Monday, January 31, 2011

Being brave at BlissDom

Last week, I leapt out of my comfort zone and headed to my first blogging conference, BlissDom 2011, in Nashville. As I mentioned in my pre-conference post, I was terrified. Thankfully, I had some great friends step up and hold my hand help me have a great time. Here's how it all went down.

I got off the airplane in Nashville feeling alone, inadequate and scared. My first order of business was to meet up with Shell from Things I Can't Say and grab a taxi over to the Opryland Hotel. Would she like me? What if I say something ridiculous? Am I going to embarrass myself? If you are wondering, Shell is every bit as cute, kind, and honest in person as she is on her blog, and I was worrying needlessly.

Once at the hotel, I quickly met up with some other fabulous bloggers like Ashley from Just Another Mom of 2, Erin Margolin, Liz from a belle, a bean, & a chicago dog, and KLZ from Taming Insanity. Still, that first evening, I was feeling reserved and could barely talk to anyone.

The first full day of the conference I felt an internal turmoil. Why am I here? These people are all talking about how bloggers are pioneers, are courageous, and are changing the world. I did not feel that way about myself.

{Bliss is possible only when we are courageous, telling our stories with our whole heart. ~Brene Brown, opening Keynote Speaker, BlissDom 2011}
Maybe it is because I haven't been honest with myself. I haven't been an open book on my blog. I have felt that there were certain things that I couldn't write about. I have not been myself on my blog; what the heck is that about? If I can't be myself in that space, why did I think I could be myself at a blog conference.
Slowly, I began to open up and start talking, start connecting. I talked about my husband's job and about what binds my family together. And all of a sudden, I felt free. I cut the ties that were binding my hands behind my back.
{Connection gives our lives purpose and meaning. ~Brene Brown}
The second day of the conference was better. I felt real connections being formed. I told stories and laughed with some amazing women. I listened to the closing keynote address by Scott Stratten (AH-Mazing!) and I laughed so hard I cried.
And then, the defining moment of BlissDom happened for me. At the end of Scott's talk, this really loud music started. The organizers were startled and had no idea what was going on. All of a sudden, this big group of attendees at the front of the room got up and started dancing to Miley Cyrus's Party in the USA. I knew immediately what was going on: Flash Mob.
I stood up and started dancing. Liz grabbed me and we ran up and joined the group. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I didn't know the steps, I learned them as I went along. I didn't know the other dancers, but I connected with them in something that was bigger than all of us.
I could not believe that I was up there. I laughed and was proud of myself for playing along. I knew I may never have another chance to dance with a flash mob and now I can say that I have done it.
I was brave. I put myself out there. And now I am stronger for it. Going forward I am going to be brave. I am going to put myself out there. And I will be stronger for it. That is my BlissDom take-away.

For a video of me and the BlissDom 2011 Flash Mob, click here. This is not the best video of the whole mob, but the only one where I could see myself. Leave me a comment if you think you can point me out. You can see a better video of the whole mob here.


EMM said...

Yay! Girl, you gots rhythm, too!!! Glad you had fun!

Lynn MacDonald said...

Well...I met you and thought you were awesome, and cute, and positive and strong. You always you're just letting it out. I loved meeting you there!!!! If you ever feel down, I'll tell you your value!

Missy@Wonder, Friend said...

I'm so glad I got to meet you!! I shared a lot of your feelings - Blissdom was definitely out of my comfort zone, too. But it so worth it, wasn't it?

One Crafty Mother said...

I LOVE that you danced!! This is a really beautiful post -- it's the first Blissdom wrap-up I've read and I'm so glad, because it captures it so very well. Thank you!


P.S. It was nice meeting you - even only briefly!! :)

Kmama said...

Good for you. I'm glad you were able to open up and enjoy yourself. I'm so jealous you got to meet Shell!

Liz said...

You have no idea how happy this makes me! And you have no idea how many times I told KLZ that I LOVE you!

I will never forget that look on your face when you turned around, facing me, and said you couldn't believe you had just flashmobbed!!

KLZ said...

I think freedom is the beat gift a conference has ever given anyone.

Wait...are you kidding me with this? Dammit phone!!

All typos property of Apple

Shell said...

I loved getting to meet you! Thank you for waiting for me at the airport! :)

Natalie said...

I loved meeting you. Liz & I talked the whole way home about how awesome you are.

I will forever have an image of you in my head kneeling down pretending to feed little people on an assembly line.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so jealous that you just got up there and danced! I SO wish I had done that!
Glad you stepped out of your comfort zone! Hate that I don't think we got to meet :-(

Elaine A. said...

I was supposed to be IN that flash mob too but I left too early to participate - so sad I missed it! But SO happy that you got up there and danced at that I got to meet you and hang out at the conference! Emailing that photo soon, I had to edit it though because of terrible lighting... xo

blueviolet said...

You're the best and I think it's great that you were in the flash mob! I had to leave to catch my flight before that so I missed it. :(

MollyinMinn said...

Rock on! I love that you joined in to join in. Thoroughly impressed.

Amanda said...

I have to say, I'm super jealous of all you Blissdom girls. I would have loved to be there, too, but the thought of going to a blog conference scares the daylights out of me..seriously! I may look brave but I'm really socially awkward. True story :) SOOO glad you had fun. I'm loving hearing all the stories.

Erin said...


you were amazing. i don't need to watch the video, b/c i was watching YOU. i thought you were a part of it, that's how well you did the moves. i was the one sitting there, feeling dumb, wishing i'd been included, etc...i didn't know anything about it and didn't even know what flash mob meant if that makes you feel any better!

you've got moves, girlfriend! i'm jealous!