I am someone who values relationships deeply, who yearns for friendships and community more than really anything else – more than chocolate and ice cream, even. So I really do mean YEARN. To me, life isn’t worth living if I’m doing it on my own.
Blogging has, for me, been a relatively solitary pastime. I’ve done it – since June 2005 – because I wanted to, and because it was important to me in some indescribable way, and because I couldn’t not. Believe me, I tried to not – and my sporadic posting was very clear evidence of it. But a writer must write, I’ve learned, even if it’s few and far between – eventually the words come and force their way out and the best thing to do is just get out of the way. So, I blogged. Followers came and went, there was no clear community, no regular commenters, no solid friends made. At least, no new ones. The old ones continued to cheer me on, as good old friends must do to be good old friends. But still, it was mostly me, showing up to the screen, offering, and leaving to the silence.
That is, until I learned that a few of my “in real life” friends were bloggers, too, and I saw that they had met kindred spirits and built a solid readership and had what I am constantly searching for, everywhere…. connection. ON AND THROUGH THEIR BLOG. It was a revelation, and it gave me a target to shoot for, though I really had no idea how to do it. It made me a little self-conscious, and a little nervous, and a lot shy. But it also gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start moving past the pixels.
So, in September I went to the Minnesota Blogger’s Conference, mostly because it was free and my friend Heather was speaking at it (she was the first of the aforementioned friends who also happened to be a blogger). I am not a crowd person, friends – I like to stick in small groups where I know at least one other person. I like to have a wing man when I head into things like this. But no, I was flying solo, and I was terrified. Somehow, though, it…. worked. I met some beautiful, amazing, funny, sincere women (and men!) whose blogs I began to devour. Who I began to stalk on twitter. And on facebook.
Now I sound creepy.
Fast forward to last week, when I heard about another meetup – bloglove at Aveda (one of my most favorite places), hosted by the lovely Chris Ann of LoveFeast Table. I jumped at the chance – especially since I had actually hopefully met some of the women before! – and brought myself a wing man, just in case (thanks, Casey!). And it was, in a word:
|Anna, Anna & Chris Ann|
|Molly getting her hand massage|
|Anna’s hair consultation
(Anna, sorry I didn’t tell you I was taking a picture)
|Casey, Kristin, Anna, Molly & Anna|
|Me getting my makeup freshened
Anna, hope you don’t mind me stealing your photo!!
|The hand pampering station… scrubs, lotion, hand massages….|
Delicious because there were no kiddoes running around at our feet and I actually felt like a woman, not a mommy.
|Casey getting a skin consultation|
|Anna & Gussy|