This time last year I was really struggling. My depression and anger were raging. My medicines weren’t right. My anxiety was through the roof. And in a couple weeks I was supposed to fly across the country to the largest blogging conference in the world where I essentially knew no one.
Due to all the personal issues I ended up having a lot of trouble coping while there.
Now a year later, as I watch blogs and twitter and facebook and instagram blow up with anticipation of BlogHer 12, I’m left feeling incredibly sad. I didn’t think not attending would matter that much to me. Turns out it does. A lot.
A year later I’m doing much better. There were long agonizing months to get me where I am mentally. Taking medicines that made me physically ill and emotionally worse. But my medicines and regular doctors appointments have finally stabilized me. I can say with certainty that I am no longer suicidal as I was while at the conference.
I probably would have had a good shot at having fun at the conference this year. There are still so many people I would have liked to see and hug again. There are new online friends that I would have loved to meet too.
I would have liked the chance to say, ”Hi. This is the real Molly. I’m actually a lot of fun if you get to know me.”
But there are no business cards to hand out this year. There are no shopping sprees to buy sparkly things to wear. There are no, Oh my God I can’t wait to meet you in person conversations on twitter.
Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy for every single blogger that has the chance to go this year. The BlogHer conference is an amazing experience. If that’s you, I hope you have the time of your life.
I just wish I could have the time of my life with you.
But just because I’m not going doesn’t mean I can’t hand out my own little piece of advice . . .
Blogging is so important to me. I don’t have the words to say what having this space has meant to me over the past five years. I don’t care how sponsorless and small I am. This means something to me. This small community that I (and you) have created speaks to my heart. Every time someone engages with me through a comment, short or long, I am ever so grateful. Whether it’s on a “look at what I did last week” post or something much more dark and deep. My readers have been through it all with me.
When I came back from the conference last year I made the difficult decision to be open and honest about what happened to me. I bit my lip and hit publish. I was utterly shocked at the outpouring of love and support. Shocked at the amount of people who reached out. Who gave me a little minute of their time to tell me that it’s okay that the conference didn’t go as planned. That there would be a “next time.”
They gave me hope that I would get better. They gave me hope that I could still trust that this blog does good things. For me. For other people.
A while ago I received a handwritten note from a woman who reads my blog. I read it with tears in my eyes. I was so thankful that someone could relate. I helped them see that being real, being imperfect, being vunerable, is okay.
It’s okay to be real, imperfect and vunerable at the conference too.
That’s what I hope everyone gets out of BlogHer 12. I hope you come together as a community. I hope, above all else, that you are YOU and that everyone is accepting of differences. I hope you hug and squeal for a little bit when you meet someone you’ve adored online. And then I hope you take the time to give yourselves a pat on the back. To understand the importance of your daily words.
Because hey. We’re all really doing something important here. No matter what kind of blog we have.
This blogging thing. This platform of millions of blogs all rolled up into one big powerful community.
I’m so proud to be a part of it.
Don’t ever let someone make you feel like what you’re doing is small potatoes. You’re a BIG DEAL.
From the bottom of my heart, friends, have fun at the conference.
Have fun blogging no matter who or where you are.