#BlogHer17 Changed Me

#BlogHer17

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#BlogHer17

Photo Credit: #BlogHer17

As I board my plane I look around at how amazingly fortunate I have been this weekend. My ticket for #BlogHer17, through She Knows Media, literally was a life-changing opportunity for me. Ever since hearing about #BlogHer17 I have wanted to go, I just knew I wouldn’t regret taking the chance.

See, I’m just a mom. A mom with a blog and a gift of releasing words in a way that connects with people. Someone once told me, “You speak to my heart.” That comment alone completely breaks me every time I think of it.

Throughout my life, I have never felt like I fit in. I’ve always had this dream that I was meant for something but set that dream aside to make others happy. Not anymore. Attending BlogHer solidified that dream in my heart and is pushing me to continue on.

Day 1

Getting to #BlogHer17 was a story in itself. As I have been privileged enough to have a father who works for Delta, affording flights isn’t always the problem. Flying standby has its own set of challenges that I am always prepared for every time I fly. What I wasn’t prepared for, this time, was flight delays.

Arriving at the airport super early is a plus, it means that instead of attempting to get on the last flight I was cleared early on the 9:15 flight! Instead of arriving at 11:59 PM, I would arrive an hour earlier. That was a huge excitement for me as I haven’t had a bed alone in a LONG time. Them flight delays though didn’t get me into the bed until 1:30 am.

Who cares though! I met my roommate and we both fell asleep quickly. Because early the next morning was the Newbie Breakfast and a day full of educational fun. We definitely needed our beauty rest.

 

#BlogHer17

Photo Credit: #BlogHer17

Day 2

Oh, my goodness what a wonderful day! First was the Newbie Breakfast, then I spent way too much time in the Expo Hall, then lunch, the pool, and Medieval Times for dinner! I wanted to make the most of my day because I had to leave Saturday afternoon.

The Newbie Breakfast, at #BlogHer17, was my first experience there. I grabbed a few things to eat and tried to find a seat, most of what was offered was carbs so I just grabbed what I could. It’s really funny how we follow each other on social media but then don’t always recognize each other in real life.

This time I looked around at a sea of people just like me! Bloggers carrying cameras and some even had

The Importance of Being Reese

@Reese22 in her element!

computers. It was easy to find a friend in that space, especially as we were all Newbies.

 

Ok, easy is a relative term. I had met my Twitter friend @Reese22 online prior to the conference but finding her in a sea of people was a little hard.

Not to mention somehow I forgot to pay my phone bill. (I know I’m a hot mess) Thankfully with T-Mobile, I had wifi and could message her.

Anyways, I located her and made friends at our table! Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming. It was like I could just be myself. We all should just be ourselves, but in this day and age sometimes we think we have to be perfect. I’ve decided being perfect is overrated.

Breakfast and Beyond

The whole day was so much I can’t go recap everything. But the highlights are what truly changed my life. Several of the bigger keynotes made the biggest impact on me. Not to mention the confidence I gained post conference.

Newbie Breakfast

Newbie Breakfast
Speaker: Jacqueline M. Baker
Biggest Takeaway: Number one, Jacqueline Baker is an excellent speaker. Starting the day off with her had me feeling fresh and ready to network! Every single “mistake” that she talked about hit home. “1) I didn’t make enough deposits into my relationship accounts. 2) I wasn’t accommodating the engagement style of others 3) I was too excited about the next thing 4) Your schedule runs you” All of these mistakes I am guilty of doing but it is also something I know I need to work on. Number 2 for me is more about communicating my engagement style to others as well. (I’m super awkward with physical affection. So don’t hate me if I don’t hug you IRL)

Morning Keynote
Speakers: Ananda Leeke, Gina Pell, John Avlon, Ana Navarro, Joy Reid
Biggest Takeaway: From the morning mindful moment helping me find my center to the humor from Gina Pell, I was ready for the political commentary. Gina Pell’s words carried me through the mom guilt I was feeling in leaving my kids. She said “a lot of people park in life,” how true is that? Sometimes we park our lives and think there is nothing else out there. For me I know hat I need to push past motherhood and find my voice, pushing myself to achieve my dreams.

I spent most of my morning in the expo hall after pumping in the lactation room. Speaking of pumping, I was thrilled that they provided a space for breastfeeding and pumping. The couches were very comfortable and there was even a mini fridge so I didn’t have to carry around milk all day. Big thank you to the BlogHer and Hilton Bonnet Creek staff!Lactation Lounge

 

Lactation Lounge

 

Lunch Keynote {presented by Walt Disney World Pandora – World of Avatar}

Lunch

Lunch was delicious

Speakers: John Avlon, Serena Williams, Samantha Skey, Luvvie Ajayi, Elisa Camahort Page
Biggest Takeaway:
John Avalon Referenced HAMILTON. His new book sounds like an awesome read, “Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations” . So much we can learn from History if we just open our minds to accept it.
Serena Williams “I have the most boring answer. I wouldn’t tell myself (7th-grade self) anything. I wouldn’t be sitting here today. — People need to make mistakes. It’s really important to go through life’s experiences.”
Luvvie “My brand, for me, was the voice I had built.” Uh…why is she so smart? It’s like I needed to hear those words to let myself truly bare my real. I’m adding her book to my must read list as well,


*Also Luvvie shared my Instagram photo of here. Um…fangirl for life…I mean it’s totes legit cool I’m like so normal about it. Totes NBD*

 

Luvvie

Luvvie is an amazing speaker and beautiful soul. Seriously, if you get the chance, go hear her speak!

Sponsored Session: MEinEndometriosis
Speaker:
Biggest Takeaway: I’m not in this alone, 1 out of 10 women have Endometriosis. It’s time to end the silence and help heal the soul. “One tough cookie is impressive, but a whole jar is a force to be reckoned with.”

#BlogHer17

After my sponsored session I was wiped out. I sent a text to my roommate (whom I met online), TheYoungProfessionalist, to see what her plans were. We were both on the same wavelength and decided on a snack and drink by the pool. Where we stayed, The Wyndham, was right across the street from the convention and was a part of this larger resort. I’ve never stayed somewhere like that before. I got a taste of the good life, hah!Wyndham

That evening I attended my last sponsored session of the day at Medieval Times. That’s a story for another day. Let’s just say, the blue knight was a crowd favorite. Medieval Times

Day 3

Saturday I had to wake up early, despite not getting to bed until after 1:00 AM again the night before. Since I was again flying standby with Delta I made sure to have my bag packed and shuttle ordered before heading to breakfast. Seriously, my bag was STUFFED full of swag and products to try. The day went extremely quickly, I even saw that my real life friend Chronically Celiac was here! I was a little bummed that I had to miss the closing party but seeing an old friend made it a little better!

#BlogHer17

Photo Credit: #BlogHer17

My flight was at 6:30 PM but the shuttle I took had me leaving around 3:00 PM. Which luckily, I ended up on another earlier flight but with weather delays, I didn’t get home until 8:30 PM. Overall it was an amazing trip and I was not ready to get back to my reality. (If you haven’t read that post, you should.) My biggest takeaway from Saturday was what Maria Bello said, “Do what you love and the rest will follow.” That is exactly what I intend to do, I am setting aside all notions of what I thought blogging/social media looks like. I am embracing my messy reality and pushing forward to inspire others to embrace theirs as well.

Maria Bello

<<Part 2 of this post will go over my favorite brands from #BlogHer17>>

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2 comments

  1. Ananda Leeke says:

    So glad you had a great time at BlogHer. Thanks for the shout out. Affirming your highest good. Blessings, Ananda

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