As you may know, the BlogHer conference was held this past weekend in San Francsico. Well, had I had my act together I would have actually attended this conference, but for some reason it wasn't on my radar until a couple of weeks ago--and by then the registration was closed. Bummer. The main reason I wanted to go was not because I consider myself a big-time blogger, or beacause I wanted to be up on the latest blogging hot topics, but because I really wanted to meet some of these people that I had made connections with through the blogosphere face-to-face. Not to be daunted by not being able to attend, I connected with the lovely Lori, who kept me informed of various goings-on and I arranged to meet up with her for a quick drinkie after the close of the conference on Saturday. Much to my delight, when I waltzed into the lobby of the Westin St. Francis hotel, I immediately recognized Lori sitting in the lobby. Even better was that she was surrounded by other bloggers--so I got to meet the gorgeous Luna and Mel and Mel's adorable husband. How can I express what it was like to meet these women? I am embarrassed to say that meeting Mel was for me a bit like meeting a celebrity. But it wasn't so much that I was star-struck. I was grateful-struck. Emotion-struck. Like, "Hi, you don't know me, but you have no idea how much you mean to me. How much you mean to all of us, thank you! Thank you!" But, you know what is so amazing about these women? Even though I didn't know any of them, I was immediately embraced as if I was an old friend. I was immediately brought into the fold. I can't tell you what it was like to bask in the warmth of Mel's presence, even if it was only for a few moments, as she and Josh had to run off to the airport. Mel is a powerhouse. And Luna! How gorgeous and warm and just like an old friend I'd never even met or knew I had. Which I know doesn't make any sense, but it does. It was the same with Lori. Lori, Luna and I decided to share a drink in the lobby bar, and it was so wonderful to be in the midst of women who *get it*. What a wonderful feeling to feel understood. Finally. For me, it was like sinking into a very hot tub after walking all day through the snow in bare feet.
I regret we didn't snap a photo. But, I don't think it even occurred to us since we were so busy gabbing. I felt like the conversation and the exchanging of experiences--though not all identical, still a common, shared experience, in its own way--was like finally eating a hearty, delicious meal, after being so hungry for so long. The only thing you can concentrate on is the eating, getting the nourishment into your body as quickly as possible, but still realizing how good it tastes as it's going in. Comfort, nourishment, the cessation of hunger, joy. I imagine that was what it was like on a much bigger level for the rest of the girls who actually attended the conference--and I'm sorry I missed it. But I'm so happy I was able to make the connections that I did. I felt so good afterwards. I am still feeling nourished from the experience.