It was going to cost some money—far more than I am used to spending on myself. It necessitated my husband being available to help with the kids. And it was going to push me out of my comfort zone.
But for the few reasons to NOT go, there were far more that justified the journey. So I went. I spent the money. I asked my husband to coordinate his schedule. And I conquered my nerves (or drank them away—samesies).
I went to BlogU! BlogU is an annual conference held in the Baltimore area for writers and bloggers. So many “big” names were going to attend so it was time to put on my big-girl pants and get my network on. That’s where my nerves kicked in. Bloggers often say they are introverts, making social interactions stressful. Not me. I am an extroverted person and I do enjoy public events. The fear—my big fear that I’ve written about several times before—is failure. What if no one knows me? What if I feel like a fool for even being there? I want so much to be a writer though. I had to get over it, get over myself. I had to go and be in the presence of great writers.
That sentence is what’s most important: I want so much to be a writer.
After the whirlwind weekend ended, everyone asked what I learned. Did I return rejuvenated and full of new ideas? Did I meet people, make connections, forge new relationships? Yes. Yes. And yes.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is that I came home realizing something. I went to BlogU because I knew it was going to be a unique opportunity to take classes but also socialize with and get to know, on a personal level, other writers. I was so excited to meet people I idolize and aspire to be like in real life. People who were real writers.
(Not gonna lie: a weekend away from the crazy house sounded pretty good too. Yep, it was dorm life—bunk beds and shower shoes and all. But guess what else it was? KID-FREE. So yeah. It was a freaking vaca from the SECOND I got on the plane until the SECOND I walked back in the door.)
Honestly though, the BEST PART was realizing that although I flew across the country and did this big thing because of my passionate goal to be a writer… guess what? I already am a writer.
I walked the campus, met fellow writers and attended classes, drank a lot of wine and danced to 80s music, and the entire time I was Karen Johnson, The 21st Century SAHM, writer. I felt it. I believed it. And damn did it feel good.
So yeah, I am coming home with a truckload of new ideas. I am old-school so I have scribbled notes on yellow legal pads that I am tediously combing through. I am excited to forge ahead with inspiration and tools for doing better. But I know now that I will reach my goals. I am done hoping that someone day I’ll “be a real writer.” Now, today, after BlogU, I say, “Someday, I’ll STILL be a writer. But I’ll be doing cooler shit and making it rain even more than I am now.”
Let me say this to you: If you have a goal of being something, whether it be a good mother, or a runner, or an artist, or an actor, chances are—YOU ALREADY ARE. Doesn’t that feel good to realize? It’s incredibly motivating, to know you’ve already done the hard part. You started. You can still work your tail off to reach your goals. But the first step is done. And for those of you who truly haven’t started and cannot call yourselves by that coveted title yet, START WORKING. You don’t have to excel at the beginning. But you have to start. I know it’s scary. And you might screw up at times. But I promise you the end game is worth it—when, a year from now, you’ll be able to proudly say, “I’m a _________.” It will feel so good.
Thank you, BlogU, for helping me see what was already there. See you next year for sure. I’ll probably call bottom bunk though. Mama can’t hang like that anymore.