Why I'm Not at BlogHer 10, though it's in my backyard

Image Courtesy of Mrs. FireMom on FlickrI like being a part of things.  Big things.  I like to feel needed, useful, important, and sure of my position.  I grew up with these things as part of my daily life, thanks to the church I was raised in.  I knew without a doubt who I was and what I stood for.  Those feelings have faded as I’ve gradually, slowly, and painfully separated from the church, and while my faith is still strong, my identity is not. 

I started SaneMoms.com because my already-shaky identity was further rocked by becoming a mom.  I wasn’t able to say “I AM … ” with any conviction or passion when I had kids.  I don’t need a single clean label, it’s true, but when you spend your first 30 years with a very clear one, and then peel that sticker off your forehead, it leaves a pretty gunky residue.  I’m still scraping away at it, and probably will be for the rest of my life in some form or another.  SaneMoms continues to be a great place to put my thoughts, fears, ideas, and babblings, but I don’t have any ready labels or answers yet.

So BlogHer10, you ask, taking place about 4 miles from where I sit and type … how does this explain my absence?  It means I don’t feel comfortable going when I can’t cleanly label my blog, and by association label myself.  I know that’s irrational, but it’s true.  “I AM …” is still a hard statement for me, and I feel a bit boxed in no matter how I answer it.  I don’t have to fit in a cleanly labeled bin to interact at a conference, but I do have to feel able to answer questions and interact.  I simply don’t feel comfortable with that, not on a mass scale anyhow.  I certainly can talk about it one-on-one, but inevitably end up a bit stymied and weirded out.  Wishing I’d said something else, regretting the things left unsaid, and feeling like I talked too much anyhow. 

I wish I were there, I really do.  It would be wonderful, healthy, invigorating, delicious, and real.  I’d pee in my pants from nervousness, be filled with a zillion crazy thoughts, and come away with a clearer picture of myself and my life.  It’s inevitable when you stir yourself up in a pot like that … the finding of nuggets that you can nibble at, learn to love instantly, and lock away in your heart-of-hearts for further nourishment.  I’d meet new people, make new friends, and heaven forbid find a few new blogs to follow and gain some readers myself.  All good things, which I didn’t put my heart into this year.

I can make convincing noises about not being able to afford it, which was my rationale when I first heard it was here, and there’s truth to that.  I have no budget for anything beyond the basics.  We all know that where there’s a will, there’s a way though, and I could have cut out movies and little wee treats here and there for the last 6 months to make it happen.  I could have, but I didn’t.  I let money be a convenient excuse.  Funny that didn’t figure in when I needed new running shoes, or tohad pay a marathon entry fee, now did it?  Those are much easier labels to support, ya know.  Running IS good for me, no doubt, and a nice clean way to be and to interact, but it doesn’t touch my core, that messy place where I need to get more comfortable.

Despite all that, I’m so glad it’s happening here in my backyard, and I’ll be following all your adventures vicariously!  Just so you know, too, I can feel the wave of estrogen over here in Bklyn, and it’s a mighty good thing to have around.  Welcome to NYC, BlogHer’s!!!   May you get more than you came for, find your heart and your mojo, and make connections that go deep and stay real.  I just might catch you all next year :).