I worked in corporate America until I was put on bed rest with my twins, now twelve.
Companies would send their private jets to a little airstrip, by my home, and I would fly up to a factory and be back home in time for dinner. I was young and feisty and I could keep a project together from idea to market. I could negotiate a price and delivery date from China to the eventual chain of outdoor stores or military base.
I was on a product development team for a major boot company. I was a woman in a business of men. When passed a cigar to enjoy, I did. I was comfortable there.
In college I worked in a steel mill running a blowtorch and assisting the crane operator. I don’t remember another woman who worked there, but I know they did in the offices. I weighed about 100 pounds and I wore three layers of flame retardant clothing, steel toe boots, safety glasses and a hard hat. I fit in there.
I started blogging February 29th of this year.
I recently started calling myself a blogger.
I AM a blogger.
Bloggers need to go to conferences. They need to meet others that proudly say they are bloggers. They need to network and meet with publishers and find out how to monetize and find their people. I need to find my peeps.
BlogHer ’12 is in New York City August 2-4.
I have looked at plane tickets. I talked about going to the conference to my husband. He has told me it would be awesome for me to go and encouraged me to do so.
I have no excuse not to go to BlogHer ’12, but I cannot get myself to do it.
The idea of going to a meeting full of women terrifies me.
Please don’t chastise me. I know this is a counterproductive statement for women.
Hear me out on this. I have always had a little secret motto in my head that goes like this…
“If a man can do it, I am sure I can.”
Women, for most of my life, have been harder to gel with. I have girlfriends, but most of them would probably also get along with guys better than girls.
Where is that Abbie that would stomp around a factory floor asking the foreman questions? Where is that Abbie that hopped on a plane and negotiated the price of thousands of sides of leather? Have I gotten soft since having kids and no longer have an edge or a belief in myself?
If a man can walk into a conference full of women, why can’t I?
I feel stuck in limbo. I am stuck between the person in the workplace full of men and the reality of my life now as a mom raising three little men.
BlogHer announced a contest today. They are giving goodie bags to people who are NOT going to BlogHer ’12. I wrote this to enter into the contest. I was writing this post in my head though before I even knew about the conference.
I have been thinking that if by chance I were to be chosen for a goodie bag I would like to request, rather rudely, that I would much rather go to the conference.
But I need a mentor.
I would much rather see BlogHer run a contest granting one newbie the chance to shadow a BlogHer team member, DURING BLOGHER.
We would be instant chums. She would tell me she appreciates my brass ba!!s when it comes to what I want to post and yet understands why I spell inappropriate words with symbols. She would give me the inside scoop on how things really work and tell me plainly what I am doing wrong and how I can improve. She would share my fondness of vodka and love of desserts. She would tell me there is a place for me and that I am not like everyone else that calls herself a blogger. She would offer me a cigar.
-Abbie, All that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry or cry laughing.
- BlogHer at Home Giveaway #1: The BlogHer ’12 Swag Bags! (blogher.com)
- All the Advice You’ll Ever Need for Attending the BlogHer Conference (blogher.com)
- Mystery BlogHer ’12 Party Revealed: BlogHer ’12 Fashion Show and Style Spotlight (blogher.com)
- Dear BlogHer Sponsors… They Don’t Speak For Me (socialdialect.com)
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Seriously? You should BE the mentor, Abbie. I don’t like to classify people, bloggers included, but if your worry is about fitting in with the blogging set that includes the crafters, poets, recipe hawkers, and frilly girly-girls, don’t even try. I mean, I can understand – I’d be uneasy in that crowd, but you? YOU can show them ALL a thing or two about blogging. And life, I imagine. Bring a case of cigars and a fifth of your favorite stuff, and let them all try to fit in with you.
Abbie, I think you should face your anxiety head on and go to the conference, if not this one something like it. I’ve worked in a man’s world as an Architect. I’ve marched onto a construction site and told men twice my age they need to redo the work they just did. However, the longer I stayed home the more anxious I got about the rest of the world. I wanted to skip interviews or networking events for fears I made up in my own head. To me this sounds like something outside your new comfort zone, but I promise you will enjoy yourself and find that brave woman inside of you again. I can also promise there will be women there facing the same fears.
What a cool idea! All you need is one friend–a BlogHer buddy you trust. If it isn’t this year, keep blogging and keep commenting–you will find that person by next year. And you will have a ball.