Yesterday I went to my first blogger meetup – I met other bloggers. Real bloggers. IN REAL LIFE.
I guess it was about two weeks ago, maybe even less than that, when I was reading a post on BlogHer and I clicked a sidebar ad that had something to do with a Connecticut contest, and the link brought me to Suzanne’s blog (BeBehBlog.com). I didn’t even bother entering the contest because it was for people who wanted to visit Connecticut, and I had been to pretty much all of the places. But then I was like, wait a minute! Connecticut bloggers!
It had never really occured to me that I should actually seek out other local bloggers, being that all I really want to get out of this whole endeavor is connections (okay, that’s a bit of an understatement, but I won’t go there today), but I was intrigued by this notion, and when I saw that Suzanne lives in a town only twenty minutes away from me, I emailed her to introduce myself. Days later, a Facebook group had been formed, five or so other local bloggers were added, and then yesterday, seriously SO FAST after I’d connected with Suzanne, four of us gathered in her house to talk about blogging. It was awesome.
Besides Suzanne, I also had the pleasure of meeting Katrina, who is currently blogging about living frugal and with less at Less Stuff, More Space, and Meg, who blogs about her family life at Anchors Aweigh!
I have to tell you, going to a stranger’s house to meet a bunch of strangers from the internet just sounds strange. But it wasn’t. I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous or uncomfortable with meeting them – in fact, I was really excited and looking forward to it. I didn’t really know what to expect from this, but I suppose it was everything I imagined.
We talked about our blogging history, the pros and cons of our hosts and CMS’s, dos and don’ts of networking, and what we struggled with as bloggers. We all convinced Meg that she needed to join Twitter asap!, and I gave a short lesson on how to use Google+ and why I think it’s a great network. And yes, we also gossiped about other bloggers. Do you know why that is so cool? BECAUSE I HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS WITH. And I care about these things. More, I realize now, than I thought I did originally.
Since yesterday, I’ve still be struggling with trying to work out some reservations I have, but I’m getting there..
I admitted to Suzanne, Katrina, and Meg that I have had a history of deleting blogs when I find out that (shock!) people I know in real life are reading them. I know that it’s all based on fear of being judged by my family and peers, and the fact that I am damn near 30 years old has unfortunately not made enough of a difference for me to change my way of thinking. Age, for some reason, isn’t helping me to let go of most of my fears. I believe that the girls sympathized with me and understood what I was trying to say – and Katrina definitely pointed something out that was like a “Duh!” moment.
You can’t be authentic if you aren’t just that – authentic. Honest. Open. True.
I am working on it. By god, I am working on it.
Meeting them definitely helped make me feel better about myself and this journey in one regard, though. If four women who have nothing in common other than blogging and being mothers can go in to a house as strangers to each other, and come out three hours later calling each other friends and ACCEPTING each other… I probably worry for nothing, don’t I?