One (Fulfilling) Year Later

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"Time Flies" charm from pennymichelle.com

As I look forward to next month’s 2nd Type A Mom Conference, I realize how much has changed for me since I attended last year.  I have definitely matured, both as a person and a blogger.  I have different hopes and more realistic expectations from this year’s conference, and I’m more comfortable than ever in my own skin.

Last year my one and only hope for attending Type A Mom was to answer the burning question:  how can I make blogging my profession?  At that time as a blogger, I was consumed with analyzing my site’s statistics, pursuing brand relationships, making the “right” connections, and somehow securing a place of influence – and profit – for myself online.  It all seemed so possible, if only someone would point me in the right direction.  I pinned my hopes on finding that someone – or many someones – at Type A Mom.

I have to tell you, I left the conference disappointed.  I had more questions than answers by the time I got home, and I felt more confused than ever.

My mistake was walking in so single-minded.  My mistake was hoping for a clear-cut, bullet list of Here’s How You Do It from the speakers and panels.  I do remember being inspired and impressed by many things I heard, but since they weren’t what I was looking for, I didn’t give the experiences much credence.

I also went to the conference hoping to make an impression.  I wanted to schmooze with some of the Big Timers and prove (to myself as much as anyone else) that I could swing with the “in” crowd.  I did end up in a Big Timer’s orbit at one point, having direct conversation and hanging out for some time. 

But again, I was left disappointed.  It became apparent that it was less about getting to know me than about having a warm body nearby, and it didn’t take much to realize I was only being seen in vague silhouette.  I’ve seen this person a few times since that day, and I don’t think she even remembers having met me.  It hurt my feelings at the time, but now I understand.

My mistake was to think that because we read about people’s lives online, we know them.  Really know them.  My mistake was to overestimate my importance and underestimate this woman’s own personal struggle at the time we met.  My mistake was to look for something from her – some validation that I was cool enough to talk to – instead of offering myself to her as a friend she could have used at the time.

My mistake was also to buy into the misconception that there are Big Timers online.  Celebrities, if you will.

In the year since my first Type A Mom Conference, I’ve let go of my worries over stats, brand relationships, influence, and even making money as a blogger.  I’ve settled into a place where I like my blog – really like my blog; it feels like home.  I write out my thoughts, share my perspective, take opportunities with companies as they arise.  And what’s crazy is that since I “let go,” more opportunities have come my way (and some with financial compensation).

I also let go of the idea of Big Timers online.  True, there are bloggers and social media agents whom I respect and admire, but it’s more for the work they do and not necessarily the personality they portray.  And if I choose to seek them out, it will be as a peer and not as a fan.  We really are JUST PEOPLE, after all. 

My changing perspectives online have been a reflection of growth and maturing in my personal life as well.  Nearing my late 30’s, I think I’m finally learning the importance of making myself emotionally available for improvement, relationships, and change.  I’m learning how to offer myself to others, and allow the right people and experiences to find me.  I had hoped that fog would clear much earlier in my life, but it’s worth it to finally be understanding and living my priorities.

This year as I walk into the Type A Mom Conference, I will be opening myself up to inspiration, guidance, and learning on anything that resounds with who I am.  I won’t be necessarily seeking an answer to one question, I will let myself discover and be enlightened by the many voices I hear.  I will also be walking in a more complete person, without the need for someone to fill in a quality I perceived was “missing” from me (like “coolness,” or like-ability).  I certainly don’t have EVERYTHING figured out, but I’m closer than I was twelve months ago, and oh, how grateful I am for the change.

  • Well I definitely remember you from Type-A Mom! Cannot wait to see you again. 🙂

    I get what you are saying. I find that the less expectations that I have for any conference, the more it tends to deliver for me. My first few conferences were just like this too (and TAM was one of them).

    • Trust me, Stacie, you were NOT who I was referring to! 🙂 In fact, you remembered me well enough to say “hi” again at BlogHer! I look forward to a smaller crowd and more opportunities to chat at Type A Mom.

    • Trust me, Stacie, you were NOT who I was referring to! 🙂 In fact, you remembered me well enough to say “hi” again at BlogHer! I look forward to a smaller crowd and more opportunities to chat at Type A Mom.

  • I left Blissdom almost 2 years ago with just about the exact same feelings. Haven’t been to a conference since, but have heard TypeAMom was a great one, and I guess I’m just ready – more open, as you aptly put it. Just bought my ticket, so I’ll see you there, I hope!

    ~ Lori

    • Hi, Lori! I avoided conferences for a while after last year’s Type A Mom, even skipping out on a pretty great opportunity at one. I just couldn’t figure out how I felt about attending. I’m happy to be past that now, and understanding better what I want from going. And you’re right – Type A Mom has a great atmosphere, small, intimate, much more relaxed. I hope I see you there, too!

  • Anonymous

    Great post, it’s good to hear the realistic side of things instead of just the flowery stuff. As for me, maybe people will hate this but I don’t really know BIG mommy blogs from th small ones, maybe that’s because I’m a small one, but everyone has to start somewhere (right?) and I’m super excited to meet everyone including you!! Hope to see you there.

    • Thanks for the comment MommyB – I think we could all learn from your perspective of being “status blind” when it comes to bloggers! 🙂 I’m excited for Type A Mom, too, and will keep my eyes peeled for you (and will try to discover the secret of the “B”…you keep it pretty well guarded on your Twitter and blog….). 😉

  • Wow, Stacey. This us an amazing post. Our expectations of how things are supposed to be often times leaves us feeling so jaded. I’m glad to see that you took away some important lessons. I’m thrilled to see your personal growth and that your focus has become less about celebrity/money and more about your passion for life. The true reward in blogging is the catharsis it provides and the people we get to meet. Thank you for sharing this! It will be great to see you again. And you are right…people are just people. There is no such thing as a BIG TIMER. Just big egos. We can all leave those at home =)

  • Oh shitballs….was I that person you were referring to? OMG…I will be mortified but I have to know! Except that I am not a “Big Timer” so maybe not. LOL. Sheesh. Now I’m all paranoid.

  • Oh my gosh, Kadi – you are hilarious! 🙂 First, I do consider you a “big timer,” in that you are absolutely EVERYWHERE and seem to do it all so well. And without ever compromising who you are. I totally respect that about you. And it was NOT you I was talking about!! 🙂 You were nothing but kind and gracious, and I trust that you’d say Hi to me again. 🙂

  • Such a thought provoking and insightful post. Makes me want to take some time for self-reflection as well. I’m not sure I’ve come as far in the last year as you have! But I do hope to see you and talk to you this year! Just three more days. 🙂

    • I hope I get to see you, too, Mary! I remember from last year what an infectious positivity you have about you. 🙂 I think I was especially reflective about going to Type A this year because it’s the first conference where I’ve gone two years in a row. That’s really helped me to measure the difference between one year and the next. Good luck getting ready, and I’ll see you this weekend!

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