People who need people.
Are the LUCKIEST PEOPLE in the world.
Or so says Barbra Streisand.
I never thought I needed people. Not really. I was a friend to many but good friend to few. Very few. I’m not sure what kept me from have deep personal connections but good friends, for me, don’t come along often. I’m a misfit.
But never at a blogging conference. The blogging world is full of misfits and these are my people.
They may have a pretty and poised exterior but underneath there is something that connects them to me. I just know it. The trick is finding that connection.
Every conference I vow to do a better job of that and I’d say that this year I did. I had a lovely time with so many people and for the first time in a long time, I can say that I really feel like I made new friends. But I don’t have the photographic evidence to necessarily prove that.
I think that’s a positive. I was so busy at BlogHer13 talking to people. Sometimes talking at them (sorry – I know I tend to blather on). But mostly talking with them. And the conversations were so good and so genuine that I didn’t even stop to say hey, let’s take a picture and capture this moment. I just enjoyed the moment.
I did also have moments that I was enjoying when I did stop to snap a pic. Nothing too fancy. Usually just a casual “here’s my iPhone now look up and smile” kind of pic. And I think I ended up with a nice cross-sample anyway.
First, there’s Anne. Anne who blogs at AnneHogan.net. Anne who’s never met a stranger. Anne who volunteered to be my roommate for the second year in a row. Anne who won a $12k shopping spree from Yappem.
With a little self-timer magic, we were finally able to capture our two lovely selves headed out for the evening.
And again in the cab because why not?
And again in front of the Chicago River because I think we were trying to win something from McDonald’s.
Then there’s lovely Tracy who blogs at Sellabit Mum. Tracy who won the GIGANTIC dollhouse perfectly sized for American Girl dolls. Tracy who makes me glad I don’t have daughters and glad that she does. Why doesn’t everyone in the world know Tracy?
Tracy was my date for the Big Toy Book/Toy Insider look at the new Disney Infinity game. It’s never a dull moment with Tracy.
And lucky for me, she sat next to some of my very favorite people, Nicole from Sisters from Another Mister, Anne from Not a Super Mom, and Gigi from Kludgy Mom.
In fact, I couldn’t get enough of Nicole all weekend. It seemed I ran into her everywhere I went from the very first night sipping wine at the Sheraton to the Sunday after the conference at the Virtual Piggy brunch.
My experience at BlogHer is always like that. There are a few people that I see at first and then I see them over and over again all weekend. It gives everything a nice sense of familiarity. Like with MJ Tam of Chicagonista. She was one of the first big deals that I met back in 2010 at my first BlogHer so it was pretty awesome to run into her over and over.
Speaking of big deals, I ran into Adam Keats of Weber Shandwick fame. He reminded me that I needed to take my turn on Words with Friends (BlogHer admittedly puts me off my regular gaming schedule).
I also ran into some of my favorite friends like Lizz Porter from Am I A Funny Girl? We’re both Shaklee bloggers so we, of course, told each other how skinny we looked and then turned a blind eye to any food or drink that may have been consumed for the rest of the weekend.
I was so excited to run into Merry from Merry About Town, my American-Canadian friend. Or is it Canadian-American? We first met in San Diego two years ago and talked about how we’re going to deny our aging by simply becoming hot (I’ll let you know if I figure out how to do that).
And I got to hang out with one of my favorite McDonald’s people, Megan, from Golin Harris. You may have seen her in years past wearing a paper bag on her head. This year, we sipped wine, ate elegant appetizers, and talked about our mutual love of McDonald’s.
And then NEW FRIENDS! Yay for new friends! I found a true camaraderie backstage at the Voices of the Year event. I was first and Jc from The Animated Woman was second so we sat together and jangled our nerves and hugged each other when we finally walked offstage.
Then I got hugged by someone else backstage. I feigned excitement as I walked away thinking who is this person that just hugged me and why does she look familiar. Then OMG. It’s Adrienne from No Points for Style! I’ve “known” Adrienne for years and just adore her as a writer. Even better? She’s delightful in person too.
I also hugged Kim (Thien-Kim) of I’m Not the Nanny after her awesome reading. We’re considered DC bloggers so we were just basking in the awesomeness together. Side note: Don’t ask her about her nationality.
While BlogHer was big, it just didn’t feel big. In fact, this year was the most intimate it’s ever felt for me. Which made it easier to find faces I knew but never really knew. Like Maria from Tough Cookie Mommy. We’ve known each other online forever and now I feel totally comfortable fake-punching her and saying, “Hey, Tough Cookie!”
And then magic happens. You party hop, have one too many glasses of wine, have the hey-I-know-you moment and suddenly you feel like you’ve been friends forever. Such is the case with Jo from Media Mum. She let me use my bad Australian accent most of the night and I’m pretty sure we laughed ourselves silly, two nights in a row.
And I have to give a final and special shout out to the girls in my “inner circle.” The ones that let me blow off anxiety, steam, giggles, or whatever else. Shell from Things I Can’t Say, Ashley from My Front Porch Swing, Jen from Born Just Right, Anne, Tracy, and Kate from The Guavalicious Life.
The people continue to make this conference what it is and I was so thrilled to have so many wonderful conversations with people I didn’t take pictures of like Daune, Kristen, Kristin, Kristin, Kristi (popular name in blogging, I guess), Neil, Marty, Jen, Jasmine, Alexandra, Shannon, Zackery, Erin, Michelle, Miss Lori, and all the other people that I met including the random bloggers that shared cabs with me.
BlogHer13 did not disappoint in the people department and I can’t wait to see more of you next year!