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.)