The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

BlogHer12: Is it possible to die of anxiety?

I’m going to New York City for a blogging conference in August. I’ve been practicing saying that in the mirror like it’s NBD and super normal, but it still comes out all high-pitched and twitchy.

It’s not that I’m really nervous… Well, that’s not totally true. OK, yes, it’s exactly that I’m really super nervous. I’m utterly terrified for about 84 different reasons. Starting with:

1.    I’ve never been to New York. I actually don’t really travel much at all, and certainly not often without a large support system and someone else in charge. Luckily, my mother has decided to join me on this pilgrimage to the Mecca of blogging conferences, BlogHer. I’m pretty sure she’s coming 25% because she thinks the conference will be interesting, 50% because she just wants an excuse to go to New York and 25% because she’s afraid if I go alone I will get killed or lost or join a cult.

One summer in college I decided randomly to apply to be a camp counselor in Maine as my summer job. I got the job as a swim counselor, but the closer it got to the time I needed to leave, the more I realized I’m not that girl. I don’t just pick up and leave everyone I know to go have an adventure by myself for 8 weeks. I like my people and my state and I’m kind of afraid of swimming in lakes. Of course by the time I realized what a terrible idea this was it was way too late to back out. I cried for 24 hours before leaving and the entire plane ride to Maine. I was 21. You could probably say I’m slightly sheltered.

Yes, I’m going to be a 34 year old mother of three who brings her mommy with her to a professional conference because she didn’t want to go alone.

2.    I don’t actually know any other bloggers who are going. According to Twitter, various message boards and a Facebook page dedicated to people who are going to BlogHer12, everyone who is going has at least eight best friends who are also going and they’re all going to hang out together and probably shoot spitballs at the back of my head when I’m not looking. Or at the very least make fun of me for bringing my mommy with me.

3.    One of my goals for this conference is to promote this blog so that more than 10 or 12 people will actually read it. Bloggers are also usually hardcore blog readers, so if I could just get my little bloggypants blog here noticed, maybe, just maybe, I could propel my traffic up a level or two. Of course the plan for this to work will involve talking to people I don’t know. And not just one girl who looks friendly and also lonely and then calling it a day. I’m going to have to network my butt off. Or maybe I could just tattoo my web address on my chest and walk around topless. Might be easier and less stressful. Hmm…

4.    Another of my goals is to obtain sponsors or ads for my other blog, Wine and a Spoon. That shouldn’t be difficult at all, right? “Hi, you work for Kitchenaid? Would you like to advertise on my blog? I often write about how my children are repulsed by my cooking, which will totally help you sell cooking products. Swear. You’re probably going to want to write me a check now.”

5.    There are apparently private parties like all the time during this conference you have to get special invites to. I don’t even know what happens at these parties or what I’d do since I don’t know anyone and will be with my mother, but just the knowledge that there’s a party I’m not invited to is making me feel sad and inferior. This is a quick trip down a short flight of stairs to, “My blog is terrible and unpopular and no one will like it and my hair is limp and my thighs touch when my feet aren’t even all the way together and I’m not funny and no one will like me and I should just stay home.”

6.    I’m not even sure if this is where I should be. Is this my kind of conference? What if they’re all those ‘product review’ bloggers or they all believe in Jesus and attachment parenting and I just don’t fit in at all? Or what if the ‘My Blog as a Book Proposal’ seminar is just 3 hours of a publishing house editor standing at the front of the room laughing her ass off and saying things like, “You think you can get a book deal by blogging about how the police were called on you for leaving your kids in the car while you’re in Target? Do you know how many people want a book deal? 99.8% of the population does, it’s a statistical fact! I can’t get a book deal and I work for a publishing company! Three people read your blog! Do sparkly red unicorns exist in your universe, too? Is that your mom sitting next to you?” Then I’ll have gone all the way to New York for nothing.

7.    My husband was super gung-ho and supportive of me going to this conference until literally 5 minutes after I booked my plane flight and bought my ticket. Then he said, “So wait, how long are you going to be gone? And who will watch the kids, because I’m not going to have any days off by then what with family vacay and my sister’s wedding…”

So… yeah. I’m going to a blogging conference in New York City in August. I’m super excited and it’s going to be real real fun! (How did that sound? Better? I’m gonna keep practicing.)

20 Responses to BlogHer12: Is it possible to die of anxiety?

  1. There are some days I’m shocked you are able to successfully leave the house and speak to people in a way that they trust you to help buy them homes.

    But hey, good luck!

    • A) I’m a rad Realtor and my clients love me.
      B) If I can vocalize my anxiety, then I feel better about it. It’s my process. I already see I’m being ridiculous.

