First off, congrats to all who ran SMARTLY and finished the Rock n Roll Chicago weekend! I ran the race last year (recap/review here) but under very different circumstances. You all overcame conditions that could have been really serious. Continue to rest and recover–your body needs it!
And WE’RE BACK.
Check out my previous two posts on Blogfest!
I should be pretty obvious by now that Blogfest and IDEAWorld were pretty awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring) experiences for the majority of us. Everyone had a major takeaway from the past 4-5 days–some people learned some incredible new information, others focused more on the networking and person-to-person connection. I tried (as I always do in my life) to balance the two–I wanted to get my proverbial “money’s worth,” but, considering that I had won my entry, I was already well on my way there! There is much to discuss and synthesize, but I want to bring that information forth in a truly coherent, cohesive, and beneficial manner for everyone (myself included!), so I will be back with more of the technical side of the Blogfest and IDEAWorld conventions soon.
Right now? I want to relive the glory that is meeting some of your best friends in person and then spending the entire weekend surrounded by them.
Blogging Friends in Real Life: BlogFest Edition
I have time and again discussed that the greatest takeaway for myself from this entire blogging experience/venture has been the community. In fact, I have an entire page dedicated to the people I have met on this journey, and I have even more updating to do after this weekend! Truly, I can say that you all have changed my life in a profound manner. When I started blogging, I felt isolated from the rest of society in many ways: I was in a city where I didn’t have many (if any) friends, I worked a job that was just that–a job–and make it nearly impossible for me to connect with people due to my schedule, and I was devoid of those daily opportunities for personal connection that are so critical to happiness. I was so alone in the middle of one of America’s largest cities.
This weekend? The only time I spent alone was the time that I carved out specifically for myself to maintain my own balance. I mentioned last week that I was feeling a little bit intimidated and overwhelmed at the thought of all of the people and expertise that I was about to contend with. How wrong I was! It was like going with your sorority to a larger sorority get-together: you all had something in common and could connect with anyone, but you obviously gravitated towards your friends.
And to continue the sorority comparison, being a part of Blogfest was akin to a sorority tailgate before a big game–there are thousands of people who are there to celebrate and be social with just about anyone; there are those “mayors” of the place that know everyone; most importantly, you had a group that made the experience more palatable for you and bit off the experience into bite-sized chunks. Blogfest took the intimidation factor out by giving you the opportunity to have a homebase and a group of people who became familiar.
And did they ever! I met people this weekend who have fabulous blogs that I had never heard of; bloggers that have some of the most well known and well regarded blogs; and, most excitingly, I met bloggers this weekend who have become incredible friends, daily fixtures in my life, and I “converted” (wink wink following some of our sessions) to Friends In Real Life.
Unfortunately for them, I now have many of their phone numbers. SUCKAHS.
Today is an ode to the power of the blogging community to change your life by putting you in touch with people that “get” you. This post isn’t about how to make powerful networking connections. This is a post of love, laughter, and friendship. I want to give a huge thank you to the ladies at Sweat Pink for bringing us all together.
We Run Social
We Learn Social
We Blog Social!
ROOMIES: Ange, Me, Jen and Beth
And so many more pictures (that I’m sure will make their way onto the blog in due time). As I said on Friday and on Instagram, I cannot be more thankful for this opportunity. These are women (and men!) that have become invaluable parts of my life–you are not just readers, or people who are in the periphery of the life of Suz. You pick me up when I am down, keep me honest, make me think, and you are all some of the most giving and selfless people I’ve ever met.
New, or long time readers of this blog that visit often (I hope!) but rarely comment–I hope one day that you will take the leap and even just say “hi.” You too deserve to be a part of this community, to feel the love and support around you that I know without doubt you will find if you do put yourself out there.
Thank you for reading this blog, and thank you for making my life more rich and vibrant as a result!When bloggers get together, no one is a stranger! #mimm #blogfest #sweatpink #ftfam @suzlyfe Click To Tweet
This weekend was profound and amazing and an experience that I will not be able to forget for a long time. Do I feel like “a new person”? No. I was not inspired to revolutionize myself. But I was given the confidence, ever more, to be myself. To continue to do what I am doing, once more, with even more feeling, and I was inspired to continue my commitment to myself, this blog, and, above all, to nurturing the relationships that I have cultivated through Suzlyfe. More to come from the sessions, but for now, let us raise our glasses to friends we never thought we’d have!
Tell me about your weekend!
Outside of the blogging realm, what is an experience or community that you have become a part of that has engendered true and unexpected friendships?