I had no idea what to expect and tried to hold no expectations lest they be the wrong sort. I wanted a pure, completely real experience.
And there I was.
BLOG U 2015
Land of the bloggers. The bigs, the littles, and all the in betweens. Honest to God I had no idea of what to expect. I just know I needed – no – WANTED to learn more. And how much there is to learn.
“Oh. My. God. I’m so out of my league. What the hell am I doing here with all these real writers? I feel like a fraud. I just have this little blog – poorly put together little blog – and I’m going to class with these people who make real money and have thousands of followers.” My thoughts raced through my head and my face turned red with stress. I registered. And got the best, most welcomed hug ever from a woman I adore and whose blog I stalk – Jennifer from Real Life Parenting. She may not know it, but she started the conference out right for me. Right then and there I decided to be me…the real me. The talkative, loud, obnoxious introvert I am. (Yes, you read that right. Introvert.)
I walked into class late. One that Nicole Leigh Shaw and Robyn Welling were teaching. I walked in late in front of these greats and started furiously scribbling notes. And in my frantic note taking I flicked my pen across the room. I got out another pen. And proceeded to drop that pen. I moved onto my pencil. The guy behind me was waiting – I know it – for me to fling it towards the front of room. Sadly for him, I managed to keep hold of that writing implement. After class I stood up and this funny thing happened.
Someone said, “Hi! Oh you’re Evil Joy! I know you!” You could have pushed me over with a feather. I fumbled for my snazzy new business cards and thrust one out at her. I asked for her card and we started chatting. I realized who I was talking to and about fell over again….Kerry of HouseTalkN.
And then the education continued.
For the first time in my adult life, I was and am ready to learn.
School was always a means to an end. I went to high school to get to college. College served as a pathway forward to a job in the real world. Classes at work, whether I was the student or instructor, were simply a vehicle to move my career forward.
For the first time in years, if not ever, I was taking a class because I WANTED to learn. I craved the information presented. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. I had so many questions (and I kept throwing my pens at people). I didn’t ask many because in all honestly I was overwhelmed. I was unprepared for just how much I have to learn. So much. SOOOOO much.
Blog U 2015 provided the educational experiences I craved. From Writing and Editing to Branding. Metrics and SEO. Instagram and Pinterest. There were classes offered I couldn’t attend because I was in another class. I have never wished for a clone so much.
And then…the events at night. From hearing four of the most moving essays I’ve ever experienced to dancing with my dear friends I finally got to hug in real life – Alyson – I’m talking about you – Blog U 2015 was an incredible experience.
And the cherry on top?!?! I had to explain it to my girls like this, “You love Demi Lovato. Imagine meeting her, having her know who you are, hugging you and then when you’re stuck at the airport offering to have you sleep over. How excited would you be?!”
My Demi is Susan McLean of The Divine Secrets of the Domestic Diva. I’ve written before how she was my life line to sanity when Dr. Evil was sick. I stalked her site. I emailed her asking for prayers. SHE EMAILED ME BACK. And when we met last week….she told me she was as excited to meet me as I was to meet her. It is a rare thing for someone you’ve idolized to be as awesome as you dreamed they would be. She was more.
And my sprinkles on top of that cherry? Spending time with my dear friend Teri of Snarkfest. Once again she opened her home and welcomed me into her family. I’ll always be grateful to be able to call her my friend.
It took me a week to get this out of my head. I played ball with the good kids while being a mediocre player. I’m good with that. Because to get better you have to play up. And every single person I met welcomed me with open arms, a hug, and smiles. I’m thankful I got to attend and hope to make it back next year. I’m going to be implementing many changes in the up coming months so stay tuned. I am striving to become the more I know I can be.
*This piece was originally published on Evil Joy Speaks.
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About the Author…
Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mom to four children she lovingly refers to as spawn. Often funny, always honest, and occasionally serious, Joy writes about life as she sees it. She’s passionate about her family, snowboarding, running, blogging, and reading. Come take a look at life from the Evil Joy side of the road! It’s a great place to be! You can find Evil Joy at her blog and all over the interwebs.
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So. Much. Magic! <3