Posts Tagged ‘things I learned from blogher’

Celebrities I Met at BlogHer

So it turns out there were a number of celebrities heading out to BlogHer too. Now I’m not really a star seeker but there were some visiting BlogHer that I made an extra effort to meet:

If you’re a gaming family like us then you probably recognize Raving Rabbids. My kids did, though my son asked where his plunger was. Ubisoft had a booth in the exhibit hall and Raving Rabbids was there promoting his new game Raving Rabbids Travel in Time. Now I know my kids are going to start bugging about this.

Earth’s Best also had a booth in the exhibit hall and Elmo was there to promote the Sesame Street line of food. How could I not resist getting a photo with him. That night, while still in NYC, I skyped my three-year-old daughter and held up my camera. She screamed with excitement when she saw it was mom and Elmo together.

Who doesn’t love The Magic School Bus. I received an invitation to attend the Scholastic BlogHer breakfast and Ms. Frizzle was our guide on The Magic School Bus. Okay, maybe it was just a yellow school bus but I’m still young enough to pretend.

After the Scholastic breakfast we were invited to visit the Scholastic’s store, which was amazing. I wish they would open one of these up here; my kids would never want to leave. While at the store, WordGirl showed up (love her). Clifford was also there but I didn’t get close enough to snap a picture with him.

My real excitement was when I heard Elisha Cooper was in the store. I’ve reviewed both Beach and Farm so I was thrilled to meet him. Of course being a real person versus a character I couldn’t bring myself to get a picture with him but he did do two small sketches for me.

The other celebrity attending BlogHer I wanted to meet was Mrs. Potato Head but we just couldn’t connect. My three-year old enjoyed getting mail from her though.

Okay, so they’re not movie stars. Maybe it’s the kid in me but I was still thrilled to meet these guys. And my kids have a new sense of awe about me. That’s got to count for something right?

You’ve Got Mail, From Mrs. Potato Head

There was a lot I wanted to accomplish at my first BlogHer conference this year, I even made a list to help me focus. But I’ll admit there were a few things I wanted to do that weren’t on my list. Actually it was more like a few people I wanted to meet. One such person was Mrs. Potato Head.

Okay, so maybe you’re not that impressed but when I heard that Mrs. Potato Head was going to be hanging out at the Playskool booth at BlogHer I knew I had to meet her. I mean, when’s the next time I’ll get the chance. And imagine pedestal my kids would hold me on, their faces full of awe (okay, maybe only my three-year old). But even I was excited.

Sadly I guess it was never meant to be as we kept missing each other. But all wasn’t lost. The folks at Playskool had some great Potato Head postcards that you could colour and address and they would mail it back home. I didn’t colour mine because I knew my daughter would love to colour it herself.

When the card arrived the other day in the mail my three-year old was beyond ecstatic. She promptly spend the next hour colouring the picture and displaying her work of art (and the note on the back). There’s been a lot of talk about the great swag from BlogHer, the cool items being brought home for moms and their families. I think this postcard arriving from Mrs. Potato Head has been my three-year old’s favourite BlogHer surprise so far.

BlogHer: Emotions and Self-Discovery

I don’t know what I expected for myself by attending BlogHer. The idea of meeting people who I only connected with online was both thrilling and terrifying. Attending sessions where hopefully I would learn from the experience and expertise of others was encouraging. The fact that many others, who seemed to be attending for the first time, were just as anxious as I  (at least according to blog posts and twitter feed) was promising.

Sure I made connections and learned a few things from the conference but the whole trip affected me so much more.

See I like to play the ‘I have it all together’ card. To some I may look the part. I have my own business that I enjoy doing and a family I love. Am I where I expected to be at this point in my life? No, but maybe the more relevant question is am I happy at this point in my life. Yes.

However, let’s not confuse happiness with anxieties or challenges. It’s funny to think that at this point I still have both and it was attending BlogHer that helped me, okay, pushed me, into facing some of these things.

Even when I was younger I was never much of a risk taker, though I do think I was a little more adventurous. I left everything and everyone one I knew to come to a city on my own for school, to start a new life. I traveled overseas on my own to visit countries I’ve never been too. Perhaps I was scared then too but my only memories are the thrill of the adventure and independence, the bragging rights when I got home.

But as you get older and things change you can’t help but change too. I have a job and family and responsiblity. I’ve still traveled by it has always been with my family, with my husband taking the lead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love traveling with my kids and husband and I’m fine with taking a passengers position; there’s much less stress. But I’ve been in the passenger position for so long that the thought of taking control again was terrifying.

And going to BlogHer, on my own, would mean just that. Booking my hotel and airline and making my way to New York City on my own, all of this was freaking me out.

I’m sure this seems funny to those who have traveled on their own. It seems crazy to me too. Here I am in my 40s, independent enough to take change and run my own business and I’m worried about taking a trip on my own. I would lay away at night obsessing over getting through security at the airport, missing my plane or getting on the wrong plane, having my luggage go somewhere else, finding my way to the hotel in New York City, getting screwed by the cab driver. All this worry before I even go to the event (which was a whole other set of worries).

I tried to handle my anxieties the best I could. I read the airport details and reviewed the airport layouts. I even made sure to arrive at the airport extra early. I was fortunate enough to know a few ladies who were flying down for the same conference and could catch a ride to the hotel along with them. But even for the flight back, which I was going on my own, I started stressing again.

Everything went fine and the folks at Porter were amazing, even bumping me up to an earlier flight on the way home. I had no issues with my bags or security or finding the check-in deck. Everything went very smooth (except for the main road to the Newark airport being blocked due to an accident and my driver not knowing how else to get there but eventually we made it).

Although I probably won’t be traveling on my own that often, it proved to me that I could do it, that all the stress was for nothing. And if I do get the opportunity to travel on my own again will I be relaxed about it? Probably not, especially if it’s a new airport or city I haven’t been to. These things I know about myself and I try my best to deal with them but perhaps now I’ll have a little more confidence and faith in my own ability when put in this position as the leader, my own guide.

I thought going to BlogHer would have some sort of impact on me but I never really thought the mere act of traveling there would affect me so much, instill more confidence and perhaps a little more security in my own abilities. If I took nothing else away from the whole conference, this personal insight into my passenger seat mentality and being forced out of my comfort zone to face my fears, this lesson was far more valuable than any party or session I could attend.

And if only that was the end. But like everything in life, after you face one fear a new challenge appears. This new challenge is to remember that I faced this fear head-on. Yes it was terrifying and yes, I will feel scared when faced with it again but I made it, on my own. And if put into the same position I will make it through that too.