Thursday, September 13, 2012

This blogging conference newbie needs your help!



I’m going to my very first blogging conference ever, and I’m all bouncy with excitement. It’s a smaller one called Springboard. It’s the conference’s first year, which I think is perfect for me.

I would give my right kidney to go to BlogHer and some of the other “big girl” conferences, but I know myself too well to start there. See, I’m actually an introvert. I know I would easily get overwhelmed by the masses of talented women who already know each other. As they all hug, laugh loudly, and reminisce about conferences of yore, I would slowly back up against a wall and shield myself behind my wine glass and nervous smile. I think I would feel lonely among thousands of bloggers, and I could leave a conference like that without saying more than a few words to any single person.

I found out about Springboard from a tweet by another Clever Girl, a collective of which I am a proud member. (Check out my fab badge over to the right, yo!) I adore this group of ladies, so I was immediately intrigued. I tweeted my interest about the conference, and my wonderful Hubs (who actually follows me on Twitter) saw it. He decided to surprise me by sending me to the conference.

I found out about it when I got the confirmation email, and I was all like WHAAAAAAAT? Then I figured out that Hubs was behind it all. He’s a super sweet genius, is what he is.

So, yeah. I’m off to Boston next week. For four days. 

Not only do I get to meet some of the Clever Girls and other phenomenal bloggers in person, I get to have a few days all to myself.

I get to go to sleep without a baby monitor next to my ear.

I get to eat an entire meal before it gets cold because I’m not performing a Broadway show to persuade a picky toddler to eat.

I get to wear something besides yoga pants.

I get to wear cute shoes!!!

Which brings me to my first question as a bloggy conference newbie: What the hell do I wear?? On the first night, there’s dinner and dancing. On a boat. In Boston. In late September. I assume it will f**king cold, but also that everyone will be all dressed up. (Because that’s what we women do – we dress up for each other. Yes, it makes perfect sense. Shut up.)

So, do I wear the standard uniform – a little black dress and goose bumps? I’m totally cool with that. I’m used to shivering my ass off for the sake of fashion. (After all, I did wait until the ripe old age of 32 before giving birth to a child, so I haven’t completely forgotten.) I just don’t want to be over-dressed at my first conference. (Add “embarrassed, flushed cheeks” to the “wine glass and nervous smile” shield.)

And what does one wear to the daytime sessions? I assume my usual yoga pants and ponytail will not suffice. Business casual? I think I can still fit into some of those clothes from my old “big girl job.” I might have to blow the dust off of them. Or will jeans and a decent non-tee-shirt be more appropriate?

Hmmm, what else? I guess I don’t know what I don’t know, so wardrobe concerns are the only questions I have for right now. Any tips from you conference pros? How can this slightly awkward, overly self-conscious, introvert make real connections with other attendees?

As you loyal readers might have guessed, I’m suffering from separation and dress anxiety yet again. You may remember I went to Boston solo at this time last year for a friend’s wedding. I was gone a whopping thirty-six hours, and I almost lost my shit. I left Hubs and then-six-month-old Quinn alone for the first time, and I was a wreck. Of course, when I got back, they were both totally fine. And I know they’ll be fine this time, too.

But this time, I’ll be gone for four and a half days. (I’m tacking on an extra day to see my friends, Laura and Stef, who live in Boston. Another HUGE bonus of the trip!) That’s a long time! Other than last year’s whirlwind trip, I haven’t been away from Quinn for more than a few hours.

I want to enjoy myself. I seriously could use the break from SAHM-hoodBut what am I if I’m not taking care of Q? He’s my whole world. Trust me, I clearly see the pros and cons to that.

I know Q and Hubs will be fine. Sure, Q might not get a bath every night. He might not wash his hands before each meal. He might watch more TV than usual. Things will definitely not get done the way I would do them. But Q and Hubs will have a great time together, and they probably really need this time.  

But I hear Q wake up every morning on the baby monitor asking for Momma. And I won’t be there.

I know that will be harder on me than on him. And I’m not sure if that knowledge is reassuring or just makes me sadder.

So PLEASE help me, blogging mommas. What the heck do I wear to this conference? And how do I get the most out of it without drowning in worry over being away from my son?


Hubs, Quinn and I are in Kauai this week! Whoo-fucking-HOO! I’m hoping my limited downtime on this vacation includes some laptop time, in which case I will reply to comments promptly. But in the event I decide to use that downtime to lie in the sun, suck down mai tai’s, and cover my face with a hat, there might be a delay in replying to your comments. But PLEASE leave them anyway. I really need the advice. Mahalo! 




12 comments:

  1. I would bring a pair of neutral pants, white blouses and fun jewelry that would make the clothes look dressier.

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    1. That sounds perfect and right up my alley. Thank you so much!

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  2. i've never been to a conference of the blogging variety. you're going to have so much fun! i hope you get to meet people you already know online. do you know of any specific women you're excited to know will be there? people you already like?

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    1. I'm not sure who's going. It's a pretty small conference, so I don't think anyone I "know" will be there. But it sounds like a good conference to get my feet wet. I'm really looking forward to it. I'll blog all about it when I get back. Thank you!!

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  3. Girl - find me there! I will be your honorary springboard friend - no need to worry :) I always wear boots instead of heels and casual, but cute is the way to go!!

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    1. Hi, Amy! Thanks for stopping by and for the fashion advice. I just packed my boots. Can't wait to meet you!

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  4. Oh man Melissa - that is awesome! You'll be on my side of the US :) I am a lot like you I think, introverted and shy in real life. I have to give you big props for doing the blog conference thing - I would love to go to one, and just haven't gotten up enough nerve yet. I've been taking solo mini-getaways for the last year or so though, and it gets easier. You get to recharge, and sometimes as a SAHM, I think that's really important. I'm actually going to SF in Oct for a few days - 2 days with my sister and friend, and three days by myself. I can't wait. :) Have fun, be brave about putting yourself out there - at the end of the day, you're trying something new and that's awesome & inspiring.

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    1. Solo mini vacations?? I didn't know you take a flight straight to heaven! :) That sounds so awesome. Every year you do this? Hubs and I are going to have a talk about this when I get home... :) Have a wonderful time in San Francisco! You picked a great time of year to come. It will be a little chilly in October, but the fog should be gone and it should sunny and warm-ish during the day. Thanks for the advice, too. I'm very nervous, but in a "I might make a total ass out of myself, but that's okay because I really don't know any of these people" sort of way.

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  5. Melissa, we can't wait to have you at Springboard. And trust me when I say that you will be surrounded by introverts... some of us are just more outgoing than others. No worries, though. We'll take good care of you. As for what to wear, you'll soon be getting an email about that. Bottom line is to be comfortable. Some will be in jeans, some in biz casual. There will also be a mix on the cruise (our deck on the ship is enclosed, so bring a sweater or wrap and you should be good to go). Travel safely!

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    1. Thanks for the fashion advice, Christy! Your comment and the logistics email were very helpful. I'm all packed and ready to go. Can't wait to meet all of you!

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  6. I have never been to a conference either so I can't wait to hear how it goes...stumbled upon AWL by accident..decided to "follow" you to so I can get the scoop from Springboard..I'm a newbie myself..only blogging since Feb of this year..would love for you to visit me and FOLLOW at Blessings Beyond the Barnyard http://keosmith7.blogspot.com/
    Enjoy your trip!
    :O) Karmen

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    1. Hey Karmen! Thanks so much for coming by. What a happy little accident. :) I really enjoyed Springboard, and I wrote about it in my post today. I'm heading over to check out your blog now.

      Welcome to the bloggy world, and best of luck!

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