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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Whenever several thousand women gather together in close quarters, you're gonna find a ton of hairspray. And high heels. And gossip. And gutsiness. The whirlwind that was BlogHer '10 left me feeling completely in need of home. I loved my four days in New York, especially since I met so many amazing women, but oh, how ready I felt to see my husband and Tongginator again.
I did grow in some amazing ways during the conference. But... but... I don't know that I would have had fun if I arrived solo, without a group of friends at my side. Lots of incredible, gifted women attended BlogHer '10, women with values similar to my own, seeking to build friendships while at the same time expressing themselves simply because they love to write. Lots of entitled, what's-in-it-for-me women also attended BlogHer, women desperately searching for swag, seeking to impress with their clothes, blog stats and one-upmanship.
Frankly, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
I'm glad I attended, but I am glad to be home, too. Mostly I'm glad that God taught me an amazing lesson, namely that I should not judge books by their covers, and that it's a waste of time trying to shove people into little boxes. This past weekend I shared a room with a birthmother who smokes, sports at least four tattoos and probably disagrees with me on many major social and religious issues. She also has the kindest heart imaginable, a wise outlook on life, and a graceful way of moving, of speaking, of living that puts even Audrey Hepburn to shame. I met a Southern Baptist preacher's wife from Texas who sports dreads and a nose ring. And I met a woman I thought I could respect - because she dresses like me and talks like me and shares a similar life story - but who ended up being one of those entitled one-uppers that disappointed me so.
I know, I know. But I'm just saying...
Through it all, God taught me that boxes? Are a waste of time. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. That's what I need to strive to do, not only during a weekend of craziness away from the realities of life, but for every moment of every day, no matter if I'm standing in line at the grocery store or reading another person's blog.
What's amazing about meeting blogging friends face-to-face is that you already know the essence of the person... sort of. You think you know, but you can never be sure until you stand toe-to-toe with them, feeling deep in your soul whether or not they are the real deal. But - once you ascertain that simple fact - then your friendship rapidly fast-forwards into a soul-rich, deep and abiding relationship. Because blogs share our histories and our hearts.
I'm so glad of that.
I'm glad that I attended with friends. I would have been miserable if I had arrived at the conference solo. It's difficult to develop relationships with others while wandering among over two thousand women, many of whom are only looking for free stuff and Big Name Bloggers. I'm all for connecting with others, but there is a difference between wanting to make new friends and professional connections and simply trying to Sell Your Blog.
I don't want people reading here who only stop by because they think I can do something for them. News flash, y'all... I am a nobody. I don't have pull with anyone. I can't give you marketing tips or help you raise your stats. All I can do is share my life with y'all... hopefully give you a little chuckle... and, on Sundays, give you a bit of adoption information to ponder, from all members of the community.
Because that's all I'm about. Truly.
Although I really would have liked to have met Pioneer Woman. *blush*