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Tiaras and Trucks

Monday, January 16, 2012

Where Doubt & Bliss Collide

This is my First Blissdom!

I've traveled to Nashville countless times. I've made the journey playing with my Speak & Spell in the very back seat of my parents' minivan, napping on a plane, and driving down with our kids and hoping they wouldn't freak out in the middle of the night.  My grandparents retired there years and years ago, and my Nan still lives there, along with an aunt, an uncle, and a cousin.

This February I'll be making the drive again, my kids strapped securely in their seats.  We're already anticipating our visit with my grandma, and Abbey is talking about the pool, but this trip will be different.

For a few days, I'm taking a detour, only a few miles from where we've stayed so many times before.  Abbey and Dylan will bask in the attention of my parents and Nan, without Mommy looking at her watch around naptime or rationing the juice, and I'll set up camp at the Gaylord Opryland for a few days of Bliss.

My first blog conference.

Writing sessions and Life Development sessions jump out at me from the screen; I'm motivated just reading about them. (And can't decide between all of them.  Help!)

Friends I've e-mailed and texted and chatted with on Twitter.  People whose blogs I've read and people whose blogs I haven't.  All of us gathered together to energize our blogs and ourselves.

My first blog conference.

Hundreds of bloggers and writers and photographers in one place.  Bloggers I admire and writers who bring me to laughter and tears with their words.  Photographers who create images I would be thrilled to frame and hang in my home.

I am terrified.

Doubts nag at me as I think about business cards and packing lists and what in the world I am going to do when no one talks to me.

Fear hides behind doubt, subtler and harder to face.

I'm afraid to walk into a room and call myself a writer, without the safety of my laptop to hide behind. 

I've called myself a writer here.  But I'm doing it from the safety of my house, with the power of the backspace key and the time to step back and edit and then, finally, put my heart out for the world to read.

This feels different, and I am afraid.

Dreams that are beautiful and possible and close enough to touch from the familiarity of my desk can seem to grow insurmountable in the dazzling light of day.

I've buried this dream before, this dream of making writing something more than a hobby.  I've let my doubts and my fear crowd together, and I've stepped aside and taken other roads instead of facing my fear.

I don't want to live like that any longer.

I've taken baby steps back to this path, and now it's time to take a leap forward.

So I will pack my suitcase with my sparkly cardigan and my best attempt at comfy shoes, and I will walk into that conference with a (nervous) smile.

(And I will do it with my wonderful friend Kir.  Because I've never had a single doubt about finally getting to meet her.)

who wouldn't want to hang out with such a cool girl, right?






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Labels:

35 Comments:

  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Elena Sonnino said...

    Have I mentioned that I am jealous?  :) Seriously, you are going to have a great time. You are giving yourself a gift by going to a conference to tend to this talent of yours--being yourself is all you need to have a great time!

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous RubberChickenMa said...

    You will have a fabulous time! And, although I've never been to a blogging conference before, I can't imagine that you'll feel alone for very long.:)

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM , Anonymous Kristen said...

    Oh my goodness! If I was going you would DEFINITELY be on my people I HAVE to meet list. Just relax and be yourself...that is who we all adore, behind your laptop or states away from it!

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Oh girl. You will love it! And I can't wait to meet you! xo

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yay!  I think I will love it.  And I know I'm excited to meet YOU!

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, that is so sweet and really does make me feel better :) 

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am so excited and so nervous at the same time.  It's kind of comical in a way.

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I so wish you were coming!  We will meet one day, I know it :)

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM , Anonymous Lady Jennie said...

    I hope you have a great time.  Don't be scared.  :-)

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous Julie said...

    You will have a GREAT time --- and I for one CAN.NOT.WAIT to *FINALLY* meet you!!! YAY!!! Last year was my first year and I am ever so grateful that chose to go. :)

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 8:55 PM , Anonymous Natalie @MamaTrack said...

    So excited to finally meet you, my writer friend! It will be great. I can't wait!

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM , Anonymous molly said...

    Seriously! I cannot wait to meet you! Who are you rooming with? I still don't have any roommates :(

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm rooming with Kir, from The Kir Corner.  I'm e-mailing you right now.

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    I know that you will have so much fun and you will learn so much! It makes me sad that I won't get to see you there though.... even though we only live about an hour apart!

