To blogher or not to blogher...

BlogHer 08 125x125

So, what am I going to do?

I have to make a decision soon! I would love to attend, and it isn't even the airfare or the conference price that is making me swallow hard. It is the cost of the room! Granted, I know the Westin St. Francis, or at least I do from the outside. It is gorgeous. When I was in San Francisco in May for LUGRadio (dh was representing Inkscape, I was giving moral support, and hey, why pass up a trip to San Fran, even if it is a serious "geek conference"??) we passed the St. Francis and I oohed and ahhed and said I wanted to stay there at some point. Of course we were staying at the Mosser, which is a funky little art hotel near the Metreon, best known for "better request a room with your own bathroom or you are gonna get to know some people realllly well."

Nothing in San Francisco is cheap. It just isn't. And even with the blogher special price, the room is insanely expensive. At least it is for me, we are on a single income, since I stay home and homeschool my children. And I know all the reasons it costs too much to go: it is a splurge. But see, I really want to go.

I know I am not an A-list blogger by any stretch. I am not in the big leagues. I get maybe 150-200 hits a day on my little blog. I have had it for about three years, but because of the fire that happened in October of 2007, I stopped writing for a while. It was just too painful. I regret not pushing through and continuing to blog. Some of the women I remember reading who had started just a bit before I did are All-Top, glittering celebs now. But I never started out to get famous. I don't write pay for postings... I just write what I fancy and what is important to me. So, yeah, attending blogher might be the equivalent of being in the chess club and watching the cheerleaders from afar, but I want to give it a chance. I want to meet some of the women I tweet with. I want to talk about what makes us tick. I want to discuss how sometimes I can't sleep at night because I have a blog post in me that just has to come out. I want to see...does anyone else need to write in order to breathe? Is that strange? Am I insane? Or just mostly sane?

I have some real life friends who blog, but I don't know how serious they are about it. I am all about reading new blogs and "meeting" new writers and again, finding out how many share my passion and need to just let it all hang out. I want to know, how do they balance writing with the kids, who dammit, want to eat again? I just fed them three hours ago, what the heck? I want to know how women balance the fire in their bellies with the laundry, homeschooling, bathtime. And how do they find time to pursue their dream when every other thought is interrupted by "I'm telling!" and, "Momma!" and the only time they can write is after midnight once everyone is in bed?

I want to let my hair down and just be. I want to just hang out with women who understand and who don't look at me blankly and smile condescendingly when I start talking about why I am passionate about writing on the Internet. None of my friends in real life understand. They think it is a big time suck. And yes, it is. But it is also for me. It is something I do for me, and something I need and something that keeps me together, in so many ways. The community I have found while blogging is amazing. I am still trying to connect with bloggers in my area in the same way. It isn't easy. They're hard to find.

The Internet is a difficult thing. It is absolutely an equalizer, or at least it seems that way. So you can have a conversation, via Twitter, or through comments on a blog or even a message board, with someone and feel like you know them. But really, you don't. You know what they let you see. Take me, for instance. I might cover up the things I hate most about myself, and if all you ever do is read my blog, and never meet me in person, you would never even know. I might be loud (probably), obnoxious (sometimes, but not as a rule) overbearing (I hope not). And if I leave off those aspects of my character, how could you know? But see, if I hide from you, I am doing us both a disservice. Long before "transparency" was a buzz word in the blogging world, it has been my life's philosophy. If I pussyfoot around who I really am, how will I know if you ever really like me...for me? But I digress...

I admit it, I am scared. If I show up to blogher and meet some of the women that I read faithfully, will they even know who I am? Nothing is worse than expecting people to know who you are and they don't have a clue. I have a good memory for people, and remember them. I think because I remember what it was like to be left out in high school. And yes, it was a long time ago, a really long time ago! but I still remember. I think that is why I tend to talk to everyone, because that feeling of being left out is so awful I don't want anyone else to suffer by my making them feel that way. Believe it or not, though, I am actually somewhat shy in new situations. But I make friends easily...or at least, on this end I do. Which brings me back to...

Should I go? And that is where am stuck right now. I have the window open to register and I just keep going back and forth. I know, Megan says we are welcome but.. What if...I get stuck hanging by myself all weekend (there are worse fates for a mom of three!) What if...they aren't my kind of people? (only they are, because I blog) What if...I feel out of place among the rock stars? (but really, aren't they just moms and women?) I don't know. I don't really do contests to drive traffic...(mostly because I don't really know how to go about that, I love the women who do) and I don't have any corporate guys anxious to talk to me about representing them... I just write. Just like all bloggers do: from the heart. And maybe at the end of the day, that is the greatest equalizer of them all. Maybe, it's enough. It has to be. I'm clicking "register."

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