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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Last Post on BlogHer... I Promise

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.

Because ugh.

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*


Alyson and Ford said...

Enjoyed reading about your wonderful trip. Sounds like it was worth it just to meet some of our bloggy friends. I have so many that we have followed for so long and would love to meet (including you!). Raising our family and sharing the love, keeping home our home. You guys are amazing and I was glad to read about your experiences.
And Yes, I would ave sought out PW!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Claudia said...

loved this post.

Aus said...

Well - for all the 'things' you said your blog is about - 'news flash' back - that's why we read you!! We're just a bunch of 'average folk' who like to share our stories....that's the 'idea' of blogging - at least from my chair....but then again, I'm a nobody too!

hugs - glad it was good for you - aus and co.

Dawn said...

I like you just the way you are... and probably wouldn't be reading your blog if you were one of "those" bloggers.

Be blessed!

pickel said...

This is why I love you.

Georgia Peach said...

Oh, cool! You went. Neato. I don't think I would have enjoyed that event...UNLESS I attended with you. Now, THAT would be fun!

Oh, if only people could be put into boxes. It certainly would simplify some things. Sometimes I wish I fit in a box....but then I start thinking what an odd-shaped box that would be!

Patty O. said...

So, so true! isn't it amazing that no matter how old we get, we can still revert back to the ways of high schoolers? I mean, with the worrying what people will think, the trying to impress others, etc. Good for you for being so level-headed and sincere! That's why I will always love your blog!

Stefanie said...

I can just imagine. I rrrrreally don't like folks like that are simply self-serving, I can see why part of you was ready for HOME :)
Sounds like you did meet some wonderful people, though! LOVE when God helps us to see how TRUE His word really is! We just studied that verse in Samuel last Sunday, thanks for the wonderful reminder :)

Suzy said...

I'm glad you didn't go to NY & decide you wanted to change who you are (apart from deciding against boxing). We love you just the way you are (sensory issues, words w/friends playing, loving mom & wife that you are).

Sandra & Steve said...

I have to say, now that I've found your blog I read it all the time. I deeply value your posts and your Sunday Linkage. Like you I don't always agree but I read and learn. For me that's what I enjoy about reading others blogs, diversity, knowledge, a glimpse into insight. Thanks!

Carla said...

You know, that sounded a LOT like the big photography convention I went to this year (10,000+ photographers), and so much one up-man-ship going on. It made my heart hurt, but made me doubly glad for the REAL people, the ones who care about each person and want to just be themselves.


I so would have enjoyed being there with you! :)

harding swing said...

That's what I like about you--you are a real person who just talks to me through your blog. Thanks for that.

prechrswife said...

Excellent post...

Larissa said...

Dear TM,

I’ve read your blog since may 3rd when Tara Livesay shared your “Love and adoption” post on her facebook and this my first coment here.
I’m neither an adoptive mom nor a birth mom; actually I’m not even married. But after I came here for the first time somehow I couldn’t stop reading your blog, day after day.
I love the way you write and how you make fun of things. Although I feel a lot more closer to Miss Tongginator when it comes to pink and sparkle clothes, I am a totally fan of your blog.
So, what I want to highlight is:
I came here randomly clicking on a link adoption related simply because I feel connected with the subject;
Since then, I couldn’t stop coming back just because reading your blog make my day a little bit better;
Reading you explaining The Tongginator’s issues as speaking and responding as an adult really helped me figure out a lot that happened when I was a child, things I didn’t imagine that existed nor did my mom;
Your blog for me, at least, really did something. And I keep coming back because you keep doing something. Maybe not the something that people from BlogHer would like from you. But just the way I, and many other readers, need.
Thank you for the amazing blog!!!
Larissa Boechat.

anymommy said...

Your are so insightful. Hope you got into CheeseburgHer with that borrowed party pass ;-)

Special K said...

Valuable lessons. Thanks for the reminder.

Marla said...

YIKES, I just read back through your posts and I cannot believe your stuff got STOLEN!!! UGH!!! I am so sorry, I'd have shed a tear, too. I know it's just "stuff" but I've have been sad (and pissed).

Glad you had a great time at BlogHer, I've read some not-so-nice accounts of the weekend so I'm glad you were there with friends and had fun.

Sorry you didn't get to meet PW, I'd LOVE to meet her one of these days too. I'm guessing she rocks. :)

Patricia/NYC said...

Point blank: I love this post!

Patricia/NYC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia/NYC said...

Uh, sorry, that deleted comment was me...I was so impatient & clicked enter twice, so my post came up twice...sorry!!!

Janet said...

I think that we would get along just fine. Even though I am better than you.

Kelley said...

Great food for thought...love this post!

T said...

psh. YOU are not a nobody. and I think you've put it very well, when I hit CBC I had some of the same reactions...

Yes, I'd LOVE it if suddenly everyone was gaga over my blog - really, it would be awesome BUT I still would prefer to make a few really amazing friends over being the next big thing.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

hey, you know what's really annoying? when you write a really long comment and it. goes. away. Anyway, we like YOU not the person who can get us a new ipad. . .although. . . : )

As for your selection of friends, it sounds as diverse and interesting as mine. Glad you enjoyed BlogHer and glad you are still "keeping it real." (Wow. I'm such a dork. Who says keeping it real nowadays?) [hangs head in shame]

Mamatini said...

Whew! I'm just catching up after vacation and the flurry of back-to-school prep, and I have to say re: BlogHer: all of this just confirms why I read your blog.

-because Joan Cusack playing you explains why I like you so much! Joan Cusack rocks!

-I have experienced those self-important, one-uppers myself during way too many professional conferences in my 'previous' life. And I had the same reaction.

-that you were nervous about going to BlogHer and went anyway and were so honest about your reaction.

Oh, and you give us plenty! I don't need marketing tips, but I do want to know where you got that cute skirt!

Shirlee McCoy said...

I feel the same way every time I go to a writing conference. It is very draining. As a matter of fact, I could have written this exact same post (well, except for the fact that I don't really know who Pioneer Woman is and spent my time wishing I could meet Debbie Macomber) when I got home from Orlando.

Everyone I thought was like me, wasn't, and the erotica writer who volunteered with me was much more open and real than a lot of the inspirational authors I talked to.

I've been spitting that bad taste out of my mouth for over a week.

But, I'm off topic. I just wanted to tell you that the next time you attend a blog conference, I'll sneak in and stalk you. When the police came and dragged me away, I will shout, "But I MUST meet Tonggu Mommy. I MUST."

And then you will feel very famous and loved( and slightly creeped out)! ;0)

Sharie said...

So glad you found out who the real people are and spent your time having fun and making new friendships stronger:)

Asianmommy said...

I'm so glad that we had a chance to say hello at BlogHer. Hope to see you next year in San Diego!