tales from blogher: updated with pix!
So while Mel was rapid-fire posting from BlogHer, I was trying to think about what a tiny blogger like me has in common with 1100 other women who blog. That in itself was an amazing thought — that women from all over are using the internet to share information and ideas, finding new creative ways to tell their stories while building community in the process. They are writing about everything they are passionate about — food, travel, art, politics, business, technology, health and the environment, gardening, parenting and infertility. You name it, someone is blogging about it. (If not, maybe you should be?…)
I was so proud of our little corner of the blogosphere — this incredible community that has been nurtured with care and compassion, that emerged out of the need and desire to connect, that thrives because we share, listen and support. While everyone else was talking about building community, I was in awe to be among some of the finest ours has to offer.
It wasn’t just that I adore the wonderful people I was so lucky to meet. It’s that each of them is beautiful and brilliant, strong and real. Each has dedicated their blood, sweat and tears to foster a deeper understanding of what it means to struggle with infertility, adoption, or living childfree not by choice. Each has worked to cultivate and enrich community and instill compassion in others. Now that I’ve met the person behind the blogger, I imagine the respect and admiration I have for each of these incredible women will only magnify. It was so powerful to connect with these fantastic women who inspire me, to say the least.
To begin with, there was Mel. She is as I imagined her (pictures help, of course). She’s warm and wonderful and generous, with a sweet huge grin that just invites you in. Did you know she won a big award? Our Mel was honored with the BlogHer superhero award for being like the coolest blogger heroine! It was announced in front of more than 1000 blogger women, including some pretty famous ones. The thing is, I honestly don’t think she knows how fucking awesome she is, or how loved and revered. So you’ll be happy to know that while I held her in a farewell hug I took the opportunity to remind her, and her wonderful husband too (he agreed).
I was so grateful to finally meet Pamela Jeanne, whose bold, brave and beautiful voice champions the cause of all infertiles, especially those of us facing a future without children. Her strength and courage to come out and focus the spotlight on such an intimate aspect of her life for all the world to see is just awe inspiring. Pamela, you simply blow me away. Thank you for organizing this panel, and for continuing to remind us that sometimes we have to create our own happy endings.
When I first met Lori, she didn’t know who I was at first, yet she shook my hand graciously. (Surprise: I blog under a pseudonym and introduced myself with my real name.) When I said “luna” she then insisted on a huge hug, which made me happy because I wanted to hug her when I realized who she was (but she had just extended her hand)… Lori is kind and beautiful with an open heart and I just wanted to ask her a zillion questions. I love hearing the stories of how she built her family, and this time I saw pictures!
I met so many other wonderful women whose stories I have followed (or will now) — smart and fab mod Millie, who’s been blogging for like 4 years but I only recently discovered her, though our paths must have crossed and most likely will again (and I wanted to ask her a ton of questions also!); Frenchie, who’s hilarious and gorgeous and has a magical miracle adoption story; Michell, whose life as a traveling nurse is totally fascinating (hope you get that dream gig); and so many others I’ve read yet met only briefly, like Amber, Dramalish, Cecily (and Bliss but not Bleu).
Even M joined us on Friday night to meet some of these wonderful women, and said he felt “privileged” to finally meet the women behind the stories. He even took a great picture of us at dinner (above). Go M!
While it’s true the turnout for the panel was disappointing compared to other standing room only crowds, I believe it reached out and touched people in a very meaningful way. It’s a shame the dialogue could not serve to further bridge the gap for better understanding among mommy bloggers and those of us who write about life through the lens of infertility, loss, and adoption. But I believe the impact was no less profound for attendees. When Pamela Jeanne was describing the moment she discovered bloggers writing about infertility years after ending treatment, and how it felt like a “warm blanket” enveloping her in comfort, people understood, even those who aren’t writing about their experience, yet.