But some amazing things happened that changed how I see myself.
I’m a big girl now.
The fact I had to fly to Chicago, all by my lonesome, was kind of a big deal.The coolest thing was getting on the plane, dressed in my little button-down blouse and cardigan, my hair pulled back, with my small black carry-on when the steward immediately said, “You must be traveling for business.” That’s right, I was mistaken for a lady executive. And I actually started believing it too. It felt awesome!
When I checked into the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, I dutifully took the first room they offered. The room was dark, worn, and lifeless with nary a view and I thought they must have given me the worst room in the hotel. I reminded myself not to be such a diva, I’ll only be in there to change and sleep, so I began to unpack. With every passing minute I realized this room was seriously depressing and not the place I wanted to rest my weary head or steal a few moments of peace after experiencing the conference frenzy all day. Diva won.
I made my way back to the registration desk and begged in my sweetest, most desperate voice, “That surely with such a lovely lobby, they must have some newly refurbished rooms, and perhaps they would be so kind as to let me switch to one since mine is kind of sad looking?”
Within seconds, the lovely woman behind the desk produced me with a new set of keys to my shiny new room with a gorgeous view of the city and Lake Michigan peeking through the buildings. I practically bear hugged her. Usually, my husband handles all the check-in details with great glee, so I felt tremendous pride in fixing this myself. (You’re now just realizing I live in a little bubble, right?!)
After settling into my lovely room and unpacking yet again, I proceeded to walk to the nearest Starbucks and felt my wings of independence puffing up. Sometimes just stepping out of your comfort zone into the big world is the best shot of confidence and inspiration you can give yourself. I highly recommend it.
What I learned at BlogHer:
Aside from the some of the amazing sessions where I learned about humor writing, newspaper syndication, and midlife blogging, theses are what stood out most.
1) Taking not one, but two cell phone battery chargers was a stroke of genius.
2) The best action was in the bar or small, intimate meals, where you could actually have a meaningful conversation and get to know someone. I developed friendships and made more contacts than at any of the large parties.
3) That we’re all in the same boat: Everyone gets writer’s block sometimes, humor writers worry if they’re pieces are funny enough, if at all, and that many of our husbands think we spend too much time in front of the computer.
4) All the time spent fretting over what to wear really didn’t matter. The full spectrum of fashion was represented and it didn’t matter one bit. I know it sounds corny, but your smile is your best accessory.
5) I wish I would have taken more photos of all the lovely women I was lucky to spend time with. I miss their smiling faces and cherish the time we were together.
6) Pace yourself. If you’re anything like me, you might need some downtime between the day’s activities and evening’s events.
This is what I schlepped in my purse just in case you’re wondering what you might need:
What to bring:
Cellphone and charger or battery pack, iPad or laptop with charger, business cards (I brought 250 as many suggested, though I still have plenty left over), pen, a Sharpie for writing on business cards, notepad, reading glasses, snacks, water, and lipstick.
What to wear:
During the day I wore nice jeans, a cute top, a sweater (the A/C is usually blasting), and comfortable flats (you’re on your feet a lot and might be walking long distances). (FYI, you’ll see everything from yoga pants to summer dresses.) For night, if there was time to change, I’d slip into a wrap dress, a sweater, and wedge sandals. Main thing is wear something you that makes you feel good and that you’re comfortable in.
Hope to see you in New York for #BlogHer15!