I plunked down a good chunk of cash yesterday for a plane ticket to Las Vegas and a weekend conference pass to BlogWorld 2010, a ginormous blogging conference attended by about 4,000 people who take this whole Internet thing very seriously.
I did this despite the fact that I’m currently on a self-imposed shopping ban.
I did this despite the fact that anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I am horribly awkward at networking events. I tend to feel alone in a crowd of people who know me – and it’s safe to say that almost no one at BlogWorld will know me when I first arrive.
(My agent’s head just exploded because I said that out loud on the Internet. SORRY!!! This is why I have YOU!!)
The point is – $600 later and I’m planning to jet off to Vegas next month alone to immerse myself in a crowd of complete strangers.
What the hell am I thinking?!?!
I’m thinking that the only way to keep growing in life is to keep doing the things that scare the shit out of you.
I’m thinking that if I make more than half of my living as a professional blogger and SEO copywriter, it’s probably a good idea for me to go and meet other professional bloggers.
I’m thinking that if I am going to make my entire living as a professional blogger and SEO copywriter while my family and I are traveling full time, I better damn well take advantage of an opportunity to meet and learn from the very best professional bloggers.
I’m thinking that knowing no one basically guarantees that I will come away from that weekend with a larger circle of friends, colleagues, and people to learn from. While it is tempting to stay within the comfort circle that already loves, encourages, and nurtures me, it is also a recipe for stagnation, the precursor of death. Grow, baby, grow.
I’m thinking that the opportunities to meet and learn from other travel bloggers are few and far between, and I’d be a fool to pass this one up.
I’m thinking that the conference parties are held at places like the Liquid Pool Lounge. Of course, the probability of me falling into a pool is very high because that is exactly the kind of shit that happens to me. Fortunately, I appear to be waterproof.
I am thinking that one of the few people I know who will be there owes me a drink – which she managed to avoid making good on in New York City. Granted, I have no idea what she owes me a drink for, but before BlogHer she reassured me on Twitter that she had “not forgotten” that she owed me a drink. Not one to argue with free anything, I naturally went along and assured her that I would allow her to repay her debt to me in NYC. Although I still have no idea why she is supposed to be buying me a drink, I am absolutely using it as an excuse to make her talk to me in Vegas. The lesson here? One free drink in Vegas is, apparently, worth about $600.
At least, that’s what I was thinking when I bought my tickets last night.
Now I’m thinking that some of you might want to go to BlogWorld too and we can hang out and you can never leave my side and we will both learn so much! Promise! Buy before the 16th and save! WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN ENTOURAGE!
Who’s with me?
I was getting ready to hit publish on this blog post when my iPhone rang. Someone who means the world to my family – who means the world to me – was diagnosed with breast cancer this morning. From what I could make out on the phone, I think it is ductal carcinoma in situ – which means the prognosis is good. Their story is not mine to tell. It is, however, a heart wrenching reminder to spend every day doing what you love with the people that you love. No matter how much the idea scares you. Because you could wake up one morning and find yourself hearing words like “cancer”, and that’s a whole hell of a lot scarier than the idea that maybe you’ll look stupid or fail or not be as good as something as you thought you would be. For the love of God, people, LIVE.