So I went to BlogHer10 this year.
Have you ever been to New York City? There is something very special about that place. Maybe it’s the concentration of people, voices, talent, needs, ideas, power, drive, hope, movement… I don’t know, whatever it is, New York City has it’s own inner energy and momentum, creating, self-sustainable, humming and alive. Visitors satellite around, are pulled in, overwhelmed, and spun back out into space.
And BlogHer was here this year.
I arrived with my father actually. While I was at the wheel of his Jeep, he read the Garmin’s instructions patiently. Through it all, Bob Marley played the entire way. Cars cutting me off, speeding parkways, death-defying lane changes, traffic, traffic, traffic. Every little thing was gonna be alright.
We rode the elevator to the 41st floor, my ears popped while we watched CNN on a small monitor. New York doesn’t want you to miss a thing it seems.
I said I would be back in a minute, I just wanted to go down to register for the conference. But as soon as I stepped off the elevator, I heard it, I saw it, I felt it. That crackle of NYC’s potential seemed focused into this very space. Women everywhere, reuniting, talking, screaming, laughing, walking, running, dancing, snapping pictures, flip cameras out, chatting in line.
I waited for my turn, not quite ready to take it all in yet. Not sure where to hop into this intensity. After I was registered and had collected myself, I made an awkward leap. And landed somewhere into the mix. I was along for the ride.
I spent four days orbiting within this experience. I connected with dear friends and met wonderful new ones. Blazing stars and inspiring voices whirled about me, radiated before me – encouraging me and then went shooting by. There were so many hugs, so much surprising enthusiasm, so much “Wow, Morningside Mom, Hi!!!”. (Huh?) So so much unexpected generosity. These people became much more than their words read usually at a safe distance. And these people were brilliant, almost blinding.
I have more to say, of course. But I needed to get this post out of my system. I needed to explain what the vibe was in that space. Why simply walking into a room overwhelmed me so intensely, it sent my system far into the red. The recharge room wasn’t even enough. So often I would stagger back to my room, lie on my bed, and stare.
I’ll also admit that I was a bit lost in this experience. I wasn’t sure where to look next or how to hold tight and stop and find people. There were a lot of people I never saw. A lot. This might have been my biggest regret. I think they were spinning right by me but I couldn’t always see them in all of it. So when I did grab one and tried to slow both of us down just to connect, a hundred others seemed to rocket by. I even had friends outside of BlogHer that were there that I never saw. Even my poor father could only reconnect with me now and then. He was overwhelmed by it all too.
So I’ll be back with more. But really. For those who weren’t there. Imagine this concentrated, spinning, exploding, energized space filled with thoughts and voices and differences and debates and ideas and personalities that dared you to hold on tight, to somehow stay in orbit or else find yourself launched into the periphery. It was a challenge but I held on and had quite a ride.
But now I am here, back in my own quiet rotation, far from the Mothership. And I’m processing, thinking, reconsidering and hoping I’ve become a better person, blogger, writer and friend out of all of it. I hope.
What a ride. What a ride.