I heard that phrase all weekend long in my head—“you’re doing it wrong.” Actually, that voice chimed up long before August 3 (the first official day of BlogHer ’12 and the day I arrived).
A week before the conference, I started having insomnia. I did that wrong, too. I lay in bed all night long, rather than getting up like all the websites and magazines say, thinking sleep would happen if I just lay there some more. I tried melatonin. I tried zoning out to the television. It just had to pass when the time was right,and not a moment sooner.
I left packing until the night before I left. And I didn’t pack Benadryl or a sleep mask. Nor did I unpack the earplugs I brought to the hotel.
I didn’t buy new outfits. I didn’t buy a new purse, new shoes, or new makeup. I didn’t even really buy new business cards—I did take advantage of the free offer from MOO. (By the way, how cute were those MOO mini-cards?!)
I didn’t get my brows waxed—or anything else, for that matter. I didn’t get a mani/pedi. I did my toenails myself in a hurry one night before the conference. I didn’t get my hair done. In fact, I did the opposite and decided (regrettably) to grow out my cute short haircut a few weeks before BlogHer, ensuring I looked in dire need of a haircut. Whoops. At least my color was relatively fresh!
I didn’t give out enough of those cute MOO mini-cards. And because they say “BlogHer 12” on them, I have no use for them now—all 95 of them I have left.
I didn’t make time to stalk my favorite bloggers. I did get to meet several of the people on my “must hug at BlogHer ‘12” list, but I’m sad to have missed Gina, Kat, Andrea, Krystal, Dresden, Jana, JoLynne, and more!
I FaceTimed my 3-year-old. Twice. Bad move, novice conference-going momma! He repeated over and over and over, “I want you, Mom” and it nearly broke my heart. Or maybe it did a little bit. I was too tired to tell. And in my guilt, I asked him over the phone what souvenir he wanted me to bring home for him? Another bad move. He specifically requested a toy airplane, a night before the conference ended. There were no toy airplanes to be found at the Hilton. And my tired ass was too sleepy to walk or hail a cab to the Times Square Toys R Us or FAO Schwartz. So this resourceful momma asked her own mother to hit her local Target and pick up a toy plane I could pretend I bought for him in New York. Ssshh, don’t tell him. Ever. Please.
I didn’t get to the conference on Saturday until almost 3:00. The first day had worn me (and my roommates) out so much that I was in no hurry to get back there on day two. But now I realize I could have used that time more wisely to make connections with some of the bloggers I missed on day one. However, I have no regrets, as I did spend that time bonding with my lovely roommates. We visited Sabon, where we had the most relaxing and aromatic hand washing experience of our lives (and spent a lot of money).
I focused too much on sleep—how I wasn’t getting enough of it, trying to get more of it, worrying about it, etc. I should have just packed the damn Benadryl.
I didn’t drink nearly enough. I gave away my leftover drink tickets—a travesty to have leftover drink tickets, yes?
I didn’t have a slice of NY pizza or eat anything from a street cart.
I didn’t do karaoke with Amiyrah. We forgot all about our plan, made months ago with A’Driane, to hit up Amiyrah’s favorite karaoke bar. I’ve never done karaoke and was hoping to experience it for the first time among total strangers in New York City.
I didn’t attend enough sessions. I attended only one—Blogging for the Love of It. It was a good one, for the most part. It helped me realize where and who I want to be in the blogging world and what I do and do not care about.
I didn’t hear Martha Stewart or Katie Couric speak. I missed President Obama’s live talk.
But let me be clear: these are not regrets. I have no regrets about my experience at BlogHer ’12. I had a fabulous, amazing time with Melanie, Susan, A’Driane, and Amiyrah. I Skyped with Yuz and Google-hungout with Story & Lindsay. I cried with Yael. I hugged (and sorta danced with) Katherine. I finally met Jenna & Devan and some of the other women I’ve come to know, love, admire, and cherish online for years. I bumped into Amber Strocel on the dance floor, Sheila on the escalator, and Erica and Tina in the hallway (and I’m sure I’m forgetting many more). I got sparkly. I wore short dresses and learned to dislike my legs a little less. I got a massage (thank you, Melanie). I washed my hands, which may not sound like much but was one of the best (& most relaxing) 15 minutes of the weekend. I bawled during the Voices of the Year readings. I got some much needed time away from home and some perspective. I watched Susan step outside of her comfort zone (many times) and contemplated following in her footsteps and dyeing my hair hot pink, too. I got just the right amount of swag (although I did not get a vibrator, haha). I ate a $19 grilled cheese and it was fantastic. I took a train—two of them, in fact. I got reenergized about blogging, which was one of my goals for the conference. I laughed a lot.
I met my goals for attending the conference to begin with.
Hmm, so maybe I didn’t do it all wrong afterall.