So the first thing to say is that I had a great weekend overall, and I didn’t miss my family because I compartmentalized them, put them away for a few days, and remembered what it was like to be a girl in a cosmopolitan city with the world at her feet. And it was good.
I met many of my favourite bloggers- I grabbed the moment and insisted on saying hi to them. I am not going to shamelessly link to them, like the crazed fangirl that I am, but I will say that she is gracious and tall and so incredibly nice; she is tiny, as expected made me cry, and speaks as well as she writes; she is clever as hell; she is friendly and adorable like her baby; she is hot and as funny in person as on the page; just look at my blog roll – they are all there, and I am so glad I can put a real face to a name.
Oh my sad blog roll that needs to be updated with about 100 other people, many of those whom I met too – many of those who were awesome. I don’t want to say it, but you could tell that some did not really want to meet a ‘stranger’. So I didn’t say hi to them; can’t deal with that high school moment.
Oh…but how I could I stop at ‘she’? He is awkward and funny; he is observant and too clever for me; he is troubled and has come so far and is amazing and yes, made me cry too.
The blog roll is just one example of how lazy I have gotten around here in my space. The thing I have overwhelmingly taken away from this weekend? I need to figure out what the hell I am doing here. And I think I know – it’s not far from where I am, I just need to clean things up and cement them down. So I am going to spend some time doing that, because if I am going to continue to write – which I feel I need to do, for some reason – the who, what, why, where and how need to be made more clear.
I attended some fantastic sessions. I did not learn how to do search engine optimization. I did not build relationships with major US companies. I did not learn how to use twitter (I think I got it). I listened to stories, I reflected on stories and experiences, and I learned. That is why I read the blogs I read. That is why I participate in this space and their spaces.
I brought home a bagful of stuff that I didn’t have before. Stuff which I feel weird about. I received about 5 or 6 swag bags, from different parties or sessions within the conference, and the main conference bag. I love free stuff, I do, I can’t help it. But it seemed like way too much. And I hear that people were beating each other down for stuff. I definitely didn’t bring home as much as many others did, and I didn’t get any ‘special’ big stuff that seemed reserved for more exclusive events. I got a bunch of toys for my kids, lots of cleaning products, and a few other treats. I get why sponsors would have wanted to give out free samples – I am just not sure about the rest, and the amount.
I have a stack of business cards to go through, to follow more people on twitter and through my Google Reader. I have a bunch of photos of an amazing city, and one of an amazing unicorn cake. Somehow, I didn’t take any other ones at the conference. I was too busy trying to get as much out of it as I could. (psst – Haley, I stole your photos ’cause I haven’t even found my camera yet)
I laughed, I cried, I drank a lot, I spent time on my own, I spent time with friends.
I’m glad I went.