: I would LOVE to meet you or re-meet you. I am probably pretending to be on my phone anyway. Interrupt me. Join me for lunch. Yes, the seat next to me is open at this panel of bloggers who make me starry-eyed, too.

Honestly, I have never been upset at someone for introducing themselves to me unless they introduce themselves and follow it up quickly with WOW YOU ARE SO UGLY/ANNOYING/IN MY WAY.

I’ll be easy to spot as my hair has a giant red streak in it now.

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Ta-da!

However, you can’t find me in person at BlogHer, tweet me, DM me, Facebook message me: WHERE ARE YOU? I’m probably hiding in my room and would love for you to hide with me or give me an excuse to reenter the world.

In fact, the best way for us to hang out is to hit up me beforehand in these comments or email me (alex{at}lateenough{dot}com). Ill trade phone numbers with you. I’ll invite you along. I’ll hold your hand. I believe in inclusively. I don’t care how awkward you are. You are always enough to me, and I’m at my best when I’m getting to be helpful and nerdy with you.

Oh, and if you like to dance, YOU MUST FIND ME. I love dancing and basically, stalked other dancers at Sparklecorn ’10 because I like to shake my booty (with my mouth wide open as that picture proves) and most of the people I knew did not. I’d love a partner or 15 since I pretty much never leave the dance floor unless country music is accidentally played. Even then, I do a mean air-banjo.

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OR ELSE!

UPDATE: If you want to talk to me BEFORE the conference about being socially awkward, I’m hosting the socially awkward room for MommyNaniBooBoo’s BlogHer ’12 chat. Join us by clicking this link on Thursday 7/26 at 9:30 p.m. EST:
http://ontheair.com/Mommynanibooboos-Blogher12-Chat/

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 LateEnough.com, 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.

50 thoughts to “I Want To Be Awkward With You At BlogHer ’12 (UPDATED)”

  1. up until this very instant I wasn’t all that sad about not going this year because like you, I was just excited to be home after last year.

    now? I feel a bit of a tug of sadness at my heart.

    Next year. This has been put in our back pocket.

    Also? feel free to DM me if you need hugs this year. Because yours got me threw my scaries last year.

  2. Oh yay! I’m so excited to meet you! I will the one peering at name tags because I am horrible with faces/bloggers who don’t look exactly like their avatars. I don’t remember if I cried last year. It was so scary and confusing and whirly. I definitely cried when I got home. From relief.

  3. I think it’s great you are going! Why take the easy road and be comfortable at home. Often times I will not do things I am actually feeling called to do because it is scary and unknown and I DON’T WANT TO FAIL! Not saying you are/were doing this, but you have such a great big voice and others need to learn from you and hear you in a safe unassuming non-judgy kind of way…makes up for the mean people in the room. :o)

  4. We will dance. That’s my BlogHer goal this year, to dance.
    Only you’ll have to tweet or email me. My Canadian phone will be disabled, US roaming for us is outrageous. Or I can tweet you. Either way, dancing.

    1. Oh yes! We talked about dancing once before, right? My brain is moving slow around BlogHer (hence this post going up only a few weeks before the conference). We will tweet/FB our way to the dance floor and you won’t be able to get off until the DJ stops. (or we fall asleep) YAY!

  5. Alex I will always remember you being so kind to me at BlogHer 10 when I walked up to you and said hi, can I please sit with you. It’s so hard to break in. But it’s worth the effort. See you in NYC!

  6. “Even with my mixed feelings as to whether BlogHer ’11 was worth the physical and emotional trip,”

    YES. Exactly sums up my feelings about BlogHer last year, and why I’m going again this year.

    EXACTLY. I hope to meet you, Alex, I feel such a history with you. You helped me so much with my first troll. Really: this is important shizz, girl,
    THANK YOU.

  7. I met people who were nice and weird and mean and popular and unknown.

    Yup.

    You will.

    BY FAR: the lovelies will stand out more in your memory, if you let them.

    I had lots of angels for me there at BlogHER. Mostly, *Threeinabed*.

    LOVED HER and how she held my hand.

  8. And I want to be awkward with you. Again. Though, I don’t remember you as awkward. More like kick ass. See you soon.

  9. I would like to be put on the list to be super awkward with you. Last year I just focused on speaking at VOTY and then running to my room to put my swollen 8 month pregnancy feet up and pee for the hundredth time. I missed ALL the parties because I was tired… and anti-social. This year I’m forcing myself to be social… and to DANCE! My favorite way to dance is like I’m five- it’s the best.

  10. I can’t wait to hear about the conference. I hope you find a pack of wild bloggers to hang out with you. It seems easier to show up in a group from what I have read so far. I have to admit I am a little scared for you mostly because the idea of going scares me. I am positive I would be crying at some point too. I looked at all of the speakers and classes being offered and I would LOVE to attend some of those events. Hopefully one year I will get up the courage and go too. I’m excited for you!