  2. Remember you are the mother of three boys!!! There isn’t anything you can’t do! You are amazing! You will have a great adventure with your Mom and make a beautiful memory. Just keep laughing. Love ya!

  3. I kinda sorta wish I was going with you. I think you’re going to have SO much fun! At the very least you need to go to Amalah’s party, right? And do the 5k around Manhattan! I’ve done a 5k in Manhattan and it is totally surreal. You need to do it. I’m so proud of you.

  4. I’ve always kinda sorta wanted to go to that conference but never have because I’m just doing a personal blog for myself and my readership has totally gone down over the years and it still feels weird to me to even say “my readership.”

    But I still think it would be fun and interesting for me to go because I LOVE blogs and I love what they’ve done for me in my life and the people I know because of them.

    You’re going to have an amazing time!

    Also, I just took my very first trip to NYC this January and once I was there? It just wasn’t that intimidating. It’s just a city, you know? But it was awesome and I totally want to go back someday when I have more time and more money.

    • Yeah, I’m sure I’ll love it once I’m there. The day before both my honeymoon and my 10 year anniversary trip I didn’t want to go on either because I was so stressed about the traveling details/planning/chaos. But I had a great time on both.

  5. Mom is totally going for the Blog experience. She’ll probably ditch you as soon as you get to the conference.


    • Wait, Mom will ditch me? Then I’ll be totally alone!!

    • Great JT, increase her stress level.
      Seriously though Min, I think NYC is so great because everything is so EASY. You use the subway once and you’ve got it figured out. There’s amazing food EVERYWHERE (although you need to go to Little Italy at least once, obviously). I think you’re gonna get to your last day and be devastated that you’re not staying longer. Oh, and it’s the only place you visit where you eat a ton and lose weight because you walk everywhere.

  6. Watch out NYC — this woman was meant for your town. Guard your bargains, your wine bottles, your running skirts supplies. If anyone can teach New Yorkers a thing or two about wit and sarcasm, it’s you. (Plus, when all else fails? Best bagels in the world. You’ll be in lox heaven.)

  7. Ok girl, go strap on your shit kickers and a totally hot outfit (maybe your runner’s skirt so you can collect stuff and use those fancy pockets) and get your ass out there and have fun! For crying out loud, you are going to New York!!!! For all the moms who will be stuck in swim lessons, dying in the Az heat, go get your party girl hat on. (And if its a total flop lie to us and blog about how you saw famous people, ate Yummy food with no calories, and how some of the most awesome writers are now your new BFF’s.

  8. Message me on Facebook. I have 4 friends going – and can introduce you “virtually- and I do PR freelance work and happen to work with some of the bloggers who host these “exclusive” parties. 😉 and, Boston, is a short train ride away if you panick and need to leave the big city! 😉 who knew your sister was so connected?? Lol.

  9. I’ve not been to NYC, but from what I have seen and read you are def going to fit right in. I’m not saying you are “weird” or anything….but. And you used 100% of the reasons mom is going, but I know it’s 100% because she’s your mama. It will be a wonderful trip for you both.

  10. OMG. NYC. So. much. fun. If you need more support, you should let me know. Then I can keep your mom company when she ditches you! Perfect!

  11. The Blogher chatter will be starting up soon and you will notice a collective anxiety. It’s not just you 🙂 You will have a great time, meet a ton of people, and every blogger who has gone before will post a list of “tips” for first timers. I had a blast last year and made a ton of contacts. I would love to go again this year..but would have to sell a kid or kidney to do so. I will be one of the jealous and bitter west coast bloggers hoping Blogher returns to CA next year.

  12. I could have said any of those things (probably not so eloquently) and I’m going to BlogHer for the first time too. Except my mom is not coming with me, I’ve already been to NY and many other places in the world, I have a few people I’ve already made friends with, on BlogHer, and I’m looking forward to meeting them in person, I’m following Dana to the private parties, I’m taking my kid with me, and oh yeah, I’m not a real estate agent. Otherwise, we’re like Siamese twins!

    I’ll be your friend 🙂

  13. I totally get this anxiety. I felt that way before the blogger conference, and I helped plan it! Bloggers are scary. They have fancy clothes and jewelry and make up and they KNOW people and it’s all very intimidating! I say buy a flask, fill it with tequila, share some with your mom and have a great time 🙂

  14. Hey, Elizabeth!

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re doing great already! There are a lot of people, myself included, who aren’t brave enough to even sign up for a blogging conference.

    I think you’ll be just fine. Even if people go with a bunch of their friends, they’re going to the conference (I’m assuming) to network. And they can’t do that if they stay within a clique. Still, I understand being scared — I’m going to a jewelry making event this June, and I’m worried that my spouse is the only person who’ll want to hang out with me.

    Maybe the trick is to see it as a challenge or an adventure?

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