I used to be a very high-strung person.
Which is a nice way of saying I had a stick up my butt a lot of the time.
While I wasn’t always aware of this, as I got older I started to notice it more and more. I’ve never been terribly spontaneous. I wasn’t really a go-with-the-flow type. I liked plans and deadlines and when people suddenly changed things up I got quiet and resentful.
But somewhere along the line things have changed.
Now people tell me I am relaxed or laid-back. And part of me finds this hysterical, as it is the exact opposite of how I was for so long. I haven’t really believed them most of the time. I assume they just haven’t been introduced to that part of me yet.
But my days in New York City at BlogHer may finally have proved to me that I have actually turned into a laid-back person.
I have been incredibly lucky to get to know a whole slew of amazing bloggers here in Boston. They are experienced and well-connected and professional and generally wonderful. They have been full of advice. They have been generous with invitations. And without them I probably would’ve been completely clueless. Their help gave me a lot of confidence.
I came in without a clear set of goals or priorities.
Did you get that?
I did not have goals. I did not decide what I wanted to get out of the conference. I did not have a list of people to meet.
I did have a calendar that looked like this:
I don’t think I’ve had a calendar that full since I started using Google Calendar.
This should have stressed me out. How would I decide which sessions to attend? How would I handle scheduling conflicts?
Instead I just… well… I just did whatever I felt like doing at that particular moment.
I spent a lot of the time walking around by myself. (This may have had a little bit to do with the fact that I went 24 hours without my phone receiving anyone’s text messages and kept wondering why all my friends had forsaken me.)
I skipped parties. On Thursday night I sat in my hotel room in my pajamas watching the end of gymnastics. Yes, instead of partying or drinking or chatting with random people I met in the elevator, I sat in my hotel room like a loser. And you know what? I liked it.
On Friday I randomly met Laura and we ditched the parties to go have a great sushi dinner and some great conversation.
On Saturday my sister and I went to a Broadway show. I am a theater lover and when it came down to it, I couldn’t let the chance to see One Man, Two Guvnors pass me by.
I showed up to my first BlogHer party an hour before BlogHer ended. I had a great time and got just enough partying and just enough tipsy giggling with my roommates before bed to get my fill.
Also: I didn’t go to a single session on Saturday. Not sweating it. They’ll be online so I can get all my SEO info and my Google Analytics help.
And I missed all the keynotes.
I unloaded most of my swag before I came home.
I did have a few fabulous lamb gyros from the halal truck outside. I made a few passes at the expo halls and talked to only a small number of choice brands. I think I may be one of the few who feels like they got some really strong connections out of it.
I talked to friends in the hallways, in the elevators, on the street, in the lobby. I tapped bloggers I’ve never met on the shoulder and introduced myself. I was the first at nearly every table I sat at to say hi and pass around my business cards.
I did kind of blow it on recruiting for Red Letter Reads, my upcoming book review site, but that’s my only regret. (Tell your friends!)
You guys. I think I’ve gone from a tightly wound spring to a bowl of jiggly jello.
And I’m okay with that.