I have like five dozen different BlogHer posts banging around this head of mine...like one with funny anecdotes of drunk bloggers, others with reasons why you should go next year if you didn't this year, informational posts with the nuts and bolts of the conference itself (because despite all the posts and photos to the contrary, there actually was a serious conference going on), linky posts full of who I met and how fabulous they are. Giveaways of some swag I don't need. Oh, and juice on the Big Bloggers.
And I'll get to those, at least some of them. Later.
But for now, I just want to tell you one big HUGE reason why I loved the weekend, and how I've come away changed. Honestly, like it was some uber-spiritual revelatory retreat weekend or a summer camp where I lost my virginity (not that I experienced either of those, but I imagine they'd be similar).
I kept waiting to become overwhelmed with anxiety, or shyness, or vertigo, or something. What I ended up being overwhelmed with, right from the beginning, is a sense of being surrounded by kindred souls.
You know how in your "real" life if you start talking about your blog to a friend their eyes start to glaze over? Or they get a confused look on their face?
You know how in your "real" life you have to go through a bunch of verbal gymnastics when you try to explain to others how these people you know online are definitely not a bunch of big hairy perves? That they really are friends in the truest sense?
You know how in your "real" life NO ONE gets what twitter is all about?
At BlogHer, I was surrounded by 999 other people who got me. I got them. We got each other...and it was crazily liberating.
It was so flipping relaxing to be amongst people who not only didn't roll their eyes when the word "blog" was mentioned, but instead wanted to hear about it. And who had a blog of their own that you wanted to hear about. With whom you could exchange your bloggy greeting cards and just be yourself.
Where I could just be myself.
That thought really struck me for the first time on Thursday night as I rode a shuttle from the Westin to the Alltop/Kirsty party in Atherton (at Guy Kawasaki's house). Apparently the party was in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, because the shuttle drivers kept getting lost.
I was sitting next to VDog who knows the area well and kept saying,"Dudes, we're totally going the wrong way. We're heading away from Atherton towards Redwood City. Snap!" People (and by people I mean a shitload of big name bloggers) started whipping out iPhones and trying to locate the party and our shuttle location on google maps.
I was texting with Mrs. Flinger who was on the shuttle ahead of us...they were confirmed as definitely lost. Pretty soon we were, too.
Then the fun really started...the bus did about seventeen U-turns. It was a two lane highway, so really they were more like 72-point turns. Curb-hitting, cars honking, bloggers complaining turns.
After the third U-turn there was a collective groan followed by a silent split second, which was broken when Laid-Off Dad announced, "Let's all tweet this RIGHT NOW!"
Everyone burst out laughing...that's when I had my mini-epiphany. It's a rare crowd where someone could say that and everyone gets it.
It was so nice to be got.