Today, I'm going to dive a little deeper. Okay? So bear with me.
This is a part that people don't talk about a lot, because well, people like to appear confident. And I say it like that because I think deep down, a lot of us aren't as confident as we act. So I think it's time to have an honest discussion about some hard-to-talk-about topics. After all, a very wise Jon Acuff, said that the most powerful resource in blogging, is honesty. And I completely agree with that.
So on we go...
Let me first say this: For the most part, people at BlissDom are nice and the atmosphere is friendly. Most of the bloggers are quick to welcome you to their table, and invite you into their conversation. And the majority of people there are top-notch. And BlissDom, was mostly fun!
But BlissDom, it wasn't always easy and it wasn't always enjoyable.
Let me explain.
As amazing as the blogging community is, I would be a complete liar if I said I never compare myself (or my life) to others. It's not something I am proud of, and I am trying my hardest to stop doing that. But let's be real here, all of the warm fuzzy Instagram photos, happy blog posts, and perfectly constructed Pinterest boards have the ability to make anyone feel less-than adequate, know what I'm sayin?
When I bought my ticket for BlissDom, I'd never met anyone in person that was going, and I knew that would be extremely hard for me. Of course, there were bloggers there that I had been talking with via social media, but essentially, I was going in totally blind. Oh and I also knew that the speakers would be mediocre and that I wouldn't learn a ton.
So why the heck did I go?
My ultimate goal, my #1 reason in going to BlissDom, was to conquer my fear of rejection. Yes, I have a major fear of rejection. There's my secret and it's out in the open now. I hate this about myself because it makes me feel insecure. Well, this past year I decided to make a goal for myself, and that was to stop worrying about what anyone else thinks, stop comparing myself to others, and to take more chances.
Okay so back on topic. Going into this blogging conference, I knew that there would be times I would feel lost, or left out (one of my biggest fears!). There were a lot of bloggers that had either been to BlissDom before, and had already formed close friendships. Or groups of close knit bloggers that were hanging out together. Were there "cliques" at BlissDom. Yes. Was I intimidated? Yes. There were absolutely times when I didn't know where I fit in.
Even though I loved my roommates to death, and probably could have clung to them -- it wouldn't have made any sense for me to just stick with them the entire time. That would have been too safe, and would have defeated the purpose of my going to Dallas. So a lot of times, I would go off on my own and try to meet people. And some of these times, I felt like I was on the outside looking in. And I hate that feeling.
But here is why it's okay.
I'm not naive. Even if you go to a blog conference (or something along those lines), completely confident, with an open mind, and a willingness to meet people -- you are naturally going to gravitate to people that you connect and relate with. And obviously, you are going to want to hang out with those people -- it's bound to happen. Even the most mature adult that goes out of their way to avoid being "clique-y", would have a hard time avoiding hanging out with the people they get along with the most, especially if they already know them. So as someone that was coming in as a BlissDom Newbie and didn't really know many people, this was really tough for me, not to know that many people. I mean, most of the time, I felt totally fine and was meeting new friends left & right, laughing and sharing stories about my life... and went on my merry way. But sometimes, in between all of those happy Instagram photos y'all saw this past weekend, there were moments of self-doubt and insecurity.
But here's the thing.
I made a very concerted effort to overcome my insecurities and let the experience stretch me beyond my comfort level. Any time I would feel alone, I would take a quick minute to gather myself, and I would find someone new to talk with. Whether I "clicked" with those people or not, is beside the point. The point was, that I was putting myself out there, and in turn, I was growing leaps and bounds, even if it didn't feel like it at the time. I know this sounds incredibly cheesy, but it's true. We determine our own worth, and it's up to US to show people who we are.
I guess I had something to prove to myself this year, and that was that I can overcome my insecurities. And I'm thankful that BlissDom gave me the opportunity to do that. Did I learn anything new and amazing in regards to blogging? Not so much. But what I did learn, is that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. When I let my guard down, and am completely myself, that is when I can make real, life-long friends.
So I'm here to say that if you are afraid to go to a blog conference because you're worried about "fitting in" or are insecure about what people might think - I get it. I felt the same way. But truth is, it doesn't matter what other people think, there will be people you click with and some you don't. The whole point of BlissDom is to strengthen each other, and this community. But how can we do that, if we don't at least try? It's hard to take risks, especially when we are way outside our comfort zone, but it's so rewarding when we do.
So the biggest takeaway for me? Learning that my experiences are what I make of them. If I want to be a better blogger, I need to take a chance and put my true self out there. If I want to be a better friend, wife, mother.... it all requires patience and sometimes I need to take risks. It will be hard, but it's worth it.
Some people have asked me if I will return to BlissDom next year. Truth? If you would have asked me that a few days ago, I would have said yes, because I truly did have a blast. But now that I've had a few days to think on it, my answer now is I'm not sure. Ultimately, I got what I wanted out of BlissDom this year, so would I have anything to gain next year besides seeing my BlissDom buddies again? (which, really, would probably be totally worth it)... but who knows, time will tell, I guess.
Wow so that was deep. Thanks for listening. whew. I have one more conference post coming and then I will stop cluttering your feeds up with that dang #blissdom hashtag ;-) Thanks for stickin' with me! I have some of the best readers, ever!