So anyone who follows me on social media knows I was at the BlogHer Conference since last Wednesday. Come on, I know you all saw this:
I assume every blogger who went will be posting some sort of conference recap – some of the women I hung out with already have done so (like Kate Hall and Julie DeNeen, to name a few – I know there are more, but I haven’t yet had a chance to scour the web). In fact, I am still processing the experience. In fact, last night was the first time I’ve slept more than five hours straight.
There will be no recap here.
Instead, before I fall asleep on my keyboard (a very real possibility), I’m just going to describe my experience from the point of view of an extreme introvert, the kind who tests in the 99th percentile of introversion on personality scales.
Being an introvert does not mean I don’t like people. People are amazing! People are better than smoked Gouda! (Unless they are douches). Relationships are of the greatest value to me. Nurturing relationships at the conference was one of the highlights of my experience at BlogHer.
No, what being an introvert means is that too much stimulus, including interacting with people, makes me tired. Very tired. I expend a lot of energy around people – the larger the group, the more energy I unload, like I’m a tinny little generator powering a small city. After a day full of stimulation, noise, talking, interacting, relating, I need to lie down in a quiet space, preferably with coffee, definitely with a book.
So think about five straight days of constant motion, surrounded by over five thousand people. I got maybe five hours of sleep a night? When I usually need at least eight and a half to be moderately civilized?
Plus there were non-stop activities basically from sunup to the wee hours of the morning, including seminars. Seminars. That means learning. Do you think I would’ve missed that? If you do, then you obviously don’t know me very well.
felt feels like an over-saturated sponge. But in a good way!
I certainly could have slept more, snuck off to a peaceful corner of the hotel or the Serenity Suite, a place designed as a respite from so much muchness. But the truth is, I was having way too much fun at a time in my life when fun isn’t exactly padding my schedule.
I didn’t want to miss a minute with these incredibly kind, inspiring, hilarious women who I may now call friends. I didn’t want to miss hearing from the keynote speakers, women I greatly admire like Sheryl Sandberg and Gale Ann Hurd, whose names I misspelled on social media (just to give you an idea of my exhaustion levels). I certainly didn’t want to miss hearing the Voices of the Year – a few of whom are my friends – which gave me enough inspiration to fuel my ambition for the next year.
Maybe I’ll write more about this life-changing experience later. Right now, I need to take my second nap of the day, as my fourth cup of coffee has worn off.