Describe Blend 2012 in one word?
*Highly generic and what most elementary school teachers might call a “dead” adjective, needing to be buried in favor of something jazzier, inspiring 10-year-olds to tear through thesauri—yes, that is a word—in search of a word whose meaning they don’t understand, but that both Merriam AND Webster assure is an equivalent match, not factoring in the need to account for connotation as well as definition.
Given more words, I’d also add:
From me, and from the other bloggers who attended this Boulder-based blogger (and blog reader/supporter/friend) retreat, organized by the even-more-lovely-in-person Lindsay, Janetha, and Katie, I’m sure you’ll be reading posts about various aspects of the weekend focusing on different events or meals, and written from different backgrounds, viewpoints, and perspectives.
But for now, I will just say this*
*Mostly because I’m writing this on the plane, sans pictures, and by the time I get home to import some, it will be late on Sunday night. 5:45 comes all too quickly, and first graders don’t understand the sentence, “I’m exhausted. Please work independently for a minute at your seats so I can sit down.”
This past weekend was just what I needed.
I was able to reconnect with old friends, meet bloggers in person for the first time who I’ve only just begun to “know” through twitter and blog reading, and find kindred spirits in both them, and people whose names and faces (and online musings) were entirely new to me.
The feeling of it all was simply one of community and friendship. We were there to connect to one another outside of blogging, despite it being the one commonality we all shared.
I laughed with people about the quirky foods I like to eat and tried to convince people that dill pickle cashew butter or nutritional yeast on top of pomegranate salsa really are delicious concepts.I had conversations late into the night about life and change and insecurity.
I felt no judgement in what I looked like, what clothes I was wearing, or what my job/relationship status/income was.
I didn’t get left out of any cliques, because there weren’t any.
I wasn’t looked down upon because I only have 400 hits a day on my blog to someone else’s 4,000.
The support and enthusiasm of everyone uplifted me to accomplish some incredible fitness feats that I never thought I could tackle.I ate vegan cupcakes and hiked a mountain and did yoga and went to the Farmer’s Market and had my picture taken with a giant metal rooster.
This was no ordinary blogger conference.
Yes, I did get a lot of free food and fitness-related goodies, and yes, I DID spend three hours trying to figure out how I was going to fit everything I wanted to take home into my bag, with the conclusion that I could always “feed the airport” if I was over the weight limit.
But there were no ‘sessions,’ no feeling of ‘what can your blog do for MY blog?’ underlying my conversations, and I spent so much time in workout clothes, without make-up, that when I finally attempted to ‘do’ my hair I don’t think people recognized me.
They said we wouldn’t learn anything about ‘how to improve our blogs,’ or ‘how to become a better blogger,’ but ladies, you were wrong.Because what I took away from Blend 2012—aside from the excessive amount of Probars that I won in the raffle—was this:
The best way to be a ‘better’ blogger is to blog because you love it, stay true to yourself, and know that the best thing about blogging isn’t how many people comment daily or how many opportunities to review products come your way…it is the community you become a part of the moment you first start writing.*