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:56 PM , Anonymous Julie Gardner said...

    I remember Blissdom the last time around; I was just getting my feet wet at my blog; I had just begun *meeting* people on twitter and at their sites.

    At the same time that I longed for the opportunity to attend the conference with all these fabulous people, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I wasn't ready.

    Now, I would be. I think. Maybe. (I have a lot of your same doubts and I've never even been to Nashville.

    But I know for sure it will be even harder for me this time around to read everyone's tweets and posts and facebook status updates.

    Oh how I wish I could be there with all of you...nervous, unsure, thinking no one will invite me to sit down with them...

    I will be safe in February. But I will be alone.
    So enjoy it for those of us who can't be there; who wish we were meeting you. PLEASE :-)

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 9:59 PM , Blogger Emmy said...

    I hope you have a wonderful time- I would be nervous if it was me going.

     
  • At January 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    You summed up everything I've been feeling. I'm so scared of meeting people. I'm so shy and easily intimidated. But at the same time, I am beyond excited for this conference! Oh, and the track thing? I'm so torn on them too!

    I'd love to be able to meet you there! :)

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    Here's how I feel about this...first next to YOU I look so much more important and if you continue to be my friend even after we get there (LOL) I figure the whole weekend is a success. While I am a little nervous, the women I love are all going to be there...I am going with the idea that I have nothing to prove to anyone *BUT YOU* about who I am. I want us to to just have a good time.

    I think that as long as you keep reminding yoursel that just by taking this step and going that you've SUCCEEDED we're golden. I'm NOT scared...because you're going to be there!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    I'm not sure that first line came out right...I mean that with all the IMPORTANT, IMPRESSIVE and really amazing things you do I am bound to look a lot more interesting...because I'm NOT. ;) Plus maybe your incredible writing skillz will rub off on me a little...Gosh, I hope so!!!!!!

    get that sparkly cardigan ready...and MOLLY are you rooming with us??? We'd LOVE THAT!

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Love you my friend!  I knew what you meant, though you are a thousand times WRONG about it!!

    I cannot wait, despite the fears!

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I heard you can split tracks, so I might just go with whatever session sounds most interested in each time slot? 

    I'll DM you my cell # so we can find each other when we're there!  And of course you can find me on twitter.

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I will enjoy it; I know I will.

    I think I'm ready, I do, but I am still a little intimidated by the whole thing.

    Is there time left to talk you into coming?  Any chance?  I am not opposed to bribes.

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am sad, too.  Maybe it's time to think about trying to get another Michigan blogger meet up together???

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes!  I can't wait Natalie; it's going to be so lovely to hug both you and that precious baby girl.

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I love hearing about people who went and are going back; it makes me feel more comfortable for some reason.  And I can't WAIT to meet you!!

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I will try to be unafraid.  At least outwardly ;)

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM , Anonymous Sue Campbell @ Mommy's Pen said...

    Last year was my first conference: Blogher.  It was FANTASTIC. You'll have a wonderful time and learn so much. Swallow the fear and just GO and BE.

     
  • At January 17, 2012 at 10:53 PM , Anonymous Missy | Literal Mom said...

    I'm so happy for you!  And I understand the fear - my first one's in June and I'm already scared!  YOU are going to do GREAT though.  And I can't wait to hear all the deets!

     
  • At January 23, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Anonymous Greta said...

    I'm scared too!! But, we should meet up sometime during the weekend; we can be scared together!

     
  • At January 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM , Anonymous Dana K said...

    AW! I will talk to you. It looks like we are being drawn towards the same sessions. I should be getting my business cards by the end of the week. Now, to work on my elevator pitch...THAT is driving me batty.

    I keep freaking out that I've booked my flight to the wrong city. (I haven't but my OCD makes me check every. single. time.)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    The elevator pitch is not going to happen for me, I just know it.  Even if I have one set, I will freeze :(

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    We will definitely meet up!  Let's exchange numbers before we leave :)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it funny how it can seem far away, yet you're still worried?

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:47 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much for the encouragement.  I'm hoping that the nervousness will fade a little once I get there!

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 10:02 AM , Anonymous Dana K said...

    I've been scouring the interweb for tips. Blah. I'm just going to say, "I rock hard. Here's my card."

    Poetry.

     

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