  11. This is the KINDEST post I’ve read about BlogHer 12. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You made me cry in Starbucks. I’m going for the first time this year, and was really starting to doubt if I had made the right decision. So thank you for sharing that even the big, established folks get scared too.

  12. I’m not going to BlogHer, but I kept reading because I was amused 🙂 If I were going or if I ever do go, you would definitely be someone I wanted to meet! And I do awkward very well. It’s a core competency.

  13. I’ve cried at every blogging conference I’ve attended. I also cry early and dance late. Cannot wait to meet you! Please, let’s dance and maybe cry in the bathroom with all of the cool girls. xoxo

  14. Ok, I am going to admit my ignorance here, but why do people attend? I’ve read several blogs of people who attend and it seems like no one has a good time. They end up feeling overwhelmed and inferior and like they aren’t doing something right. I’m asking genuinely, because even after looking at the website for the conference I still don’t know, what does one get out of attending the event? Other than stress and tears?

    Just seeing what other people have posted about them, I’m thinking I’m better off sticking to anime and comic cons.

    1. I think that’s a great question and I think the answer probably depends on the blogger and the blog so I’ll try to answer for all blogs not just mine:
      1) For many blogger, particularly ones who have been around a long time, it’s a chance to see many of their online friends and since blogging circles can be pretty diverse it’s easier to have a conference that lots of friends in different groups run in than trying to do a small blog-friends get-together.
      2) The conference and networking did create a lot more contacts for me in the blogging world. I knew more people and face-to-face time can make an email asking for help or support or work a lot easier.
      3) The conference did increase my twitter following by a lot. For me, I’d rather my readership increase since I like blogging more than social networking, but for other bloggers, this is a great benefit and may have given my blog some secondary exposure.
      4) It gives the community a chance to highlight some women bloggers, which depending on where one falls in the speaking/awards/panels can be a plus or minus I guess. Being chosen in 2010 in 2 different Voices of the Year categories did help my confidence as a blogger especially since I had only been blogging for 7-8 months at the time.
      5) Some of the panels were very helpful eg. learning that even big and honest bloggers drew lines for their private life helped me continue to maintain my lines.
      6) The networking lead to my first paid piece because of an announcement someone happen to make at a panel I attended before the opportunity was common knowledge. So I’m the accidental networker
      7) For some bloggers, they have appointments with brands and get jobs ops or going makes them seem more legit/serious to companies.
      8) Some bloggers are paid to go for brands — hard to pass up a free trip to NYC.
      9) It’s very interesting to meet some people in person and was a great remind why I try so hard to be as authentic as possible in my blog (although I’m a funnier writer than I am in person which I’m sure is disappointing).
      10) Cool free stuff (I got a vacuum last time. Seriously.)
      I think that covers it as far as I have read and talked to other bloggers and my own experience. Hope that helps.
      Ps. I really want to attend a Comic Con but I’m intimidated.

      1. Thank you! That really is helpful. I still think it would be a while before I would attend one just because I don’t think of my blog as “legitimate” at this point. I mean it’s legitimate in that I write about genuine and authentic things, but I don’t pursue any kind of money making options at this point. Maybe that doesn’t play in legitimacy, but I guess I kind of equate it to the whole getting published thing. But I just kept reading so many people talk about how stressed out and crappy they felt after going, and it kind of deterred me.

        And if comic cons scare you a little, go for the smaller ones first. Most areas have really good regional cons that tend to be less crowded and more affordable. Not to say the big ones aren’t amazing, because I’ll still say in a heartbeat that Celebration IV was one of the best weekends OF MY LIFE, but the little AniMinneapolis we went to last month was pretty amazing too. Something like THAT I’d be willing to go to with you. 😉

  15. I secretly really, really want to go, but I fear I’d be crying on day 1, asking myself what the hell I was doing there with all those other “real” bloggers! I’m sorry your first trip included tears, but I loved seeing your happy dance face at Sparklecorn (LOL at the double rainbow song on that vid). You’re a sweetheart to offer to hold shaky hands at the 2012 event. Hooray for Awkwardness!

  16. I’ll totally dance with you! I’ll even make you a unicorn horn so we can be extra awkward but awesome at the same time. I’m scared to death of this conference but dancing always makes me feel better…so if you need a dancing buddy come find me (hiding in the bathroom)

  17. I will come and find you on Friday night. I think I’m okay going and not being popular or invited to anything, but I’ll have to see how overwhelmed I actually feel once I get there.

  18. This makes me want to blog. But then I’d want to go to a conference, and I’d have to change out of my pj’s… so maybe I can check out the chat room. I have a totally awkward pedi/mommy question… bwhahaha!

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